Wednesday, April 18, 2012


This is the fourth in a series to help homeowners facing default.  Many homeowners don’t realize that there are options available to them other than losing their home to their lender through foreclosure.  If you have missed the previous posts, please go back and check them out.

Many of you will say, “If I’m this far underwater, why not just walk away and be done with it? The bank is going to take it anyway.”  While this may sound like a plausible argument there are many reasons why that is not the best alternative.

I could go into a lot of detail as to the difference in the effect on your credit depending on the type of loan that you have but I’m going to spare you the pain.  The bottom line is that your credit takes much less of a hit with a short sale vs. a foreclosure.  With a foreclosure your credit score may be lowered 200 – 300 points, while with a short sale the report to the credit bureaus in most cases states that the loan is “paid as negotiated” or “paid in full, settled.”  Also keep in mind that the foreclosure can remain on your credit report for 7 years or more. That’s a long time to have to answer for just walking away.

Two other important consequences of a foreclosure that most people don’t consider is the potential loss their current employment and having to pay the bank even though the bank took the home.  If you have a job that requires any type of security clearance or are employed in some type of a sensitive position, possibly handling money for instance, your job may be in jeopardy.  Employers have the right and are actively checking the credit regularly of all employees who are in these sensitive positions.  A foreclosure in many cases is ground for immediate reassignment or termination.  In addition, future job employment may be affected since employers require background and credit checks on all applicants.

In 100% of foreclosures (except in those states where there is no deficiency) the bank has the right to pursue a deficiency judgment against you for the difference between the proceeds from the sale of the property and the amount that was owed on the property.  In many successful short sales it is possible to convince the lender to give up their right to pursue a deficiency judgment against the homeowner.  If the bank does not grant the waiver of deficiency judgment, homes that are sold as a short sale typically sell for a higher price than those that sell as an REO and therefore that deficiency would be much less. In a foreclosure all bets are off.  The lender can come back to you for the difference in what they were able to sell the property for and the amount that you owed.

Another consideration with trying to do a short sale versus letting the bank just take it back is pride.  If you’re having a difficult time paying your mortgage no doubt your other bills are affected and friends and family may know that you are struggling.  But what about the neighbors?  Do they know your situation?  Wouldn’t you rather sell your home, than for everyone to know that you lost your home when the bank foreclosed?

If you are having a difficult time paying your mortgage or facing foreclosure check out my resource website at or contact me to check out your options.  No one should lose their home to foreclosure; there are too many options available.

Next: Do I Qualify For a Short Sale?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


This is the third in a series to help homeowners facing default.  Many homeowners don’t realize that there are options available to them other than losing their home to their lender through foreclosure.  If you have missed the previous posts, please go back and check them out.


If you are like most people, the first question on your mind once you know you have missed your first mortgage payment is “How soon until the sheriff comes to kick us out of our home?” Well, let me reassure you that it won’t be any time soon. 

Every state is different but in Indiana we are what is termed a “judicial foreclosure” state.  This means that the lender has to go to court and get a judgment that allows them to take back the property.  You can see from the timeline above that the mortgage is considered in default when the borrower is 16 days past due on their payment.  Usually at this point the lender will call you requesting that you make a payment if you plan to stay in the home.  If the lender hasn’t called, give them a call, explain your situation and talk to them about your options.

The timeline lays out the time frame of the process from the first missed payment to the Sheriff’s Sale. One thing to keep in mind is that the time frame is the earliest date at which these things can occur.  They can occur much later.  But don’t use that as your plan.  We’ve all heard of people being in their home for one, two, even three years before the sheriff kicks them out but don’t plan on that.  Talk to your lender, talk to a CDPE agent and talk to a real estate attorney to find out your options. 

You do have options available to you!

Next: Why Not Just Walk Away?

Thursday, March 29, 2012


If you are a home owner who is finding it more and more difficult to pay their monthly mortgage you may have come to the realization that foreclosure is going to happen sometime in the near future.  Maybe you are even one of those homeowners who have already missed one or more mortgage payments.  Either way, you may not realize it, but now is the time for you to spring into action to protect your and your family’s future.

Missing a mortgage payment or two does not have to mean that you are going to be kicked out of your home and that you will be out on the streets before you know it.  You have options!

Depending on your specific set of circumstances, there could be a wide variety of options available to you to help you deal with your situation.

Contrary to popular belief, lenders don’t want to take your home.  Banks and mortgage companies are in the business to loan money, they are not in the business to own and manage homes. So what should you do?  Get the lender on the phone, ask them what options you have and then evaluate those options.  You will most likely need the expertise of a CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert) agent to help you out.  Your attorney and tax preparer can also give you good advice as to how the different options will affect your and your family’s future.

