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How Did I Get Here?

How Did I Get Here?

Over the past four years, I’ve talked with hundreds of homeowners about their imminent Michigan foreclosure. Their biggest question is “how did I get here?” They’ve done everything that they thought was right and made every logical choice. They usually have cut expenses, maybe gotten a part time job and gone without some “luxuries” like cable or eating out. Yet, they’re still heading into a Michigan foreclosure. Why? There are always factors that they have no control over – the poor economy, the down market, a financial hardship like job loss, divorce, disability or death of a spouse.

While I understand their question, it’s even more important to know how they’re going to get out of their situation. That’s where we step in. We can help families evaluate options, set goals and decide on a course of action. We can even start discussions with their lender after we make a cash offer, and get them back on the road to a fresh start.

If you or someone you know need help with your foreclosure situation, contact us. We will never charge you a fee and we will keep everything confidential. Let us help you get back to better times.

Emily

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Where Are Michiganders Moving To?

Where Are Michiganders Moving To?

This is possibly one of the coolest websites I’ve seen regarding relocation.

Now I’ve known that people were leaving Michigan, but I never knew where they were going, until now. I’m assuming that most are leaving for employment; especially since Michigan has such a high unemployment rate right now.

The question I have is, what are these people doing with their houses when they move? A few may be able to still afford their payment on their Michigan house and/or want to keep it and that is great. My guess is that most houses are going back to the banks because the family can no longer afford to make the house payment, especially if they are now making a house payment somewhere else.

That is unless we’re able to step in and help the family with a short sale (negotiation with their lender to accept less than what is owed) and providing a cash offer. I’m sure they’d much rather have the home sold than foreclosed upon. If you or someone you know is behind on their house payment, owe more than the house is worth and are facing a Michigan foreclosure, give us a call. We will not put you in a worse situation and there is never a fee.

Emily

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Next Move – Nursing Home!

Next Move – Nursing Home!

We recently moved our office because out landlord was selling the building. It was not our choice to move, but he left us with no options since we weren’t willing to stay and pay higher rent. It was a lot of work not only to do the physical move, but to find a new place and coordinate everything that had to happen to move a business with minimal down time. I also think we picked the hottest, most humid day of the year to move! I am happy to say, we got it done. At some point during the day, Emily (who had just moved her personal residences recently) said “I’m never moving again till they move me into a nursing home”

You may share these sentiments about moving. We find that a lot of distressed sellers facing a Michigan foreclosure don’t want to move. They might not know where they will move to, or not want to uproot their children, or have sentimental attachments to the house or not want to go through the pain of moving or many other reasons. It may not be their choice to move. Yet, if you can no longer make the house payments because your income has been cut due to a job loss, divorce, death, disability or some other financial hardship, eventually you need to face the reality that you just can’t stay where you are at either. After all, eventually, the bank will kick you out.

We may not be able to help with the physical aspects of moving but we can help you make a fresh start. We have options to try to salvage your credit and get you back on your feet quicker. We can reduce your stress by answering your questions about timing and options and we will deal with your lender so that you have less to deal with. Give Emily a call and discuss your situation with her. She will listen, make suggestions, and advise. She will never charge you anything or put you in a worse situation and she keeps everything confidential. Let Emily help you move on to better times.

Ann

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Postponing the Inevitable

Postponing the Inevitable

Now that summer is upon us, my dogs love to go swimming in the lake. However, they hate being dried off afterwords. I won’t allow them back in the house until they are semi-dry so it becomes a battle of wills. I pull out the towels and they run away, postponing the inevitable. Sometimes it becomes a game (to them anyway) with me chasing them around the garage jumping over obstacles while they gleefully run away. Eventually, hunger or the search for affection and companionship will pull them inside and they will have to endure the towel drying to get to their food or other goal.

We see a lot of people facing a Michigan Foreclosure go through a similar mental process. They want to avoid the pain of the foreclosure, so they may declare bankruptcy. I am not an attorney, but my experience has been that all the bankruptcy does for them is postpone the inevitable foreclosure. Yes, it makes your lender jump through a few more hoops to proceed with the foreclosure. However, eventually, they will do all the right legal things to be able to proceed. I have never seen a bankruptcy permanently stop a foreclosure.

If you are in a distressed financial situation and are considering bankruptcy, seek competent advice. My experience is that it probably is not worth pursuing the bankruptcy unless you have debt other than the house that a bankruptcy can help you with. If the house is your sole financial burden, give us a call and see what alternatives we can suggest. We can help you define your goals and find the best course of action for your situation. We will never charge you a fee and we promise not to put you in a worse. Give Emily a call today and stop postponing the inevitable and start working toward a permanent solution to your Michigan foreclosure.

