2012 will be The Year of the Streamlined Short Sale.

Joel Cone, staff writer for RealtyTrac’s Foreclosure News Report, released a lengthy report on what this year brought for the mortgage, real estate and default servicing industries. So what did we learn in 2011? Cone says more borrowers learned to lean on strategic default, choosing to walk away from distressed or underwater loans instead of continuing to make payments on their mortgages.

Cone also quotes Law.com data, which shows Atlanta-based McCalla Raymer opening new branches and adding foreclosure divisions in the Southeast. Cone believes short sales will play a huge role in 2012. "The dysfunctional and delayed foreclosure process may finally be leading lenders to usher in the much-anticipated “year of the streamlined short sale’ in 2012,” he wrote.