Monday, December 22, 2008

5 Tips to Saving your Home

How to Get Foreclosure Help Today?

5 Tips to Help You Save Your Home!

1.) Learn About Foreclosure
Foreclosure is something that can happen when you get behind on your Mortgage Loan. Foreclosure is a process in which the estate becomes the absolute property of the Lending Institution. Foreclosure is a very serious matter that needs to be handled.

Foreclosure is a legal process by which a lender (sometimes referred to as the “mortgagee”) seeks to collect a debt by taking property that secures the debt. Foreclosure
help is available with most Landers. Check the Internet. Sometimes you can find FREE Foreclosure information.

Learn everything about Foreclosure and save your home.

2.) You Need Help Today!
If you are late with your Mortgage payment, you need Foreclosure Help today.

Foreclosure is a serious situation that has serious repercussions. If you can, you want to avoid Foreclosure as much as possible. The biggest mistake you can make is to do nothing until it is too late! Find Real Estate Forums on the Internet. You can learn from other home owner’s experience with their refinancing or foreclosure process.

3.) Refinance
Refinance your mortgage if you can. Lenders pull your credit, verify employment, and gather a host of other financial information about you, but they aren’t doing it in order to advise you in your purchases and other financial decisions. They’re doing it as a means to assess the risk of lending to you (how much and at what rate). Lenders may approve you more conservatively (that is, for less money) now than they did a few years ago, but there’s no guarantee that they still won’t approve you for more than you can afford. They will do this because (a) it puts more money in their pocket and (b) you’ll sacrifice other things before you let your mortgage payments lapse. Mortgage lenders make money by collecting your principal and interest payments. It is not in their best interest to proceed with a foreclosure. Find a Lender who can help you to avoid Foreclosure.

4.) Find a Loan Modification Program
Sometimes a Loan Modification Program is the best Foreclosure help.
Lenders are more likely to go along if a competent third party is there to help smooth the process. Lenders will sometimes allow a reduced payoff for a Loan if it is obvious a foreclosure is inevitable and a third party purchaser is willing to buy the property at a price lower than the full payoff.

Loan Servicers are used to dealing with mortgage delinquencies related to life events such as unemployment or illness, with the most common approaches being a temporary repayment plan or the folding of missed payments into the principal balance. A widespread decline in home prices, by contrast, is a relatively novel phenomenon, and lenders and servicers will have to develop new and flexible strategies to deal with this issue. Loan Modification allows you to refinance your mortgage loan or even extend the term of your loan. The Lender may settle for monthly mortgage payments that are within your financial means.

5.) Protect Yourself!
Don’t be a victim. When you need Foreclosure Help, make sure you find competent Professional companies to work with! Don’t let anybody scam you! Foreclosure records are public. Scam artists will contact you. Get advice only from Professionals!

Foreclosure isn’t easy, and stopping Foreclosure isn’t easy, but if you are well informed you can keep from losing your home.

Get Foreclosure help before it is to late!

How to avoid foreclosure

(Source: CNNMoney.com)

Here are some ways to cope when you have fallen behind on your mortgage payment.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- President Bush signed the housing bill Wednesday. And while the part of the bill that allows homeowners who cannot afford their monthly payments to refinance into government-backed loans may be implemented as soon as October there's been some question as to whether it's going to take longer than that. If you are in danger of foreclosing on your home there are some steps you can take now.

Know the timeline
Once you miss a payment, your lender likely reports that to the credit bureaus.

And with every missed payment, your credit score goes down. Plus, you'll start getting hit with late fees. After 90 to 150 days in most cases, your lender may file a notice of default with a local courthouse. You'll probably get a letter saying the foreclosure process will start, unless you become current on your payments.

If you don't become current, you may have anywhere from 2-3 months to a year before the house is put on the auction block according to David Petrovich, author of Fight Foreclosure.

Get a loan modification
Try to get a loan modification before you even miss a payment. This is probably the least onerous of the options out there, if you can get it. This is basically a change in loan terms. A modification will lower your monthly mortgage payment or let you skip a few payments. Bottom line here is that the term of your loan will be extended.

