As a Realtor and homeowner located in Southern California I am dealing first hand with the absurd foreclosure and short sale situation that has badly damaged the real estate industry. The reality is simply this, the federal government must step in as the middleman negotiator between borrower and loan servicer. A drastic situation requires a drastic step in the right direction. Simply put, the borrower, loan servicer and the loan's actual investors will all benefit if a government official with real estate experience steps in to make sure everything makes the best sense for all parties. A great example would be a house that my office recently sold as an REO property for $26,000 in Hesperia, CA. The home sold in 2006 for a market value of $203,000. There was a water leak that occured while the home was vacant that cost the bank $1200 to repair before it could close escrow. As a normal owner occupied sale or short sale it most likely would have sold for $75,000 to $95,000. A government review prior to foreclosure would have benefited all effected parties. Seller/Borrower would have had a home to live in for longer while the property was being marketed and shown. It would have stayed secure and in better overall condition with the owner still living there. Next the loan servicer will make money under the Obama short sale plan. Finally the investors on the loan would net three times the REO amount as a short sale, plus wouldn't have to pay for foreclosure process or maintenance ( $1200 water leak) of the property. I am well aware that there is a new wave of foreclosures coming. They are from responsible people like myself that own several homes and had investments and retirement, but lost all income due to the Great Recession. Today people like me have nothing to suppliment our income with. Retirement and investments have been sold off to keep mortgages paid til there's nothing left. Now the bright side of newly hired goverment officials negotiating between parties is that practically unemployed Realtors like myself can work as liscensed negotiators either fulltime or in combination with our existing real estate business. This will keep Realtors who are motivated working and from loosing their homes and/or investment properties. Realtors know how to sell property for the highest value possible and are skilled negotiators. Win win situations are my specialty.