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

Announcement: Welcome To Our Blog!

Be sure to check out our brand new video on How To Stop Foreclosure on your Michigan House

Click to watch Stop Michigan Foreclosure Video

We’ve created this BLOG because things are constantly changing in the world of Foreclosure Solution. This BLOG will give us the ability to communicate those changes to you, along with what some of the “Real Life Experiences of Michigan’s #1 Foreclosure Solution Team”.

Of course if you can’t find what you’re looking for here, you’ll finds loads of great information on our website (

We find that many of the families we work with would like to get to know our team better. You’ll find short video introductions to our entire team on the About Page (just click here then scroll to the bottom for links to our team).

If you need us (never a fee of course), we’re just a phone call away.

and Holly

P.S. Did you catch Joel on the Radio being interviewed about ways to stop foreclosure? Now’s your chance to listen!

as heard on 590 WKZO image

P.P.S. Oh, and here’s the one-time special legal disclosure: We are not an attorneys. The information presented is our best knowledge based on our experiences and education. You should seek legal counsel if you want specific legal details.

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Professional Driver, Closed Course

Five months ago I talked to a homeowner that wanted to sell her house. She had lost her job, was fortunate to find another right away, but it only paid about 1/2 as what she used to make. She was a perfect candidate for a short sale.

It was never real clear to me why she decided to attempt a short sale herself since we never charge for this (we get paid by the buyer). I guess because it just sounds so simple: List your house with a Realtor®, get your lender to agree to take less than what’s owed.  Maybe she wanted to use her own Realtor® and we only use agents that are hand-picked and specially trained to work with our team.

But you know those car commercials that have the small print that says “professional driver, closed course”? Or “don’t try this at home”? You know, the standard disclaimers. Why those disclaimers? Because the professionals make it look so easy they don’t want you to get hurt trying it on your own.

Well you can probably guess what happened.  She called me yesterday trying to salvage her short sale.  To make a long story short, she had a buyer (which was the only good news), but the buyer wouldn’t pay what the bank wanted because the bank thought it was worth more.  This rarely happens on our cases (because we have our own “Bank Bully”).

The second thing wrong with the offer was her second mortgage wanted much more than the first mortgage would allow them to get.  This often happens with our cases, but because our buyers are cash buyers, by carefully working with both mortgage companies and the title company, this can also be eliminated.

Long story short, if she had brought us in early on, she’d be out from under this house and very likely would have thousands of dollars of debt forgiven.  As it stands now, unless she can raise $10,000 right away, she’ll have two mortgage companies after her for all of the money they will lose (likely over $40,000).

Unfortunately, it was much too late and too much had gone wrong for us to get involved to fix things for her.  The moral?  Keep the short sale business to the professionals who get 70-80% of their offers approved.  And of course “don’t try this at home”.


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How To Make $169k Vanish

Last week, we closed on two different houses and my team made $169,000 of debt disappear between both of them. How is this done? This is done with a short sale. Don’t know what a short sale is? Well you can search this blog to learn more, or just give us a call. We’re really good at them though based on all of the testimonials you’ll find here and here. Oh, and here’s two more!

“I found myself, like a lot of other homeowners, owing on my mortgage a payment I could not afford. On top of that, I relocated to the other side of the state for a new job. Paying both a mortgage payment on a house that was vacant along with rent at my new place just became a huge burden on my life. With the help of Joel and the Great Lakes Home Solutions Team, they were able to sell a house that I had for sale on the market for over a year with no offers, in just 3 months! They were able to wipe out over $64K in debt to my mortgage companies. This is something that I couldn’t imagine. From the bottom of my heart I truly thank them for all they did and would highly recommend their services to anyone. Thanks again!” Michael, Sterling Heights, Michigan

“The entire Great Lakes team has been wonderful to work with, providing excellent customer service and thorough knowledge and understanding of my individual needs in terms of financial hardship. Without the diligent efforts of Joel, Ann & Emily, I would have had to file bankruptcy. Instead, my house sold and I was able to walk away from $105,000 of debt.”  Cari, Galesburg, MI


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Mom & Dad, Where Are You?

Do you ever wish there was someone you could turn your problems over to and they would know what to do and who can help? Kind of like when you were a kid and Mom & Dad always had a solution, knew who to call or what to do (and not do).

Unfortunately when we get older, there is frequently no one to help us deal with our problems. It can become overwhelming if it is a problem that you never saw Mom & Dad deal with, or no one prepared you for in school. It becomes even worse when the problem is personal, embarrassing, complex, and you don’t want to talk with just anyone about it.

That’s where our team comes in. We have been helping people facing foreclosure for years! Over that time, we have figured out who to call, what the options are, the right things are to do and the wrong things to do. You don’t have to go through the process alone. Turn to us. We’re here to help.


