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

Government Bailout Programs, Update

Emily wrote a few weeks ago on the Government Bailout and since we know people are anxious for an update, I thought I would write on this again.  The update is that there is no update.  In fact, I am not the only one saying so, just check out this story.

The best advice is still what Emily said a few weeks ago: if you are behind on your house payments and facing a Michigan foreclosure, the best option is to act like the Government Bailout option isn’t an option because it isn’t, yet.

The Michigan foreclosure process can happen so fast that you don’t have time to wait for a nebulous program with an unknown implementation date.

Give our team a call.  We can discuss with you the options you *do* have today so you can have a more certain tomorrow.


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The “Experts” are Calling the Real Expert

I’m amazed with the number of calls I get from other real estate professionals asking for advice about foreclosures and short sales in Michigan.  I get calls from Realtors®, lenders, title companies and even attorneys.  Realtors® I can understand since I have a State of Michigan approved course to teach them how to negotiate short sales (

What really surprised me this week though was a call that I got from Dave a Waterland Homes, LLC (  Dave is a Realtor® that specializes in absolutely beautiful properties in Northern Michigan.  As it turns out, even this part of Michigan, with these kinds of properties aren’t immune to foreclosure or the need to negotiate short sales.

Like all Realtors® who don’t specialize in short sales, Dave was frustrated with the lack of progress he was making on a short sale he was personally negotiating.  After a few minutes of my coaching he was on his way to helping another distressed seller.

Someone’s got to teach the “experts”!


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Our Real Estate Attorney

Recently, I’ve (kind of) blasted attorneys. Most are so focused on protecting their interests first, it’s a joke.

I’ve been working with a Kalamazoo Real Estate Attorney that’s an exception. Down to earth, talks in English, and is solution oriented!

If you ever need one (regardless of where you are in Michigan) I’ll give you his number.

Anyway, I met with him yesterday to fine-tune some of our processes and to make sure we’re still doing everything we can to stop Michigan foreclosures.

Of course we’re attorneys, but we need to understand Michigan foreclosure law pretty well to be able to stop foreclosures (makes sense, eh?)

So, I invested a couple hours with him yesterday (at $100/hr !) so I can better serve our homeowners. An investment I’m always willing to make.


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How Does Bankruptcy Affect My Ability To Get A Loan?

“How Does Bankruptcy Affect My Ability To Get A Loan?”

This is a common question we get when people are facing a Michigan foreclosure and considering attempting a short sale.  Keep in mind that none of us are attorneys and you need to consult with one if you are considering filing bankruptcy.

The timing involved to get a new mortgage has many factors and no one can tell you exactly how long it will take because loan guidelines are constantly changing.  Here’s what my understand is, in order from bad to worse.

1) Chapter 7 Bankruptcy (BK-7), leave the house out, keep making payments on the house.
2) BK-7, put the house in, attempt to avoid the full foreclosure by selling via short sale*
3) BK-7, put the house in (this will still lead to a foreclosure)
4) BK-7, leave the house out (this will still lead to a foreclosure)

If you can’t afford to do #1, why not at least attempt #2?  It can’t hurt, and if #2 fails, by default you’ll be at #3.

Leaving the house out of the BK-7 means the lender will be able to come after you for the amount of money they lose on the house.  I don’t see why anyone would want to leave a house out of a BK-7 unless they intend to keep it long-term and you have some equity in it (that’s #1 above, which of course you need to be able to afford).  Most people can’t afford to keep the house and have no equity because of the rate at which values are declining in Michigan.

* A short sale is when the lender agrees to accept less than the full balance.  Of course this is our specialty which we do not charge for.


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Government Bailout

My phone is as busy as ever and it seems the most common question I’m hearing lately is “how does the government bailout help me”.  Well, here’s my answer: I don’t know, and honestly, it’s anybody’s guess at this point.

Here are things my team is fairly certain of:

  • Once you’ve been foreclosed on, since you don’t own the house any longer, there will be no options available to you to keep your house.  Of course a short sale will still be an option.
  • If this program is like the many that have been rolled out before, only a small percentage of homeowners will qualify.
  • I for one don’t make my financial decisions based on promises from the government as I really don’t want my financial future in their hands.

