I talked to Cynthia a bit about the situation, and she suggested I talk to the escrow officer about "Short sales", which is apparently what this is - the proceeds won't be enough to cover the loan.
Which I tried to do for several hours, not realizing that I kept redialing the wrong number - which was busy. D'oh!
I never did get in touch with her. That's my task for early tomorrow morning.
I finally gave up and headed to the shower - only to hear a knock on the door. Which turned out to be the SJPD, searching for one of mena_kissesoh1's transient friends (Charlotte) and her daughter. They seriously didn't seem to believe me when I told them I hadn't seen her in ages.
I normally support a certain amount of surrealism in life, but this is getting, well, odd.