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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Three Key Components to Surviving Michigan Foreclosure

Three Key Components to Surviving Michigan Foreclosure

Some sellers think that if they just give the keys to the lender, they can walk away and start fresh. Just a reminder that you did sign a binding contract for your mortgage and it is big bucks. Your lender can wait until you are in better times and may make efforts to collect that debt. It’s a tough fact to face but you can protect your financial future. So how do you survive a Michigan foreclosure? Here are some key components:

Don’t make rash decisions based on fear and panic. This is one of the biggest mistakes that people make and can be the most damaging. Take a piece of paper and write down the issues and weigh everything out. Is it inevitable that you will need to move? Then you must accept and move towards that goal.

Don’t do nothing! The ol’ “Head in the Sand” plan is not the right move . On the contrary. Keep your eyes and ears very keen and sharp and learn all you can about foreclosure options. One will fit your situation. If you make some money, you might be able to do a loan modification but the odds are unfortunately low (less than 6% was the last statistic that I saw). If you have lost most of your money, you need to get a plan together to move on and find out about alleviating the debt. That will lead you to a short sale which is also the most popular solution when a loan modification doesn’t succeed.

Pursue a solution. Above all else, don’t be shy to ask questions from experts in the field. We offer our services to hundreds of sellers, at no charge, because we know there is a lot of misinformation out there. Grab a pad of paper and call. We will help you decide what solution is best for you and your family to lead to a better future and make the pain go away.

Jeannie

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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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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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The #1 Largest Mistake Struggling Homeowners Make – Part 2

The #1 Largest Mistake Struggling Homeowners Make – Part 2

If you are a homeowner facing a Michigan foreclosure and trying to stay current on your mortgage but can’t, this is a critical time for you to make decisions and the right ones. After counseling thousands of distressed families, we have seen one major mistake made over and over again. This mistake literally can ruin your financial future faster than anything else you can do.

This mistake comes from a combination of lack of knowledge about foreclosures and lenders and how they work and also this big emotion: FEAR. The #1 mistake you can make is Read more…

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The #1 Largest Mistake Struggling Homeowners Make – Part 1

The #1 Largest Mistake Struggling Homeowners Make – Part One

If you are a homeowner facing a Michigan foreclosure and trying to stay current on your mortgage but can’t, this is a critical time for you to make decisions and the right ones. After counseling thousands of distressed families, we have seen one major mistake made over and over again. This mistake literally can ruin your financial future faster than anything else you can do.

This mistake comes from a combination of lack of knowledge about foreclosures and lenders and how they work and also this big emotion: FEAR. The #1 mistake you can make Read more…

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Get A Grip on Your Michigan Foreclosure

Get A Grip on Your Michigan Foreclosure

I’ve been negotiating for folks with late mortgage payments and personal heartache for a long time and Michigan has been especially hard hit. The good news is that there is “the other side” of your personal financial tragedy. Keep reminding yourself of that. You are only going through a problem and with some help, you don’t have to be there for very long.

The key is that your decisions today will affect your financial freedom and future of tomorrow. Making the right decisions is critical and hard to do when you are emotionally wrought. So take these steps to insure Read more…

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