Archive for the ‘loan modification’ Category


Need To Refinance To Stop Foreclosure

April 15, 2009

If you are in a position that you need a stop foreclosure refinance for stopping foreclosure immediately, you will be happy to find out that these types of loans are available as long as you have a significant amount of equity in your property.

What this means is that the total balance due on your current mortgage, in addition to any other liens on your property such as a second mortgage, property taxes, unpaid judgments, etc. plus the closing costs of a new loan do not equal an amount greater than 65% of the appraised value.

In your application to the lender, you will need to provide an estimated property value, as well as the identification of the liens on the property and the estimated amount due on each of the liens. If the lender is a equity only lender, and if the information you have provided supports their loan to value criteria, they will proceed with ordering an appraisal immediately from a licensed appraiser who will come to your property to determine its current fair market value.

Documents, of course, will need to be drawn up, and an escrow account will need to be set up just as quickly so that the documents can be delivered hastily to the escrow company so you can sign the new loan documents, and they can be reviewed and accepted by your new lender.

In addition, a stop foreclosure refinance may require an extension from your current lender if the trustee sale is imminent, so that your new loan has time to be completed, which includes the necessary time for the wiring and processing of all funds.

By the way, by researching and comparing the best stop foreclosures services in the market, you will be able to determine the one that meet your specific financial situation, plus the cheaper and quicker options.

However, it is advisable going with a trusted and reputable stop foreclosure specialist before making any decision, this way you will save time through specialized advice coming from a seasoned advisor and money by getting better results in a shorter span of time.


U.S. Home Foreclosure Notices Hit 274,000 In January 2009

March 13, 2009

The number of Americans on the verge of losing their homes fell in January but was still up from the same month a year ago. The numbers would have been higher if not for efforts to stall the foreclosure process.

Across the U.S., more than 274,000 homes received at least one foreclosure-related notice last month. That was down 10 per cent from December, but still 18 per cent higher than a year ago, according to RealtyTrac Inc., an Irvine, Calif.-based foreclosure listing service.

Contributing to the monthly drop was a decision by government-controlled mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend foreclosure sales during the winter holidays. As well, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist brokered a deal in which lenders in that state agreed to a 45-day halt to new foreclosure petitions.

But those efforts may not have much effect in the long run.

“If you don’t do anything to get to the core problem, all you’re doing is extending the housing downturn,” said Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac’s vice-president for marketing. “It’s only a good idea if there’s a corresponding program that dramatically restructures hundreds of thousands of loans.”

Meanwhile, a federal regulator on Wednesday urged more than 800 thrift institutions to suspend all foreclosures while President Barack Obama’s top economic officials develop plans to keep borrowers in their homes.

The Obama administration plans to spend $50 billion to combat foreclosures of owner-occupied, middle-class homes, but is divulging few details. An announcement of the administration’s housing plans is expected in the coming weeks.

Testifying before House lawmakers on Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the government would provide incentives to “try to induce economically sensible restructuring of mortgages,” but offered no specifics.

2 million foreclosures in last year
More than two million American homeowners faced foreclosure proceedings last year, and that number could soar as high as 10 million in the coming years, according to a report last month by Credit Suisse, depending on the severity of the recession.

The RealtyTrac report said nearly 67,000 properties were repossessed by lenders in January as the worst recession in decades, falling home values and stricter lending standards continue to sap the U.S. real estate market. That was up from more than 45,000 repossessed properties in January 2008, but down from 79,000 in December.

Geithner and Shaun Donovan, the new secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, met with officials from housing and other nonprofit groups, top bank executives and industry lobbyists Wednesday to hear proposals for how the new programs to fight foreclosures should be structured.

After the meeting, John Taylor, chief executive of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, a consumer group in Washington, said he was optimistic the new administration would agree to use government dollars to buy up mortgages and remove them from complex mortgage-linked securities and restructuring them at more affordable levels.

He said support from government and industry officials for that idea was a “giant step forward” compared with opposition to such an approach by the Bush administration.

The Obama administration is also expected to back a push in Congress — opposed by the mortgage industry — to let bankruptcy judges alter the terms of primary home loans. Earlier this week, Obama said it “makes no sense” that judges are not allowed to do so. The mortgage industry argues that this prohibition allows lenders to charge lower rates.


Government May Subsidize Loan Modifications

February 26, 2009

capitol-hillIn an effort to boost loan workouts and their related effectiveness, a plan is reportedly in the works to give mortgage lenders a subsidy if they cut mortgage rates for troubled borrowers, according to the Washington Post.

The Obama Administration is apparently mulling over a proposal that would provide greater incentives for lenders to offer loan workouts to more borrowers in need, not just those close to foreclosure.

Under one possible scenario, the government would share the cost of lowering an at-risk borrower’s interest rate, which may promote the use of loan modifications as a loss mitigation tool instead of less effective repayment plans.

“For example, consider a homeowner with a $200,000 mortgage and a 9 percent interest rate who now pays about $1,700 a month, including taxes and insurance. Lowering the interest rate to 5 percent would reduce the payments to about $1,160. The government and industry would each chip in to cover the difference, about $540,” the Post reported.

The program will likely be financed with the $50 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds set aside for homeowner relief.

It’s unclear how such a program would be carried out, though sources close to the plan believe Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will have some involvement.

Homeowners looking for such aid may be subject to an affordability test, as well as an appraisal of their home to qualify.

