The Do’s and Don’ts of Foreclosure

Facing a foreclosure is a scary thing, but there are things you should do – and shouldn’t do – to avoid making the situation worse. As more and more homeowners face the possibility of foreclosure, so much information is available.  But, not all of it is good…or correct.  If a foreclosure is about to happen to you, be smart by following these tips.

  • DO answer the phone and read your mail. Avoiding your lender won’t make the problem go away. In fact, it will only make the problem worse. Your lender may be able to help you, so be sure to answer the phone and read any mail they may have sent you.
  • DO realistically assess your situation. Are your financial problems temporary? If you are temporarily out of work and will be fine once you find a new job, call your lender. Lenders may be able to offer a forbearance or repayment plan.
  • DO consider your options. If you are not in a position to keep your home, consider selling it before you face a foreclosure. If you have already missed a mortgage payment, call your lender. There may be purchase options, like a short payoff or assumption (see sidebar) that help avoid foreclosure.
  • DO be aware of certain financial responsibilities. Even if your lender sells your property, you may still be responsible for the difference in the sale price and what you owe. It is also important to realize that you may be responsible for certain taxes when a lender forecloses on your property. However, the IRS does provide tax relief in certain situations .
  • DO protect your wealth. Recognize that you may have significant equity in your property that must be preserved.
  • DON’T move out of your home. In order to qualify for assistance, homeowners are often required to be living in their home. Be sure to talk to your lender before you think about moving.
  • DON’T ignore the problem. It may be possible to keep your home, but if you wait to take action, fewer options will be available. You have certain rights and can take certain actions to help you keep your home; however, you only have a limited amount of time to assert those rights or take those actions. Talk to a lawyer or legal aid organization, since your rights vary from state to state. Most states and large cities have legal aid organizations; to find one near you, go to the Legal Services Corporation , a government-sponsored organization that provides high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income Americans.
  • DON’T convince yourself you can afford a home if you can’t. Most lenders will only lend what a borrower can afford, but some less scrupulous lenders will allow borrowers to get in over their heads. In some cases, a home that was affordable becomes unaffordable due to changes in your life circumstances. If your mortgage is truly beyond your means, consider selling your home and purchasing a less expensive home or renting for a period of time before the only option left is foreclosure. Call your mortgage company; they may be able to help you avoid foreclosure by agreeing to an assumption or a short payoff.
  • DON’T fall victim to a scheme. Some people want to profit by your misfortune by offering to contact and conduct all work-outs and negotiations with your lender on your behalf – for a fee. View a helpful video Freddie Mac posted YouTube titled “Foreclosure Scams 101.”

If you need help to save your home from foreclosure, click here to GET HELP NOW!

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Save Your Home When You Understand Your Foreclosure Alternatives

If you are one of the many homeowners facing tough choices in today’s economy, we understand. We know that looking for assistance with your mortgage and deciding where to go for help can be confusing and frustrating. And we’re here to help.

Whether your financial hardship or current situation is temporary or more permanent, options are available. Even if you have decided you want relief from the responsibility and the burden of your mortgage payments, now’s the time to take action before it’s too late. The last thing you want is to have a foreclosure on your credit report.

To help, Fannie Mae has created KnowYourOptions.com — so homeowners can understand their options. That website will also help you learn more about how you can avoid foreclosure and so you can have a more informed discussion with your mortgage company or housing counselor about your options.

Know Your Options To Avoid Foreclosure.

There are many options for homeowners who are struggling with their mortgage payments. Below is just an overview of some options that may be available to you:

Refinance
A new loan — with new terms, interest rates and monthly payments — that completely replaces your current mortgage. Even if your home value has decreased, you may be able to refinance your loan as part of the government’s Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). Refinance benefits:

* Make your payment more affordable by lowering your interest rate or adjusting the terms of your loan
* No negative impact to credit score
* Stay in your home and avoid foreclosure

Repayment Plan
An agreement between you and your mortgage company that lets you pay the past due amount on your mortgage payments over a specified time period in order to bring your mortgage up to date. Repayment plan benefits:

