Short sale and foreclosure are similar in that they’re both financial options for individuals who own homes but find themselves in financial distress. Both also have a negative impact for your tax return, credit score and credit report, and future prospects getting a loan. A short sale transaction occurs when mortgage lenders allow the borrower to sell the house for less than the amount owed on the mortgage. The foreclosure process occurs when lenders repossess the house, often against an owner’s will. Timing also differs: Short sales can take up to one year to close, while foreclosures generally move along much faster because lenders are intent on recovering the money they’re owed. Furthermore, a short sale is far less damaging to your credit score than foreclosure. In fact, people who go through the short sale process can usually buy another house without having to wait, although securing a second mortgage might be more challenging. Foreclosure, on the other hand, will stay on your credit report for seven years. You’ll also have to wait five years to buy another house.