Second mortgages have become one of the biggest roadblocks to closing short sales.

There are about 450,000 properties in some stage of the foreclosure process with at least one junior lien, according to real estate research firm CoreLogic. These second liens are a primary challenge for Freddie Mac, said Mark Johnson, who oversees short sales for Freddie.

Holders of second liens have little left to lose so some of them are willing to get in the way of a deal in hopes of being thrown a bone, said Jon Goodman, a real-estate lawyer and investor in Boulder, Colo.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Nick Timiraos (11/27/2010)

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