It’s going to take a while before we hear how this is going to impact homeowners.  Even though it seems like there should be enough money out there now to help every homeowner, there isn’t.  My best advice at this time is to act like that option isn’t even available yet, since it isn’t.

Of course when my team figures out exactly how the program will be implemented, we’ll be sharing that information with you right here on this BLOG.  If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to future posts so you can stay in the loop.


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$257k Disappears with 3 houses in 3 weeks

Within the last 3 weeks, we closed on three different houses and my team made $257,000 of debt disappear between all 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 three more!

Big Problem, Tenant Trashes House, Can’t Sell, Can’t Make Repairs.  Result? Sold, Closed (with Short Sale forgiving $99,000 of debt) within 2 months.  Listen to Carol’s Story (from Kalamazoo, Michigan) – it’s Amazing!

“In regards to our need of facing foreclosure, we were rescued by Joel Zieve and his staff to not only protect our family but also provide the greatest service in assisting us to settle a debt exceeding $75,000.00. Without [them], we would be in dire straits with nowhere to turn but face foreclosure. It is my sincere recommendation that if anyone faces a similar situation as our family, you would immediately contact Great Lakes Home Solutions. I am 100% confident you will feel as fortunate as our family is.” William and Kristin, Hudsonville, Michigan

“In working with Great Lakes Home Solutions, I found the staff to be informative and helpful in my situation. During a difficult time, Great Lakes Home Solutions was able to sell my home and relieve me of an $83,000 debt. They were truly the avenue to an answered prayer.” Cynthia, Grand Rapids


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7 misconceptions (and truths) about attorneys, Realtors® and Mortgage Lenders

Learn the 7 misconceptions (and truths) about attorneys, Realtors® and Mortgage Lenders and how they relate to possible solutions (or not) to your Michigan Foreclosure. Watch this, take the time to think carefully before choosing one of these professionals.


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9 Things You Need To Know About Michigan Foreclosure But Were Never Told

“Fix It” Joel & I recently attended a conference for businesses like ours that help homeowners facing foreclosure. One of our brainstorming sessions was on what we wanted homeowners to know about foreclosure. Here is a list of things we came up with.

1. Work out Plans with the lender – can you afford to fail again or have you fixed the problem?

2. Bankruptcy – is always only a temporary solution.

3. Government Programs – are you willing to put your financial future in the hands of the government? It’s amazing all the press the politicians get for rolling out these “rescue” programs. But when it comes down to it, only 1 in 30 families we talk to are able to qualify for these programs!

4. Deed in lieu – don’t do the banks dirty work for them.

5. Deficiencies – learn the real truth behind the numbers, a short sale can minimize or eliminate this risk.

6. 1099 – a good tax preparer can be your answer (we can point you in the right direction).

7. Ability to buy a home again – the dream is not dead as long as you focus on solving your current problem today and let us help you get back to better times.

8. Getting professional help – not all Realtors® and attorneys are created equal.

9. The choice is yours, walk away today stuck in debt (full foreclosure on your credit) or starting fresh (after a short sale).

For more on any of these topics, visit our website and check out these topics:
Evaluate Options
Biggest Trips
Mistakes to Avoid

Or just call us – we want you to have the information to make good decisions!


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Whatever It Takes

I’ve always believed in going the extra mile for the homeowners that we work with facing foreclosure in Michigan.  But last week, I even think I went above the call of duty.

In our efforts to help someone we needed to take interior pictures of a vacant house. The only problem was the house was so infested with fleas that no one, including the Realtor®, wanted to enter the property. Against my better fashion sense, I donned a “bunny suit” (a full length, disposable coverall, complete with hood and booties) and headed inside with my camera.


We’re always here to help, and as we’ve show, we’ll go way beyond what anyone else will do to help you stop your Michigan foreclosure.


Editor’s Note (that would be Joel): Not only did she go above and beyond, this was for a case that we decide we could not take on (long story – but not because of the fleas). Plus she let me publish this picture! Click on the image for full size (and 100% entertainment!)

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