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

I Can Play Santa Too

It’s Christmas Eve, and yes, I’m working as I write this. Some would think working on Christmas Eve would be horrible. I completely disagree. I just had the joy of calling not one, but two different families, to tell them that we’re stopping their Michigan foreclosure and moving towards closing on their house! What wonderful calls to make on Christmas Eve!! I could hear the joy and relief in their voices and at that moment I knew, they were certainly going to enjoy their Holiday. If you find yourself facing a Michigan Foreclosure, give me a call – you’ll be thrilled that you did. I’d be glad to discuss your options with you and who knows, I’ll probably be calling YOU to tell you that we’ve stopped your Michigan foreclosure!


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Blizzard vs. Michigan Foreclosure

We heard “The Blizzard of December 2009” was coming for days. It was the top news story for several days. Family members who lived in other states would call up and say “The blizzard is coming, better stock up on bread and milk”. Schools and businesses prepared to be closed.

Then it hit. And while we did get a lot of snow (10” in my back yard), it really just seemed to be another snow storm to me. I never saw the “white outs”, or felt the 50mph winds. Maybe I was lucky, or maybe they just weren’t there.

As I was shoveling the snow this morning, it reminded me of how we often anticipate the worse in life and it never really is as bad as we expected. Maybe it is because we were prepared, our awareness heightened. Or maybe the thing we feared didn’t warrant the fear and energy we spent on it. How cool it would be if the unknown was known so we could deal with it and go on with our life. For example, if the weatherman had said “it’s going to start snowing about 3pm on Wed and pretty much snow on and off through early Friday morning. However the road crews will keep up with it and if you drive between these hours, roads will be empty & clear and the visibility will be reduced but not horrible. Basically, it will be just another Michigan snow storm”. That doesn’t sound so scary, does it?

Facing a Michigan Foreclosure can be the same way. People give you advice based on what they have heard or seen other people go through. The media talks about it constantly making it sound ominous. You don’t know what will happen, you don’t know how to prepare or lessen the blow. You spend sleepless hours worrying about what to do.

Stop spinning your tires and give us a call. We have been studying this “storm” and dealing with it for years. We can show you a path to sunnier days. We can answer your questions and make the unknown, known. We have knowledgeable staff that will give you advice based on fact and experience, not heresy. We will help you weather the storm and get back to better days.


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2 More Houses – Another $170,000 of Debt Wiped Out

Last week, we closed on two different houses and my team made $170,000 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. And here’s two more!

“My hardship started the summer of 2008. Unfortunately I went through a divorce and lost my job. My husband had left me the house and all bills. I owed $146,000 on the house. I made payments until I couldn’t anymore. Great Lakes Home Solutions stepped in and helped me out greatly. Their staff is wonderful and they bought the house and saved me from owing my lender $117,000.”

M. Rose…, Rockford, Michigan

“We were living paycheck-to-paycheck and I was working 70 hours a week. Then I took a pay-cut and lost my second job. Great Lakes negotiated a short sale and effectively wiped out $53,000 of our debt. Throughout the course of this process, everyone at Great Lakes was sensitive to our needs and supportive. The communication was clear and concise. We truly appreciate all of their efforts and recommend their services.”

Matt and R, Sparta, Michigan


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Foreclosure is Not Inevitable

I was having lunch with a group of people 5 or 6 years ago and someone mentioned that their neighbor was losing their house to a Michigan foreclosure. A hush came over the group, a few people gasped. People lowered their voices and said “Really?”. It was almost like someone had announced that their neighbor murdered their family and buried them in the back yard. You see, back then foreclosure was not common place and people were shocked by the mention of it.

Today, foreclosure is unfortunately an everyday occurrence (especially in Michigan). We hear almost daily mention of it either in the media or because we know someone going through foreclosures. When we are exposed to the constant evidence that foreclosure is reality in Michigan, we begin to accept is as inevitable and think there is nothing we can do to stop it. However, it is not inevitable and there are things people can do to prevent their lives from being turned upside down by a Michigan foreclosure.

People who are behind on their house payments and facing a Michigan Foreclosure do have options. A great option is to call us and discuss those options. We have helped hundreds of families get back to better times. In fact, when we hear of a foreclosure situation, we don’t think it is inevitable, we create solutions to help these families.. If you or someone you know is facing a Michigan Foreclosure, give us a call today and let us help them.


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Foreclosure Affects All of Us – You Can Help

I was reading this article titled “325,917 more Foreclosures Expected in Michigan by 2012” that would indicate the foreclosure crisis in Michigan is far from over. There were some amazing statistics given in the article for the number of foreclosures. What especially stood out to me is the article points out that it is not just the families losing their houses to a Michigan foreclosure who suffer, it is anyone who owns a house near a foreclosed property that also suffers loss of value in their house as foreclosed houses drive the market price down.

Articles like this are helpful I think to remind us that foreclosure is not just the problem of the family in foreclosure. Probably all of us living in Michigan have been touched by foreclosure either directly or indirectly because if we are not in foreclosure, someone who lives near us is. There are things you can do to get out from under the burden that a house facing a Michigan foreclosure can cause on a family. There are things you can help family, friends and neighbors do.

Working together, we can change this reality in Michigan. Tell everyone you know facing a Michigan foreclosure that they do have options. Have them call us to discuss those options. We are trained professionals who have been working with distressed families since 2002. We can get the distressed family back to better times, which will mean better times for all of us.


