Our situation is a bit strange.
In 2006, my husband and I co-purchased a home with another couple, very good friends of ours. The house was supposed to be our home for approximately 5 years, but naturally after 5 years, the house was severely underwater. We all lived in it together happily for a while, but then we had babies and such and it became too uncomfortable to all live together anymore.
Our roommates moved out of state with a job offer, and we were left holding the bag, deciding what to do with the house. As it was just simply way too much house and not what we wanted for ourselves anyway (and, actually, being stuck with the entire, very expensive mortgage payment was not an option), we opted to strategically default and put it on the market as a short sale after being denied a loan modification that might've made it affordable for us to stay.
The house is still not sold after 15 months on the market, mainly because the bank keeps upping their price and rejecting REALLY GOOD offers on it, but that's another story entirely. We do hold out hope that this will end up with a successful short sale, as we only have one mortgage, and it has always been a primary residence. A few months ago, we moved into an apartment so that we have some stability for our family, and a relative is staying in the house, keeping it up.
Here's the weird bit: the mortgage never has been and still is not reported on our credit report. That means, for good or bad, it hasn't ever affected our credit score. The bank has also not asked us for any of our financial paperwork in dealing with the short sale. They don't seem to care that we were co-owners at all (I'm guessing their system just can't handle dealing with more than 2 names on a mortgage). So... What can we get away with here? I understand that filling out mortgage applications saying that you don't have any other mortgages would be fraud -- and we're not interested in cheating the system, but in the interest of long-term planning, is it likely that we will have to wait the designated 2 or 3 years after the short sale to get a new mortgage, or will the fact that it isn't reported on our credit report mean that we can, in effect, get a new mortgage anytime we want? Did we just get lucky? Or will we likely be "found out" in the long run?