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Winter Is Coming – It Doesn’t Have To For You

Winter Is Coming – It Doesn’t Have To For You

Winter is coming (I know this for certain because Joel is thinking of skiing already!). The Squirrels are busily gathering food for the winter, preparing for a time when less food will be available. Other animals are also more active as they prepare for the winter ahead. Soon, as the darker, colder days of winter arrive, many animals will leave for warmer climates or burrow into their warm homes and curl up for a long winters nap awaiting the warmer, brighter days of spring

Humans don’t take as drastic measures to prepare when the season of winter approaches. However, sometimes an event can happen in our life that will create darker, colder days for us with cold feelings of dread. Maybe a financial hardship makes it harder to put food on the table and pay for other basic necessities, like a mortgage. After a few months, you can find yourself facing a Michigan Foreclosure and you might feel like curling up in your bed and not getting up for a long time or leaving the situation and starting over. However, avoiding the problem or walking away from it will seldom bring better days any quicker.

This is where we can help. We know what it is like to face a hardship and not know what to do. We help people like you every day to explore options and figure out the best course of action for them. We will not put you in a worse situation and we will not ask you for any money. Give us a call and let us get you back on the road to sunnier days.

Ann

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Carrot, Egg or Coffee?

Carrot, Egg or Coffee?

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, ‘Tell me what you see.’

‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, ‘What does it mean, mother?’

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

‘Which are you?’ she asked her daughter. ‘When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

If you are facing a Michigan Foreclosure, you probably have felt like a carrot or egg at different times. Maybe a hardship has left you in a distressed financial situation and feeling like a carrot? Or after trying to work out a solution on your own with little success you feel like an egg, protecting yourself from further frustration and hurt. Give us a call and let us help you be a “coffee bean” and take charge of the situation and change it for the better. We will not ask you for any money and we will not put you in a worse situation. We will help you get back to better times.

Ann

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Michigan Foreclosure Help Is Out There

Michigan Foreclosure Help Is Out There

Recently, we spent a couple hours with the wonderful folks from Kalamazoo Neighborhood Housing Services, who among other things, work with distressed homeowners facing a Michigan foreclosure. We met because we each use different methods for helping distressed homeowners and we wanted to learn how we could work together to help more people. As we talked, we learned that, they are a lot like us.

  • They do not charge the homeowner for their service.
  • They serve a wide area (despite their name, they help more than Kalamazoo area homeowners).
  • They have a dedicated, experienced, trained staff ready to provide you with education, information and options if you are facing a Michigan foreclosure.

They are also HUD certified housing counselors. This should give you the confidence boost you need to take action if you are leery about just calling anyone, but you realize you need help. Help is out there, and all you need to do is reach out to it.

Whatever your situation, taking action is key. Get educated. Learn your options. Give KNHS a call or give us a call. We will keep everything confidential and we will not put you in a worse situation. Get help today!

Ann

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Bank of America Deficiencies

Bank of America Deficiencies

One of the questions we are most frequently asked by our sellers pertains to the deficiency after the sale is completed – the balance remaining after the bank agrees to a discounted payoff. For instance, if you owe $200,000 and your bank agrees to accept $150,000 to sell the house, what happens to the other $50,000? This is a question to which many people want the answer, and probably you too, right? Going into a short sale, one of the biggest issues in your mind is whether or not you’ll be able to walk away and start over when it’s all said and done.

Most first mortgage holders will agree to waive the deficiency or forgive the debt, so you can just walk away. Many junior mortgage holders will not make any such agreement, but that’s another blog… One of the biggest lenders in the United States, Bank of America, has historically – and notoriously – refused to waive the deficiency in writing, choosing instead to decide what they will do with it after closing. Whether they would forgive the debt or pursue you was an uncertainty. That changed last week.

Jack Schakett, Senior Vice President for Credit and Loss Mitigation Strategies at Bank of America, reportedly said that if you cannot afford the payments and can prove that you have few or no assets, the deficiency will be waived. So if a financial hardship put you behind on your payments, you will most likely be “free to go”. If it is determined that you do have assets, a fee will be set for you to pay at closing. For instance, if the house being sold was a rental, and you had other assets, they might ask you to pay a lump sum or sign a promissory note. It might be the same if you were moving for new employment.

This is huge. This takes all the mystery and guesswork out of the transaction. Either way, the borrower knows upfront what is being accepted or required, which, I think we can all agree, is a step in the right direction for Bank of America. Finally! All that being said, we received a Bank of America short sale approval letter yesterday, and the same old ambiguous language is still in there.

