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Mortgage Lates, Foreclosure and Short-Sale

May 31st, 2008 3:40 PM by Sam Kader

  • Respond to the mortgage company's calls and letters. Seek advice and negotiating help from a third party.
  • You have 190 days from the time a default notice was mailed to the time when the house will be auctioned off.
  • Options are repayment agreement or loan modification. Repayment amortize the back payment into future payments whereas loan modification tack the balance towards the end of the mortgage.
  • Consult with your lawyer, or accountant before making a deal with the servicer. Another place to go is a housing counseling agency or a consumer credit counseling service. (See list of website addresses below).
  • Know whether your problem is short-term or long-term.
  • Determine what you want and ask for it.
  • For short-term problems, the lender is likely to offer a forbearance. Usually, this entails adding a set amount to each month's payment. Longer-term problems that reduce income, such as disability, are sometimes solved by loan modifications. Theoretically, any term of a mortgage may be modified: The rate can be lowered, the final payoff date can be moved back, and even the amount owed can be reduced.
  • Document income and expenses, and keep all correspondence.
  • Gather all correspondence from the servicer. Postmarks envelopes are important to track dates. Collect a month's worth of paystubs, three years of W2s and tax returns, 6 months of bank statements, a few months of all bills including utilities, auto payments, credit cards, student loans and child support.
  • Document why you fell behind such as reduction of work hours, a layoff, an invoice for an auto repair, or a shutoff notice from a utility.

  • Be persistent in your quest to talk to the right people at the mortgage company. A mortgage servicer has two platoons of employees who talk with delinquent borrowers: the collections department and the loss-mitigation department. Ask for the loss-mitigation department, which consists of people who negotiate forbearances and modifications.

    What they'll get back from the lender is a push to get an agreement then and there. Fill out an application and let the lender make an offer first and then consider it for 24 hours. Talk it over with an adviser. Accept the offer if it's a good one; otherwise, make a counteroffer.

    Number of free agencies that offer counseling:

    Short selling a property - It means that a lender agrees to accept less than what is owed on the property to facilitate a sale of the property. 

    • Search online or courthouse listing to identify potential short sales
    • View the property, research and guestimate what the house is value.
    • Find all liens and mortgages on the property.
    • Find out how to finance the property.
    • Contact the existing lender and speak to loss mitigation department. A notarized letter from the seller is required authorizing you to discuss about the mortgage.
    • Complete the lender short sale agreement (if one is available).
    • Complete the proposal consisting the followings: The Application and authorization letter, signed purchase offer by both parties, a hardship letter, a statement of the property's value, costs ad liabilities and a settlement statement.
    • Lenders must approve the deal and lenders take an average 4.5 weeks to respond to a short-sale offer.
    • Negotiate and walk away if you exceed your limit. Due to the lengthy process, buyers may walk away due to financing due date.
    • Once the lender, seller and yourself are in agreement - get everything in writing and officially recorded.
    • Agents commission reduced or cut. Some lenders will pay lower or no agent commission leaving sellers to pay their agent outright or agents to give up some of their fee. 

    Tips for closing short sale.

    • Seller has stopped making the payment and received a notice of default.
    • The bank is ready for short sale confirming that the house is being sold for a reasonable price. Ask agent for the bank's agent name, title and if paperwork is complete.
    • Listing agent is experienced with short sales.
    • Foreclosure is at least six weeks away. It takes that long to get a short sale approved.
    • The home only has one mortgage.

     

     


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