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“I’m Calling Everyone”

I hear that a lot. As in “everyone” found on the web, or that sent me mail, or that my friends/family told me to call.

At the end of the call, they usually say “I’m so glad I called you; I wish I would have started with you; you are so honest; I don’t need to keep making more calls to help solve my foreclosure with my Michigan house”.

Case in point: Amy in Grand Rapids called last week with an amazing hardship which included her being taken advantage of by Realtors®, lenders and builders in the last year. When listening to her story I found it hard to believe she could possible trust anyone ever again. But sure enough, I tend to have that affect on people – they just get that warm fuzzy and know we’ll take care of them.

Amy seemed to want promises that we could help “for sure”. Of course anyone that promises & guarantees anything with real estate, but especially regarding short sales is simply blowing smoke. There’s just way too much out of their control. I refuse to make a promise based on things I can’t control. Amy talked to one investor/Realtor® who guaranteed he would sell the house and get her lender to take a short sale. Of course she realized that was an empty promise and was very thankful she called our team.

The moral? Need the truth and a big “Mom” hug – give me a call, you’ll be glad you did as we’ll get to work to get you back to better times ASAP.


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What’s Your Plan B?

I just got off the phone with someone who has an adjustable rate mortgage (aka “Nasty ARM”). They are currently trying to refinance their mortgage to a fixed rate loan.

So why did they call me? Because they want to have a Plan B in case their refinance doesn’t work out (most don’t because houses aren’t appraising high enough since Michigan prices continue to go down). By calling me when they were only a few weeks behind on their mortgage payment, together we were able to lay out a plan for the future. If for some reason they’re unable to get refinanced, they don’t have to panic as they now know what their next steps should be.


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Ready To Sell But Think You Can’t In Today’s Market?

This week Emily “Mom” took some well deserved time off. While I was taking calls for her, I talked to two ladies who were behind on their payments and realized they simply couldn’t afford their houses anymore. One was retired on a fixed income and the other had lost her job. They both had accepted the fact that they had to sell their houses and get out from under the debt burden and stress.

Now, they were facing the daunting task of selling their houses in today’s market. One was trying to do it by herself without any buyers after months on the market (this is normal – FSBOs simply is a bad idea in a buyer’s market). The other figured no one could help her and wasn’t even trying. Lucky for her she found us!

What I told them is the same thing I would tell anyone. Get your house listed with a Realtor® who knows how to sell houses in today’s market. When that Realtor is on our team, you get the added benefit of our ability to negotiate with the lenders to take less than what is owed on the house so it can actually sell.

Once you make these tough decisions, then just step aside and let us and our Realtor® do our jobs. Here is some great advice written by one of our key Realtors. Click Here

Give us a call and let us go to work on your case (never a fee of course).


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“They’re writing off almost $86,000 off what we owed…”

It’s a total thrill to be sitting at a closing table with a family who’s had a major financial hardship and to show them that our team managed to make $86,000 of debt completely disappear. This is a normal occurrence for us and we were fortunate enough to catch this one on audio for you.

Just click the play button below.



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I Don’t Want To End Up Homeless

I hear this all of the time from families that I talk with and help who are facing foreclosure. It’s a valid fear based on the limited information that most people have about the foreclosure process and the options available to them. That’s of course one reason I contribute to this BLOG every week.

Let me just say this – that’s very unlikely.

First off, you’ve got friends and family as a last resort – almost all of us do.

Secondly, if you work with me, and we get started early enough, you’ll likely have months to save for an apartment or rental house.

Now I usually get “no one will rent to me because of my credit!” I’ve never had hard figures on this until now, but according to this article, 1 out of every 4 foreclosures in Kalamazoo are rentals. Why are they in foreclosure?  Because of vacancies.  With no rent coming in, the landlord can’t afford to pay their mortgage.   What does that me to you? It means there some very motivated landlords out there just waiting to rent to you because they have rentals sitting empty and they can’t afford to have them sit empty! I suspect that the numbers are very similar throughout Michigan based on the people I’ve talked to.

Work with me, stay in your house until it sells, save that money and you won’t have any problem finding someone willing to rent to you. You’ve had a financial hardship in your life – it happens. That same article talks about the 66% increase in foreclosures compared to last year. You’re not alone. Let me help you take control and get you back to better times.

Call me – I’m hear to help!


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Time To See The Doctor?

I know that facing foreclosure is a very personal issue (regardless of where you are in Michigan) and I understand why someone would want to keep their problems private. On the other hand, I can’t help you if I don’t know what’s going on. You wouldn’t go to the doctor and ask them to cure your aliment but not tell him what the symptoms are, would you?

You also wouldn’t send someone else to see the doctor for you, would you? Like your Mom or a friend?

Remember, I’ve been in your shoes, I understand the frustration you’re feeling and I’m here to help you (and I need to talk to you). And as always, everything we discuss will remain 100% confidential.


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