How to Avoid Foreclosure

With the subprime implosion in full force recently, millions of American homeowners find themselves defaulting on loans and facing the nightmare of foreclosure.

As a result of the disadvantages foreclosure offers to both the homeowner and lender, more and more Americans are looking to several other viable options to steer away from the drawn out and at times, risky process which foreclosure offers to both parties. Owner and CEO of I Short Sale, Inc., Eli Tene, suggests four alternatives to foreclosure which can save a homeowner’s credit and the lender’s time and money.

One of the first options a homeowner has to avoid foreclosure is a Loan Modification, or Loan Restructuring, which is simply a permanent change in one or more of the terms of the mortgage loan. For example, if you are unable to make payments at a given rate, a modification could be negotiated with your lender to extend the loan period. If a homeowner runs into temporary financial hardship, the next option is to negotiate for a Loan Forbearance, which reduces or delays payments for a short amount of time with the understanding that the account will eventually be brought to a current status.

While these two options do serve as practical alternatives to foreclosure, they still leave homeowners with the same burden of debt. Homeowners do have the option of offering their lender the deed of their home in lieu of their mortgage debt (Deed in Lieu). However, the homeowner’s credit still may be harmfully affected by negative reports and lenders will rarely accept an offer that would only add to their REO Portfolio, which requires time and money to manage.

The more favorable option, according to real estate expert, Eli Tene, which considerably benefits both the homeowner and lender, is a Short Sale. Short selling is an agreement wherein the lender allows for the homeowner to sell the home at a price lower than the mortgage debt amount. The lender will then take the proceeds from the sale as a settlement for the mortgage debt. Short selling becomes a beneficial alternative when the homeowner’s mortgage debt is higher than the property’s value.

Tene indicates that, “Not only is the homeowner’s credit protected from negative reports when engaging in a Short Sale but, he or she is released entirely from the debt associated with a defaulted loan. What can be better than getting out clean and not having to deal with terrible credit. The lender also benefits by not having to deal with the time and costs of repossessing the home. It’s a win-win situation!”

Whether a Short Sale or any one of the other existing alternatives is good for a homeowner depends on the surrounding circumstances of each situation. Before revealing any information to a lender, Tene advises to contact a specialist first, and at the appropriate time. “Regardless of the homeowner’s options, acting sooner than later is crucial. Sinking deeper and deeper into delinquency can lower the chances of successfully carrying out one of these alternatives to foreclosure.”

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Posted On: Woodland Hills, CA July 1, 2007

Home Owners Options when Facing Foreclosure – Deed In Lie…

Home Owners Options when Facing Foreclosure - Deed In Lie...
Deed In Lieu as an option for homeowner experiencing a severe financial hardship that is causing them to miss their mortgage payments. Part 2 of a 7 part series brought to you by Short Sale Assistance Group and Ascendant Realty on what the options are for people facing foreclosure on either their home or investment property. We interivewed one of the top financial planners and credit repair professional in Minnesota in April 2009 about how these options are working in todays economy.

American Tenants Association Unveils “Rent-to-Own” Initiative

Program will help tenants achieve home ownership and relieve banks of “toxic” assets.

The American Tenants Association (ATA) (http://www.americantenants.org), the country’s only nationwide residential tenants’ advocacy group, offered solutions today to the nation’s financial crisis that are designed to dovetail with the Obama Administration’s plan to rid banks of “toxic” mortgage assets.

The ATA’s initiative, entitled Performance Based Financing, uses long-term residential leases with purchase options that will have the effect of changing financial institutions’ classification of troubled assets to “performing” from “non-performing” while allowing millions of residential renters the opportunity to achieve home ownership.

Performance Based Financing, a concept created by Stan Dale, a graduate level adjunct professor at Pennsylvania’s Arcadia University and the ATA’s Director of Public Policy, is at its core a “rent-to-own” strategy. Mr. Dale indicated that the plan incorporates Black-Scholes financial options modeling to establish net present value and real options modeling to create a “bid/ask” marketplace for residential properties.

