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Words of Wisdom

Words of Wisdom

Once upon a time, I collected words of wisdom that I had read in books, magazines, etc. I cut them out and pasted them into a notebook with the intention of reading them whenever I needed a little inspiration. Well, you know how these things go. Somewhere along the way, the notebook got stuck in a drawer and forgotten until I found it recently. As I paged through the notebook, I realized that these words of wisdom were not meant to be kept in a notebook, and should be shared so they could inspire others.

My life has changed since I first stuck those words of wisdom in the notebook and now I talk regularly to distressed sellers facing Michigan foreclosures. Many are courageously facing tremendous financial hardship and life situations and I am always impressed with people’s will to fight for their financial future & happiness. However, from talking to these homeowners, I know the fight can be lonely, confusing, overwhelming, stressful and even paralyzing as people facing foreclosure try to figure out who to believe and what to do to get back to better times. So, I share these words of wisdom with the hope they will strengthen you.

 

“Nothing will even be attempted, if all possible objections first be overcome.” Samuel Johnson, “Rasselas”, 1759

“The person who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” Chinese proverb.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable task, and then starting on the first one.” Mark Twain.

“The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps. We must step up the stairs.” Vance Havner

“Let us move on, and step out boldly, though it be into the night and we scarcely see the way.” Charles B. Newcomb

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many. Not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” Charles Dickens

“The conditions of conquest are always easy. We have but to toil awhile, endure awhile, believe always and never turn back.” Marcus Annaeus Seneca

 

We may not be as wise as these great thinkers, but we do know a few things about helping homeowners facing a Michigan Foreclosure. Give us a call and we can answer your questions, discuss options and help you figure out your goals. You may find the fight for your family’s financial future is easier with our assistance. We deal with lenders every day and we know a lot about how to win that fight. Let us help you to live the words of Helen Keller: “Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourself a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find joy in overcoming obstacles.”

Ann

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Unspoken Promises

Unspoken Promises

Regular Readers of our blogs hopefully know by now that we always make 4 promises when helping sellers who are facing a Michigan Foreclosure.

  • We will never ask you for money.
  • We will never put you in a situation that is worse than you are currently in.
  • We will always keep all of your information 100% confidential.
  • We will always work harder than anybody, doing whatever we can, to permanently stop your foreclosure situation

Recently, I have talked to several distressed sellers who were not only financially distressed because they were not able to make their house payment, and also mentally & emotionally distressed because they had been cheated and mistreated by someone claiming to be able to help them. Usually the stories are similar. Someone makes the seller a big promise to negotiate with their bank, money is paid by them for the promise of services (note: it may be illegal for someone to take money prior to performing a service, be sure to read our blog on MARS), then the negotiator disappears or stops communicating and the seller has no clue what is going on. These stories always make me mad because:
1. The distressed seller was taken advantage of and put in a worse situation
2. People (like us) who offer a legitimate benefit to help sellers have to work harder to prove we are trustworthy and not out to hurt anyone.

In a perfect world, we shouldn’t have to promise the following because these should be unspoken promises that are expected from a legitimate company. However, I am proud and glad that we can make these promises and so I think it is time to no longer keep them “unspoken”

  • We will return your phone calls and emails and not “disappear” on you.
  • We will communicate & keep you updated on what is going on as we negotiate with your bank
  • We will keep current on Michigan foreclosure laws and keep aware of potential and actual changes (however, we are not attorney’s and you should always consult one if you need legal advice)
  • We will not ask you for any money upfront or during the process (actually we already promise this but this is such a huge problem out there that I thought I would repeat it).

If you are behind on your house payments and facing a Michigan Foreclosure, turn to us to get information, discuss options and define your goals. We are a Michigan-based company that has been helping distressed sellers since 2002 and we are glad to help you. We will not make any “pie in the sky” promises, spoken or unspoken, that we cannot keep. Let us help you get back to better times.

Ann

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Michigan Foreclosure Headlines

Michigan Foreclosure Headlines

Seems like the news is full of stories about Michigan foreclosure again these days as Michigan legislators try to push through new legislation to fight the foreclosure fraud created by robo-signers and other questionable lender practices. Even if you don’t sit down and read a paper or watch the news, it is still hard to escape the headlines that scream at you from billboards, computers, newsstands, commercials and other unsuspecting places. All this negative news about how foreclosure processes have been handled can create a high level of concern and confusion if you are facing a Michigan Foreclosure and don’t know who to believe and what to do.