To request a modification, call your lender and ask to be transferred to the loan modification department. Make sure you have some recent pay stubs, current or prior year W-2 forms, bank statements, property tax bills and insurance bills.

If possible, obtain appraisal information for your home. And the process can be frustrating. It could take weeks. "It's up to you to be proactive, persistent and aggressive, says Petrovich. "Loss-mitigation departments are overwhelmed, under-staffed and under-experienced," he says.

He says lenders will likely devote more attention to your case, the closer you are to having your home sold at auction.

Consider a sale
If you can't afford your mortgage, your best bet is to sell your home. But...if you owe a lot more on your home that it's worth, you may be able to get the lender to accept less than you owe on it by negotiating a short sale.

Basically you sell the house for what you can get and the lender agrees to accept it. In some cases the deficit will be forgiven, but in other cases you may have to sign an unsecured loan for the amount. Negotiating a short sale isn't always easy.

"Lenders are not as receptive to short sales as I thought they would be," says Petrovich. "Lenders are not willing to accept these losses gracefully." You generally have to write a hardship letter, indicating why you can't make the mortgage payments.

The bank usually controls the negotiations and you don't have much say in the process. And keep in mind the process is slow. It can take 4-5 months from the first time you submit your package. You can also do a deed-in-lieu transaction.

With a Deed-in-Lieu transaction, you hand over your deed to the house to your lender. In return you are released from your mortgage. But lenders cannot be forced to accept a deed. In fact, you may have to have tried to do a short sale and failed.

So, having your lender accept a deed-in-lieu can be challenging. We've talked about some alternatives to foreclosure. But sometimes, it's unavoidable. Having a sheriff's sale on your credit report is a black mark you'll want to escape if possible.

If this is inevitable, keep in mind that you can still repair your credit. Typically foreclosures are on your record for seven years. And don't forget that you're not alone. There are millions of families that are going through exactly what you are going through .

Back to Foreclosure Help

Are you at Risk of Foreclosure??

Haven't missed a house payment yet, but afraid you might?

Has your financial situation changed due to a mortgage payment increase, loss of job, divorce, medical expenses, increase in taxes or other reasons?

Is your credit card debt becoming unmanageable?
Are you using your credit cards to buy groceries?
Is it becoming difficult to pay all your monthly bills on time?
If it’s becoming harder to make your house payment each month:

Contact a SOS Home Mitigation counselor, or
Call Toll Free (866) 767-4663 to find a foreclosure counselor near you.

Watch our Tips for Avoiding Foreclosure.

Current mortgage rates lowest in nearly 40 years for Freddie Mac

The Federal Reserve once again slashed the federal funds rate on Tuesday from 1 percent down to .25, “aiming to free up lending and jolt the economy back to life,” according to an Associated Press report.

It’s a dramatic move, which caused Freddie Mac mortgage rates to dip to their lowest level since 1971. In fact, 30-year fixed home loan rates can now be locked-in at a staggering 5.19 percent.

That means that homeowners who are facing “balloon” or Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) rate increases — and there is data out there that indicates this could still impact an alarming amount families very soon — can secure more affordable home loans.

In addition, prospective homebuyers can take advantage of the latest-money saving measure. It’s a great opportunity to more than likely get into a home at a reduced price (depending on the local market) and get a loan at a super low rate.

To search the Foreclosure.com nationwide database of more than 1.8 million distressed real estate listing click here.

This is great news that can put a lot of extra cash back in the pockets of so many people. And the way things are right now it appears that every little bit helps and could go a long way.

Therefore, take advantage of this current situation if you can, whether you are a homeowner or homebuyer. Opportunities like this do not come around very often.

To talk to a mortgage professional to possibly refinance click here: Mortgage Assistance

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What Is Loss Mitigation?

Loss Mitigation is the art of helping delinquent homeowners, in or close to foreclosure, to save their home and of trying to stop a home foreclosure before it happens. It is an intervention program designed to help homeowners save their homes from foreclosure, through third party negotiations with the lender or investor. Although it seems as though Loss Mitigation is a new concept, it is a process that has been around for many years and can save homeowners and lenders tens of thousands of dollars (as well as a little heartache and time consumption).