Here are some of the options that the lender might suggest:

Homeowner requests the total amount owed to bring mortgage payments current and pays it.
Forbearance or Re-payment plan
Homeowner negotiates with the mortgage company to allow them to repay back payments over a period of time.
Sell the Property
Homeowner with sufficient equity lists their property with a qualified agent that understands the foreclosure process in their area.
Rent the Property
Homeowner with a mortgage payment low enough that market rent will allow it to be paid converts their property to a rental.
Mortgage / Loan Modification
Homeowner negotiates with lender to modify the interest on the loan, the principal balance, or any combination of these, resulting in a lower payment.
Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA)
Homeowner qualifies for HAFA and is offered pre-approved short sale terms and cash incentives for relocation assistance.
Short Refi
Homeowner negotiates with lender to refinance a mortgage for less than what is owed on the property.
Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure
Homeowner returns the property to the lender rather than go through the foreclosure process.
Deed for Lease
Homeowner returns the property that is FHA-insured back to the lender and leases the property for a twelve month period.
Homeowner with significant equity in his/her property and good credit standing refinances their mortgage.
Homeowner with significant non-mortgage debt who is unable to pay these debts or his/her mortgage payment files for bankruptcy which liquidates assets and/or reorganizes debt to pay back creditors.
Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA 303)
A member of the military who is experiencing financial distress due to deployment (and can prove entered into debt before employment) qualifies for temporary relief under this act.
Homeowners Assistance Program
A member of the military or federal employee qualifies for this program which has a variety of assistance programs including private sales, government purchase, and/or foreclosure assistance.
Short Sale
Homeowner has a financial hardship and qualifies for a sales

As a CDPE, I am uniquely qualified to help you work through this maze and help clarify the options that are available to you.  Regardless of the option that you choose, you need to act quickly! 

Get the lender on the phone, see what options are available to you.  If you qualify for a short sale, then don’t wait another day.  Contact me and let’s get started towards getting back on track for a better future.

For more information on each of these options please visit my website at and click on Foreclosure Solutions.

Next: How Much Time Do I Have?

Saturday, March 24, 2012


This is the first in a series to help homeowners facing default.  Many homeowners don’t realize that there are options available to them other than losing their home to their lender through foreclosure


When you miss a mortgage payment you are considered to be in default.  Some times your lender will contact you to see about the missing payment, many times they don’t.  As a general rule, lenders will not contact you until after at least 30 days have passed since many defaults get rectified within those first 30 days.  If your lender calls, talk to them, if they don’t call, you call them.  Either way, get them on the phone and  talk to them!   Explain to them why you have missed your mortgage payment, if you are going to be able to continue paying your mortgage or not, and if you would like to stay in your home.  Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to talk to them, they do have solutions to help you.

If you miss one payment the lender’s first solution is going to be to take that missed payment and spread it out over a few months (most likely three) to get you back on track.  If that would work for you and you can handle those extra bucks for the next three months then go for it.   But if you know that this situation is toxic and that you are not going to be able to continue to make your original payments once the shortfall has been made up, then it’s time to start thinking about your options.

Find out from your lender what options you have available and then talk to a professional to help you evaluate those options.

Next in the Series: They Are Not the Enemy!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

It's a Sign of the Times....But It Doesn't Have to Be!

Most of us grew up thinking that if we planned well and played by the rules, we’d never have to stand by as our financial lives unraveled. 

But upheaval on Wall Street, unacceptable rates of unemployment and plummeting real estate values have taken their toll.  Since 2007, 7.9 million homeowners have lost their homes to foreclosure. Current estimates are that one in four homeowners owe more on their mortgages than they could get from the sale of their home. Millions more homes will be lost to foreclosure before this real estate crisis runs its course.

The sad fact is that foreclosure is not an isolated event. For months leading up to the loss of a home, financially strapped homeowners live under a cloud of uncertainty.  And then for many years afterwards, the blow to credit gets in the way of buying another home or buying anything on credit. Foreclosure even complicates employment prospects.

The impact of foreclosure is huge and the sad fact is that it’s often avoidable.

As a real estate professional who has earned the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation, my mission is to provide financially strapped homeowners with options to foreclosure, ensure that they steer clear of scams, and help navigate them through the solution that best meets their needs.

Among the most important facts to keep in mind: the sooner help is sought, the better the options.

These are tough times, but more help is available than ever before. If you or someone you care about is ready to navigate away from the dark cloud of an unmanageable mortgage and realize that hope and blue skies are within reach, contact me today and let’s get started.