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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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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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Tips to Sell from the Media – Really? Let’s Get Real!

Tips to Sell from the Media – Really? Let’s Get Real!

I recently read an online article listing some of the reasons people cannot sell their houses and providing some suggestions to that end. Here are a few examples:

  • You haven’t picked the right REALTOR®.
  • You need to get an appraisal so that you’ll know what a buyer’s lender will approve.
  • You need to get comparative list prices (or “comps”) which include foreclosure listings so you know at what price houses are actually selling in your neighborhood.
  • The house needs to be attractive and have “curb appeal”.
  • The house needs to be “staged”. This means you would hire someone to analyze and address any cosmetic or décor problems that are preventing your house from being aesthetically pleasing to potential buyers.
  • You need to make sure the house doesn’t need any work.

Now, many of these tips are good and useful. You want to have an agent who is reputable and dedicated. As for the appraisal and “comp” tips, I could not agree more; a house is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it, regardless of debt or perceived sentimental value. And, of course someone is more likely to offer on a house that is attractive and to pass on one that is not. Again, these are good ideas, but more than half of them require spending money, and who in this economy has the hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to spend on these recommendations?

My point is that although I agree with the thoughts and intentions in this list, for many families here in Michigan, needing a short sale to avoid a foreclosure, these suggestions are simply not feasible or affordable. If you are struggling to sell your house, call us – we’ll see what sort of practical solution we can help you find.

Melissa

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How To Get The House Market To Work For You vs. Against You

How To Get The House Market To Work For You vs. Against You

Some of you may have read or heard on the news about the investigations into the foreclosure processes of several of the largest mortgage servicers. The investigators are looking into the validity and accuracy of the foreclosures that have taken place over the last few months and years. Apparently, there are suspicions that shortcuts were taken by the servicers that had millions of defaulted loans. The problem is that the servicers were unprepared for the volume of defaulted loans to deal with, and they were scrambling to address the defaults in bulk instead of reviewing each situation individually. Due to the investigation, some of the servicers have halted any further foreclosure proceedings (many of these have started the proceedings back up).

What does that mean for you? Well, if you are currently in default, it could mean you will be able to stay in the house for a little longer. But for sellers who need to sell now or who will need to sell in the next few years, it could be bad news.

The result of servicers’ decision to suspend foreclosures will simply delay the inevitable. These foreclosures will happen eventually, and the distressed properties will need to be sold. This action is just keeping distressed houses on the market longer. So, if all these houses were on the market in a smaller amount of time, prices would be extraordinarily low, but for less time. It’s essentially just biting the bullet and getting this price decline over more quickly. Maybe in this scenario, we could see price increases in the next two years; whereas with the current developments, it could be five or six years before the market picks back up.

If you’re a victim of the current declining market or foresee difficulties in selling your house in the near future, give us a call today. We’ll see how we can help you make the market work for you instead of against you.

Melissa

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We Promise!

We Promise!

It’s been a while since I read a newspaper. When I scanned the headlines this week, the news was less than uplifting. The Federal program meant to help families in foreclosure is failing. The economy is not improving and in fact the poverty level in Michigan is the highest it has been in 16 years.

If you are tired of reading only the gloomy stuff, here is something positive to read. If you are having a financial hardship and facing a Michigan foreclosure, this is our Four Point Promise to you:

  • 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.

Give us a call to get your questions answered, to explore options and gather information about Michigan foreclosures. Let us help you focus on what can be done to fix the situation instead of all the negative that led up to the situation. We are waiting to hear from you so we can put our promises to work for you!

Ann

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Robo-signers, MERS, and Moratoriums, oh my!

Robo-signers, MERS, and Moratoriums, oh my!

The news is full of the latest information and speculation about the mortgage industry and foreclosures. This recent article sums up the situation the best of any article I have read to date.

Despite all this speculation about what is going to happen next, the fact is that 75 houses were foreclosed on this week within Kent, Kalamazoo and Ottawa counties combined. So foreclosures are still occurring.

The bottom line is that if you took a loan out on a house and promised to pay it back, you are still obligated to pay that loan. Just because some of the lenders may have messed up and did something wrong, doesn’t give you the OK to stop paying your mortgage and do something wrong too. Remember what Mom said –if your friends jumped off the bridge, would you jump too? Too wrongs do not make a right. If you are already behind on your mortgage payments and facing a Michigan foreclosure, you need to keep looking for solutions. Sooner or later, the foreclosure machine will start back up again and wouldn’t you rather be ahead of it instead of back in the middle of it?

Give us a call and let’s talk about your situation and options. It is business as usual for us and we are here to help you. We are plugged into similar businesses across the country and we are getting daily updates on changes and decisions from some of the top experts in the industry. Let us sort out all the speculation for you and help you navigate through the craziness. Give us a call and let’s get you on the road to a brighter future.

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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FHA “Short Refi” To The Rescue?

FHA “Short Refi” To The Rescue?

On March 26, 2010 the Department of Housing and Urban Development along with the Treasury Department, in all their infinite wisdom, announced a new FHA refinance plan.  The goal of this plan was to help homeowners who are current on their payments but owe more than their house is worth – in a nutshell, they’re upside-down.

What? But how is that possible? One of the major components of doing a refinance is the appraisal. Without the appraisal proving the home’s worth, there IS no refinance. FHA is telling us they will take a $150,000 loan on a home that is worth $120,000, owned by an individual who is current on his or her payments, and put them into a new FHA loan for only $120,000. But what happens to that $30,000? Where does it go?

The catch – and it’s a very big catch – is that the current lender must agree to forgive at least 10% of the principal balance. What lender would do that? Why would they ever agree to this on a loan that is current? It just doesn’t make sense to me, how about to you? Actually, it apparently doesn’t make sense to HUD either. HUD is the department that insurances FHA loans and this new program they created is not available to FHA borrowers. So HUD is essentially saying “it’s OK for other lenders to reduce the principal balance to do this refi, but we won’t do it for our own loans”. Wow!

Which is why I believe it will fail. The thought process behind the plan was well-intentioned; they were trying to help borrowers stay in their houses while avoiding more foreclosures. The housing market is hemorrhaging money, and from their point of view, something had to be done, even if it’s not really feasible. Now, to be fair, there are incentives, I’m sure, to lenders who agree to this. But most will refuse. It’s letting go of hundreds of thousands of dollars without even a protest and with no financial hardship from the borrower. You and I both know that confrontation and collecting are second (if not first) nature to the banks, and they will not give up their money without a fight.

Thanks, but no thanks, HUD.

Interested in real solutions to your Michigan Foreclosure?  Call us for a cash offer and free short sale negotiation.

Melissa

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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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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

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