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If you are facing foreclosure, or have lost your home through foreclosure, you might still owe your mortgage lender money after the sale. This happens if the foreclosure sale price is less than the amount remaining on your mortgage - it's called a "deficiency." Whether your lender can go to court and get a judgment for the deficiency, and then collect it, depends on state law. Below you can find the law on deficiencies in each of the 50 states.
Deficiencies play a role in short sales too. In most states, you are on the hook for a deficiency after a short sale. But there are ways you can avoid or handle a deficiency.
And for both foreclosures and short sales, you might owed the IRS some money.