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Stop Waiting To Stop Your Michigan Foreclosure!

I just received a call from someone who realized that they need our help. She lost her job and was feeling so overwhelmed, that she didn’t want to address any of her financial issues. The only problem: once she did start to address her problem, it was too late. She said she’s known in the back of her mind that she’s needed a short sale but was just so overwhelmed, she didn’t even know where to start. Now that she’s realized that a short sale is her best and only option, it’s too late for us to help her.

Why? Foreclosures are very time sensitive. Once the lender refers the matter to an attorney to start the foreclosure, there is a legal process they must go through. However, unlike many states, the process before the foreclosures auction is relatively quick in Michigan taking weeks instead of months like some states. While we can still help you after the foreclosures auction (another relatively unique feature of a Michigan foreclosures) that time period is also dictated by law and goes incredibly fast considering everything that has to happen (contact lenders, get house listed with a REALTOR®, find a buyer, waiting for an answer from the bank, etc.). Although they vary from case to case, every minute wasted is a minute that we could have been helping you stop your Michigan foreclosure.

If you’re trying to sort out your options, please give me a call. It’s never too early to call me; I’m glad to help and to also explain your timeline to you as well as options and resources to help you make a good decision about the best plan for you. Please don’t wait to give me a call – it just may be too late if you do!


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A Negotiator’s New Year’s Resolutions

As 2009 came to an end and 2010 begins to roll in, many people are thinking back on the last 12 months and making new year’s resolutions – changes they’d like in make in the following year. While it’s always a good thing to be striving for self-improvement in any area of your life, often these resolutions are difficult to stick to, whether it be a goal to lose weight, eat healthier, or work harder for a promotion.

I like to think of the self-improvement goals I make as reaffirmations or renewals, instead of resolutions. Each year I strive to recommit to personal and professional goals – most of which are ongoing. For example, I may reaffirm my commitment to being a better friend, partner, employee, or to focus on improving my health and giving back to my community.

This year I’d like to share my professional reaffirmations. I’m recommitting to all of our sellers in foreclosure to do all I can – to exhaust all options – in helping them out of their situation. I’m recommitting to all of our REALTORS to do my part in keeping them informed and doing all I can to help each transaction go smoothly. In short, I’m reaffirming my commitment to you to help get you back to better times, whatever that may entail.

I’m looking forward to new challenges and opportunities in the next year, and I wish all of you a happy, safe, and fulfilling 2010.


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You Can’t Benefit from a Short Sale

I recently took a call from a seller who had their hours at work cut in half and wanted to do a short sale to prevent a foreclosure on their house. They met all of the criteria for us to do the short sale. As we were finishing our conversation, they told me that they wanted to sell the house to their brother, who was going to rent it back to them. Uh, oh. No can do. I told him that he can go ahead with the short sale, but could not sell it to a family member and reside in the house again. Benefiting from a short sale would be considered mortgage fraud. This is a federal crime and the FBI is all over things like this. He was shocked, and grateful that I had told him about this as he didn’t want to break any laws or end up in a federal prison.

They decided that the short sale was still their best option and that they would work with us to find a buyer for the house- who of course isn’t related to them.

If you’re facing difficult times and need help preventing a foreclosure on your home, give me a call. I’d be happy to discuss your options with you.


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Emily, Why Did You Tell The World About Your Foreclosure?

This is a follow up to a blog that I wrote before about a Michigan foreclosure that I went through several years ago. I had a family that we’re currently helping ask me this week “Why in the world would you put that out for everyone to read, it’s such a personal issue?”

Great question. The answer- I want other people to know that they’re not the only ones who are going through a Michigan foreclosure. As much as it is a personal matter, they don’t have to go through it alone. Most importantly, as I stated in the previous blog, I want people to know THERE ARE OPTIONS!

Yes, going through a Michigan foreclosure was not one of the shining moments in my life, but, I made it through it- AND YOU WILL TOO. Don’t do what I did and try to figure it out on your own. By the time I realized that I needed an expert’s advice it was too late. Fortunately, now I have a vast knowledge of the foreclosure process, and I’m here to share it with you. Don’t wait any longer – call or email me now.


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Patience of Saints

This week we got an email from “Jeff”. Our team was negotiating a short sale for Jeff when his financial situation changed for the better. He decided to attempt a loan modification with his lenders and cancel the short sale (despite the 6% success rate).

Jeff had been having some trouble getting through to someone who could help him or tell him anything definite about his options, so he decided to contact us in the hopes that we could help point in him the right direction.