If you find yourself in need of a short sale cash offer and someone to negotiate with your lenders, give us a call to see if we can provide both of those to you.

Melissa

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Three Heart-Felt, Short & Sweet Michigan Short Sale Testimonials

Three Heart-Felt, Short & Sweet Michigan Short Sale Testimonials

Emily (our Case Manger) is one of our biggest secrets to success. As you can tell from these three testimonials, people love working with her.  You can find more testimonials for sellers who had no other choice besides foreclosure here on this blog and also here.

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.


We feel very fortunate to have found Emily and Great Lakes Home Solutions, Inc. After attempting to refinance and modify our mortgage for nearly a year, we really weren’t sure what to do. Thank you for all you did to help us sell our home.
Jason and Carissa, Greenville, Michigan


Joel and Emily made selling my house very easy taking care of everything so I didn’t have to. I lost my husband a year ago and was unable to afford my house by myself. They made this whole process of selling easy. I would recommend using them in any housing situation.

Jennifer, Rockford, Michigan


I worked with Emily Danger throughout this extremely emotional process and she was always kind and patient explaining everything. She made herself available and was expedient in returning calls and e-mails. She was knowledgeable giving me confidence in Great Lakes Home Solutions competencies and ability to resolve this issue. I have nothing but praise for Emily and her team however I wish I hadn’t had to deal with this. Since I found myself in this situation I am grateful to have Emily and GLHS there to assist.

Amy, Coopersville, Michigan


Joel

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Getting Tight, or Foreclosure Red Flag?

Getting Tight, or Foreclosure Red Flag?

How often do we turn on the news and hear about the recession? It seems everyone is struggling financially these days – to some degree, at least. Many of us have friends or family whose lives have been turned upside down by the economy. But how do we know if what we’re facing in our own situations is just an indicator of the belt-tightening we all seem to need to do, or if it’s a true foreclosure red flag?

Here are just a few things to look for when analyzing your own situation:

  • Substantial decrease in monthly income – some examples might be layoff, unemployment, illness, injury, or divorce.
  • Substantial increase in monthly expenses – maybe you have an adjustable rate mortgage now costing you more each month, medical bills, the birth of a child, or caring for a family member.
  • Living outside your means – this should be an easy one, but for many of us it’s hard to give up the things we had and could afford when the economy was better.
  • Being able to only make minimum payments on credit cards – this means instead of reducing your debt, you’re in fact increasing it, which is a recipe for disaster when it comes to your long-term financial health.
  • Having to decide which bills to pay because you can’t afford them all – if you’re in this situation, you aren’t just a potential candidate for foreclosure, you’re likely facing it. It’s just a matter of time.
  • “Robbing Peter to Pay Paul” – if you’re using your credit cards to make other credit card payments, or to make the house payment, look out! Almost as bad is robbing from yourself by pulling money out of your IRA or 401(k) to make these payments.

If any of these scenarios accurately describe your financial health, and you know you’re struggling to keep your head above water, give us a call today. We’ll see how we can help get you back to better times.

Melissa

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Wanting It All? Need A Reality Check?

Wanting It All? Need A Reality Check?

As I was talking to sellers facing a Michigan foreclosure this week, I realized that one of the toughest realizations a distressed seller needs to come to grips with is that they cannot have it all.

Just like you can’t eat everything you want and expect to maintain a healthy weight. Or go out drinking all night and expect to feel like you can run a marathon the next day. In the same way, if you have had a financial hardship which has caused you to get behind on your house payments, you cannot expect to stay in the house for long without the bank taking some action.

People seem surprised when the bank refuses to work with them or begins the Michigan foreclosure process. This is going to happen. After all they are losing money and looking for a solution to their problem. People seem surprised when they call the bank to work something out and they get transferred around, have to wait for long period of times, or even send in paperwork that gets lost. This is a reality of the large financial institution you are dealing with. They have hundreds of thousands of distressed sellers to deal with. It is not going to be like calling to ask your local bank how much money is in your account where you can get an immediate and clear answer (wouldn’t THAT be nice)!

Fortunately, while we cannot help you to “have your cake and eat it too” we can help you navigate the financial maze toward a solution. Give us a call and tell Emily “I need a reality check” and let her help you realize what you can have. You can salvage your credit. You can get a fresh start. You can find a solution without paying any fees or getting yourself into a worse situation. Call Emily and find out how not wanting it all actually brings peace of mind and a fresh start.

Ann

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