Mortgage Relief Fraud: Will You Be the Next Victim?

Mortgage Relief Fraud: Will You Be the Next Victim?

 Not if I have anything to say about it!

 The FBI reported a jump of 71% in mortgage relief fraud investigations from 2008-2009, and expects this number to have grown in 2010.

 That’s why it’s my duty to educate homeowners in my community on the cautions they need to take, and what the government has recently done to protect you from unscrupulous individuals and companies who want to take advantage of their desperate situations.

 What you need to watch out for if you are looking for mortgage relief assistance: 

  1. Upfront fees—just don’t pay them! In fact, they are now illegal!
  2. A request to sign over your deed (this only spells trouble)
  3. Lots of paperwork without the opportunity for review
  4. The claim of government-affiliation

These are just a few red flags you need to be wary of. I’ve created a free report on the homepage of my website that details more of what you need to watch for. 

If you are struggling with an unaffordable mortgage and are looking for help, educate yourself. These scammers can be very shrewd and will say almost anything to steal your money. 

The Federal Trade Commission has required disclosures of anyone offering mortgage relief services. If you’d like to see an example, check out any of the pages of my website. If a company you are dealing with has not provided these disclosures, please ask why they are not compliant, and proceed with caution! 

As a CDPE, you can trust that I have the tools to be in full compliance of FTC regulations, and will always work with your best interests at heart. 

If you want viable alternatives to foreclosure, give me a call today. I’m always here to help!

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Escape Your Unmanageable Mortgage

Escape Your Unmanageable Mortgage

Getting free doesn’t have to mean running away.

Perhaps you have heard about it.

On the news, a reporter tells a story about how the housing crisis has caused some homeowners to simply walk away from their homes. It sounds crazy, but many people are being led to believe that walking away from their home is a good (or even the best!) option.

It is called Strategic Default. For distressed homeowners who believe that they have no good choices left, the idea of walking away free of consequence may sound like a relief. The reality, however, is that choosing strategic default has serious repercussions on your credit.

THERE ARE BETTER OPTIONS AVAILABLE!

As a real estate professional who has earned the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation, my mission is to provide financially-challenged homeowners with options to escape from unmanageable mortgages without running away.  

Facing your problems head-on is always the best solution. Let me help.

 

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Solving Your Mortgage Crisis Just Got Easier

Solving Your Mortgage Crisis Just Got Easier

5 Steps for a Successful Short Sale

Lenders and the federal government, prompted by the sheer volume of loan modification and short sale requests, have overhauled their systems and programs, making the foreclosure avoidance process much easier than in the past.

If you are considering short selling your home to avoid the financial and emotional fallout of foreclosure, you should be aware of the five steps you should take to increase your chances of a successful transaction.

First, do you qualify?

You must:

  1. Have a verifiable hardship, like unemployment, medical bills, or relocation
  2. Must have a monthly income shortfall
  3. Be insolvent (you have no cash or assets that can be sold to pay down the mortgage), or headed towards insolvency

If you meet these qualifications, follow these five steps to a successful short sale:

  1. Contact me so we can identify your servicer, fill out a short sale packet for the lender, and assemble all the required information needed to list your home for sale
  2. Gather financial information (i.e., bank statements, pay stubs) from at least the last three months
  3. Keep your house in showcase condition for showings, and make as many repairs as necessary and that you can afford
  4. Expect the lender, junior lien holders, and private insurance companies to request more paperwork, and try to gather requested information quickly to ensure transaction efficiency
  5. Set realistic expectations and work with me, the lender, and the buyer to the satisfaction and benefit of all parties involved

For more information about how the short sale process works, or about any other foreclosure alternatives you may qualify for, call me today. I can help you alleviate the burden that the threat of foreclosure brings, and we can develop a strategy to help you breathe a little easier.

IMPORTANT GOVERNMENT DISCLOSURE: You may stop doing business with us at any time. You may accept or reject the offer of mortgage assistance we obtain from your lender (or servicer). If you reject the offer, you will not have to pay us for our services. The above brokerage is not associated with the government, and our service is not approved by the government or your lender. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan.