“Banks and financial institutions are being crushed by short sales, foreclosures and deeds in lieu of foreclosure,” Mr. Dale said. “In addition, because of the Financial Accounting Standard Board’s ‘mark-to-market’ accounting principles, paper losses become real losses. This causes bank reserves to be more difficult to maintain and as a consequence credit more difficult to obtain,” Mr. Dale added.

Mr. Dale went on to say that “higher losses mean tighter credit which leads to failures resulting in more losses. It’s a never ending cycle.”

William M. Deegan, the ATA’s Executive Director, said that “Performance Based Financing requires no outlay of federal or private capital” other than the expense of administering the plan. “The Obama Administration’s Public-Private Investment Program, designed to clear banks of toxic assets, will require billions in public and private financings. Our plan, once established and implemented, will allow banks to switch currently non-performing mortgage assets to performing assets in the form of performance valued purchase contracts without requiring a dime in taxpayer funding.”

Mr. Deegan added that “tenants who might not otherwise qualify for mortgage financing will be able to achieve the dream of home ownership” under the plan.

The group indicated that they would present their proposal to Congressional leaders and the Obama Administration in the weeks ahead.

“The beauty of Performance Based Financing is that everyone benefits; tenants, the banks and the taxpayer,” Mr. Dale concluded.

The American Tenants Association serves as the voice for the more than 95 million Americans who rent their homes. Membership is free to all tenants and advocates of tenant rights. Its web and blog address is http://www.americantenants.org

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Posted On: Scottsdale, AZ April 1, 2009

Real Estate Wiki Incorporates Foreclosure Information

One Percent of U.S. Homeowners Entangled in Foreclosure

Real Estate Wiki, the leading free online encyclopedia in the real estate industry, this week announced that it has added significant new copy addressing foreclosure, pre-foreclosures, short sales, auction and bank owned properties.

According to a spokesperson for Real Estate Wiki, foreclosures are of major concern for many Americans at this time. For example, in March one in every 538 households in the U.S. received a foreclosure notice with Nevada (1 in 139 homes) leading the pack, followed by California (1 in 204 homes), Florida (1 in 282 homes) and Arizona (1 in 283 homes).

To assist homeowners Real Estate Wiki added some 25 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) covering questions such as:

  •     Can I Negotiate the Price of a Bank Owned Property?
  •     What Can I Do To Avoid A Foreclosure?
  •     How Do I Negotiate With The Lender To Avoid Foreclosure?
  •     How Does A Foreclosure Work?
  •     What Happens To The Mortgage Loan After A Foreclosure?
  •     What is a Better Option Foreclosure or a Short Sale?

In addition, over 30 definitions have been added to the Glossary of Terms providing explanations for concepts such as Foreclosure, Judicial Foreclosure, Strict Foreclosure, Deed-In-Lieu of Foreclosure, Decree of Foreclosure, Right of Redemption, etc.

Various key organizations that provide information and assistance to home sellers before and during the foreclosure process are also featured in the Wiki: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, First American CoreLogic, Experian, Equifax and RealtyTrac.

Real Estate Wiki is powered by a group of dedicated real estate professionals that offer up of their time and expertise to provide quality and relevant information in one central place; http://www.RealEstateWiki.com. Using this great resource is 100% free and anyone can add, change or improve any of the over 13,000 existing entries covering a wide range of residential real estate matters in over 70 categories.

Make a difference and help build a better industry by becoming involved with Real Estate Wiki. To contribute towards improving this national free real estate encyclopedia visit Real Estate Wiki (http://www.RealEstateWiki.com) today or contact Gatekeeper @ RealEstateWiki.com

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Posted On: April 24, 2008

Americas Watchdog Offers Very Useful Tips For All US Homeowners To Survive The 2008 Real Estate Disaster

Americas Watchdog & its Homeowners Consumer Center are offering important tips for all US homeowners to survive the mortgage meltdown and other very useful information about being a smart homeowner in 2008. According to the group, “the worst is yet to come so homeowners need to be very smart with respect to the choices they make in 2008”.

