Monday, August 18, 2008

Shouldn't foreclosure always be the homeowner's last resort?

by Patty Da Silva
Many families are in financial trouble because of a declining economy and an unstable real estate market. Numerous families are finding it increasingly difficult to pay for their homes and, consequently, are in jeopardy of losing their home to foreclosure*. Unfortunately, homeowners are not aware of the options that are available to them, or whom to turn to for help.
First and foremost, a homeowner who is about to be or already is in financial distress should contact their current lender(s) to find out if there are options available for their particular situation. In some cases, a loan modification can be arranged directly with the lender, at no cost.
Regrettably, a significant number of home loans were poorly written; therefore, loan modification is not an option for a large portion of borrowers in distress. Homeowners may seek counseling; counseling is offered free of charge, by calling the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD, toll free at: (800) 569-4287.
Homeowners should beware of paying any fees to and stay away from any so called, "counseling agencies", as they are not regulated and offer little to no help. Most States have also set up toll free numbers to counsel their residents.
More and more homeowners, who have been unsuccessful in getting any assistance from their lenders and/or government agencies, are turning to a CERTIFIED DISTRESSED PROPERTY EXPERT© (CDPE©) who specializes in helping distressed homeowners who are “upside down” on their equity, late on their mortgage payments or who are already in the foreclosure process. A CERTIFIED DISTRESSED PROPERTY EXPERT© will see the homeowner out of their distressed situation by successfully negotiating a short sale with their lender(s).
The end result of a short sale is minor when compared to the consequences of a foreclosure. Foreclosures have a devastating effect on credit history, job security, employment opportunities, security clearances, military and law enforcement careers, and the ability to purchase a home in the future, to name just a few. Additionally, a foreclosure becomes public record, searchable by anyone, and can NEVER be removed.
Lenders are now more willing to accept a short sale offer for a property's true value, even if it is less than the amount owed. However, lenders are receiving thousands of short sale offers per month (most of which are incomplete packages that get tossed to the side) so, a complete and well-prepared short sale offer package, sent by a CERTIFIED DISTRESSED PROPERTY EXPERT©, has the highest chance to be expedited quickly through a lender's full log.
If you (or anyone you know) are about to miss a mortgage payment, have already defaulted on a home loan, or have been served foreclosure papers, a CERTIFIED DISTRESSED PROPERTY EXPERT© is able to help. The sooner you seek help, the better the chances of a positive outcome but help is available up to last phase of the foreclosure, so please do not refrain from seeking help because you think it is "too late". A CDPE© will not charge any fee to a homeowner, the CDPE© will get paid by the lender, at the end of foreclosure proceedings due to the successful sale of the home.
We have all been bombarded lately with new creative ads, mailers, door hangers, and TV and radio commercials promoting "foreclosure delay experts". These ads are a few of many examples of how advertising is being misused to confuse vulnerable homeowners. Some ads claim to provide a service whereby they guarantee a homeowner will stay in their home for one year. This is just one example of deceitful information targeting the already distressed homeowners. The average time for a foreclosure proceeding in Florida is in excess of 200 days, free of charge, so these less-than-forthcoming advertisers are charging money, when people need it the most, for a service that homeowners, in essence already have.
Please do not pay, or let anyone you know pay money to anybody claiming they can stop foreclosures, including attorneys. Attorneys cannot stop foreclosures! The new "fighting foreclosures" and "foreclosure defense" ads attorneys are now broadcasting are just another example of manipulation of information used to confuse and mislead the targeted distressed homeowner. Attorneys will "fight" a foreclosure until the homeowner is out of money. The only "defense" to a foreclosure is either to bring the loan up to date or sell the home with lender's approval. The attorney, for a considerable fee, can only prolong the legal process of a foreclosure, but in the end, the homeowner will still lose their home and face all the disastrous consequences that a foreclosure brings.
If a homeowner has the available money to pay for these deceitful services, he/she should use that money to make their mortgage payments!
If the borrower can catch and pay the total amount owed to the lender, even up to the sale date, the lender will stop foreclosure. No one but the lender can stop the foreclosure process, and they will do so when either the home owner pays the mortgage, bringing the loan payments up to date, or with the successful negotiation of a short sale. These are the ONLY two ways for a foreclosure process to end. The homeowner will then be able to move on with his/her life, and in many cases, be eligible to own a new home in two years.
This information barely scratches the surface. Mortgage delinquency and foreclosure are complex issues, and each and every case has its own unique set of facts and challenges. In most cases, homeowners are experiencing this overwhelming stress alone, without help of any kind, from anyone. It does not have to be that way. Families all around the country are in desperate need of proper guidance. Not only do homeowners feel uncomfortable seeking the help of strangers, but a good amount of distressed homeowners might not feel comfortable asking delicate, private financial questions to people they do know. As a result, they do not ask anyone, and end up falling deeper in trouble. The Short Sales Message Board is a venue that was created specifically for distressed homeowners to ask Experienced Real Estate professionals questions while maintaining total privacy.
A foreclosure is a devastating financial and emotional process for any family to endure and recover from and it should only happen when every other option has been exhausted. Foreclosure, the last resort.

* In Florida, a Judicial State, a foreclosure happens when a lender files a lawsuit in State court against a borrower.

Help lots of people and have a great day!!!

Patty Da Silva, CDPE©, RESS®, AHWD®, e-PRO®, GREEN, CFS, TRC
Broker - Green Realty Properties® - 954-667-SALE

Legal Stuff: This article (Contents) reflects the opinion of the author and it is not to be considered legal advice. The author is not an attorney or a CPA. If you are in need of legal or tax advice, it is recommended that you to contact a trusted advisor, as laws vary from State to State. The author is a Licensed REALTOR® and able to give real estate advice. Patty DaSilva, CDPE©, makes no representations or warranties of any kind whatsoever for the Contents of this article, for third party Web sites or for any products or services mentioned or offered in the Contents or in third party Web sites. The Content comes without warranty and it is subject to change without notice.
Copyright © 2008-2010 By Patty Da Silva, CDPE© All Rights Reserved. *Shouldn't foreclosure always be the homeowner's last resort?* Please contact Patty Da Silva, CDPE© for any assistance.