Your Realtor and closing attorney should be all over this for you. In Virginia each party is expected to comply with the terms of the contract. If one party doesn't comply the other party can sue in court as a "Suit for Specific Performance". ie. each party must adhear to the terms of the contract or else.... Most of the time when issues arrise I as a Realtor am able to make the closing happen without the attorney but at some point it makes sense for your attorney to get aggressive. My sense is that your attorney needs to get aggressive and get all of the sellers to sign the deed transfer. Or perhaps the sellers attorney has specifice power of attorney and can sign for the seller who is out of pocket. Good Luck!
Good luck with your offer on the short sale. I am a Realtor and have just written and offer that was accepted by the sellers and am now awaiting a reply from the lender, Countrywide. I am expecting to have a final answer in 45 to 60 days. I do disagree with your premise that the lenders try squeeze as much as possible from the mortgagees as being a bad thing. After all, these mortgage companies made a loan to the borrowers and expected the borrowers to pay back the loan. I can't imagine any company or individual who made a loan to willingly just accept a loss without trying to recover as much of the loan amount back as possible. That is what businesses do. They try to make a profit or mitigate any losses on their investments.But you are very correct that the time it takes to get back an answer is unduly long. The number of short sales and foreclosures have escalated at such a rapid pace that these banks cannot catch up and are overwhelmed. Oftentimes the folks working in this area are new hires with little experience. You will need an aggressie Realtor (a Buyers Agent) who can put pressure on the listing agent to get you answers. I have found that the squeaky wheel get the oil in these cases! My advice is to hang in there and be patient because you will get a very good price on a short sale home. In the long run you will be rewarded for this patience with built-in equity. As a Realtor I spend a very long time explaining to my clients who write offers on short sales and foreclosures the timeline of what will happen and all the potential pitfalls of writing offers on these types of homes. I do this before we even see a short sale/foreclosure home so they have realistic expectations should they like one of these homes. I hope you get an answer back soon and I hope it is the answer you want! Good luck!
This government program (actually our tax dollars) is hopefully being set up in a manner that is the most cost effective for the end users and for the taxpayers. Perhaps this time a government program can work the way it is supposed to work with minimum inefficiencies. As we have seen with other bail out programs the shorter the time period it takes to implement them the more inefficiently they are run. Patience is a virtue in this case in my opinion.