To let you know that there is hope and there are people you can trust and believe, we thought we would share some headlines from homeowner we have helped.

“Thanks to the compassion and understanding of my situation,… took a very rough situation and handled all of my stress” Debbie, Scotts

“After my first visit, I felt relief. They were very professional and courteous”. Todd, Mattawan

“… helped me through the entire process and explained the process thoroughly”. Jerry, Kalamazoo

“They worked very closely & professionally with me, keeping me updated weekly on what was happening and saved me from having to deal with the bank….” Sue, Onekama

“…helped us move forward with our lives and start fresh.” Erin & Kevin, West Bloomfield

“We thank them for making the process virtually painless.” Amy & Steve Mecosta

“Knowing that a team of competent professionals was helping us to come to a resolution with our lender allowed us to move forward.” Shana & Charles, Caledonia

If you are behind on your house payments and facing a Michigan Foreclosure, give us a call. We will never charge you anything, we will keep all your information confidential and we will work harder than anyone to help get you back to better times. Make your own headlines and give us a call today!

Ann

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Should I Stop Making My House Payments?

Should I Stop Making My House Payments?

The other day, I got a call from a seller facing a Michigan foreclosure who said the words that always make me sick: “I was told to stop making my house payments”. The person who gave the advice is sometimes the lender, sometimes a person offering to negotiate a short sale or a loan modification, sometimes a REALTOR® or family member. In my humble opinion, the only person who should be giving advice on whether you make your payment or not is an attorney because they are the only ones who can tell you the legal implications of breaking the contract you have with your lender. After all, you signed a promise to pay back the money when you got your loan to buy the house, and this is the contract you are breaking when you stop payments.

All the other (non-attorney) people may be well-intentioned, but from the calls that I get from homeowners who heed this advice, the outcome is usually not what was expected.

  • Many find out their lender has started foreclosure since they are not receiving payments
  • Many find out too late that they cannot do the work out and now they are so far behind it is a monumental task to get caught back up.
  • Many find out that their credit is being hurt by the missed payments.

The other trap that people fall into is to decide they are going to stop making payments (when they can afford to make them) because the house is not worth what they owe. Out of anger or frustration or despair, they decide to break their agreement to pay the bank. Again, unless this decision is made in consultation with an attorney, tread lightly or you could set yourself up for a Michigan foreclosure.

We will never tell you to stop making payments. This is something that you and your attorney (if you chose to consult one) must decide. We will be glad to discuss your options and help you figure out your goals and share our knowledge with you but we will never tell you to stop making payments. Be wary of anyone (besides an attorney) who is ready to tell you to stop making payments.

If you are facing a Michigan Foreclosure, give us a call. We will not charge you a fee and we will keep all your information confidential. We can help keep you out of traps that will seriously limit your options. We can help get you back on the road to better days.

Ann

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Who would you Rather Work With….?

Who would you Rather Work With….?

Occasionally, we like to share a story about a seller facing a Michigan foreclosure whom we have helped get back to better times. This way, you can know there are real people overcoming possibly similar or worse situations that you are facing if you are facing a Michigan Foreclosure. Let me tell you about Mindy & Keith (not their real names) from the Grand Rapids area.

Most people who are behind on their house payment and facing a Michigan foreclosure have gotten there because of a financial hardship. Well, Mindy & Keith had more than their share of hardships. They were dealing with job loss, they needed to relocate out of state to find work, then there was the death of a close family member and personal illness. Yet, they remained some of the most optimistic and grateful people we have helped. Here is what they had to say:

“We just want to thank you for helping us get the house sold!!! We could not have done it without you, as we tried for several years with other listings and “by owner” and the bank refusing to work with us. You helped us know what to do and say and handled all the negotiations with the lender on our behalf. It was a huge relief to us to work with someone who we could trust and who had the experience to get the job done in a timely manner and not put us in a worse situation! You were true to your word which is rare to find these days! We have told several others about you and will continue to do so. After all, who would you rather work with, a company who has done this “a few times” or a company that is more than experienced to get the job done and do it correctly!!”

