In the past 4 years, short sale procedures have changed dramatically. The biggest change I have seen is the requirement of a Promissory Note from Mortgage Insurance Companies. I believe that we, as real estate professionals, absolutely must educate our sellers the very first time we meet with them before listing their home as a short sale. Promissory notes, based on my experience, seem to be required if the seller does not have a legitimate hardship. I had an experience where a promissory note was put on a seller for 15 years at about $138 per month. Of course, this did not go over well. At the same time, it sure beats the seller possibly being held accountable for the entire mortgage default. Sellers have to be educated.
On the same token, if someone has a legitimate hardship and their home is selling for current fair market value, I have never seen a promissory note required.
I work in the North Atlanta Market primarily in Gwinnett, North Fulton, Forsyth, Hall, and Jackson Counties. I run across a lot of people moving across country that are in a hardship position. Please feel free to contact me if you have short sale expertise in a different part of the country, and I will keep you on my referral list.