(TNS) Q: We completed a short sale about two years ago. We have been renting and saving our money to buy a new home after the two-year waiting period imposed by Fannie Mae. When we applied for our new loan, we were told that now we have to wait another two years. We are very upset and feel we were lied to during the short sale. What gives?

— Al

A: The large majority of lenders follow Fannie Mae guidelines when qualifying potential borrowers for new loans. When you closed on your short sale, you were given valid information that under the right conditions you could get a new loan two years after completing the deal.

Unfortunately, a couple of months ago Fannie Mae changed its guidelines so that there now is a four-year exclusion period before a buyer can qualify for a loan after a short sale. The guidelines do provide for a two-year period under extenuating circumstances, which are a sudden, drastic and prolonged drop in income that left the borrower with no other reasonable option but to default on the mortgage. In reality, it is extremely difficult to get this exception.

The good news is, not all lenders follow the Fannie Mae guidelines. Credit unions and community banks often will look past your credit score and other arbitrary criteria and evaluate your overall situation. They'll take into account factors such as income, savings, job history and whether the short sale was an isolated event or caused by circumstances outside of your control. In all likelihood, you will need to apply at multiple lenders and jump through hoops, but I have seen many borrowers get mortgages this way.

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ABOUT THE WRITER

Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He is the chairperson of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is an adjunct professor for the Nova Southeastern University Paralegal Studies program. Send him questions online at http://sunsent.nl/mR20t7 or follow him on Twitter @GarySingerLaw.

The information and materials in this column are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in this column is intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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