As home values declined, “short sales” became increasingly more prevalent in the Phoenix area.  When a homeowner sells his or her home, the lender expects the outstanding loan balance to be paid in full before they will release their lien on the property.  So what happens if a distressed homeowner must sell and the value of the property is significantly lower than the outstanding loan balance?  In some cases, the lender may be willing to accept less than what they are owed and release the lien on the property to allow the property to be sold.