* Catch up on your past due payments over an extended period of time
* Less damaging to your credit score than a foreclosure
* Stay in your home and avoid foreclosure

Forbearance
An offer by your mortgage company to temporarily suspend or reduce your monthly mortgage payments for a specified period of time. Forbearance benefits:

* Have time to improve your financial situation and get back on your feet
* Less damaging to your credit score than a foreclosure
* Stay in your home and avoid foreclosure

Modification
An agreement between you and your mortgage company to change the original terms of your mortgage — such as payment amount, length of loan, etc. You may be eligible for the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) created to help struggling homeowners. Modification benefits:

* May reduce your monthly mortgage payments to a more affordable amount
* Less damaging to your credit score than a foreclosure
* Stay in your home and avoid foreclosure

Short Sale
A short sale is the sale of a home for less than the balance remaining on your mortgage. If your mortgage company agrees to a short sale, you can sell your home and pay off your mortgage balance with the proceeds. Short sale benefits:

* Eliminate or reduce your mortgage debt
* Assistance for relocation may be available
* May be able to recover your credit score — and get another mortgage — faster than if you went through foreclosure

Deed-for-Lease™
A new program that allows you to temporarily lease your home. You first transfer the ownership of your home to the mortgage company (called a Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure, see below) in exchange for release from your mortgage loan and payments. You can then rent the property back — at an affordable rate — and remain in the home as a tenant. Deed-for-Lease benefits:

* Stay in your home and neighborhood — no need to move or relocate
* May be able to recover your credit score faster than if you went through foreclosure
* Assistance for relocation may be available at the end of your lease
* Avoid foreclosure

Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure
With a Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure (DIL), transfer the ownership of your property to your mortgage company in exchange for a release from your mortgage loan and payments. DIL benefits:

* Eliminate or reduce your mortgage debt
* May be eligible for relocation assistance
* May be able to recover your credit score — and get another mortgage — faster than if you went through foreclosure

To discuss your options with the Certified Professionals at The HomeFetchers Team, click here: Get Help Now

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Fannie Mae Pays You To Buy A Foreclosure

Fannie Mae is working hard to entice you to buy a foreclosure…and it’s a nice enticement for everyone.

The government-sponsored enterprise will also give qualified home buyers 3.5% of the final sales price that can be used toward the closing cost, including home warranty. Eligible offers must be submitted on or after Sept. 23 and they must close by Dec. 31, 2010. Fannie said the sale must close within 60 days of the accepted offer.

Terry Edwards, executive vice president of credit portfolio management at Fannie, said more than 87,000 families have purchased a HomePath property in the first half of 2010. HomePath is the in-house manager of the Fannie Mae foreclosures. It hires vendors and agents to rehabilitate the home and ready it for the market again.

“We continue to look for ways to stabilize neighborhoods and offer incentives to qualified buyers who will occupy these properties over the long-term and help support their communities,” Edwards said.

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and many lenders have instituted a First Look program to give owner-occupants a head start ahead of investors to buy these previously foreclosed homes. In California, home buyers have a 14-day jump over investors. It is 30 days in Nevada. In one year of the First Look program, Fannie has sold more than 29,000 REOs to owner-occupants.

Real estate agents and brokers will also receive a $1,500 closing bonus for selling one the these foreclosed homes to an owner occupant.

To find a foreclosure home that qualifies for the Fannie Mae incentive,

contact a HomeFetchers agent today at http://HomeFetchers.com

…or call the 24-Hour Home Hotline: 877-610-1717

source: housingwire.com

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Come And Get It…Government Awards $1 Billion In New Housing Aid

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan awarded an additional $1 billion in funding to all states along with a number of counties and local communities struggling to reverse the effects of the foreclosure crisis. The grants announced today represent a third round of funding through HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) and will provide targeted emergency assistance to state and local governments to acquire, redevelop or demolish foreclosed properties.

