Just in general is it common for the mortgage companies to file a deficiency judgment?
A: Yes. Very.
Especially with the market being in bad shape and I'm sure there are a lot of short sales and foreclosures?
A: Doesn't matter. Lender has a fiduciary duty to shareholders to try to recover its money.
Also, if the property was foreclosed instead of doing a short sale could a def. judgement still be made?
A: Short sale contemplates a release of the seller from liability for any deficiency. If the seller doesn't get a release, then the seller is a fool for selling.
If one is made would have to go to court?
A: Yes. It's a deficiency "judgment."
Or is there anyway to negotiate with the mortage company or could i hire someone to help settle on a lower amount?
A: Everything is negotiable except death and taxes.
Or is it a case of where I would have to end up paying the amount owed?
A: See previous answer.
How long do they have to file the judgement?
A: Three month (CCP §337)