Foreclosures and mortgage delinquencies are destroying the "American Dream" and are at an all time high right now and number in the millions. We could be facing the highest foreclosure rates in history and with option ARMs still adjusting, there is no significant ending in sight. Loss Mitigation is the most effective method of avoiding or stopping the foreclosure process which culminates in the sale of the property at a public auction. The goal of Loss Mitigation is to work out an agreement between the homeowner and the lender that will stop the foreclosure proceedings permanently. A truly successful Loss Mitigation workup will take the homeowners future ability to pay into account as well as their past arrears so that the homeowner does not get themselves into default again.

Homeowners are losing their homes at record rates with no end in sight. They often believe the answer to their prayers is refinancing their home and getting away from their current lender. However, they need to be very careful if they are relying on refinancing as the way to save their home from foreclosure. By the time their properties have gotten into default, they have missed at least 2 months of mortgage payments. Not paying a mortgage for 2 months or more is detrimental to a credit score and thus, they cannot qualify for refinancing the loan. The only viable option for most of these homeowners is Loss Mitigation.

Loss Mitigation is a process in which lenders help borrowers that are in danger of default, avoid foreclosure. Every homeowner's situation is unique and each lender has their own policies regarding the use of these programs to stop foreclosure. Before a foreclosure or bankruptcy occurs after a one or two months default, a repayment plan may be proposed to the delinquent mortgage holder by a Loss Mitigation specialist to satisfy the amount owed to a bank or lender. Many banks and lenders want to avoid the foreclosure process since, on average; both homeowner and lender stand to lose tens of thousands of dollars. Lenders ultimately want to keep the home owner in their home and it is up to the home owner to show that they will be able to catch up or maintain the mortgage payment in the future. Borrowers must be encouraged to retain home ownership through scenarios that provide the borrower and lender/servicer with an optimal outcome. Often with the home owner they get stonewalled at the first level, and sadly the first tier in Loss Mitigation is really a glorified collections department. By hiring a third party Loss Mitigation negotiation company, the homeowner's best interests can be fought for. In reality, a Loss Mitigation workup is in the lenders best interest as well taking into account the amount of money they stand to lose during the foreclosure process.

Loss Mitigation is the art of negotiating, on behalf of the homeowner, with the lender (or investor), stopping the foreclosure process, and coming to a settlement. Loss mitigation is often the better choice for the homeowner that is trying to save their home from foreclosure. When Loss Mitigation isn't a viable solution, other options are available to create win-win strategies with the homeowner and can be employed to help the homeowner avoid the foreclosure (possibly avoiding bankruptcy and 10 years of bad credit).

Chris Taylor is a Certified Loss Mitigation Consultant and mortgage broker in Denver, Colorado. He works primarily toward helping homeowners keep their home from foreclosure and to help first time homeowners purchase their very first home by using rent to own and owner financing techniques. To find out more information about Chris Taylor and what he is doing to help others stay in their home, check out his website http://www.866soshome.com/ or call him at 866-767-4663

More on Loss Mitigation

Back to Foreclosure Info

Mortgage Loan Modification - HOW TO's

(Source: Ron Stephens)

These are incredibly challenging times for American homeowners. More people than ever before are considering mortgage loan modification as an alternative to the possibility of losing their homes. The need for banks to consider loan modifications for homeowners has come about because of various reasons:

  • Adjustable rate mortgages that have adjusted up and increased monthly mortgage payments beyond their ability to pay.
  • Some homeowners took out adjustable rate mortgages, expecting to refinance at a better rate later, only to find their home's diminished value won't support a sufficient loan amount to qualify for refinance, and therefore they can not take advantage of new lower rates.
  • Many have lost their jobs, some having worked for the same company for many years, and now can't afford their payment.
  • Retirement income that would have helped pay off the mortgage, lost in the stock market crash.

