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It’s Now Illegal If You Are Being Charged Up Front For Foreclosure or Loan Mod Assistance

It’s Now Illegal If You Are Being Charged Up Front For Foreclosure or Loan Mod Assistance

If you are a homeowner facing a Michigan Foreclosures, you need to be aware and beware of MARS. Not the planet Mars, but MARS: “Mortgage Assistance Relief Services” Rule.

If you are using a third party to help you with your distressed house situation, be aware that unless they are an attorney, they need to comply with this FTC rule (effective December, 2010) and this means not charging you a fee up front for services. We are not attorneys so check this out with your own attorney. We are just updating you on the latest regulations to affect Michigan Sellers.

The following is from the FTC’s press release about the MARS Rule: “The FTC is issuing the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) Rule to protect distressed homeowners from mortgage relief scams that have sprung up during the mortgage crisis. Bogus operations falsely claim that, for a fee, they will negotiate with the consumer’s mortgage lender or servicer to obtain a loan modification, a short sale, or other relief from foreclosure. Many of these operations pretend to be affiliated with the government and government housing assistance programs. The FTC has brought more than 30 cases against operations like these, and state and federal law enforcement partners have brought hundreds more.”

The MARS Rule regulates:
– Charging / Payment of fees by homeowners
– Disclosures that must be included in both contracts and advertisements
– Claims a “Mortgage Assistance Relief Service” are prohibited from making

The good news in all this confusion is that we are MARS compliant. We will never charge you a fee (upfront, during the process, or at closing). We keep everything about your situation confidential and we will not put you in a worse situation. So, call an attorney to find out more about MARS if you are already getting help from a third party, especially if they are charging you fees. Give us a call if you are not using a third party and want someone who is current on the regulations and complying. Just another way we work harder than anyone to help get you back to better times!

Ann

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Myths About Michigan Foreclosure Can Affect Your Financial Future

Myths About Michigan Foreclosure Can Affect Your Financial Future

The pain is so great when you realize that you are going to lose the house. You’ve talked to your lender until you are in need of some Valium; you’ve lost a ton of sleep. Now your health and marriage is affected. It’s time to get off the merry-go-round and solve this problem. Before we solve it, let’s look at some facts:

MYTH #1: “I’ll work out a Loan Modification with my lender” There are some cases of loan modifications working but they are few and far between (less than 10% using the government’s own statistics). If they worked, you wouldn’t see so many bank owned properties littering our cities. Remember, you owe several months behind in your payment. That’s a lot of money and the lender is not going to forget that.

MYTH #2: “I’ll make partial payments until I can catch up.” Save your money! Lenders will more than likely send it back anyway. They want full payments or you are going into default and facing foreclosure anyway. Many times they return full payments if you are behind.

MYTH #3: “I’ll just hand over the keys to the lender and walk away from the debt. What can they do to me? I don’t have the money.” Unfortunately you can’t just walk away from your debt in Michigan. You signed a binding contract with your lender to borrow a huge amount of money. That doesn’t just go away. Somehow you have to get the bank to agree not to pursue you for the money. They can come after that money for 7 years into your future! They can garnish your future wages, tack liens on to future properties…not pretty. We’ve got answers though. Read on.

There are few options for struggling homeowners facing foreclosure but there is one hope that works for many. You can short sale the house. That means selling the house for what a buyer will buy it for in today’s market and negotiating with your lender to forgive the rest of the debt. Forget what you’ve heard about short sales (and the national 10-20% success rate). We have an 85% success rate in short sales negotiating.

Contact us to discuss your situation and see what will work for you! We are here to help!

Jeannie

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Is 2011 THE Year Michigan Foreclosures Ease Up?

Is 2011 THE Year Michigan Foreclosures Ease Up?

A lot of people are asking us if 2011 is the year when the number of Michigan foreclosures will start to decrease and Michigan’s housing market and economy will start to recover. Sorry to say, not according to this Associated Press article. In fact, this article predicts that 2011 will be worse than 2010 because about 5 million people are at least 2 months behind on their house payment and many more are expected to get behind because the economy is still putting a lot of pressure on families. These numbers are nationwide foreclosures. However, Michigan is predicted to remain in the top 10 of states with the highest foreclosure rates and many analysts say Michigan is in the top 5.

What does this mean to you if you are facing a Michigan foreclosure or know someone facing a Michigan foreclosure? Don’t expect to dodge the foreclosure for long. The article points out that most banks have resumed foreclosures after a slow down late last year due to allegations of improper procedures. How soon they come after you after you miss your first payment is hard to say. Don’t wait for them to start the Michigan foreclosure process before you figure out your course of action. Give us a call and let us help you figure out your options now.

We will not charge you any money, we will not put you in a worse situation and we will keep everything confidential. We simply want to help make 2011 the year that you took action to get your family back on a better financial road. For most families, since the mortgage is their biggest expense and debt, figuring out what to do with the house payment takes a huge burden off their shoulders. Give us a call today and let us help you say that 2011 was THE year that you got back to better times!

Ann

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Myth Busting: “The Michigan Sheriff Sale”

Myth Busting: “The Michigan Sheriff Sale”

I attended the Kalamazoo County (Michigan) Sheriff Sale (foreclosure auction) today for the first time in over a year. It seemed fitting to blog about common questions concerning the Sheriff Sale to dispel some myths. When a person gets behind on their house payment and is facing a Michigan Foreclosure, they will eventually get a foreclosure letter from an attorney notifying them that a sheriff sale has been scheduled. This notice is also taped to the front door and also published for 4-5 weeks in a county newspaper.

Myth Bust #1: “I can’t remove the Michigan Foreclosure notice Read more…

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