Archive Info

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

Three More Testimonials and TONS of Debt Wiped Out (Forever!)

Three More Testimonials and TONS of Debt Wiped Out

I try to keep up with posting testimonials here on this blog and also here, but sometimes I just can’t stay caught up.With over a dozen approvals and closings over the last 8 weeks, it’s been tough.  But here are a few more to give you a feel for the families we’ve been able to help out.

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.


This group, from the get-go, put us at ease. To top it all, we discovered that a short-sale option was far superior to foreclosure. (A short sale is an almost too-good-to-be-true-option.) That Great Lakes did all the heavy lifting to get our house sold was a tremendous relief. We are very thankful we found Great Lakes.

Robert and Julie, Portage, Michigan


We bought the house before the housing market crashed and found ourselves in a situation where we were paying a lot of money for a house that wasn’t worth much. I decided to go back to school and wasn’t making as much money, which only added to our debt and stress. Great Lakes Home Solutions worked extremely hard along with our Realtor to get our home sold and our loans taken care of. It is a long process at times, however it has been completely worth it. We owed $23,500 on our 2nd mortgage and they got them to take $7500 and show “settled in full” on our credit report. Our first mortgage was $125,000 and they got them to take $59,500, both of which we OWE NOTHING.

We are extremely thankful for all of the hard work.

Brandon and Katherine, Greenville, Michigan


Due to our large cut in income and the housing market taking a huge plunge we could no longer afford our home. We owed way more than we could sell our house for and became very uneasy. We talked to Great lakes Home Solutions and they made us feel very comfortable and confident they could help us. They took away all of the negotiations with the mortgage company so we didn’t have to deal with it. They were able to reduce our mortgage debt from 264k down to 129k and in the end we didn’t have to pay a dime.

We are very thankful we found Great Lakes Home Solutions as they made the whole process very easy for us. Thank you.

Cliff and D., Climax, Michigan


Joel

Share This Post

Soon-To-Be-Approved Michigan Short Sale Declined – Why The Bank Foreclosed Instead

Soon-To-Be-Approved Michigan Short Sale Declined – Why The Bank Foreclosed Instead

I read a story recently about a Michigan house seller who was behind on her payments and knew she couldn’t keep up; she knew she had to sell the house. Apparently, she contacted a REALTOR® and put her house on the market, intending to do a short sale. They struggled to find a buyer, but after some time, some of the seller’s relatives decided to purchase the house. Their offer was submitted to the bank.

The whole process seemed to be going smoothly, moving toward approval and closing, when the bank asked who was buying the house. She, having nothing to hide, told them the buyer was a relative of hers. Well, they closed the file right then and there and foreclosed on the house.

Why? Because short sales must be an “arm’s length transaction” meaning the seller must have no relationship to the buyer or undisclosed agreements with the buyer. What these banks are concerned about is the seller moving back into the house or receiving cash or other perks on the side – something the banks consider to be the seller profiting from the sale.

Essentially, if the bank is taking a loss of tens of thousands of dollars on the short sale, they want to know that the former borrower is not benefitting or profiting while the bank is losing money.

This is just one example of all sorts of little rules, procedures, and policies that may be tough to figure out when you’re dealing with a short sale. Now if the REALTOR® had been property educated to in turn educate the seller, a foreclosure probably could have been avoided by waiting for a different buyer. if you are facing a Michigan foreclosure and need to sell your house in this manner and don’t want to have to deal with any of these hidden issues or obstacles, give us a call.  We know them all and we’ll do our best to help you out.

Melissa

Share This Post

What Bank Leaders Know That You May Not Know

What Bank Leaders Know That You May Not Know

According to this article from CNBC one of the nation’s biggest banks, Bank of America, is making it easier than ever before to do Short Sales (where the bank accepts a discount on what is owed so the house can sell). Why? According to the article, it is because they see the need for short sales growing and it is less expensive for them to do a Short Sale than to take a house back at the end of the foreclosure process as a bank owned property. Duh! They also point out that few homeowners qualify for the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). Duh again!

This is nothing new to us. We have been pointing these things out for years. The good news for sellers facing a Michigan Foreclosure is that what could be one of their best options is becoming more accepted and hopefully easier to do. We still recommend that a short sale be your last option, and it may not be the best option for everyone. Still, we have been able to help a lot of people over the last 5+ years get back to better times through a short sale.