Of course, some critics have already argued that many homeowners are simply beyond help, and don’t belong in a mortgage.

Others question why we should subsidize mortgage lenders to do what’s in their best interest to begin with, as a loan modification is often cheaper than foreclosing.

Regardless, most seemed optimistic by the notion of the plan, which was evident in a late rally on Wall Street.

But with re-default rates expected to be in the range of 60-70 percent, it’s hard to get too excited about the initiative, especially with the giant pool of underwater borrowers left to deal with.


Prime Mortgage Crisis Looming

February 17, 2009

Mortgage modifications hit a record in December, 2008. The troubling issue is that many of these modifications are from PRIME borrowers who are attempting to avoid foreclosure. We have heard all about the subprime mortgage crisis, but now it seems to be flowing into prime borrowers as well. The initial problem was caused by subprime borrowers having the inability to pay their loans which caused the economy to head south fast. Now prime borrowers are feeling the pinch and are attempting to modify their current mortgages. Is this something that you should consider?

Now that layoffs are commonplace in America, many more “prime” mortgage borrowers have a reason to be concerned. It is almost impossible to make mortgage payments being unemployed and that is what many unfortunate Americans are having to cope with. Two areas of the economy that are going to feel this economic downturn very hard are print media and retail. Print media is a dying horse as the Internet has changed the way we access information. It is likely we will see many job cuts in this industry. Retail will struggle because consumers are only buying staple products like toilet paper and laundry detergent. Manufacturers and high end retailers are likely to shed jobs in the next six to twelve months as well.


Navigating The Mortgage Modification Maze

February 12, 2009

3Government-sanctioned counseling agencies, local community service agencies and private loan modification agencies concede they have been swamped by demand for loan modifications. The demand has opened the floodgates of loan modification services now offered by real estate agents, mortgage brokers, attorneys, government agencies, lenders, and other professionals.

The demand stems from a proliferation of federal, state and local foreclosure relief and bailout efforts from both government and the lending industry. Mortgage modifications have been around for years, but those recent efforts have raised the profile of the mortgage workouts as an alternative to foreclosures, short sales, auctions, and bankruptcy.

However, homeowners seeking mortgage modifications are at the mercy of lenders, because the workouts are voluntary and often without regulatory standards.

Caught in the lurch, homeowners are finding it tough to know when a modification will work and how to best obtain one.

What is a mortgage modification?

A home loan modification, granted only upon the existing lender’s approval, permanently reworks some of the terms of an existing mortgage in order to make the loan more affordable to the homeowner.

The strategy is typically designed for homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage, not for those who can pay their mortgage or are eligible for a refinanced loan.

Modifications are generally lender fee-free and involve the lender or loan holder lowering the interest rate and or changing an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) to a fixed rate mortgage (FRM) with a 30-year term. Some form of mandated homeownership counseling generally comes with the deal.

Less common loan modifications include adding missed payments to the loan balance and extending the term of the loan. Least common is getting the lender to reduce the principal or wipe out any second mortgages.

A mortgage modification is not a refinanced mortgage — a brand new loan written to pay off the old home loan.

“A mortgage is one of the most complex transactions there is. A loan modification is also a gray area for a lot of people. So of course people need someone to walk them through the process to tell them this is what you need and this is what you don’t need,” said Ginna Green, spokeswoman for the California office of the Center for Responsible Lending in Oakland.

Is a loan modification for you?

A loan modification may not be viable if:

• The modified loan comes with payments you still can’t afford.

• Your current interest rate is already low and there’s no room for the lender to lower it further.

• You can make the new payments, but the mortgage balance is greater than the value of your home and you don’t plan on staying put long enough to reverse the loan-to-value imbalance.

• You have not already missed payments on your mortgage or can’t show financial hardship due, say, to job loss, pay decrease, illness or interest rate increase.

• You have other properties, investments or assets that could be liquidated to cover your mortgage debt.

 A short sale (The lender forgives a portion of the debt owed if you can find a buyer), bankruptcy, auction sale, refinance or other approach, short of a foreclosure, is a better option.

“You can do a loan modification and not be aware of where you stand. You can get a loan modification for a home you don’t want to be in,” said Pennington.

A financial, housing or credit counselor can help you determine your best option. Just be prepared to hold down the fort for the 60 to 90 days or more it could take to complete the modification, due to potential complications and document processing times.

The private loan modification route

Because both nonprofits and lenders have been inundated with calls for aid, it may be prudent to hire a private loan modification service to get a foot in the lender’s door. Consider the following useful tips if you hire a private loan modifier:

• Make sure your choice has a clean record. Consider legal and real estate professionals offering loan modification services only if they have current, unblemished licenses. Also check their record with the Better Business Bureau and their respective trade or professional group.

• Get performance-related service. Never pay an advance fee if your lender has already recorded a notice of default. You could be throwing good money after bad. It’s illegal in California for “foreclosure consultants” or any real estate licensee to collect a fee after a notice of default has been recorded.

• Check your state for similar regulations. Make sure to familiarize yourself with any other rules governing private loan modification services and state rules specific to lenders granting modifications. You won’t know if the modification service is adhering to the law if you don’t know the law.

Carefully examine any contract or terms of service before proceeding. If you don’t understand the terms or aren’t satisfied with what’s promised, don’t sign. Get help. That could mean reconsidering waiting for a HUD-certified counselor.

Pay particular attention to what the service will or won’t do with your information, especially when it comes to sharing it with third parties. When information