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

Don’t wait for the Calvary…

… it probably won’t be coming.

I talked to a gentleman recently who was at the end of his redemption period and still trying to save his house.  At this point he hadn’t made a payment in over 9 months.  He asked “isn’t there some new federal programs or something that can help stop the foreclosure?”  While new legislation was signed last month to help more homeowners, for most people it won’t be the rescue they were expecting.

This story is the best I have seen that tells the truth about this new legislation – it helps very few families, and even the people it helps now, it may not be a long term answer.

With Michigan foreclosures still on the climb, you best bet is to realize the Calvary is not coming in the last hour to save you.  The sooner you take action, the more options you have.  Sadly for the gentleman at the end of his redemption, he has no choice but to move.  Time has run out on him.  There’s not even enough time to try a short sale.

Has time run out on you as you do nothing and wait for the Calvary?   I hope not.  Call Emily (aka Mom) now and find out what you still have time to do and if we can help you.


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The Bodyguard

16 years after its release, I finally watched The Bodyguard.  What a great movie.  As I was watching it, I thought to myself, “Wow, we’re a lot like Frank Farmer”.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, Frank is the bodyguard played by Kevin Costner. Since all of us here at the office are lacking on our secret agent skills, you’re probably wondering how we resemble a bodyguard.  Well, it’s pretty simple. We, like Frank Farmer, can’t help those who don’t want to be helped.  Until Rachel Marron (Whitney Houston) realized that she needed help, and was willing to do what was needed to protect her, her bodyguard was unable to assist to his full capability.

One of my favorite lines from this movie is:

Rachel: Well, you don’t look like a bodyguard.
Frank: What’d you expect?
Rachel: Well, I don’t know, maybe a tough guy?
Frank: This is my disguise.

So we may not look like you expect, but we’re here and we want to help you – as long as you  are willing to do your part to help stop your Michigan Foreclosure.  Unless we have good teamwork, we won’t be able to help you at our full extent.


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Take a deep breath…..

Feeling trapped is not a good feeling. When people feel trapped they sometimes make hasty decisions to get out of their situation that they may regret later. This is especially dangerous in a Michigan foreclosure situation. I know because I talk to families in this situation every day.

Your good credit is at stake, most of the time due to things beyond your control like losing a job, poor health or a family emergency. It can happen so quickly, and your brain scrambles to find a solution.

Take a deep breath. You can handle this, with some help. It’s not the end of the world (even though it may feel like it). Call me today; see if I can help you. I help people every day that are in the same situation as you are – and of course, there’s never a fee.


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How Your Payments Can More Than Double

Yesterday I talked to a Parchment Michigan (just north of Kalamazoo) homeowner who’s payment almost doubled within a few months. Here’s how that can happen (and it may happen to you).

1) Lender losses insurance information and thinks there’s no insurance on the house.
2) Insurance agent sends proof of insurnace, but never follows-up to be sure lender got it.
3) Lender puts a $1000/yr policy on the house, and charges the home owner (double what they usually pay).
4) Lender then forces the creation of an escrow account, and expects the owners to fund it (with about $2500); plus they want the $1,000 for the policy they just bought.
5) $210 Escrow is added to payment (to pay future taxes and insurance)
6) $290 Escrow shortage “make-up” is added to payment (to pay the $3500 from 3 & 4 above).
7) The mortgage is variable rate, so it goes up $200.

There you have it – $600 to $1,300 almost overnight, through no fault of this family.

Obviously, if you’re used to a $600 payment and it goes to $1,300, you’re not going to be able to keep up – neither could they. That’s why they’ve asked my team to come in to try to stop the foreclosure so they can sell their house. We’ll have to discount the debt first since they owe more than it’s worth, but hey, that’s what we do (call us the “Bank Bullies” if you have to). The end result will be to allow this family to start over and start rebuilding their credit, while getting them out from this ridiculous house payment. That’s what a short sale is all about.

Don’t think this is rare – I see it often.


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What’s It Really Worth?

Wow! That’s all I’ve got to say.

Yesterday I went met an appraiser at a house in Kalamazoo Michigan. The owners are trying to sell it. They owe $93,000. 2 years ago it appraised for $127,000.

What do you think the appraiser said it was worth yesterday? Same house, no major damage, no changes in the neighborhood?


Like I said – WOW!

How does that happen? When I tell people on the phone that refinance appraisals are ALWAYS incredibly over valued, I really mean it. This is a prime example. The bank wants to lend as much money as they can.

All is fine if the owners are planning on staying in the house a long time. But, when something happens and they can’t afford it any more, and want out, what happens? They can’t sell it and need a Short Sale to stop the foreclosure. Well, now our “Bank Bully” is working on discounting the debt from $93,000 to a point where it could be sold. This is what we do! Will the bank go for it? We’ll see.


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Owners Misjudge Home Value Trends

According to this article, things are actually much worse than most people think regarding the value of houses in the current Michigan real estate market. Unless your head’s been in the sand, you realize that house values in Michigan continue to decline. We all know that.

But human nature is a funny thing, isn’t it? We tend to think that it’s “everyone else’s” house, “not mine”. That’s one of the cool things about real estate – no two properties are the same, so it’s certainly possible that while 95% of the houses in Michigan have lost value over the last 3 to 4 hours, that yours is part of the 5% that hasn’t.

I know it’s tough to fight our nature, but unless you really are in that 5%, one of the first steps in solving a possible foreclosure situation is admitting to all of the realities for what’s going on. Both with your family’s finances, the hardship that’s caused you to get behind, and the real estate market.

Emily (aka “Mom”) can help you get your head around all that’s going on and help focus you on a plan to get you back to better time.


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A Real Circus!

Seems like I am talking about newspapers a lot these days about foreclosure in Michigan, but I know that is where most people get their news.  So, if you didn’t know it before, check out this story about how frustrating it can be to work with a lender on a house facing foreclosure.

Well, I don’t need to read it in the newspaper to believe it because we hear stories about how frustrated people get trying to work with their lender everyday.  It is tragic but true.   It also doesn’t surprise our team a bit because we go through the same hoop-jumping-circus every day.  We know how to deal with it and don’t let the emotion of the frustration sway us from our goal – getting you out of a nasty situation.


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Hearing Happy Clients Makes Me Smile!

Although I don’t go to the closings after successfully getting families out of their Michigan foreclosure, I do get to transcribe audio testimonials (here and here) from people that we have helped. As I’m listening to the audio and typing, I begin to realize that I have a smile on my face.

The sound of their voices, telling how happy they are, how relieved they are that they got help when they felt there was no help to be found, and how grateful they are for being treated with respect while going through a very tough chapter in their lives, really makes me happy for them.

If you are going through foreclosure, or think you may in the near future, I urge you to call us. We never ask for money from you, and we can “throw you a rope” when you feel like you’re drowning.

Listen to our (here and here), and give it some serious thought. You won’t be disappointed.


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