“These grants will support local efforts to reverse the effects these foreclosed properties have on their surrounding neighborhoods,” said Donovan. “We want to make certain that we target these funds to those places with especially high foreclosure activity so we can help turn the tide in our battle against abandonment and blight. As a direct result of the leadership provided by Senator Chris Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, who played key roles in winning approval for these funds, we will be able to make investments that will reduce blight, bolster neighboring home values, create jobs and produce affordable housing.”

The funding announced today is provided under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. To date, there have been two other rounds of NSP funding: the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) provided $3.92 billion and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) appropriated an additional $2 billion. Like those earlier rounds of NSP grants, these targeted funds will be used to purchase foreclosed homes at a discount and to rehabilitate or redevelop them in order to respond to rising foreclosures and falling home values. Today, 95 cents of every dollar from the first round of NSP funding is obligated—and is in use by communities, buying up and renovating homes, and creating jobs.

State and local governments can use their neighborhood stabilization grants to acquire land and property; to demolish or rehabilitate abandoned properties; and/or to offer downpayment and closing cost assistance to low- to moderate-income home buyers (household incomes do not exceed 120% of area median income). In addition, these grantees can create “land banks” to assemble, temporarily manage, and dispose of vacant land for the purpose of stabilizing neighborhoods and encouraging re-use or redevelopment of urban property. HUD will issue an NSP3 guidance notice in the next few weeks to assist grantees in designing their programs and applying for funds.

NSP 3 will take full advantage of the historic First Look partnership Secretary Donovan announced with the National Community Stabilization Trust last week. First Look gives NSP grantees an exclusive 12-14 day window to evaluate and bid on properties before others can do so. By giving every NSP grantee the first crack at buying foreclosed and abandoned properties in these targeted neighborhoods, First Look will maximize the impact of NSP dollars in the hardest-hit neighborhoods—making it more likely the properties that communities want to buy are strategically chosen and cutting in half the traditional 75-to-85 day process it takes to re-sell foreclosed properties .

NSP also seeks to prevent future foreclosures by requiring housing counseling for families receiving home buyer assistance. HUD seeks to protect future home buyers by requiring states and local grantees to ensure that new home buyers under NSP receive homeownership counseling and obtain a mortgage loan from a lender who agrees to comply with sound lending practices.

In determining the allocations announced today, HUD, as it did with NSP1, followed key indicators for the distribution formula outlined by Congress. HUD is using the latest data to implement the Congressional formula. The formula weighs several factors to match funding to need in the 20% most distressed neighborhoods as determined based on the number and percentage of home foreclosures, the number and percentage of homes financed by a subprime mortgage related loan, and the number and percentage of homes in delinquency. To estimate the level of need down to the neighborhood level, HUD uses a model that takes into account causes of foreclosures and delinquencies, which include housing price declines from peak levels, and increases in unemployment, and rate of high cost and highly leveraged loans. HUD also considers vacancy problems in neighborhoods with severe foreclosure related problems.

In addition to a third round of NSP funding, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act creates a $1 billion Emergency Homeowners Loan Program to be administered by HUD. This loan program will provide up to 24 months in mortgage assistance to homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure and have experienced a substantial reduction in income due to involuntary unemployment, underemployment, or a medical condition. HUD will announce additional details, including the targeted areas and other program specifics when the program is officially launched in the coming weeks.

[Source: hud.gov]

Stay tuned to http://HomeFetchers.com for more housing updates…

or call the 24-Hr Home Hotline at: 877-610-1717

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CalHFA Offers New Program To Keep Your Home in California

The U.S. Treasury Department has approved CalHFA’s plan to use nearly $700 million in federal funding to help  California families struggling to pay their mortgages. The “Keep Your Home” programs are focused on assisting low and moderate income families stay in their homes, when possible, and leveraging additional contributions from lenders and mortgage servicers.

Primary objectives for the Keep Your Home Program include:

* Preserving homeownership for low and moderate income homeowners in California by reducing the number of delinquencies and preventing avoidable foreclosures

* Assisting in the stabilization of California communities. Each of the Keep Your Home programs is designed to address one or more aspects of the current housing crisis by doing the following:

* Helping low and moderate income homeowners retain their homes if they either have suffered a financial hardship such as unemployment, have experienced a change in household circumstance such as death, illness or disability, or are subject to a recent or upcoming increase in their monthly mortgage payment and are at risk of default because of this economic hardship when coupled with a severe decline in their home’s value.