I was able to quickly tell him which department to call and what to tell that department when he did call. After he’d tried the number I gave him, his email back to me read, “I don’t know how you guys can handle talking to banks day in and day out. I get so frustrated, mainly because I get absolutely nowhere when I call. And this was after you gave me the right number to call and told me exactly what to say! You guys must have the patience of saints…”

I’ve never thought of myself as particularly saintly, but I got to thinking about what he’d written. Many lenders are so huge and have so many departments that navigating through the maze of their phone system is difficult for me, and I’ve been doing this for three and a half years! I can’t even imagine what it must be like to have to figure that out as a first time caller.

If you find yourself needing a short sale and don’t have the patience of a saint, give us a call, and let us handle the navigation of your lender’s phone system…and the short sale for you.


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More Homeowners Fall Behind on Mortgages

“More Homeowners Fall Behind on Mortgages” was the headline of a recent Wall Street Journal article.  This article states that 1 in 7 owners are now behind in their mortgage. What I found most interesting in this article is the observation that the reason people are getting behind has changed.

According to the article, 2 years ago it was 1 in 14 homeowners that were behind in their mortgages. The main reason was the fallout from the loose lending practices during the housing boom when people were simply getting bad loans that they couldn’t afford long term. Now, the main reason for being delinquent on house payments is unemployment and loss of income.

Michigan continues to have the highest unemployment rate in the nation according to this New York Times article.  It is no coincidence, then, that Michigan continues to have one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation.

Of course, here in our office, we don’t need to read these articles and statistics to know they are true – we deal with this reality every day as we help families facing a Michigan Foreclosure. The number one reason people need our help is loss of income. However, we also help people who are behind on their mortgages for other reasons.

If you are behind on your mortgage because of loss of income or any other reason, give us a call and let us put our many years of expertise to work for you. You don’t have to become another statistic. Let us help you get back to better times – call us today.


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Why We Are Like The 80’s Cartoon Voltron

I would like you all to close your eyes while I take you on a magical journey. The year is 1985 – you’re 6 years old (probably not but just go with it). It’s Saturday morning and you’re all warm and cozy in your He-Man jammies. You have a giant bowl of sugar-laden cereal in front of you. Your sister is still sleeping, and the TV is all yours. Life is good. You flip on the tube and lo and behold, your favorite cartoon is on – Voltron!



“All right, Holly, what does this have to do with Short Sales?” you ask. Everything! For we, your trusty Great Lakes Home Solutions staff, fly robot lions and fight crime. Okay, not exactly, (except for maybe Joel – not sure what his plane looks like) but individually we have unique powers. Joel has super human problem solving powers. Ann has the uncanny ability to coordinate with REALTORS® on a daily basis. Emily has magical people powers. Melissa has top secret negotiation powers. And I have the most magical superpower of all – the power to process loads of boring paperwork without losing my mind. (Just kidding about it being the best superpower!) Now, all of these are great powers to have, and alone we are strong, but together is where we really shine! With our powers combined, we become GLHS-TRON, a giant, powerful, bank-crushing, people-helping, REALTOR®-organizing, phone-calling, paper-pushing, negotiation machine!

Okay, so maybe I’m stretching the truth a little bit, but the idea of it is true. Alone, we are skilled in different areas. Together, we get short sales done for families like yours. Do you have a hardship? Have you realized that you can no longer afford to keep the house? Do you want to avoid foreclosure? We can help. Give Emily a call at 269-685-5921. She’ll fly her lion jet right over and assess your situation.


p.s. From Joel – Holly is also the most creative of all of us (as you can tell from all of her Blogs!) – what an awesome addition she’s been to our team!

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New Year’s Resolution

Have you made your New Year’s Resolutions yet? Maybe this will be the year that you stick to your diet. Or maybe you will spend less time watching TV and more time doing things with the kids. Or maybe this will be the year that you will deal with a financial noose that is tightening around your neck from being behind on your Michigan mortgage payments.

Good news! We can help with the last one (but not the other – you’re on your own for those). If you are having a hard time making your mortgage payment, maybe it is time to get rid of the problem. How do I know what the problem is? I know what the problem is because it is always the same thing – the house has become too much for you. This can be a hard thing to realize because there is so much sentiment and emotion represented by a house – your house. And while it does provide you protection and warmth and a place to make memories, it is also the cause for a lot of stress when it costs more money to keep it then the budget will comfortably afford.

This can be a tough realization to reach because obviously, there was a time when the house was not a burden. Then a hardship hit – job loss, divorce, death of your spouse, any number of things can change and suddenly the house, which is most people’s biggest expense, becomes a huge weight on their shoulders.

Never fear! We are here to help. We can help move the weight of that burden of a house off your shoulders.

If your house has become a burden due to a financial hardship and you are facing a Michigan Foreclosure, give us a call. We specialize in getting families back to better times. And our New Year’s Resolution is to help even more Michigan families in 2010 than we did in 2009!

Happy Holidays from all of us to all of you!


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