Is A Short Sale The Same As A Pre-Foreclosure?

Is A Short Sale The Same As A Pre-Foreclosure?

No, a short sale is not the same as a pre-foreclosure. A pre-foreclosure home has begun the legal process of foreclosure in California.  Typically, this means that a Notice of Default has been sent to the home owner and filed at the County Recorder’s Office. Notices of Default are a matter of public record, and as such it is relatively easy to determine if a Notice of Default has been served on the property owner.  After three months, if the Notice of Default is not cured by the home owner, the lender can then file a Notice of Trustee’s Sale.  During this time period, people will often refer to a home as a pre-foreclosure.  And, because short sales are based on financial hardship, often they are in some stage of foreclosure.  So, sometimes people will erroneously characterize all short sales as “pre-foreclosures.”

However, not all short sales are in foreclosure. Indeed, many people apply for a short sale when they have a financial hardship that is imminent and they are still current on their payments.  Divorce, lay off, job transfer, and illness are all short sale reasons that can be imminent.  You do not have to wait until the hardship has actually arrived to apply for a short sale.  Indeed, I am seeing an increase in potential short sale sellers who want to remain current on their mortgage but they are applying for a short sale now before they fall behind.  Often high wage earners, or those with significant assets feel that they must miss payment to drive home the issue of financial hardship to a lender and they then consequently drive their home into pre-foreclosure.  However, contrary to popular belief, you do not have to miss payments to qualify for a short sale.  You should explore the possibility of a short sale before you are in default.

If you are considering a short sale of your Santa Maria, Orcutt,  or Nipomo home, you should seek out an experienced Central Coast Short Sale Agent to guide you through this process.  If you would like a short sale consultation, please call my office to schedule a meeting or a telephone consultation at (805) 938-9950.

Tni LeBlanc is an independent Real Estate Broker, Attorney, and Short Sale Agent.   She is a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and Certified HAFA Specialist (CHS) serving the Santa Maria, Orcutt and Five Cities area of the Central Coast of California.

* Nothing in this article is intended to solicit listings currently under contract with another broker.  This article offers no legal or tax advice.  Those considering a short sale are advised to consult with their own attorney for legal advice, and their tax professional for tax advice prior to entering into a short sale listing agreement.  Mint Properties is not associated with the government, and our service is not approved by the government or your lender. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan. If you stop paying your mortgage, you could lose your home and damage your credit rating.

Copyright© 2011 Tni LeBlanc *Is A Short Sale The Same As A Pre-Foreclosure?*


  1. Thank you for sharing this Tni. Homeowners should be aware of these terms and their differences to help them understand if they ever go through that situation. Of course if they ever need help or need to consult a professional, I recommend Tni as an expert santa maria short sale agents.

  2. It is important for both buyers and sellers to understand real estate terminology. As Santa Maria short sale agents, you do a great job at explaining the differences between short sales and pre-foreclosure in California.

    Laurie Hellmer
    Real People Realty
    Chicago, IL

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