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You are currently browsing the Stop Michigan Foreclosure weblog archives for April, 2010.

Married And Never Lived With Spouse

Married And Never Lived With Spouse

A few days ago I was driving in my car, flipping through the radio stations, and stopped on a talk radio show which caught my attention. The woman on the line was asking the show’s host, Dave Ramsey, for some financial advice. She had been married almost a year, but had never lived with her husband, who had to relocate to a different city, because she could not sell her house. She had purchased the house back in 2007, right before she met her soon-to-be husband, and right before the housing bubble burst. She now found herself to be underwater – her house was worth less than she owed on it. She wanted to know if he thought that she was better off doing a short sale, or trying to get a $10,000 loan to make up for the difference when she sold the house. I found Dave Ramsey’s advice to be obnoxious. “Who cares!” he exclaimed. He went on to hassle the woman about having lost a year of marriage “which you can’t put a price on…” His advice was to do anything, whatever it took, to get rid of the house and move in with her husband.

I really wish that instead of going off on a rant, he would have asked the woman more specific questions about her circumstance. Was the couple able to continue making two house payments (or a house payment and a rent payment)? Would she even qualify for a (more than likely) unsecured loan for the $10,000 difference? Had she consulted REALTORS® to be sure that she was only $10,000 underwater, and not more?

Yes, in certain circumstances, it may be your best option to take out a loan to pay off the difference in the house value and your mortgage amount. In other situations, especially where there is a financial hardship, you may want to explore other options. If you would like to avoid a Michigan foreclosure, give Emily a call. She’s been through this before, and can let you know what your options are. And, if your best option is a short sale, the good news is that we can help!

Holly

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Why We Go To Short Sale Mastermind Meetings

Why We Go To Short Sale Mastermind Meetings

Joel and I just got back from a meeting with one of our mastermind groups. We belong to several so that we can stay on top of changes in the real estate industry, as well as learn new techniques for negotiating short sales with lenders and ways to improve our processes. All this allows us to better serve our sellers who are facing a Michigan Foreclosure.

This mastermind group consists of people from Georgia to Arizona, Minnesota to Florida who have similar businesses to ours. They all agreed that the banks are willing to negotiate on homeowner’s debt more than ever. All the signs point to the foreclosure problem getting worse before it gets better. Most lenders are adding staff to deal with the volume of houses in default. We came away from this meeting with some valuable new insights and tools to give us more alternatives to help sellers in distress.

I tell you all this to assure you that our team is not just sitting around doing the same thing today that we did a year ago. We are educating ourselves & changing with the environment, refining processes and streamlining to better help the sellers who have hardships and are now facing a Michigan foreclosure. We know you have enough to deal with and don’t have time to stay current on what the lenders are doing and requiring today. To put our knowledge and experience to work for you, give Emily a call now. Remember there is never a fee and everything is kept confidential.

Ann

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Time To Get Caught Up On Testimonials

It’s simply been crazy around the office the last few months. We negotiated at closed 13 short sales that last 2 months of 2009 and I’m not sure how many since then.  If you want to be next, it’s obvious you’re not alone, so give us a call – before you know it, you could be sitting at a closing, with the weight of your lender (and the world) off your back.

I try to keep up with posting testimonials here on this blog and also here, but sometimes I just can’t stay caught up.  So, I’m taking this time to publish several of the last few months to give you a feel for the families we’ve been able to help out.


We were at the end of our rope, we had tried to rent our home, but that blew up in our faces. I am so glad we called Great lakes. They were able to take  over the whole problem, handled it with such care and grace. I would highly recommend anyone facing these tough situations to trust GLHS.

Jerry and Shannon, Portage, Michigan


Working with Joel and his team bas been an excellent experience I would recommend to anyone facing a foreclosure. Their team was upfront about  everything, handled all negotiations with the lenders and had over $100,000 in debt erased leaving me with no money owed to either bank.

Brian, Battle Creek, Michigan


I was a single mother struggling to make payment on this home that I had to refinance twice due to divorce and two ARMs that came due. All I wanted was  to get my kids through school. After my last child graduated we fixed up the house put a lot of time and money into it and tried to do for sale by owner but owed more than the market value (it had dropped big time). It showed well but I was unable to sell. I talked to our REALTOR. who referred me to GLHS. Emily was wonderful. All I was asked to do was maintain the house and utilities. The company was able to negotiate with my mortgage company – wiped out $85k and GLHS saved me from the nightmare of foreclosure – they actually bought the home from me. Thank you GLHS for all your help.

Janice, Wyoming, Michigan


To whom it concerns, Great Lakes was very good. I would refer them to any one of my friends. They communicated well with us, keeps us informed of all things. We are very grateful and thankful for all things that they did for us. Thank you.

Fred and Hildrene, Hudsonville, Michigan


My unfortunate event of facing foreclosure was made easier when I chose to negotiate a short sale with the help of Great Lakes Home Solutions. They communicated with me every step of the way and kept me informed of important dates. Any questions I had, they were able to address them immediately.  Overall, they made the entire process as painless as possible.

