Mom has a long wait for a short sale

A divorce forced Ann Walker to sell her house last year.

The sale went smoothly, but finding a new house has proved more difficult.

Walker's 29-year-old daughter, Sarah, has cerebral palsy and moves with the help of a wheelchair, meaning their new house must be handicapped-accessible.

Initially, Walker considered building an accessible home, but it would have been too costly. For Plan B, she hired a real estate agent and began looking at properties that were offered for short sale.

The Lemont resident looked at more than 70 houses, searching for one that was not only affordable, but had accessible bathrooms and an open kitchen.

In late December Walker finally struck gold — a ranch-style house in Lockport that was up for short sale, meaning the bank had agreed to accept less than what was owed on the house to avoid foreclosure. That placed the house firmly in Walker's price range.

On Dec. 26, Walker placed an offer on the house, and two days later she signed a contract to buy it.

She hoped the seller's mortgage holder, Chase, would approve the sale quickly.

That didn't happen.

In the months that followed, Walker waited to hear whether Chase had accepted her offer, but word never came.

Figuring that the wait would be short, Walker and her daughter initially moved in with Walker's son. But in May circumstances changed, and they had to move out. Since then, the two have lived at an extended-stay hotel in Burr Ridge.

"It's been a nightmare," Walker said. "It's expensive to stay here. I'm a single mom. I don't have the biggest salary."

Although she has saved up enough money to make a down payment on the Lockport house, she is stuck in limbo, unsure when or if her offer will be accepted.

"It's just frustrating," she said. "I'm still waiting. I don't know what else to do."

When Walker emailed What's Your Problem? on June 2, she said the short sale should be an open-and-shut case.

"The ironic thing is that I am financing through Chase, and as I stated, the short sale is through Chase," she said. "You would think having the same bank would simplify things. Chase needs to get rid of the house, and I want it. I do all my banking with Chase, and they know I am financially sound. You would think it would be a no-brainer."

The extended-stay hotel has been fine but far from ideal, Walker said.

"All I want to do is be able to move on with our lives and give Sarah the ability to once again be as independent as possible (in) her own home," she said.

The Problem Solver called Chase spokeswoman Christine Holevas and described Walker's situation.

After researching the case, Holevas said there was communication between Chase and the seller's attorney about a short sale dating to November, but Chase did not receive the contract for the sale to Walker until May 2.

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