* Creating a simple, effective way to get federal funds to assist low and moderate income homeowners who meet one or all of the objective criteria described above. Speed of delivery will be balanced with fulfillment of the specific program’s mission and purpose.

* Creating programs that have an immediate, direct economic and social impact on low and moderate income homeowners and their neighborhoods.

CalHFA is not taking applications or maintaining waiting lists for the Keep Your Home Programs at this time.  The Keep Your Home programs are under development and will not be available until November 1, 2010. If you are currently struggling to make your mortgage payment, are in any stage of mortgage delinquency or are already facing foreclosure, it is important for you to contact your loan servicer or a HUD-certified housing counselor immediately. When the program does roll out, here are some important facts:

*Anyone who did a cash-out refinance is ineligible

*Homeowners who have lost their job and are in imminent danger of foreclosure due to a short term financial problem can obtain a payment subsidy of up to $1,500 or 50% of their monthly mortgage payment, whichever is less–for up to six months.

*Homeowners who have missed one or more payments can receive up to $15,000 or 50% of the past due amount, whichever is less, to reinstate the mortgage and prevent a foreclosure.  The lender, loan servicer, mortgage insurer, and or borrower must match the catch-up money on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

*Homeowners who have severe negative equity can receive up to $50,000 to reduce the principal balance on their mortgage to a market level to prevent an avoidable foreclosure and promote sustainable homeownership.

*Homeowners who can’t afford to keep their home and are willing to participate in the lender’s short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure program can receive a one-time grant of up to $5,000 to transition to a more affordable residence.

To qualify, the home must be occupied as the primary residence, income restrictions must be met, a hardship must be evident, and there must be the ability to make the modified payment arrangement. Expect modifications to the program prior to rollout. A chart of the  income limits with this program is available. Please call the 24-Hour Home Hotline at 877-610-1717 ext 111 to request the chart of income limitations and other restrictions. If you would like to be notified when the program is activated in California, please send an email request to: CALHFA@homefetchers.com or call the 24-Hour Home Hotline with your contact information.

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Don’t Be A Victim Of Foreclosure Scams

A record high numbers of homeowners getting foreclosure notices of default it is putting even more Americans at risk of facing foreclosure  rescue scams. Homeowners who fall behind on mortgage payments need to tread carefully when seeking assistance, since foreclosure rescue scams come in many guises. A day spent researching legitimate options, from a mortgage modification or principal forbearance to a short sale or deed-in-lieu, could keep you from becoming a scam victim.

Foreclosure rescue scams run rampant

Homeowners facing foreclosure are prime targets for scam artists. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission identified 71 companies running suspicious foreclosure rescue ads, and the Better Business Bureau counts foreclosure rescue rip-offs among its top 10 scams. Understanding how these scams work can help you avoid becoming a victim.

The variations are seemingly endless, but one popular foreclosure scam involves a representative of a so-called foreclosure rescue company promising to negotiate a deal with your lender. The rep, vowing to take care of everything, will instruct you not to contact your lender, lawyer, or credit counselor during the supposed negotiations. The more brazen ones will even tell you to pay your mortgage directly to them.

Once you pay an upfront fee or hand over a few months’ worth of mortgage payments, the scam artist will disappear. You’ll be left with an emptier wallet and a mortgage that’s in even deeper trouble because no deal was cut and no payments were made on your behalf. According to John Riggins, chief executive of the Fort Worth, Texas, office of the Better Business Bureau, upfront fees can range from $500 to $5,000.

Rip-offs come in many forms

A bankruptcy foreclosure scam can involve a promise to fend off foreclosure in exchange for an upfront fee. Instead of getting you legitimate relief, the fraudster will pocket the fee and secretly file a bankruptcy case in your name. The scam may seem to work initially, because a bankruptcy filing will stop foreclosure proceedings temporarily, but they’ll resume. Compounding your problems, a bankruptcy can mar your credit report for 10 years.

