Federal Government Looks to Spread Awareness of Refinancing Options – Press Release – Digital Journal

Federal Government Looks to Spread Awareness of Refinancing Options>PRWEB.COM NewswireChicago, IL PRWEB October 03, 2013The Federal Savings Bank is continuously informing current lien holders of various refinance opportunities. With refinance activity on the decline, the Federal Housing Finance Agency is doing all it can to spread awareness about the Home Affordable Refinance Program.However, theres more to the FHFAs awareness campaign than just spurring on mortgage activity. The government agency has said that too many Americans who are eligible to benefit from the program have not done so due to a lack of knowledge regarding HARP.”Theres a perception among some that youve got to be delinquent in order to have some government-sponsored program that can help you,” FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco told Bloomberg on September 23rd. “What we want to do is correct that misperception.”

via Federal Government Looks to Spread Awareness of Refinancing Options – Press Release – Digital Journal.

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Why a Short Sale Blog?

After earning my CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert) designation I was fired up. The landscape in my profession had changed drastically over the preceding 4 years. People were hurting…lots of them.

Our homes are one of the things we tend to take for granted and if there’s one thing this recession has taught us, it’s just how central a role our homes play in our lives.

Not knowing if you can continue to stay in your home, and being worried about where else you could live if you lost it, is a tremendously stressful ordeal to go through.  Add children to the mix, and it is pure misery.

The CDPE training showed me just how many options people had.  The problem was that no one wanted to own up to their situation.  When your security is shaken to the core, the appearance of stability affords you a comfort you are reluctant to give up, even if it is only the appearance and not the reality.

So, I started this blog with some definite standards…

  • Put all this great information from my training out there
  • Be unbiased and present ALL the options (not just Short Sales)
  • Allow people to access it in privacy without having to sign up
  • Be current
  • Give links to helpful sites
  • Alert readers to potential pitfalls

The blog has helped me too.  After months of wading through the morass of a tortured real estate market this blog gave me an outlet to do something positive. Being able to make a difference, even if I don’t know the person I helped, was such a relief

Things are improving, gradually.  First with the Robo Signing settlement, then the refinement and improvement of some government programs, as well as changes in both federal and state laws that protect the homeowner and help to level the playing field between them and their lenders.

I am happy you found your way here, and it is my sincere hope that the information here helps you.

Don’t Throw that Letter Away! It May Have $150,000 in It!

Bank of America Offers Principal Reductions to 200,000 Homeowners

A select group of struggling mortgage borrowers are about to get an offer that sounds too good to be true. Executives at Bank of America say they will begin mailing 200,000 letters offering certain customers mortgage principal reductions.

If people get these things and toss them, they won’t be eligible,” says Ron Sturzenegger, the Bank of America executive charged with providing solutions to borrowers in need of mortgage assistance.

But the offer is real, and eligible borrowers could get as much as $150,000 knocked off the balance of their mortgages.

It is all part of the $25 billion settlement reached this year between federal and state agencies and the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers over fraudulent foreclosure document processing (so-called “robo-signing”.)

Via:  Bank of America Offers Principal Reductions to 200,000 Homeowners – CNBC.

And, watch this video:

RealtyTrac: Foreclosures Set to Rise in 2012

RealtyTrac: Foreclosures Set to Rise in 2012

January 18th, 2012 in CDPE by cdpe

There’s both good news and bad news on the foreclosure front.

The good news? According to RealtyTrac’s Year-End 2011 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™, total U.S. foreclosure activity and the foreclosure rate were both at their lowest annual level since 2007.

The bad news? Foreclosure levels were artificially lowered due to delays following the robo-signing scandal. However, those delayed foreclosures will likely reappear in 2012.  Fortunately, both the financial and government sectors are more committed than ever to finding alternatives to foreclosure, including short sales.

In fact, Bank of America expects a 60-70% increase in short sale closings this year.

“There were strong signs in the second half of 2011 that lenders are finally beginning to push through some of the delayed foreclosures in select local markets. We expect that trend to continue this year, boosting foreclosure activity for 2012 higher than it was in 2011,” said Brandon Moore, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.

via The CDPE Blog – Real Estate Awareness

Free Online: HAMP Calculator

Free Online: HAMP Calculator

Source: May 26th, 2011 in CDPE by cdpe

The Treasury Department is offering a free online calculator that helps borrowers estimate whether or not they qualify for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

The calculator is available at checkmynpv.com.

In the two years since its launch, HAMP has helped more than 270,000 borrowers receive permanent loan modification, thus lowering their monthly mortgage payments. That number falls far short, however, of the millions of homeowners at risk of foreclosure — which is bad for homeowners and bad for the housing market.

The current glut of foreclosures — stalled by paperwork delays — poised to hit the market is already far more than can absorbed by first-time homebuyers, according to the research firm Campbell Surveys.

That is why HAMP is so important. Every homeowner who modifies a loan and stays in a distressed property adds one less property to an already flooded market.

via New Online: Free HAMP Calculator | CDPE Blog.