Charitee, Kalamazoo, Michigan


Joel

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Do You Know What You Want To Do About That Pending Michigan Foreclosure?

Do You Know What You Want To Do About That Pending Michigan Foreclosure?

Yesterday I talked to a seller (let’s call him Tim) who had done his homework more than anyone else I ever talked to.  He had been all over our website (www.StopMichiganForeclosure.com), this BLOG and other foreclosures websites.  He had researched the value of the house at zillow.com and knew he owed more than the house was worth and that he was upside down (or underwater as the media likes to call it).  He had researched rental properties in his area and knew he could not rent it for as much as he needed to cover his monthly mortgage payment + taxes + insurance (not to mention repairs and other expenses of being a landlord).  He was ready to just get out from under the burden of the house and from all that he had learned, he had decided we were the best people to help him do this.

Most people who call us haven’t done this much research.   They realize they can no longer afford their house payment and that is about it.  They don’t know what their options are or where to turn to learn their options.  That’s why we are here.  We have been working with people facing Michigan foreclosures since 2005 and know lots of resources to point you to and options for you to consider.  I was even able to tell Tim a thing or two about the foreclosure process in Michigan that he hadn’t learned on his own.
If you are facing a Michigan foreclosure, you do not need to know what you want to do before you call us.  Let us help you figure out your goals and the best way to reach them.  We keep everything confidential and we never charge you a fee.  Give Emily a call whether you know what you want or not and let her help you get on your way back to better times.  Now that is something I know everyone wants!

Ann

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How To Choose Who To Negotiate Your Short Sale

How To Choose Who To Negotiate Your Short Sale

If you owe more than your house is worth, and are behind on your payments, and you realize you can no longer keep the house, you have made one important decision –getting out from under the burden the house is creating for you. However, you have several more decisions to make!

How are you going to get out from under the burden of the house when you owe more than it is worth? The easy answer is that you may be a good candidate for a short sale. A short sale is when your lender agrees to take a discount on what is owed on the house so it can sell. It involves negotiations with the bank and lots of paperwork. Most sellers are already overwhelmed and seek a third party to handle this for them. Who should you trust? Here are two real life options.

Some REALTORS® will offer to do short sales for you. Their process can range from:

  • REALTOR® #1 whom I talked to yesterday who simply sent in a Authorization to speak to the bank. Now this agent is just waiting for the bank to tell her what to do. She has done a few short sales and has been successful on some of them with little experience and even less training.
  • REALTROR® #2 handles about 25 short sales for her whole office. This is on top of being a full time REALTOR. Her approach is to spend one full day a week to work on all the files, calling all the lenders, or doing whatever is needed to happen next.

There are companies who specialize in short sale negotiations. The process I am most familiar with looks like this:

  • There are two full time negotiators on staff with a combined experience of 10 years negotiating short sales. Yes they are trained, but more importantly is the 10 years of real-life experience.
  • The lender for every case is routinely called at least twice per week, often daily when negotiations are particularly critical.
  • At the start of the negotiation, a package is sent to the lender that routinely is over 40 pages of everything that the lender is likely to need to expedite the review.
  • A Case Manager is assigned to each case to provide updates to the seller and answer all questions.

You may have guessed that the last scenario is us! We take great pride in what we do and what we have accomplished (success about 80% of the time vs. the national average of 10%). We do not charge the seller facing the Michigan Foreclosure any fees, and we keep all information confidential. Give us a call to find out if a short sale is right for you and if we are the right company to help you get your short sale approved so you can get back to better times. I already know who you will decide to pick to negotiate your short sale.

Ann

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Celebrity Foreclosure

Celebrity Foreclosure

I always stress in my blog posts that if you’re going through a Michigan foreclosure, you’re not alone. I’ve realized that saying that doesn’t really help, though, if you don’t actually know anyone else in your shoes. So this post is for those of you who still feel alone in their Michigan foreclosure situation. Foreclosure can happen to anyone – even the rich and famous.

You might think that if you have all the money in the world you could do just about anything – including stopping the bank from foreclosing. This is not always true, though, because the same things that cause you, the average person, to default on your mortgage also happen to celebrities.

Divorce: Victoria Gotti, daughter of mobster John Gotti, purchased her Long Island house in 1989 for $175,000. She now owes $650,000 and reports say that she hasn’t made a payment in quite a while. Apparently, she has not been able to afford the house since her divorce. This is quite common. Two people can afford a mortgage, but when they split, it is often unreasonable for one person to keep the house. The logical answer would be to sell the house, but when you owe more than it’s worth, you’ll have to bring cash to closing (which most people can’t do.)

Gotti Mansion

Gotti Mansion

Job Loss: Adam “Pacman” Jones of NFL fame went into mortgage default when he was suspended from playing without pay. When you bought your house, you probably weren’t expecting a recession (I know I wasn’t!) which means you probably weren’t thinking about job security. Unfortunately, the economic climate got stormy and many people are left without employment.

