Finish Strong – Foreclosure Defense

In the State of Florida, home foreclosure is not a sprint; it is a marathon.  Furthermore, our judicial process gives homeowners a better chance to finish strong. In Florida, it takes over 900 days to foreclose on most homes.  What could you do in 900 days?  That is two-and-a-half years from now.  Where do you see yourself in two-and-a-half years?  A lot can happen in that period, and you can use that time to work towards a more favorable outcome, like a mortgage modification or a short sale. If you are facing foreclosure, your fiscal fitness is going to suffer, but the idea is to retain as much credit as possible so you can recover faster.  A mortgage modification or short sale usually allows the homeowner to finish in a stronger financial position than if the foreclosure is completed. Despite the long foreclosure process, you may need the help of a third-party professional to pursue a foreclosure alternative.  Mortgage modifications and short sales are not known for their rapid timeframe.  You may need a defense attorney to address the legal aspects of your case while you continue to pursue an alternative outcome. Seek competent legal counsel to discuss your circumstances […] Read More

Alternative Vocabulary for ‘Home Foreclosure’

‘Home Foreclosure’ seems like such an awkward term, leaving homeowners to seek a handy euphemism.  ‘Bankruptcy’ on the other hand is so often incorrectly applied, resulting in loss of credit that might be otherwise saved with the use of an alternative vocabulary, such as the one below: FORBEARANCE – Pay a portion of your regular payment or no payment at all for a specific period of time, at the end of which you begin making regular payments and also pay an additional amount to pay off the past due amount.  This could be the best resolution in a situation of temporary financial hardship, such as job loss. REFINANCING – With enough equity in the home and a good credit score, you may be able to negotiate a lower rate for the loan, reducing the monthly payments. REPAYMENT PLAN –   This is also applied in a situation of temporary financial hardship whereby you work out a plan with the loan servicer to send in extra money for a few months, or the arrears are tacked onto the end of the loan, but the loan’s terms remain the same so the borrower must be able to afford the base monthly payments. RATE […] Read More

Sharks Happen…Even in Mortgage Modification

A man swims 24 miles of a 28-mile journey when a shark appeared and the man had to give up his attempt to be the first person to swim from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands.  Same thing can happen in Mortgage Modification—just when you reach the finish line of the trial payments, the great white fin of a foreclosure lawsuit appears. Best way to deal with a shark?  Keep it busy with another shark. You may not be able to out swim a foreclosure lawsuit, even when things are going well with your lender.  The water is fine, your trial payments are fine, you are waiting on your permanent modification paperwork…and then you get served a foreclosure lawsuit.  Not exactly what you were expecting and certainly not the resolution you had hoped for. How does this happen?  Sharks are born swimming. Just because you have negotiated a mortgage modification with your lender does not stop the legal case from proceeding against you.  The lending department and the legal department are two separate and parallel entities with their own guidelines and objectives.  They do not talk to each other. Or coordinate.  Yet both move forward on your case […] Read More

Recovery Mode for Homeowners

Recovery Mode for Homeowners Mount Rushmore was carved during the Great Depression.  Begun in 1927, two years before the Stock Market crash of 1929, work was slowed by intermittent funding, but finally completed in 1941—the faces of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln look unflinching into America’s future.  This national shrine stands today as one of the largest sculptures in the world, and a testament to economic recovery. Your economic recovery may not be carved in stone, but it is not necessarily a monumental task.  Just because you have suffered in the Recession does not mean you are excluded from financial recovery.  Furthermore, there are choices available to best fit your situation, including: Refinance Forbearance Short Sale Mortgage Modification Reverse Mortgage Hardest Hit Fund (And sometimes) Bankruptcy While a foreclosure alternative may be available, you may need a third-party professional involved in order to complete a resolution.  A HUD Certified Counselor or an attorney may be needed to help you pursue and ending that brings you the best benefit.  Furthermore, that professional can help you navigate the process and give more specific information regarding options at each choice point. Read More

Coming Up Short? Short Sale in Home Foreclosure

What is a Short Sale in real estate and who would want one?  Certainly not the bank.  The bank who loaned the money to buy the house wants all that money, plus the interest agreed upon.  They want all of it, cutting no part of that amount short.  Regardless of what that house may be worth now, the agreement with the lender was to pay the whole amount.  So how does a homeowner get a short sale out of that? Not easily, and not without a sacrifice of credit, but it can be done. What if you are coming up short on making your mortgage payments?  The Short Sale of your home may be the best resolution, depending on your circumstances. A Short Sale is when the lender agrees to accept less than the mortgage amount owed. Again, the bank wants their money, but they do not want your house.  They do not want to open a branch office at your address, keep cold cash in your refrigerator, convert your garage to a drive through and give out lollipops.  Banks are in the business of money, not real estate.  While your home is held as collateral on the loan, the […] Read More

Choices in Home Foreclosure

What is good for the goose is not necessarily good for you.  Honking and aggressive behavior may not illicit the desired result in a home foreclosure, or anything else.  However, you do have choices in home foreclosure. There is no single solution to deal with home foreclosure.  It depends on your circumstances—how much equity is in your home, if you are unemployed, if you are retired, if you are raising children or a caregiver for a family member, or if you have a medical hardship. Some of the foreclosure resolutions include: Refinance Forbearance Short Sale Mortgage Modification Reverse Mortgage Hardest Hit Fund (And sometimes) Bankruptcy Just because everybody is flying south does not mean you have to join the flock.  Seek competent financial guidance, such as a HUD-certified counselor or an attorney, to help you determine the choice with the best benefit for you. Read More

Win-Win-Win Short Sale

A Short Sale is not for every homeowner, it depends on the homeowner’s personal and financial circumstances and goals.  However, for a homeowner facing foreclosure on an upside down property, a Short Sale can create a win-win-win situation. A Short Sale happens when the lender agrees to accept less than the mortgage balance, and a Short Sale can benefit three entities:  the homeowner, the lender, and the neighborhood.  The homeowner gets out of a house he cannot afford, and he can start to rebuild his credit.  The bank receives more than they would otherwise in a foreclosure or REO (Real Estate Owned) sale.  The neighborhood gets a new owner faster—instead of leaving the house vacant for months—which helps maintain property value in the area. (Also the transaction stays local, benefitting the local economy—the vendors involved in the completion of the sale.  So really a win-win-win-win situation.) A Short Sale will not stop a foreclosure.   Just because you are in negotiations with your lender for a Short Sale does not mean you are “safe” from foreclosure.  Your lender’s legal department and financial department are two separate entities.  They do not necessarily communicate or coordinate.  The lender may be working with […] Read More

Healing Time in Foreclosure Defense

Time heals all wounds…and some foreclosures.  A short sale does not happen in a day and a mortgage modification will not be completed inside a week.  Both of these can be alternatives to a home foreclosure, but you may need a legal defense to see them through. A Foreclosure Defense is not a denial of debt; instead, it asks your loan servicer to prove their case—to verify the facts of their authority to foreclose as well as the amount owed—and in doing so, gives you the opportunity to purse an alternative outcome.  The idea of Foreclosure Defense is to reach an outcome of best benefit to you before the lender can complete their case against you. Time is a side effect of Foreclosure Defense—not for the sake of remaining in the house payment-free as long as possible, but time to evaluate an alternative strategy.  You have time to review personal and financial factors with legal counsel, and time to pursue a plan to bring you the best benefit for your circumstances. A short sale does not stop a foreclosure lawsuit.   Keep in mind that your lender’s legal department and their financial department are two separate entities when negotiating a backsliding […] Read More