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You are currently browsing the Stop Michigan Foreclosure weblog archives for May, 2008.

Announcement: Sending Us An Email?

Just a quick tip: If you send us an email asking for help, be sure to check your “SPAM” or Junk mail folder for an answer. Many times, our answers end up there because we send them from a corporate email address.

Look for an answer from someone on our team that comes from either or You may want to add these two domains to your “safe senders list” or “white list” right now.

I’d hate to see you ask for advice only to never see the answer!


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Yet Another Reason “Deed In Lieu” Is Poor Choice

As you’ve probably seen, Mistake #5 of the Eight Mistakes To Avoid When Seeking Foreclosure Help is doing a “Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure” (aka DIL). Why?

Well, besides what’s listed in on the above link, I’ve never seen a DIL where the lender settles the account. So all you end up doing is saving them time and still living with the fear of them coming after you for years down the road!

This article explains this mistake even further by showing how even if the lender settles the account, the PMI company likely won’t! It’s a real eye opener!! A short sale on the other hand, when correctly and successfully negotiated by us will likely get everything settled, even with the PMI company. Maybe we should call Melissa the “PMI Bully” instead of “Bank Bully”.


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How Big of a Hit? (Bank Bully strikes again)

Just how big of a discount (“hit”, “haircut”, etc.) will your lender take on a short sale? When you’ve got me (Melissa “Bank Bully” Arp) negotiating the short sale, there seems to be no limit!

Last week we closed on a house in Waterford Township (Oakland County). The owners owed $190k on their house and I got Citi to agree to a $92k purchase price. After closing costs and commissions, Citi put $84k in their pocket. That’s over a $100k hit!

But most importantly, Citi settled the account. This means they agreed that it was paid in full (for less than the full balance of course) and will be reporting a zero balance to all three credit bureaus.

These things don’t happen overnight and without a TON of effort. If you think you owe “too much”, you probably don’t. Put the “Bank Bully” to work for you today!


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Why You Should Call Us First

We received a call from a young lady yesterday who owes more than her house is worth. She can’t make the monthly payments anymore. She wants to get out from under this debt and save her credit, so she listed her house with a Realtor®. She was excited when they found a buyer. Then her Realtor told her she can’t sell the house because the lender won’t accept less than what is owed on the house (called a short sale). She was crushed and called us to see what her options are.

What happened? Don’t most lenders accept short sales? (yes, the do). Plain and simple, the Realtor® completely messed up negotiating with the lender. It takes someone who does short sales everyday to know exactly what to say and do to successfully negotiate a short sale with a lender.

Most Realtors® mean well, but they don’t have experience with a wide range of lenders nor do they talk to lenders on a daily basis. Most are good sales people but very poor short sale negotiators (as shown by the dismal 10% national average success rate they have for getting short sales approved).  Learn why we are so good.

We have a dedicated bank negotiator (Melissa the “Bank Bully”) who talks to several lenders a day, every day. She knows how to speak their language & what they need before they ask for it.  Joel (our CEO and “closer”) has his own State of Michigan approved course specifically for Realtors® so they can learn from one of the best there is.  The families we work with have decided to have the experienced instructor on their team and not the student.

Will we be able and step in and clear this up? Depends on what the Realtor®has said, done, and sent to the lender. Moral of the story: If you realize you have to sell and think your lender may need to take a discount on what is owed to get it sold, talk to us first before you talk to the Realtor®. Your house will still be listed with a Realtor®, but one of ours who we’ve trained how to work with us and how to do short sales “the Great Lakes Way”, which yields about a 70-80% success rate.


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Please Don’t Argue With Me

Yesterday I talked to a gal in Jackson who could not decide what to do with her house. Countrywide (her lender) would not work with her, her house has declined in value by about $30k since she refinanced it and she wanted to sell it.

The likely solution was to team up with us to get a short sale accomplished to stop the foreclosure that was just a few months away.

Why did I choose this title to this post? Because she would not listen to me! Every time I explained how the short sale process worked, she would disagree with me. Come on, this is all our team does – I know the process, I know what Countrywide will and won’t do, and I know how to get it done (70-80% of the time we are successful).

I’d hate to be venting on my first post to our blog, but honestly, if you call me for help, please don’t argue with me. Whether you want to keep or sell, no one else you find will understand all of your options better than I will.


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What is it like to work with us? I’ll tell you what it is not like!

It is not like the experience Marilyn had. She was facing foreclosure and did what many people do when they realize they simply can’t afford their house any more: she listed her house with a Realtor®.

He came and put a sign in the yard, and then only talked to her 2 times in the next 6 months. There were only 2 showings that Marilyn knew about. She had no idea what the Realtor® was doing to sell her house or what was going on. After 6 months, he came and removed the sign without saying a word. She didn’t know what to do next! By this time it was way too late for us to help as she was just days away from being evicted by her bank.

Now we don’t know the Realtor’s® side of the story, but we know if we had helped her, the experience would have been significantly different.

We provide updates every 2-3 weeks and we are always available to call and ask for an update at other times. We aggressively market every house, making price drops and other adjustments as needed to stimulate activity. We keep all sellers updated on these price changes and feedback from potential buyers.

If we are not able to sell a house, we don’t just quietly disappear without talking to you and making sure you know what to do next.

We communicate through the entire process. Call us if you are facing foreclosure and are ready to sell. Not ready to sell? We can still help, and regardless, there’s never a fee.


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Mortgage Holders find it Hard to Walk Away from Their Homes

There was an interesting article in the New York Times Business Section on May 10th, 2008. They talk a lot about people not being able to afford their homes or sell their homes.

They fail to mention an option that a lot of people have once they realize they simply can’t afford to keep their homes. That is to work with a company like us who will negotiate with your lender to accept less than what you owe so you can sell it and walk away with dignity and more of your credit intact. This is called a “short sale” and of course is our specialty. We are on your side – give us a call (never a fee) if you are considering walking away and your conscious is telling you to be more responsible that that.


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