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

Marching Into Home Foreclosure

I was in marching band in Utah, and our last show, we marched into the pool…kind of like home mortgages bundled into mortgage-backed securities. Safety in numbers, investors thought, no way they will all default at the same time.  And thus, homeowners across America marched into foreclosure together. Though many homeowners went together into home foreclosure, there was not a single solution to fit every situation.  Instead, there were many choices.  The best choice for the homeowner depended on the homeowner’s circumstances.  The same is true today, with choices including: Refinance Forbearance Short Sale Mortgage Modification Reverse Mortgage Hardest Hit Fund (And sometimes) Bankruptcy You may need to get a third-party professional involved in order to complete a resolution.  A legal defense of your home foreclosure gives you time to pursue a resolution to bring you the best benefit.  Consult competent legal counsel to review your situation and which strategy is right for you.   Read More

Hardest Hit Fund Eligibility

According to Jeff Foxworthy, “You might be a redneck if your primary source of income is a pool stick”…but that does not necessarily make you eligible for mortgage assistance from the Hardest Hit Fund.  Reduction of income due to death, divorce, or permanent disability of a borrower or co-borrower will not qualify as a financial hardship for Florida’s Hardest Hit Fund.  Other exclusions include the following: A bankruptcy that has not been discharged or dismissed A conviction on a mortgage-related felony within the last 10 years Property located in Georgia Rental unit as your primary residence Abandoned property Seller-financed mortgage The Hardest Hit Fund is intended to provide financial relief to Florida homeowners who are unemployed or underemployed, but there are requirements and exclusions.  It is locally administered through St. Johns Housing Partnership.  To learn more, visit their website at http://www.sjhp.org/what-we-do/keep/hardesthitinflorida.   Read More

Super Bowl & the Hardest Hit Fund

About 14 million people nationwide will call in a ‘Super Bowl sick day’ today.  Even St. Johns County schools have made it a holiday.  But if you are already unemployed and struggling to pay your mortgage, you have a much bigger hangover.  For Florida residents who are unemployed or underemployed, the Hardest Hit Fund may be the headache medicine for their mortgage. The Hardest Hit Fund was an allocation of Federal money given to five states (Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, and Nevada) that had experienced excessive housing market depreciation.  The funds are designated to assist in foreclosure prevention, and targeted at those workers who are unemployed, underemployed, just returning to work, or recovering from underemployment.  The Hardest Hit Fund started in April 2011 statewide in Florida.  It offers foreclosure prevention through two programs: 1. Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program (UMAP) will provide up to 12 months of payments (with a cap of $24,000) to the mortgage lender to assist unemployed or underemployed borrowers with their first mortgage until they can resume full payments on their own. In addition, up to $18,000 can be paid to help satisfy all or some of any past due amounts owed; this assistance will be paid […] Read More

Strategies May Vary with Foreclosure Defense

This little piggy’s house went to short sale. This little piggy refinanced his home. This little piggy got a reverse mortgage. This little piggy got a modified loan. And this little piggy cried, “Free!  Free!  Free!” all about his home. Homeowners in foreclosure have one thing in common:  missed mortgage payments.  Beyond that, 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 However, you may have to get a third-party professional involved in order to complete a resolutions.  A legal defense of your home foreclosure gives you time to pursue a resolution to bring you the best benefit.  Consult competent legal counsel to review your situation and which strategy is right for you. …By the way, the fifth little piggy was dreaming.  A free home is not the standard result of a foreclosure defense. Read More

Everything in Home Foreclosure

On the radio show my brother, Stephen, likes to ask me what is going on my world:  Everything.  Home loan originators have done things badly and home loan servicers have done things badly…resulting in Everything that can go wrong for a homeowner often goes much much worse. Examples include a homeowner making payments on a permanent loan modification, and then those payments not being accepted by a new loan servicer.  In another case, two banks were foreclosing on the same mortgage, while the homeowner had receipts showing she had made all the payments.  For numerous other homeowners, lenders lose information faster than they slough skin cells.  (Not all lenders and loan servicers are this way, but some are.) On the other side, homeowners may not have Everything, but they do have choices when it comes to home foreclosure.  It depends on where they are in the process, what their situation is, and what their goals are as far as which strategy will bring them the best benefit.  Some of the strategies include: Refinance Forbearance Short Sale Mortgage Modification Reverse Mortgage Hardest Hit Fund (And sometimes) Bankruptcy A Foreclosure Defense can help homeowners find the time to pursue an alternative to […] Read More

Forward Changes in Reverse Mortgages

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a Reverse Mortgage.  Jack fell down and broke his crown before the transaction funded and the loan was called due on Jill…but that was once upon a time.  Now things are different for married couples. A Reverse Mortgage is still not for everyone, but there have been some good changes to the program recently.  The basic qualifications are for at least one partner in marriage to be 62 years or older and to have equity in the house, then are some better provisions for what happens if that 62-plus person passes away, leaving a less-than-62 year old spouse. Reverse Mortgage is just one tool for dealing with overwhelming mortgage debt, along with mortgage modification, short sale, Hardest Hit Fund, and in some cases, bankruptcy.  The best answer is not the same for everybody.  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.  There are a lot of different variables that can put a person in debt and/or make it difficult to get […] Read More

Power of Employment

Grover Cleveland signed the bill for Labor Day in 1894, and we have been celebrating with a day off the first Monday in September ever since.  This national holiday honors the working people of the United States, and in our court system, the power of employment opens certain options for dealing with debt, like the Hardest Hit Fund and Bankruptcy Chapter 13. Florida Hardest Hit Fund The Florida Hardest Hit Fund provides up to $6,000 or up to $12,000 in mortgage relief. The Hardest Hit Fund was an allocation of money given to five states (Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, and Nevada) that had experienced excessive housing market depreciation.  The funds are designated to assist in foreclosure prevention, and targeted at those workers who are unemployed, underemployed, just returning to work, or recovering from underemployment. This funding is locally administered through St. Johns Housing Partnership (SJHP).  To find out more about this fund and eligibility, you can visit https://www.flhardesthithelp.org/. Bankruptcy Chapter 13 Earning a regular paycheck opens certain options unenjoyed by the unemployed…like Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.  Known as the ‘Wage-Earner Plan,’ Chapter 13 protects your assets while you make payments, and allows you to catch up on unsecured debt.  It acts […] Read More

Hardest Hit Fund Targets the Unemployed & Underemployed

Are you an unemployed Florida homeowner or underemployed?  You may be eligible for mortgage relief through Florida’s Hardest Hit Fund. The Florida Hardest Hit Fund offers federal aid to pay the mortgage for a few months while an unemployed homeowner seeks employment.  This funding is locally administered through St. Johns Housing Partnership (SJHP).  To find out more about this fund and eligibility, you can visit https://www.flhardesthithelp.org/. Read More

Beatrice’s World of Mortgage Debt

Beatrice did the math and realized her mortgage balance was more than her house was worth.  So she un-friended her lender, and figured she could do a quick claim deed in a short sale and be over and done with the whole situation in fifteen minutes.  That is not how it works.  That is not how any of this works! Mortgage modification, short sale, Hardest Hit Fund, and reverse mortgage are some of the choices in dealing with overwhelming mortgage debt.  The best answer is not the same for everybody.  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.  There are a lot of different variables that can put a person in debt and/or make it difficult to get out of debt.  Thus there is no single right answer for everybody. Do not live in Beatrice’s world.  Regardless of how tech savvy you are, seek competent legal counsel to discuss your legal choices in overwhelming mortgage debt.   Read More