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The ARM of Sorrow

Over the last few years, many families (including mine) financed their houses with an adjustable rate mortgage or as I like to call it, the ARM of Sorrow (okay… I just made that up.) If you fall into this category, people may ask you why you would take on a mortgage you might not be able to afford after the interest rate increased. There are a few reasons you might have done this. The main reason is that you were probably under the impression (influenced by your lender) that you could refinance at a lower rate before your ARM adjusted. At the time you purchased the house, you might not have qualified for a conventional, low interest mortgage for several reasons (one being less than perfect credit, which may improve over time.) Then the time comes to refinance your mortgage – and you can’t! Why? There are many reasons:

1. Your house is no longer worth what you owe on it. You bought the house for $150,000 in 2005, and now it is only worth $125,000. There is no longer enough equity to get a loan for $150,000 – but of course, you still owe that much.
2. Your house is no longer worth what you owe on it because you pulled out some equity that was once there, but isn’t anymore. For whatever reason (pay off other debts, buy a car at a low interest rate, make home improvements) you might have taken out an equity loan or line of credit on the house. If you bought the house for $150,000 and took out a $20,000 equity loan, this brings the total amount owed up to $170,000. If the house is worth less than $170,000 (which is likely due to the rampant decline in property values) no bank will refinance it..
3. You no longer make as much as you used to. Unemployment rates across Michigan (and many other states) are astronomical, and there’s a chance that it’s affecting your line of work. You may have had your hours reduced, taken a pay cut, or have lost your job altogether. Because of this, there’s a good chance that the banks do not like the amount of debt you have in relation to how much money you make (called “debt to income ratio”), and will not refinance your mortgage.
4. Life happened. Maybe you had an illness or death in your family. Maybe your car was involved in an accident, and you had to get a new one in order to get to work. Maybe there was an urgent and major repair that needed to be done to the house. Sometimes, no amount of scrimping and saving can get you back on track.
5. You didn’t know the facts. Maybe you, like many of our sellers, weren’t completely informed about what was going to happen. Many of our sellers didn’t know just how high their interest rates were going to skyrocket once their ARMs adjusted. Increasing a $150,000 mortgage from 6% to 11% adds an additional $530 a month to a house payment!

If you are one of the many people who are facing a Michigan foreclosure because of an “ARM of Sorrow” and have realized that you can no longer keep the house, give Emily a call at 269-685-5921. We can help you out. We take a very complicated task – getting your bank to accept less money than you owe – and we make it very simple for you. Of course, it’s still hard on us, but that’s our job… and we’re good at it!


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Like Father, Like Son

We recently helped Tony who was facing a Michigan Foreclosure. Tony had lost his job and moved out of Michigan to find work. He couldn’t afford two house payments and soon got behind on his Michigan house. His house had already gone to foreclosure auction when we got involved. And while we can’t help everyone whose house has already gone to foreclosure auction, we can help some people and Tony was one of them. We were able to get Tony’s lender to accept a discount on what was owed (a short sale), wiping out almost $75,000 of debt so the house could sell in this depressed Michigan market.

As Joel was sitting at closing with Tony, amid thanking Joel profusely for all we had done for him, Tony asked if we could help his son who was struggling with massive debt and a loss of income. So we got in touch with Tony’s son John, and sure enough, he was facing a Michigan Foreclosure too. We are currently working with John and so far, we have been successful at getting the bank to postpone his foreclosure auction for 2 months while they review the offer we have presented to them.

I know that every parent wants their kids to follow in their footsteps to some extent. However, few parents want their kids to follow them into foreclosure or go down that road alone. That’s why we are here. Turn to us for help when you find yourself heading down the path to a Michigan foreclosure. Or tell a loved one to call us like Tony told John. We promise we will never ask them for any money, we will work harder than anyone to solve their Michigan foreclosure situation, we will keep everything confidential and we will not put them in a worse situation. Call Emily today and find out how your family can have a brighter tomorrow.


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Scavenger Hunt vs. Michigan Foreclosure

I just had a young girl come to my door who was on a Scavenger hunt.  The conversation went like this.

Kid: Do you have any pumpkin seeds.

Me: No, sorry.

Kid: How about some nail polish

Me: Sorry, don’t have that either.

Kid: That’s ok, as she runs towards the neighbor’s house, thinking only of the prize she can win if she finds all the things on her list.

Now imagine if the conversation had gone like this:

Kid: Do you have any pumpkin seeds.

Me: No, but I have some used motor oil, you can have that.

Kid: No thanks.  How about some nail polish

Me: Fill out this 5 page form and I’ll check with management and get back to you in 4-6    wks.

Kid: You are a nut case, as she runs to the neighbor’s house to talk to someone sane.

The second scenario is ridiculous, but that is how it feels when you are facing a Michigan Foreclosure and trying to get the bank to work something out with you.

Borrower: I would like to do a loan modification

Lender: Pay us an extra $2,000 this month and we’ll let you continue to make the payments that are too high for you already.

Borrower: No thanks.  How about a Repayment plan

Lender: Fill out this 5 page form and I’ll check with management and get back to you in 4-6 wks.

Borrower: You are a nut case (feeling like there is nowhere to run)

However, there is someone to run to. Us!  We can review your options and help you decide what the best course of action is for you.  If the only option is to sell the house, we may be able to negotiate with your lender to take a discount on what is owed so the house can sell and you can get out from under the burden or stress of a Michigan foreclosure.  We promise we will help you move toward the prize of getting your family back to better times and not put you in a worse position.  Give us a call today!


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