Adam "Pacman" Jones Humble Abode

Adam "Pacman" Jones Humble Abode

Failed Businesses: In 2005, ABC built a brand new, $450,000 house for the Harper Family on their show “Extreme Home Makeover.” The house was given to them at no cost. The family, however, took out all of the equity to fund a construction business that ultimately failed. They were unable to pay back the equity loan, and the house went into foreclosure. We turn again to the financial crisis, which is making it hard for many businesses to stay afloat.

Harper Family’s Extreme Makeover House

Harper Family’s Extreme Makeover House

Death: Veronica Hearst defaulted on the mortgage of her 52 room mansion after the death of her husband, Randolph Hearst (successor of publishing giant Hearst Corporation.) The death of a loved one is hard enough to deal with without also having to deal with foreclosure.

Villa Venezio – Veronica Hearst’s House

Villa Venezio – Veronica Hearst’s House

Disability: Ed McMahon defaulted on the loan of his $4.8 million dollar house in 2006, when the 85 year old fell and broke his neck. He was unable to work, and therefore could not come up with the princely payments.

Ed McMahon’s House

Ed McMahon’s House

If you are facing a hardship, such as the ones listed above, and have realized that you can no longer afford to keep the house, give Emily a call at (269) 685-5921. We help people facing difficult times every day, and are well versed in letting you know what your options are. If your best option is a short sale, we’ll do everything in our power to make it as painless as possible.

Holly

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How To Tell A Friend Facing Michigan Foreclosure Her Options

How To Tell A Friend Facing Michigan Foreclosure Her Options

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the one’s you’re close to what they need to hear. Recently a very close friend of mine (Susie) found herself in a situation that she didn’t want to be in. She’s getting a divorce and neither she nor her husband can afford the mortgage payments on their own on their Michigan house. The problem: she wants to stay in the house. It was probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, but I had to sit down with her and show her that even she had a 0% interest rate, she still couldn’t afford the house payment.

She does have options though. She can still sell it with a short sale and hopefully walk away with a fresh start. The reason I’m sharing this with everyone is because I’m sure she’s not the only one who’s going through this. If you’re not sure if you can afford to keep your house or what your options are, please give me a call. If I was able to help Susie work through this, I can help you too.

Emily

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Octomom Facing Foreclosure

Octomom Facing Foreclosure

Many of us may have heard of the pseudo-celebrity dubbed “Octomom” (her real name is Nadya Suleman). Octomom gained notoriety a year or two ago when she gave birth to octuplets, increasing the number of her children to 14; she had previously given birth to sextuplets.

If you follow celebrity news, you may have heard that Nadya Suleman is facing foreclosure.  Now, in some ways, hers is a very different situation than that of most homeowners – her income is derived mostly from publicity, interviews, and public appearances, whereas the rest of us have far more traditional jobs. Also, her mortgage is reportedly held privately, so she has no huge conglomerate bank to deal with.

In spite of these differences, she is a mother trying to provide for her children, and in that way, she has something in common with many sellers facing a Michigan foreclosure. My point is this: if foreclosure can happen to those who are famous – or infamous – it can happen to anyone. No one is immune to this “Michigan foreclosure epidemic”. If you are facing a Michigan foreclosure, you are certainly not alone. But you do have options. Give us a call to discuss how we can help you get back to better times.

Melissa

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Bank Burgles Bird While Current On Payments

Bank Burgles Bird While Current On Payments

I just read an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about a woman who had her home foreclosed on by Bank of America. No big surprises there, since foreclosure rates are through the roof – but this story has a twist. Angela Ianelli of Hampton, PA wasn’t late on her payments. Oops!

The article says that Ms. Ianelli came home one day to find herself locked out of the house by Snyder Property Services, a “property preservation” company. When she finally got in, what she found was not pretty. Her carpets and furniture had been damaged, her water and electrical lines had been cut, and her home had been winterized. Worst of all, her parrot, Luke, was M.I.A. Now, this one hits close to home. I have two birds of my own, and would be devastated if they were taken from me! (Though, I can image the culprit would be trying to give them back pretty quickly – not everyone can handle the incessant squawking.)

When Ms. Ianelli tried to contact Bank of America, they did what they do best – gave her the ‘ol runaround. It wasn’t until a week later that they admitted their mistake. Only then did they tell her where she could find her parrot – a mere two hours away. Ms. Ianelli has since hired a lawyer, and I’m sure this story is far from over.

Unfortunately, this is an often occurrence, only it usually isn’t a mistake. Millions of families are behind on their mortgages, and the banks are taking action. They want their money, and they’re ruthless about it. If you’ve realized that you can no longer afford to stay in your house and are facing a Michigan foreclosure, give Emily a call. You have better options than letting the bank’s henchman raid your home!

Holly

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