Lenders Paying Homeowners to Do Short Sales

Source: February 26th, 2012 in CDPE bulletin…

For awhile now, we’ve instructed agents on government incentives available to distressed homeowners who opt to do short sales. Such programs include the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program, which provides up to $3,000 to assist the borrower with relocation fees.

In recent news, major publications including USA TODAY and CNN Money have spotlighted the incentives provided by banks. These incentive programs, which offer anywhere from around $2,000 to upwards of $35,000, are intended to provide homeowners with the resources and motivation to pursue a short sale.

As banks look to ramp up short sales, such incentives are becoming more frequent. JPMorgan Chase began their incentive program last year, for example, and Bank of America (which plans a 60-70% increase in short sales this year) piloted a program in Florida this past December. Wells Fargo offers incentives as well, though primarily in states where the foreclosure process is particularly lengthy.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: This year looks to be the year of the short sale.

For banks, short sales can be a cheaper alternative to foreclosure. The foreclosure process is lengthy and costly, so much so that providing up to a $20,000 alternative for a short sale is still a cheaper option.

In USA TODAY’s article “Lenders Paying Borrowers to Do Short Sales”, Jim Gillespie, chief executive of Coldwell Banker, is quoted as saying “It’s a lot cheaper to shell out $10,000 or $20,000 to someone than it is to go through a long foreclosure.”

In addition to the cost of the foreclosure process itself, foreclosed properties sell for less than short sales on average. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, foreclosed properties sold for 22% less than conventional sales, while short sales sold for around 14% less.

HAFA Update: Lots of Good News for Stressed Home Owners

Due to expire at the end of 2012, HAFA is now extended to the end of 2013!

This is a huge positive development for a program focused on helping distressed homeowners out of their mortgages while keeping their credit ratings intact.

But, that’s not all; there’s lots more good news…

  • Removal of occupancy requirements. (Previously HAFA required homeowners to have lived in the property within the last 12 months.)
  • $3,000 cash incentive to the home owner still applies. Now covers either owner OR tenant occupied properties at the time of sale.
  • Secondary lien holder may receive up to a maximum of $8,500, up from $6,000 previously. This makes it easier to negotiate with the second who normally gets very little compared to the first.
  • Payments can continue to be made to the loan servicer, even if they are over 32% of income, to stay current until sale
  • Major Credit Reporting bureaus are changing the way they report a Short Sale to either  “13” (Paid in full or closed account, zero balance) or “65” (Account paid in full, a forclosure was started as applicable)
A homeowner can be current on their mortgage, qualify for HAFA, continue to make their payments, and execute a short sale with minimum impact on their credit!

What is a CDPE?


What is a CDPE?

A Certified Distressed Property Expert® (CDPE) has a thorough understanding of complex issues in today’s turbulent real estate industry and knowledge of foreclosure avoidance options available to homeowners.

CDPEs can provide solutions, specifically short sales, for homeowners facing market hardships.

Homeowners regularly proceed without guidance of any kind through the often financially and emotionally devastating prospect of foreclosure. Speaking with a well-informed, licensed real estate professional is the best course of action for a homeowner in distress.

Through comprehensive training and experience, CDPEs have the tools to help homeowners find the best solutions for their unique situations and to avoid foreclosure through the efficient execution of a short sale.

CDPEs don’t merely assist in selling properties, they serve and help save their clients in need.

Living through financial difficulties poses a challenge for any family, so why make the process of finding a qualified real estate professional difficult too? Select an agent with the CDPE Designation to ensure you have a trained professional to address your specific needs.

If your circumstances are stressing you out, you need information and help.  Contact me now to arrange for a confidential consultation and let’s get you back on the path to stability.

Sheila Lawrence, Realtor, SRES, CDPE

e: SheilaKLawrence@gmail.com

p: 707.478.7240

Come In Out of the Cold

Come In Out of the Cold

Most likely you found your way to this site looking for answers for yourself, or for someone you know, about what can be done when a Homeowner is in danger of losing their home.  Financial hardship is draining and it’s easy to feel like you’ve failed.  But you haven’t, and you are not alone.

The way through is to make good decisions and for that you will need good, up-to-date, information.  With every bank reacting differently and policies literally changing daily, who has time to keep up with their own life AND make sense of all that is going on in the real estate world.

There are even cash incentives to help you relocate after the house sells.

The good news, and there is some, is that it is getting easier to Short Sale your home if you are not able to continue to keep up with the payments and falling further and further behind.  The really good news is that, compared to a foreclosure, the Short Sale process is much easier on you and on your credit rating.  You can potentially be in shape to purchase another home in as little as two years vs. seven years with a foreclosure.

So, welcome.  If you have questions about your own situation and would like a private consultation, contact me.  I am here to help.

Sheila Lawrence

e: sheilaklawrence@gmail.com

p: 707.478.7240

w: SheilaLawrence.com