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Ten Tips for Selling Your Home

Ten Tips for Selling Your Home

Sell your home for top dollar with these tips

Whether or not we’re in a buyers or sellers market, or even in a distressed market, we always advise home sellers to do whatever it takes to try to quickly get top dollar for their home.  There are many easy things that can be done to accomplish this. 

We know that most people make decisions based on emotion, and buying a home is no different.  In fact, it’s probably the most emotional decision one will ever make in their lifetime.  So, the goal of selling a home is to try and connect with a home buyer so that they become emotionally attached to a home and want to purchase it and make it their own. 

Here are some tips to follow if you’re selling your home.

1)      Make the Right First Impressions – When buyers drive up to a home, there is only one chance for that first impression.  Make sure that the exterior of your home makes a statement.  For starters, power washing the outside will help rid the home of dirt and debris.  Try to avoid parking cars in the driveway to give the impression that there is plenty of parking in the garage.  Also power wash oil stains and debris in the driveway.  Make sure the landscaping is maintained and add color if possible by adding potted plants and/or flowers.  Even your front door will make a statement, so be sure that it’s clean, touch up any chipping paint if needed, and make sure the locks don’t stick. 

2)      Make Obvious Repairs – Repair any peeling exterior paint or damaged siding, especially in the front of the home.  Make sure the front door hinges and hardware work perfectly, and the doorbell too since one of the worst first impressions is a non-working doorbell.  If for some reason you can’t get it to work, place a note over the doorbell that reads “Please Knock”.  Sliders and doors all need to be oiled and working smoothly including the sliding screen doors too.  You want that smooth transition from room to room and from indoor to outdoor living.

3)  Get a Pest Inspection.  Although not mandatory, there are quite a few loans that will require that a termite inspection be done.  It may be worth it to do this ahead of time, so that your buyers know what they’re getting into ahead of time and you can hire an inspector that you trust.  If you choose to clear all Section 1 problems (active infestation), be sure to hire a contractor or professional and then have the inspector return to give a clear report.  This inspection report and/or clearance can be provided to a buyer, often times even attached to the MLS listing. 

4) Empty the Garage.  This is my favorite recommendation for sellers because it’s one of the best tips for selling your home much quicker. A garage is typically the man’s space, but both men and women always want to see if they have room to store their items and they will always look in the garage. A clean and empty garage is always attractive to future buyers, so either clear out as much as possible or rent a storage unit and take everything in the garage and put it in storage for a month or two. You can also use the storage unit for the decluttering, which is the next step.

5) Clear Out the Clutter.  Difficult as it may be for any homeowner, it’s very important to declutter and depersonalize the entire house. Buyers need to be able to visualize their furniture and their possessions in your home and if you have too much of your stuff hanging around they won’t be able to do this. Less of your stuff in your house makes the room cleaner and larger and everything seems much calmer. A staged home is a good example of how much of your personalized possessions should be present – which is not much, especially in the main living areas.  Less clutter enhances the architectural details or unique accents in your home too.

6) Interior Sprucing.   Fresh paint on the walls is probably the best thing you can do to add appeal to the interior of the house for future buyers. Saturated colors on walls are less attractive than neutrals; consider painting it a grey, tan, or white so future buyers can envision their own color and art on the walls. Touch up the baseboards and trim also since dirty trim and scuffed up baseboards make a home look dingy.  Clean the whole house including the windows and the carpets to rid the home of dust and odors and keep them fresh and clean until escrow closes. Hire a professional window washer or carpet cleaner if necessary.

7) Price it the home Correctly.  Resist the urge to overprice your home especially in the current real estate market. Your personal attachment to your home may cause you to list the home for more than its worth, but you must be realistic about its true value. The ideal time for an offer is within the first 30 days, so setting the right price is key. If it’s priced too high, the home may not get showings, and you’ll be forced to reduce the price to leave buyers wondering what is wrong with your home.