Americas Watchdog and its Homeowners Consumer Center are the premier consumer advocates for homeowners in the United States. The Homeowners Consumer Center is one of the best known homeowners advice, or homeowners information resources in the United States. The Homeowner Consumer Center has just released its top seven list for smart homeowners wishing to survive the 2008 real estate disaster, along with some hard cold truths about the future of the US real estate markets. As follow:

1. Home prices will continue to fall in the US. Americas Watchdog’s National Mortgage Complaint Center expects a 10% decrease in 2008 and at least a 10% decrease in 2009. According to the Federal Reserve, currently 1 out of 7 US homeowners owes more on their home than it is worth. Americas Watchdog expects that by mid 2009 1 out of 5 US homeowners will owe more on their home than it is worth. This is because with 2 million expected foreclosures in 2008, banks are slashing home prices by as much as 40%, to get rid of the property. Americas Watchdog says, “dramatic sales price reductions by banks has the affect of creating new comparable home sales data for a neighborhood, and by doing so the value of all homes in a neighborhood is decreased. The National Mortgage Complaint Center’s web site is located at Http://NationalMortgageComplaintCenter.Com

2. Potential homeowners or real estate investors should be extremely wary of real estate auctions or foreclosure events according to the Homeowners Consumer Center. The group says, “why buy a house in 2008 that will be worth 15% less in late 2009″.

3. If a homeowner is currently more than 10% upside down on the value of their home related to their loan amount, they should consider contacting their attorney about going deed in lieu of foreclosure (simply walking away from the home), or doing a short sale (where the bank accepts whatever price the borrower can get for the house). According to the National Mortgage complaint center, why continue to make payments on a mortgage, that is greater than the homes value?”

4. If a homeowner intends to stay in their home, they should gather recent home sales information in their neighborhood, and appeal their county property taxes. US real estate values are down at least 15% to 25% in almost every major US real estate market. Why pay a higher property tax bill than required?

5. All US homeowners who intend to stay in their homes need to update their homeowners insurance policy. Six months ago the Homeowners Consumer Center completed a study where it was discovered that less than 5% of all US homeowners have updated their homeowners insurance policy. Americas Watchdog used to be based in New Orleans, before, during and after Hurricane Katrina. The group is begging all US homeowners to do the following:

  • If a homeowner lives in an area that could flood or be impacted by a hurricane, get flood insurance & flood insurance contents coverage (All states along the Atlantic & Gulf Coast)
  • If a homeowner has not updated their homeowners insurance in at least two years, they should invite their insurance agent to come by their home & make a list that includes all home electronics, jewelry, home improvements, etc. Have the agent verify in writing the additional items covered.
  • All homeowners insurance policies should include loss of use insurance, in the event the home floods, or has a fire. Loss of use will provide rental assistance to a homeowner if their home is undergoing repair work rendering it unsafe to occupy.

6. Americas Watchdog is still demanding that Congress do away with the worst case of mortgage fraud in US history, where banks and mortgage bankers are allowed to get a huge kick back called a “yield spread premium” with no disclosure to the consumer. According to the group, “mortgage brokers are required to disclose this kick back, but banks and mortgage bankers have no such requirement even they get this huge kick back too”. Americas Watchdog estimates that 50 million US homeowners pay a higher monthly mortgage payment than they should have received, because a mortgage banker or bank received a huge hidden kickback for increasing the borrowers interest rate/monthly mortgage payment, with no requirement to disclose it to a unsuspecting consumer. All US homeowners should write their Congress Person & US Senator & demand this double standard be changed. All US Presidential candidates should have to explain this double standard to the voters.

7. Americas Watchdog’s Homeowners Consumer Center is encouraging all US homeowners to review their free mortgage guide. The 20 page guide was designed to assist all US homeowners understand the mortgage process and the tricks of banks and mortgage lenders related to mortgages. The free mortgage guide is located on the Homeowners Consumer Center’s resource page. The Homeowners Consumer Centers web site is located at Http://HomeownersConsumerCenter.Com

Americas Watchdog thinks this is vital information for all US homeowners or potential homeowners. The group asks that readers of this press release forward it onto friends, co-workers and family members.

Americas Watchdog & its Homeowner Consumer Center are all about truthful Homeowners advice, consumer protection and corporate fair play.

