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You are currently browsing the Stop Michigan Foreclosure weblog archives for January, 2009.

We Help Realtors® Win Too

By now you know that one of the things we do is work with your bank to negotiate a discount (aka short sale) so your house can sell and you can get back better times as fast as possible (and also avoid a Michigan foreclosure).

There is a part of this equation that we don’t talk about much on this blog and that is the Realtor®.

Most Realtors® do not know how to successfully negotiate a short sale. They might think they do, but they don’t. We know because Joel has State-approved course that teaches them how to do it. Of course after only 3 hours of training, they’ve got far to go to become affective. They simply fall into the many traps that are out there for the inexperienced.

Did you know that we have 3 ways we work with a Realtors®?

If you have your house listed, have your Realtor give us a call to see how we can help. However, if the Realtor® has already messed things up with the bank, we won’t take your case on so the sooner we talk to him/her the better.

Here is a testimonial we received from a Realtor® after a recent closing. I thought it was important for you to know that the Realtor® wins in their interactions with us just like you do.

“I had very limited success with short sales and had decided not to list them anymore. Then some of my friends found themselves in a foreclosure situation. They were despondent and ready to give up, so I reluctantly agreed to list their home. After several months of getting nowhere with the bank, I hooked up with Great Lakes Home Solutions.

Within days they had negotiated terms with the first and second mortgage banks and had a green light to sell the home at a very reasonable price. I ended up bringing the buyer in and we closed within one month of sending my buyer’s offer to them.

Free of the home that they could not afford, and with a statement showing zero debt owed to the bank, the sellers have gone from depressed to excited about the future.

Everyone on the team is very professional and they show genuine concern for the people they work with. They are a true pleasure to deal with and have filled a gap in my real estate career by enabling me to deal effectively with short sale clients. I now look forward to short sale listings!”

Curt Hausser, Appleland Realty


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“I Actually Have Equity!”

Last week I was talking with a seller who was facing a Michigan foreclosure about his options. His situation was a lot different from 99% of the families I as he has a bit of equity in his home. Trust me, in Michigan, this hardly ever is the case.

He currently has it listed with a Realtor® for almost $50,000 more than he owes on it. As his foreclosure date gets closer and closer, he wasn’t sure what to do.

My suggestion to him was to lower his price drastically (he’s had almost no showings). I figured it was better that he only receive five or ten thousand dollars out of his equity than give it all to the bank in a foreclosure.  Wouldn’t you agree?

As we were finishing up the conversation, he asked me “so what are you trying to sell me”. I simply replied that I wasn’t here to sell him anything and that my job is to help him figure out what’s best for his situation. He thanked me for my time and said it was refreshing to talk with someone who was interested in helping him.

I don’t tell you this to pat myself on the back. Only to remind you that I’m here to help you with your specific situation. There’s not a one size fits all solution that I can type up and leave for you to read. If you want to know what’s going to be best for you, give me a call because I need to have a “real live” conversation with you, get your details, discover your needs and wants, and come up with a solution with you. Contact me today.


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My First Blog

Since this is the first blog I’m writing, I thought I’d just take a second to introduce myself and talk a little bit about my first impressions of my new team. I’ve been negotiating short sales since 2006, so I guess you might say I feel like I’ve seen/heard it all. I just recently joined the Great Lakes team, and I’m really excited about the vision the team possesses and the potential I see in the company.

I can definitely see a genuine concern and regard for the clients with whom we are currently working and the associates with whom we come into contact. I’ve seen people from many walks of life in many different situations throughout the last few years, and I can assure you that, as a client facing a Michigan foreclosure, you will be informed, your information kept confidential, and above all, that you will be respected. We’ll always be doing our best to get you back to better times as fast as possible.  Click on my name below and check out my short video introduction.


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Having a Hard Time Modifying Your Mortgage?

At first glance, modifying your current mortgage seems like a quick and easy fix for your current financial problems and avoiding a Michigan foreclosure. Unfortunately, as you can read in this article it’s not as easy as you would think.

There are a number of factors that play into modifying your mortgage. The number one show-stopper that I hear from homeowners who have tried a loan modification and have turned down is their lack of income. While it may seem that more and more mortgage companies are willing to modify mortgages, they’re still not going to help you out if you don’t have sufficient income.  Plus, as previously reported, nearly six out of ten troubled borrowers who are able to negotiate loan modifications re-default after eight months.