8) Demand Good Marketing Photos.  Most real estate agents and brokers underestimate the importance of good marketing images of a home. Good images will attract more buyers, poor images have the opposite effect. For examples of excellent marketing photos go to: www.BrentHaywoodPhotography.com

9)  Show It Well (No Pets or Bad Odors)  Having a pet in the home isn’t always the best idea when showing the house to new buyers since they can be distracting. You want your buyers looking at the home and not worrying if it’s okay if the cat goes outside or if the dog is friendly or not. Pets need to be kept away from the showing, whether you take them on a walk, place them in a room away from buyers, or take them to a friend’s house while your home is on the market.  Also be sure your house doesn’t smell like your pets either. Clean surfaces and carpets are important and air fresheners are always a good idea. Fresh flowers on the dining room table or a bowl of fruit in the kitchen make your home’s living spaces feel fresher and more appealing.

10) Hire the Right Agent.  We have many years of experience in the San Diego market, we have listed hundreds of properties in various price points.  We believe in constant communication and respond to calls and emails right away. When we list the property, we ensure that we receive from our sellers all the selling points of the home including such things as upgraded appliances, air conditioning, new fixtures, modern technology, home alarms, etc. We will also do the research on obtaining details about your neighborhood, HOA (if applicable), as well as schools, parks, and other amenities.  And in this challenging market, we are also extremely versed at dealing with short sales, foreclosures and other distressed situations. 

 Source – http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2012/03/ten-tips-for-selling-your-home/

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It’s time to take another look at short sales

Short sales becoming more streamlined

It’s time to take another look at short sales

As recently as a few months ago, if you would have told a real estate agent who specialized in short sales that they’d be raving about a lender’s stellar service and rapid approval times—not to mention significant cash incentives for financially strapped homeowners for pursuing a short sale—you’d have gotten some strange looks.

That’s all changed.  And it’s changed faster and to a greater extent than most real estate professionals ever could have imagined.

With a glut of bank-owned properties dragging down the recovery of the real estate market, as well as the national economy, major lenders are more eager than ever before to avoid foreclosure. So they’ve sharpened their focus on short sales. Big time.

The biggest lenders in the country have staffed up to ensure rapid processing of short sale applications. They’ve ponied up with cash incentives at closing for homeowners who pursue a short sale. And they’re proactively reaching out to CDPE agents and putting them in touch with delinquent borrowers.

This is big news and the media has not really caught onto it yet. What’s important for you to know is that whatever you’ve read or heard in the past about long lag times and frustrations with short sales is probably no longer the case.

As a member of the CDPEAdvanced community, I’m tapped into major lenders and on top of major developments affecting short sales and bank-owned properties.  I invite you to visit my website www.AvoidingForeclosureSanDiego.com to learn more and feel free to contact me any time at 619-994-5515 or MEHAYWOOD@QFRE.NET  if you or anyone you know is struggling with an unmanageable mortgage.

 

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Bank of America promises up to $30k in short sale bonuses

Banks offer cash for completed short sales

Incentive helps bank minimize losses.

 Bank of America launched a nationwide program that offers delinquent mortgage customers an opportunity to prevent foreclosure, minimize damage to their credit scores and walk away with some extra cash for relocation expenses.  With an already strong and solid short sale initiative, this short sale relocation assistance program has already led to 200,000 completed short sales in the last two years and another 30,000 in the first quarter of 2012.

In order to qualify, borrower must work proactively with the bank to obtain a pre-approved sales price prior to submitting a purchase offer for review and approval.  To be eligible for this program, the short sale must be initiated by the end of this year and close escrow by September 26, 2013. 

The relocation assistance provides borrowers anywhere from $2,500 to $30,000 at the completion of a qualifying short sale.  The average payout has been around $12,000. 

In addition to the relocation assistance being offered to qualifying short sales, there has been a significant decrease in the time it takes to approve a short sale.  The process has been streamlined by real estate agents’ use of the Equator system – which keeps banks and agents in communication about the status of a short sale. 

In our experience with Bank of America short sales, we have had approvals come in as little as a few weeks.  We have also seen the relocation assistance payments be presented to sellers, often times on top of the HAFA incentive payment being offered.

If you would like to see if you are eligible to participate in this program, contact us.

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Mary Ellen Haywood
CA BRE License #01264878
Mobile:619-994-5515

Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty
810 West Washington Street
San Diego, CA 92103

Office: 619-269-2277
eFax: 619-819-9910

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