Another common scam, called the bait-and-switch, results in a scam artist taking ownership of your home. You sign documents supposedly for a new loan that will make your mortgage current. What’s really happening is you’re signing over the deed of your house. In this scenario you would still owe on your mortgage but no longer own the home.

In a rent-to-own scheme, you’re told to surrender a home’s deed as part of a deal that lets you stay put as a renter. The scam artist, perhaps claiming to be able to refinance at a better rate with you off the title, promises to sell the house back to you in the future. However, terms of the deal may make it all but impossible for you to repurchase the home, or the scammer may get you evicted by raising the rent beyond your means. Either way, you end up losing the home while remaining on the hook for the unpaid mortgage.

Look out for red flags

Being aware of the warnings signs can protect you from foreclosure rescue scams. Red flags include:

* Demands for high upfront fees…especially without a guarantee.
* Guarantees to stop a foreclosure.
* Instructions to make mortgage payments to someone other than your lender.
* Pressure to sign over a deed.

Legitimate foreclosure counselors won’t put on a full-court press, nor will they guarantee that you won’t lose your home to foreclosure. What they will do is review your financial situation and offer up options. Foreclosure counselors approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development won’t charge you a fee either.

Legitimate ways to get foreclosure help

There are a number of legitimate ways to contend with foreclosure. If you’ve missed mortgage payments, start by getting in touch with your lender. Ask to speak with someone in the Loss Mitigation Department and explain your situation.

Your lender may be able to arrange a repayment plan, called a special forbearance, based on your current economic circumstances. The lender could even give you a temporary reduction in your monthly payment or suspend payments for a period of time.

With a principal forbearance, the lender will reduce the amount of your mortgage, thus reducing your monthly payments. However, the amount of the principal reduction doesn’t disappear. Rather, it’s tacked on to the end of the loan, effectively creating a balloon payment.

A federally facilitated mortgage modification could also help. The Making Home Affordable modification program pays lenders to re-work loan terms and lower monthly payments. Be prepared to gather lots of paperwork and undergo a trial modification.

If all else fails, you may need to give up your home. If so, look into the federal Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program. HAFA offers lenders financial incentives to opt for a short sale or deed-in-lieu rather than a foreclosure. In a short sale, a lender agrees for a home to be sold for less than the outstanding mortgage, and then considers the debt paid off. In a deed-in-lieu, a homeowner turns over the home to the lender, and the mortgage is closed.

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If your home’s value has dropped in this market, find out if a short sale is best for you.  Go to: http://ShortSaleChoices.Info

or…

Call our 24/7 Recorded Home Hotline for more information: 877-610-1717 ext. 415

To learn even more about Short Sales, watch this video: http://Youtube.com/VestorLink

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Short Sale Fraud Could Begin Happening In San Diego

According to Real Estate Insider News, Corelogic released their  2010 “The Cost of Short Sales” study that puts hard numbers of what is really happening with short sales…and….they are claiming 1 in 53 short sales were potentially fraudulent.

Right smack in the middle of the short sale fraud, claims Corelogic….are…Realtors.

The study projects that more than half of short sales happen in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas and will cost lenders an estimated $310m in unnecessary losses during all of 2010.

Lenders lose on  average $41,500 per short sale due to mistakes, inefficiency and potential fraud.

For example: Potential fraud, flipping or offer misrepresentation, likely happens in 1 in every 53 short sale transactions. This information is based on Corelogics study of short sale transactions from the past 2 years.

CoreLogic also found the number of short sales have more than tripled since 2008.

Typical example of short sale fraud.

If you to sell your home as a short sale, look for a Certified Short Sale Specialist. If you are buying short sales, be sure your are dealing with a Realtor with integrity as well as specialized knowledge in short sales to make certain you are safe long after the deal has closed.

Call the 24-hour Home Hotline to find the best Realtor in your area:

877-610-1717


or…

Visit: http://LocalAgentWanted.info

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