If any of these situations describe you, there is hope. Because of the tremendous number of people facing foreclosure, banks are more willing than ever to work with homeowners in several ways. They know that the epidemic proportions of distressed homeowners, has created a bigger challenge than foreclosing the loans of so many people who are in default, can overcome. Here are some possibilities for you if you need answers:

Short refinance: Your lender may be willing to lower the balance on your home mortgage, create a new loan at the lowered amount, and thus give you a lower payment.
Short Sale: If you just need to get out of your house, your lender may be willing to let you sell the home to another party, for an amount that is less than what you owe, and forgive you of the difference.
Loan Modification: Your lender may restructure your loan, add any late payments to the balance, create a new loan amount with new parameters.

Whichever one of these options that your bank may be willing to consider, depends on your personal standing with them, and your financial situation. Here are some things that you must do if you want your bank to consider a mortgage loan modification on your behalf:

Communicate with them early on...DO NOT avoid talking to them about your hardship.
Keep a proper perspective...They are not the enemy. You owe them the money, having borrowed it with the promise to pay it back. Don't get angry with them for your difficulty. Respect them, and you have a better chance of them working with you.

Ask them for help. If the person you talk to is not willing to help you, keep calling and asking for a supervisor until you get someone who will listen and try to help.

Consider enlisting the help of a professional "loan mitigation service". You may have to pay a small fee, but these people are very good at what they do. They have the know how and the resources, and the credibility that will get your bank's attention and cause them to be more willing to work with you.

The bottom line is: banks are more willing than ever to enter into mortgage loss mitigation with their customers. And if you do enough research, and you are patient and stick to the process of filling out many forms and making many phone calls, and being put on hold for long periods of time, you may be able to get a mortgage loan modification, and save your home and your credit.

If the thought of doing all of that causes you to break out in a cold sweat, and feel like giving up before you even start, than you should consider a loan mitigation specialist. They are available online, in the yellow pages, or you may be able to get a good one referred to you by a realtor or mortgage broker.

What is Loss Mitigation?

Back to Foreclosure Information

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mortgage applications surge by record

FDIC's Bair: Hopeful for her mortgage plan

written by: Ronald D. Orol, Market Watch Dec. 2, 2008

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation chairwoman Sheila Bair said Tuesday she hopes the Obama administration will support a mortgage foreclosure mitigation plan she introduced last month.

"We're encouraged by the president-elect statement on foreclosure prevention," Bair said at a conference in Washington. "I'm hopeful that the future administration will find funding to launch it because we are behind the curve and falling behind every day."

Bair is seeking $24.4 billion of the federal government's $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program to modify loans. She argues that such a package is authorized under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act approved by Congress and the Bush administration on Oct. 3, and contends the program could avert 1.5 million foreclosures while encouraging lending by mortgage servicers.

Bair expressed disappointment that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson hasn't agreed to allocate TARP funds for the package, but she still was hopeful that he would implement it. "I don't know that he said he would oppose it," Bair said. "Paulson has said he thinks it's a good program but he doesn't want to fund it with TARP funds, but we think the authority is there under the statute."

On Monday, Paulson said he could support a new approach to mortgage foreclosure mitigation, but he didn't go so far as to back Bair's proposal. "We are continuing to examine potential foreclosure mitigation ideas that may be an appropriate and effective use of TARP resources," Paulson said. "We're continuing to work on it."

Paulson had previously expressed opposition to Bair's proposal, but his comments on Monday indicate he might be willing to change his mind. House Financial Services Committee chairman Barney Frank said last month that he continues to have discussions with Paulson on the Bair proposal.

Some regulatory observers speculated Paulson could authorize $2 billion of the funds made available by Congress as part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act passed Oct. 3 to implement the first part of Bair's program. Those securities would be used to pay an upfront servicer administration fee of $1000 for 2 million loans.

Bair is seeking to use another $22.4 billion as part of a loss sharing program between mortgage servicers or investors and the FDIC for loans that fail six months or longer after being modified.

Ronald D. Orol is a MarketWatch reporter, based in Washington.