If you are behind on your house payments because of a financial hardship (job loss, divorce, medical situation, death, etc) give us a call and let us see what option is right for you. We never charge a dime, we keep all your information confidential, and we won’t do anything to put you in a worse position. See how the new thinking among bank leaders can help you get back to better times.

Ann

Share This Post

Short Sale Education & Training

Short Sale Education & Training

Joel & I just got back from a Short Sale training event in Dallas. It was and excellent event. We learned some great information about how to streamline our processes, learned what is working for other people in similar business around the country and came back energized and ready to share the great information with the rest of our team so we can help as many families as possible.

We were telling one of the Elite REALTORS® we work with about it yesterday and he said “I am so glad to be hooked up with a company that puts such high value on training & education”. He is right, we do put a high value on training and education and here is the benefit to you.

  1. We stay on the leading edge of developments in the lending and real estate industries. If something is going to change or has changed, we know about it (usually before it happens) and can adjust.
  2. We are connected to companies like ours across the country and to mentors who we can learn from and turn to when we have challenges or just want to improve.
  3. We wouldn’t keep investing in training and education if we didn’t plan to be around for a long time to help families facing Michigan Foreclosures.

We know there are lots of companies and people (REALTORS®, Attorney’s, Title companies) whom you can turn to when you are in a distressed situation with your house. We hope that you don’t just turn to them because of their title “Attorney” or “REALTOR®”. We hope you are asking them about their training – what kind, how recent, plans for ongoing training? Who will they turn to when challenges they have never faced before arise? How will they know if there is a major change with your lender or in the industry that could affect your future?

While you are checking them out, give us a call and ask us the same questions. Let us tell you how we can help you get back to better times, without ever charging you a fee. We look forward to putting all our training and education to work for you.

Ann

Share This Post

Who Would Choose a Michigan Foreclosure?

Who Would Choose a Michigan Foreclosure? Choose a Michigan foreclosure? Who would do that? Sounds crazy, right?

Well, more and more Michiganders can barely afford their mortgages along with other bills, so they are voluntarily defaulting on their payments in order to get a better standard of living back for themselves. These families have a variety of reasons for doing so; for instance, their lender wouldn’t do a workout plan, they needed to put some money back into the family business, or they want to be able to work part-time and still live in their home. Whatever the reason, these “Strategic Defaults” are never advised. Although it might seem like a way to “stick it to the man”, default and foreclosure should be a last resort. They shouldn’t be viewed as a financial break.

Many families outside of Michigan are also doing the same thing. Most other states require a judicial foreclosure, which means the foreclosure must go through the court system. They might hire an attorney to keep their case tied up in court for months or even years before any action can be taken by the lender, just so they can have some extra cash. This is not the case in Michigan; the foreclosure process here is much simpler and only requires a lender to file with the county in which the property is located.

Bottom line, if you can afford to make your payments, the legal, ethical thing to do is to keep making them, even if it is difficult. It’s been said that the right thing to do is usually the hardest thing to do. However, many people have experienced legitimate financial hardship and significant setbacks. If you honestly cannot afford to make your payments, and you’re headed for a Michigan foreclosure anyway, maybe a short sale is the right option for you. Give us a call today and we’ll help you figure that out.

Melissa

Share This Post

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure – Seriously?

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure – Seriously?

In the last few months here in Michigan, we noticed a growing trend with lenders. In the case of defaulted loans, they seem to be aggressively pursuing the sellers in an effort to get them to sign a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. Seems like they might be trying to by-pass the new government programs, they’re getting tired of waiting out the Michigan six redemption period, or maybe they’re just trying to protect the property to recoup their losses in a quick resale situation. Whatever the reason, deeds-in-lieu are increasing in popularity around here.

Now at first a deed-in-lieu might sound appealing. Your lender might offer you a few thousand dollars to vacate and clean up the house and sign the house over to them. After all, you’ve missed a few payments and you’re pretty sure you can’t afford to keep it no matter what sort of payment plan they present to you. They’re offering to take care of the house for you AND give you some cash to move. Sounds pretty good right? Almost too good to be true? Well that’s because it is – it IS too good to be true, in most cases.

