Confused about selling a home for less than our mortgage amount?

We owe $ 35M on a rental property that we purchased for $ 40M a few years ago. The area in which the property is located has gone down the toilet for the past few years and the home is now worth around $ 15-$ 17M. We received an offer of $ 15M for the home and we need to take it. We can’t keep a tenant in the property any longer because of the crime rate. The property has been robbed/vandalized 3 times already. We contacted our mortgage company to see if we could pay them the $ 15M from the closing, but then get an unsecured loan from them to continue paying the balance. The immediately sent us to the loss mitigations dept and started talking short sale. I didn’t even know what that meant until I googled it online. If we were not asking them to write off/forgive the balance, why are they talking short sale? If they can’t lend us the balance, unsecured, why didn’t they just say so and hope that we could get an unsecured loan elsewhere? I’m so confused…

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