Ann

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Ah Government Programs…

Ah Government Programs…

I think most of us can agree that the government’s intentions are always good, and when they take the time to become experts in the problem, they usually end up helping. I think most of us would also agree that they are not experts in a situation, they more often than not “muddy the waters” of that situation.

Approximately 1.24 million homeowners facing financial hardship enrolled in government aid programs to keep or sell their homes. An estimated 340,000 have received permanent assistance and are meeting the terms of their modified loan. That’s less than 3%.

Now, I’m sure that the current administration had the best of intentions; they saw a crisis and felt the need to intervene. That’s all well and good, but many people see it as an imposition, an intrusion into an industry by a group of people who don’t fully grasp the nature of that industry. Think of it this way – it’s sort of like a doctor observing a growing epidemic and deciding something needs to be done. So he takes it upon himself to instruct scientists and pharmaceutical companies how to create a pill to cure the epidemic. The scientists and pharmaceutical companies would understandably be frustrated with the doctor because he would be pushing his ideas about something he really doesn’t understand.

Now imagine if the doctor could pass a law forcing the manufacture of his pill. The results could be unproductive, if not outright disastrous.

For those of us who work with borrowers in need of assistance, these “help for homeowners” programs are frustrating and an obstacle to hurdle. Frankly, it’s almost a joke due to their appalling ineffectiveness. Again, these programs have worked for less than 3% of homeowners in default.

If you’ve tried to take advantage of one of these programs with your lender, and you are finding yourself in the 97% who can’t get results, maybe a Michigan short sale is the right option for you. Give Emily a call today to find out.

Melissa

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Pros and Cons of All Your Options When Facing a Michigan Foreclosure

Pros and Cons of All Your Options When Facing a Michigan Foreclosure

If you’re facing a Michigan foreclosure, there are many reasons why you may be feeling overwhelmed right now. For one, you most likely have a hardship that is making it impossible to meet your financial obligations. You also might be overloaded with information. While it’s important to be informed, too much of a good thing can be confusing. In an attempt to make the big picture much easier to take in, I’ve created a table that shows the options you have when it comes to foreclosure, and the pros and cons of each.

Option Pros Cons
Do nothing -You don’t have to do anything -Your lender may still have the right to come after you for all the money they lose on the house
-Your will have a foreclosure on your credit
-You will be removed from your house by a court order
File Chapter 13 Bankruptcy -The foreclosure process will be slowed -The foreclosure will still happen if you are unable to make the payments order by the court
-You will have to pay attorney fees
-You will have to appear in court and the bankruptcy will be public record
-You will have a bankruptcy on your record (further damaging your credit)
File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy -You will not have to repay your debts -If you have equity in the house, it will be sold to pay debts
-If you do not have equity in the house, it will be foreclosed on
-You will have to appear in court and the bankruptcy will be public record
-You will have to pay attorney fees
Loan Modification -Your bank may give you a lower interest rate
-Your payment may be reduced
-If successful, you would get to keep your house
-97% of loan modifications do not make it past the trial period
-Though your payment may be lower, you still may not be able to afford to make it
-Have to deal with your lender
-Have to fill out paperwork and submit financial documents
Deed-In-Lieu of Foreclosure -You may receive cash from your lender
-Process may be quick
-Your lender may still have the right to come after you for all the money they lose on the house
-You will still have a foreclosure on your credit
-You may have to leave your house quickly
-Have to deal with your lender
Short Sale – May prevent your lender from coming after you for any money in the future.
-Your house can be sold even if you owe more than it is worth
-Can save you from having a foreclosure on your credit
-Can take time
-Have to deal with your lender (unless we are involved)
-Have to fill out paperwork and submit financial documents

While we can’t help you with bankruptcies, modifications, or deeds-in-lieu, we can help you tremendously if you think that a short sale is right for you. We’ll even take some of the pain away from the cons – we’ll do all of the talking to the bank, and do all of the confusing paperwork for you (we’ve done it so many times that it’s not even confusing anymore!) If you’re not sure which option is best for you, give Emily a call. She’d be more than happy to discuss your options with you, and help you decide which is best.

Holly

-You don’t have to do anything
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Short Sale Q&A’s from My Friends& Family

Short Sale Q&A’s from My Friends& Family

The other day my Mom asked me a strange question: “So, how exactly does a short sale work?” I guess the question wasn’t that strange, since most people don’t know the answer. But the thing is, I’ve been working here for over a year now, and I’ve explained the process to her about a dozen times.