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Posted On: Washington, DC April 2, 2008

Evaluate options to avoid foreclosure

Evaluate options to avoid foreclosure
Call 888-566-8222 or www.MyOneStop.net or Text “PLAN” to 82257 Loan Modification- Chris- A loan modification is a process where the original terms of a mortgage are modified, giving the homeowner new payment terms that they can handle. It will usually involve a lower interest rate, extension of the term, adding missed payments to the end of the loan, reduction in principle, or a combination of these. Some families find success in modifying their loan, but you must meet all financial, employment and hardship requirements in order to qualify. Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure- Deeding your house title to the lender in exchange for their agreement not to foreclose is called a deed in lieu of foreclosure. You negotiate with the lender to accept the deed and they cancel the foreclosure action. It is not without negative consequence to your credit, but If a short sale or loan modification is not an option, a deed in lieu may be an answer. One difficulty in negotiating a deed in lieu settlement is that lenders do not want the property back because it creates liability issues for them and additional costs. If you are able to negotiate a deed in lieu, be aware of the possible negative consequences. Walk-Away Foreclosure- Foreclosure is rarely the best option for homeowners. In a foreclosure, the homeowner stops making payments and the lender takes possession of the house. A foreclosure creates additional expense and liability for the lender. You may still owe the debt even after a

How Mortgage Modifications, Short Sales and Foreclosures Work, Part 2

How Mortgage Modifications, Short Sales and Foreclosures Work, Part 2
Michael Gray interviews attorney William Mahan about the mechanics of short sales and foreclosures of real estate for the Financial Insider Weekly. Part 2 of 3 focuses on deeds in lieu of foreclosure. (What happens if you “walk away”.)

Real Estate Crisis is More Than Just Mortgages

For over two years Americas Watchdog & its National Mortgage Complaint Center has been warning about suicidal mortgage products and a real estate/mortgage industry seemingly out of control. The warnings were that if the mortgage or real estate sector greed were allowed to continue, the consequences would be dire for the entire economy. The shoe has now dropped, the industry has severe problems, and other sectors of the economy will now suffer.

For over two years Americas Watchdog & its National Mortgage Complaint Center have been warning that if a very greedy mortgage industry was allowed to continue with ridiculous mortgage products or programs, at some point the entire economy could be put at risk. The last two weeks of declines on Wall Street are but one indicator that the self-inflicted damage to the economy has started. According to Thomas Martin President of Americas Watchdog, “things are about to get much worse”. Americas Watchdog has five simple tips for consumers or industry insiders to prepare for the next two very turbulent years of record real estate foreclosures and Wall Street mayhem.

1.     If you have an “Option Adjustable Rate Mortgage” try to see if your current lender will assist you with a conversion to a more stable fixed rate product. Option Arms were always a ridiculous mortgage product & should have never been offered to the average consumer.

2.    Homeowners who purchased in 2004, 2005 & 2006 may literally have no ability to refinance their home if they used 100% financing. In many regional or local real estate markets prices have dropped 10% or at best prices are flat. If you do not have to sell your home….. don’t. If you can no longer afford your payment; Americas Watchdog suggest that the consumer attempt to do a work out with his/her/their lender. For many consumers a “deed in lieu of foreclosure” might be your best option if your lender is not willing or able to do a work out.

3.    Congress has been heavily funded by the mortgage industry (campaign donations). The practice of any industry buying Congress needs to stop and homeowners need to be afforded the right to a transparent mortgage transaction where all fees must be disclosed. As an example at the present time only mortgage brokers are required to disclose a kickback for increasing a borrowers interest rate. Banks or mortgage bankers are not required to inform the borrower of this extra income. The fee is called a “yield spread premium” and Congress needs to immediately require that consumers get to see exactly what the lender is making on the mortgage transaction to include all banks and all mortgage bankers.

4.    Home Builders need to get out of the home lending business. Aside from inflating appraisals, homebuilders have been gouging consumers with undisclosed yield spread premiums for years. The mortgage industry is currently being crushed with calls on non-performing loans. Homebuilders could be next. What will homebuilders do when Wall Street comes knocking with pay back provisions for non-performing loans. Many homebuilders could end up going the way of New Century Mortgage. Appraisal fraud in the home building industry is a massive national problem that has received little to no attention.