We did not charge Mindy & Keith anything for our help, we kept all their information confidential and we did not get them into a worse situation. We will do the same for you. Who would you rather call? Give us a call and let us get our experience working for you!

Ann

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Saved from the Icy Depths!

Saved from the Icy Depths!

I was walking one February afternoon with my dogs along the lake. One of the dogs walked out a dock and was sniffing around. This didn’t concern me too much until suddenly, splash, she had jumped off the dock onto the ice and crashed through the ice. In a blink of the eye, she was flailing around in the ice cold water. She managed to pull her front end up onto the ice, but could not pull her back end out of the water. Fortunately, I could walk out the dock, reach under her stomach and pull her up onto the ice. Read more…

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Mind Games Lenders Play

Mind Games Lenders Play

My mind keeps playing tricks on me. Little things keep happening that I don’t remember doing. For example, I went to walk the dogs yesterday and couldn’t find 1 dog’s collar. Then I found 2 collars on the other dog. I don’t remember putting both collars on her. This morning we returned from our walk and were locked out of the house! I don’t remember locking the door behind me and no one else was in the house. I am sure I am responsible for these silly little events as I get so lost in my own thoughts that I unconsciously do things without thinking.

I am sure that if you are part of a family who is struggling with a hardship and facing a Michigan foreclosure, you may feel like your lender is playing mind games with you. You can call one day and be told to submit certain information and call back a few days later and they either did not receive it or need you to submit something entirely different. Or you call and are told one thing is going to happen and call back again another day and get told something totally different.

The good news is that you probably are not losing your mind. It can be very frustrating dealing with a lender, especially when you don’t know who to call, what to ask and what to expect. I’m not telling you not to try. I just want to suggest that you should have someone who has experience dealing with the lenders call for you. Someone who has phone numbers that work, and knows what to ask and how to respond to information; someone who has time to sit on hold for 30+ minutes and call back daily, or several times a day if necessary.

That someone is us! We have been working with lenders on behalf of sellers since 2005. In addition to having phone numbers and scripts and procedures, we also have a network of other people like us that we can turn to for help if we get stuck. They often have a phone number or a contact that can help us. Give us a call and unload the burden of dealing with the bank onto our capable shoulders. We will not charge you a fee and we keep everything confidential. We will keep you updated on our progress and move your situation along without you having to sit on hold. Let us go to work for you so you can get back to better times.

Ann

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Tough Times Ahead, Exit Now!

Tough Times Ahead, Exit Now!

Yesterday I was cruising north on I-131 and just as I got to Grand Rapids, the traffic began to slow down for no apparent reason. Soon, we were barely going over 35 mph. I never did see what caused the slow down and fortunately, in a couple miles I was cruising at 70 mph again. However, on the way home, I saw the northbound traffic completely stopped this time because of an accident. As I headed south and saw all the unaware northbound drivers heading toward the tie up, I wanted to hold up a sign saying “Get off at the exit, avoid the congestion ahead!”

Of course, since I am always thinking about how we can help more sellers facing a Michigan foreclosure, this reminded me of many sellers’ situation. Many people are cruising through life minding their own business when they hit a slowdown in income. Usually the reason is obvious such as hours being cut at work, business failing or a divorce, disability or a death. All leaving them with less income than they need to make ends meet. In these situations, sellers often crawl along making ends meet and hoping things will improve soon. Sometimes they do improve and the they can comfortably make the house payments again. However, many times, the seller ends up stuck and wondering what to do when their reserves run out or the income totally stops.

While we cannot forewarn you of these upcoming income obstacles, we can help you navigate through them. We have helped hundreds of sellers who can no longer afford the house payment and just want out from under the burden of the mortgage payment. We know who to contact at their lender, what to send them and what to say and do to get the lender to agree to let the house sell for less than what is owed. We are successful about 85% of the time in helping a homeowner get on a clear road to a better future. Give us a call and discuss your situation with us. We will charge you nothing and keep all your information confidential. We can tell you what pitfalls are ahead, how to avoid them and best of all, help you get moving toward better days.

Ann

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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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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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