If you can’t make your mortgage payments and feel like there is no way out of your situation, call me immediately. You do have a choice.


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A New Year

This time of the year, the media is focused on looking back at the old year and speculating on the year ahead. For many people in Michigan, 2008 was a time of hardship with high unemployment, falling house values, foreclosures, car industry troubles in Detroit and yo-yoing gas prices (and we won’t even talk about the Detroit Lions!). As we start 2009, none of these problems seem to be going away anytime soon.

Another thing that has not changed with the start of the New Year is our 4 promises to you:

* We will never ask you for money.
* We will never put you in a situation that is worse than you are currently in.
* We will always keep all of your information 100% confidential.
* We will always work harder than anybody, doing whatever we can, to permanently stop your foreclosure situation.

Whether you are experiencing a hardship already or anticipating one that will prevent you from making your house payment, the sooner you ask for help, the more options you will have. We don’t want you to add to the list of Michigan foreclosures.  Give us a call and talk to Emily (“Mom”) about your situation. Remember. Time is your worst enemy. Call Emily today.


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Introducing Melissa

We have a new team member that we are excited to introduce to you! Melissa “Bank Bully” Arp. You’ve probably noticed that we added her to our team photo a couple weeks ago.

Why do most short sales fail? One of the main reasons is lack of persistent, consistent follow up with your lender. This is where Melissa excels. Melissa joins our team with over two years experience negotiating short sales and is a great complement to Joel (our “Closer” and “Fix It” guy).

With this one-two punch, lenders won’t have a chance, and your chance of a successful short sale will go up dramatically.

Meet Melissa and learn more about what she brings to our team by watching this video.

Stay tuned to her “insider’s insight” she’ll be sharing in future BLOG entries.


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Do You Have A Plan B?

So you are behind on your house payments and think you have it handled. That’s great!

What is your plan B?

We talk to lots of people every week who thought they had it handled, until the lender denied their workout or Mom & Dad didn’t come through with all the money they promised to loan to them, or the settlement got delayed by months.

Life happens. That’s why you need a plan B.

If you are facing a Michigan foreclosure, you don’t have a lot of time to feel sorry for yourself, depressed, angry, and distracted by all that has gone ‘wrong’ in your life.

I once read an article by Dan Kennedy, a very successful marketing consultant.  His philosophy for life is “Expect the best, insure against the worst (by having a plan B), respond creatively to everything in between.”

We are many people’s plan B. If you can’t keep the house, your next best option, heck your only option, may be to get out from under it by selling it. That is where we can help. Even if you owe more than it is worth, we can help.  That’s what short sales are all about – and we’re simply the best there is in Michigan.

Give us a call and let us help you with plan B today.


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FHA Hope For Homeowners Program

Here’s one of those good news/bad news things for you today.

Since 10/1/08, homeowners in a danger of facing a foreclosure have had a new option call “H4H” (Hope For Homeowners).  In a nutshell, FHA government-backed loans loans were made available to families facing foreclosure.

Recently, FHA expanded this program to make even more families eligible.  That’s the good news!

The bad news is, well, you’re in Michigan.  One of the strict criteria of refinancing into this program has to do with the value of your house compared to the debt.  When you refinance, there needs to be some equity there.  That means that the appraised value is going to need to be about 6% more than what you owe on the house.

For example, if you owe $150,000, it needs to appraise for about $159,000.  Why?  FHA wants 3.5% equity after the refinance, plus you’ll need the remaining (about 2.5%) amount to cover the costs of the refinance.

Why is this bad news for most families in Michigan?  Why will most homeowners facing a Michigan foreclosure be unable to qualify for this program? Because most houses have decreased in value substantially over the last 3-5 years.  So if you owe $150,000, and purchased or refinanced within the last 5 years, the chances of getting that $159,000 appraisal are pretty small.

I don’t like to be the bearer of bad news.  If you’ve talked to me, you know I like to keep you focused on the positive future that’s ahead of you.  But you need to understand that putting your time and energy into a program that’s unlikely to work is not good for you.  It can lead to tearing your family apart!  You need to focus on solutions that have the best chance of success.  And of course, I can help you with that (never a fee) – but, you need to call me.


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