I explained it when my cousin and her fiancé tried (unsuccessfully) to buy a short sale property. I explained it when my Uncle was contemplating a short sale on his house (he’s underwater, like so many other Michigan sellers). I also explained it when my grandparent’s neighbor sold her house on a short sale. I guess the thing about short sales is that THEY’RE CONFUSING, and unless you spend every day dealing with short sales, you’re probably going to have lots of questions throughout the entire process.

One of the best things about us here at Great Lakes Home Solutions, Inc. is that we have answers, and lots of them! Joel (our President) is the only state certified short sale instructor in the entire state who negotiates short sales full time. This sort of makes him the short sale guru around these parts. You rarely hear anyone say “I don’t know” around here (and when you do, it’s followed by “and I’ll find out!”).

You’ve got questions? We’re more than happy to share our answers with you. If you have a hardship, are facing a Michigan foreclosure, and would like some friendly answers, give Emily a call. She’s a wealth of information about all things foreclosure and short sale!

Holly

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Totally Awesome Team

Totally Awesome Team

This week we had to make a video for our coaches about our team and business and it made me realize how fortunate we are to have great people working with us. The best part is they are all here waiting to put their talents and experience to work for you. If you haven’t talked to all of them yet, let me introduce them

Holly assists Melissa with all the paperwork and non-negotiation calls to the bank, plus assisting everyone else in our office. When you first come to our office, she will be the friendly person out in front to greet you. She is a “machine” processing all the paperwork we have to collect and submit to lenders so the negotiations can proceed. She does all the behind the scene stuff that is only noticed when she isn’t here to do it.

Emily (aka Mom) is a more visible part of our team taking most of the incoming calls from distressed sellers facing Michigan foreclosures and helping them sort out their options. Emily will tell it to you straight in an empathetic fashion. She has seen her share of hardships in life and is not kidding when she tells you she knows what you are going through. I don’t believe you could find a more understanding person to help you figure out what to do when you are facing foreclosure.

Melissa is the one persistently calling lender after lender, negotiating all of the short sales and settlements. She is the one who sits on the phone, talks to unfriendly customer service people (sometimes who are in a foreign country), takes abuse from unsympathetic lenders and 85% of the time, succeeds in her quest to resolve a sellers situation. Not many people would be willing to dig in their hills and keep picking up the phone time and time again like she does.

Joel solves all the unusual problems that come up along the way. He is also the one out talking to attorneys, title companies, buyer lenders, REALTORS® and the rest of our extended team that help us help distressed sellers. Joel also is our main link to other companies around the nation helping distressed sellers. Joel does not hesitate to ask others for advice if we come up against something new.

Me, well I am dealing with the REALTORS® daily to help get the houses sold. This involves educating them, filling out their paperwork, making suggestions on their marketing and updating them on our progress. If you ever worked with a REALTOR® buying/selling a house, multiply this by about 50 and you will know what my day is like.

All of these people come together daily to help you. We are passionate about what we do and the people we help. If you are facing a Michigan foreclosure, give us a call and let us put our experience and talents to work for you.

Ann

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Who Makes The Best Clean-Up Crew for the Michigan Foreclosure Crises?

Who Makes The Best Clean-Up Crew for the Michigan Foreclosure Crises?

Some of you will have heard of the famous (or infamous, whichever way your social or political opinions lean) documentary filmmaker, Michael Moore. His most recent film is about of the state of the US economy; it’s called Capitalism: A Love Story. Now, please understand, I’m not particularly political, and I’m certainly not espousing his views. In this blog, I’m simply commenting on a part early in the film that could easily be misconstrued.

Michael Moore interviews a real estate agent in the state of Florida who buys foreclosed homes for pennies on the dollar – he is unspecific about the method he uses to purchase these homes – he refers to himself and people in his line of work as “vultures”. He even went so far as to name his business after the bird of prey.

The word “vulture” evokes less than ideal images in the minds of most people. In relation to a person or business, it makes us think of greediness, corruption, and unscrupulousness. Being in the foreclosure and short sale end of the real estate profession myself, I’ll admit, the metaphor made me uncomfortable and defensive.

Instead of vultures, I think investors are the clean-up crew. One might argue in a certain light, the two might be seen as synonyms, but I would say they are here not to prey on the unfortunate but to help clean up the mess caused by irresponsible lending, bad loans, and a whole myriad of factors that caused the economy to be what it is today. They’re not here because they want to profit from anyone’s hardship; they simply saw a need and strive daily to meet that need.

If you are one of the many homeowners who has this need because you are facing a Michigan Foreclosures, don’t hesitate to call us and we’d be happy to try to help you get things “cleaned up” so you can move on.

Melissa

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