5.    Consumers with 401 K investments along with pension fund advisors need to wake up & examine their portfolio’s. Wall Street Investment Bankers are largely to blame for much of these problems because they either financed it, or they put the deal together. While much of the mortgage industry is going down the tube, Wall Street Investment Bankers are recording record profits. What is wrong with this picture? Americas Watchdog also believes that the shake out in the mortgage industry will result in “flat fee mortgage lenders” much like what happened to the stock brokerage industry after the “Dot Com” bust. The flat fee approach is the future of the mortgage industry.

Americas Watchdog is all about consumer protection and corporate fair play. If as a consumer you feel like you were cheated in the mortgage process or by a homebuilder you are welcome to contact the National Mortgage Complaint Center at http://NationalMortgageComplaintCenter.Com . If you are an insider with a mortgage lender, a national homebuilder or a Wall Street Investment Banker & you have proof of wrong doing you are welcome to contact Americas Watchdog at http://AmericasWatchdog.Com

Contact:

Thomas Martin

Phone 866-714-6466

Metro Washington DC

Web Site http://AmericasWatchdog.Com

Distribution Worldwide

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Posted On: Ferndale, WA March 15, 2007

5 Tips from a Short Sale Expert that Could Save a Home

Millions of Americans are faced with the possibility of foreclosure yet do not realize they have definite and reliable options to save their home. A nationally renowned Short Sale expert offers 5 concrete tips that could help save one’s time, credit and home.

Millions of Americans are faced with the possibility of foreclosure yet do not realize they have definite and reliable options to save their home. Short sales expert, Eli Tene is working to inform distressed property owners of these viable alternatives, the foremost being a short sale transaction.

“We have seen a wave of 100% financing, refinancing and cashing out beyond the real affordability level of the buyer in the last few years,” said Tene, CEO of I Short Sale Inc. “Buyers are taking cash out of their properties as casually as if they were making an ATM withdrawal.” Tene explains that, unfortunately for the buyer, payday comes at a time when they are least prepared for it. “Mortgages used to be up to 25% of your total income. We now see in many cases that the mortgage is 60, 70 and 80% of the buyer’s total income. There is no way to survive it. Any slight change in your life or income immediately affects your ability to pay,” says Tene.

I Short Sale Inc. has seen a dramatic increase in distressed property owners opting for a short sale rather than letting their home go into foreclosure. The real estate market is just now “catching on” to this wave of alternative and creative financing options; however, Tene has been facilitating short sales for over 16 years.

Most property owners who find themselves unable to pay their mortgage still have opportunities to preserve their home and protect their credit. Tene offers five tips that could save your home:

1.    Talk to your lender as soon as possible. Don’t wait to go further into delinquency. Time works against you. Once your payment is overdue, your opportunity to get the lender’s cooperation declines.

2.    Don’t be afraid of your lenders. The lender is in the lending business, not the real estate business. They do not want your property. They want to work with you to ensure the loan is paid.

3.    Beware of scam artists. Predatory lenders and distress opportunity scammers often target people in financial distress. They try to force you, in a time of panic, into high cost mortgages, which increase your financial problems and the risk of losing your home. Predatory lenders usually offer loans with hidden fees and rate increases. Be aware of “magicians” who pitch dream solutions that sound too good to be true. If it sounds too good to be true, the dream will likely become a nightmare. There are no magicians in this industry. Don’t agree to promises that are unrealistic. Look for a real solution.

4.    If your loan is insured by the department of Housing and Urban Development or the FHA, you may be eligible for a one-time payment to bring your mortgage payment current.

5.    Don’t try to negotiate a “short sale” on your property by yourself. When you are sick, you go to the doctor. When you go to court, you take a lawyer. For a successful short sale, seek professional advice. In most cases, you will have ONLY ONE chance at a successful negotiation with your lender.

I Short Sale, Inc. has assisted thousands of property owners and a large number of lenders in the intricate and sensitive business of short sales, modifications, forbearances, deeds in lieu and other creative financing solutions. For over 16 years, the company’s principals have developed solid experience and created an extensive network of contacts with lenders, realtors and property owners. The purpose of short sales, as well as the other financing solutions I Short Sale provides, is to help property owners and lenders avoid the lengthy and costly process of foreclosure, the stressful act of eviction and the REO sale that follows.

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Posted On: Woodland Hills, CA February 12, 2007