A deed-in-lieu is just legalese for a voluntary foreclosure. And on your credit report, it shows up as the same thing. Foreclosures can stay on your record for up to 15 years! This means it will inhibit your buying a new home or any other major purchase for a decade and a half. Even worse is that this deed-in-lieu will likely NOT waive your responsibility to pay back the full balance of the loan. So they expect you to hand over the keys, and then still pay them tens of thousands of dollars in the years to come?

Now that measly thousand dollars isn’t looking so good is it? Not when you think of the long-term effects.

If you’re not quite ready to agree to such a permanent outcome and want to know what other options might be available to you when you are facing a Michigan Foreclosure, including some that won’t further damage your credit or leaving you owing the bank tens of thousands long after you’ve left the house, give Emily a call today.

Melissa

Share This Post

Paralyzed by a Michigan Foreclosure (No More)

Paralyzed by a Michigan Foreclosure (No More)

When you are facing a hardship, I know that it can be paralyzing. A death of a loved one can fill you with so much sadness and grief that you feel like you can’t deal with anything else. A major sickness for yourself or someone close to you can overwhelm you with choices, decisions, and appointments that you feel like you don’t have time for anything else. A job loss can make you feel depressed, lost and fearful. Your only focus is how you are going to feed yourself and your family. On top of all this, if you are falling behind on the house payments and facing a Michigan foreclosure. Dealing with the house is probably the last thing you want to do.

That’s why we are here. All you need to do is make one phone call to Emily and discuss your situation with her. If we can help, we will take the burden of dealing with the house off your shoulders. We will still need help from you, but we will do all the hard work of dealing with the banks, attorneys, REALTORS® and anyone else who needs to be involved. We will explain what is going on with the foreclosure and what your options are so you aren’t struggling to figure it out for yourself. We have knowledgeable, experienced staff to help. We know what works and aren’t swayed by the media, rumors or what your neighbor might have heard will work. We will do all this without charging you, without asking you to make any repairs to the house and without putting you in a worse situation. We keep everything confidential and will work harder than anyone to get you to a better situation. What else could you possible ask for? Give Emily a call today and feel the relief of moving forward and solving your house problem and feeling paralyzed no more.

Ann

Share This Post

Feeling Invisible?

Feeling Invisible?

When I was a kid, my friends and I thought it would be really cool to be invisible. You could walk across a crowded room and not be seen, you could break into the cookie jar and not be seen, and of course there was always getting out of chores because Mom couldn’t find you.

Once we grow up, we sometimes feel like we are invisible in the real world and it is no longer cool. I am sure if you are facing a Michigan Foreclosure, you may have even experienced this. Especially as you sit for a long time on hold or in a crowded room waiting to talk to someone who can address your situation. Or maybe as you are doing the best you can to deal you’re your situation and it isn’t making any difference – you can’t save enough money to make a payment, or find a job or whatever. Or maybe you wish you were invisible so you can hide from whatever distressing situation has put you behind on your payments.

Are you feeling like nothing you do to solve your problem makes a difference? Do you feel like the representatives you talk to at your bank really don’t care or want to help and are just going through the motions? It is time to get your power back! Give us a call and you will be treated with dignity and respect from the first call. We will treat you and your situation with the individual attention it deserves. We will never charge a fee and we keep all your information confidential. We will help you to hold your head high and know that better days are coming your way.

Ann

Share This Post

This Bailout Is For Families (Not Banks)!

This Bailout Is For Families (Not Banks)!

There is a slight upside to living in a state with one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country. Michigan was one of ten states chosen to receive part of $2.1 billion in order to combat rising foreclosure rates. Our hefty $154.5 million (chump change compared to California’s $699 million and Florida’s $418 million) portion will ideally help about 16,000 struggling families in three different ways according to this article.

1. The state plans to use some of these funds to help unemployed families make their house payments, giving them a subsidy of up to $750 a month for up to a year.

2. For those families who are lucky enough to find a new job, and are able to once again make their payments, they state will dole out up to $5,000 to help them with their back payments.

3. If the lending bank agrees to match the payment, up to $10,000 could go to paying down your mortgage principle.

The downside to this is that while some people facing a Michigan Foreclosure will get the help they need, there will inevitably be many families left struggling to stay afloat. We here at Great Lakes Home Solutions can’t offer you a government bail out, but we may be able to help in other, more permanent ways. If you have a hardship and can no longer afford your payments, give Emily a call. She’ll help you choose the right option for you.

Holly

Share This Post