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Learn about Federal Loan Assistance and help with Short Sales and Foreclosures

 

Here is a timely reprint from the Seattle Times Q and A on Short Sales and Foreclosures

Q.
My daughter and I recently tried to purchase a home in foreclosure. It was advertised for a specific price, we tried to negotiate down, but finally agreed to the price. The mortgage company rejected our offer, saying they now wanted a higher price. Is this illegal? We believe we were the only offer on the table, and the property stayed unsold for months following this. My daughter just found out the other day that it finally sold, but for much lower than the originally advertised price (and lower than our first offer).
 
A.
I cannot give legal advice. However, at the time you made your offer, the lender may have believed that the home was worth more than the offer you provided.
It is my understanding that the lien-holders are under no obligation to accept any offer that is presented to them. Also, please note that price is not the only factor that lien-holders consider. The other offer may have had other favorable terms.
 
Q.
My husband and I are dealing with 50% less income due to layoffs and reduced salaries. We are current with house payments, but only for the next month or two. Our mortgage company has not implemented the home affordabily program yet, and I and they do not know an ETA.
Is there other proactive step I can take? I am hopeful that with an improved economy our income will increase again.
 
A. 
Based off the information that you have provided, I'm unable to provide you with sound advice. I recommend a HUD certified counseling agency to explain your situation in more detail. Click here for a directory of HUD-approved foreclosure avoidance counseling agencies
 
Q.
Where are all foreclosures listings? As as home buyer I find it very difficult to get access to foreclosure listings. Aren't these lists public and free. It seams like too many real estate agents and companies are trying to make a profit out of them.
 
A.
Yes, these lists are free. Please consult the county records for these lists.
 
Q.
Is there any repercussions for taking out the equity in your home before it's foreclosed?
 
A.
I would not recommend this. It may be possible that you may be pursued for any amount still owed as a result.
 
Q.
What exactly happens to the 2nd mortgage during a short sale? Are you still liable for paying that off or is it settled during the short sale?
 
A.
At the time of the approval, the 2nd lien-holder will determine if the balance is considered 'settled', or if a promissory note will need to be signed for all or a portion of the deficient amount.
amount.
 
Q.
How much of a discount can you purchase a Foreclosed home for over a traditional sale?
 
A. 
There are various factors that determine the 'magic number' for selling a foreclosed property.
Some factors will depend on the location, the current market, the condition of the property, among other variables.  Each case is unique.
 
Q.
If you have bad credit due to a foreclosure can you still purchase a home if you pay cash for the property?
 
A.
Yes, since your credit is not used to determine your ability to purchase the home, you are safe.
 
Q.
If I decide to walk away from my property which is 100 thousand upside down and I have an interest only loan, besides my credit taking a hit for 7 years what is really the worst that could happen? My friend who works at a bank is telling me to walk away given my specific situation.
 
A. 
I'd recommend other options before deciding to walk away from your home. Some options to check into are.
1. Loan Modification - restructuring the terms of the loan
2. Short Sale - Where a homeowner owes more on the property than it is worth
3. Deed in lieu of foreclosure - giving the home to the lender, instead of foreclosure
Depending on how many lien holders have interest in you home, the lien(s) holder may be able to pursue you for the deficient amount.

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