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Wed, Jul 1, 2009

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You don’t have to face a mortgage crisis alone. KTEH has assembled a group of experts who can offer advice on foreclosure, foreclosure prevention, loan modification, predatory loans, real estate fraud, tenants rights and more. If you need advice, post your question here and an expert will provide an answer or a referral to a trusted resource.

Please note, though, that while KTEH is proud of our team of community partners, any advice they provide is their own and not KTEH’s. KTEH does not assume any liability for any advice provided to you.

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190 Comments For This Post

  1. John Says:

    We purchased our home not at the peak, but not at the bottom either (Aug 2008). Our issue is refinancing. As we’ll be in our home longer than we anticipated :-) we have to consider that we have an ARM which has 4 more years before it adjusts. Given the current interest rate hikes, do you think it is a good time to refying (we can do about a half a point better on the same length fixed rate)? Thanks in advance!

  2. becca Says:

    Hi, John.
    If you would like to secure your loan at the current lower-interest rates, it may be a good time to take advantage of this option for a possible rate-and-term refinance. However, there are a lot of other factors to consider when looking into refinancing your mortgage (current property value, loan-to-value restrictions, debt-to-income ratios, pre-payment penalties, etc.). Provided you are eligible for a refinance and do not have any issues with pre-payment penalties on your mortgage(s), this may help alleviate the unpredictability that your current loan poses when your fixed rate term is completed and your loan switches over to a variable interest rate loan. Please remember though that a refinance does cost money (appraisal, closing costs and other fees)– this is one other factor you need to consider if it fits into your current finances as well. To get the best option, be prepared to shop around for the best loan available to you that lets you get the best interest with the least cost as possible. Working directly with the loan source, like the bank or credit union, would be one way to cut through the additional broker and closing fees that normally gets assessed when getting a loan through a mortgage broker. I hope this answers your question.

    Racquel Sartaguda
    Housing Education Program
    595 Market Street, 15th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105
    Phone Nos.: HUD (866) 520-0922, PMI (800) 632-7663 or General (415) 788-0288, ext.232
    Fax No.: (415) 777-4057
    mailto:rsartaguda@cccssf.org
    http://www.housingeducation.net

  3. Jeri Says:

    We bought our house in Concord, CA, in 1980. In the last few years we have refinanced a few times. Then we were called by our last mortgage broker, who encouraged us to refi again even though we had done so less than a year before. Then a few months later they did it again. Each time they sais we would get a better deal, but each time the payments and the APR went up. We decided we needed to get away from them, so we went to another company, recommended by a ‘friend”. He subsequently left the company and we were working with another salesperson (and they ARE salespeople). This one again told us that our old company was not being honest with us and that he could get us a much better deal (of course he could!). We believed him and decided to try again (How stupid can we get?). Anyway, what a surprise, we were not happy with the loan he got us. Now we were really frustrated and went to their Customer Service Dept. After a bit we got a call from the best sales person of them all! She convinced us that she could fix everything, she would be our rep for life! She was in the Customer Service Dept.and she had access to special interest rates and all sorts of things that she could do that were not available to the other salespeople. She never let her people down. she would follow our loan progress and contact us when ever thinggs change in our favor. She became our best friend; she loved everything we loved she said we were so much alike, on and on and on! But we had doubts about what she was telling us. When we asked how it worked she gave us a flurry of “Oh, dont worry, everything will be fine.” and “You’ll be refinancing way before you have to worry!” Then shortly after we got our new refi, We couldn’t reach her any more. Then we couldn’t reach her office any more. Then we found out that their office had closed and they had all disappeared into the ether. We thought that she was wrong, but we wanted to believe. So, now, we are only ably to make payments of 1/2 the interest on the loan and we are sinking deeper every month. We have not been able to get a loan modification and we feel sure that we will lose our home. If you have anything to say or any one we can talk to, PLEASE let us know! Thank you, Jeri

  4. Herbert P Says:

    I own 2 investment condos in Florida that are 80/20 finaced. Purchased
    prices was $160000 and $180000. Similar properties in that are currently foreclosed as low as $38000. At this low price rent is cheap and I cant compete with others in this complex. It seems like a loan modification will not work for me considering HOA is added to my expenses. For example I currently pay $950 and $250 for mortgage (80/20) , HOA is $240. Rent for this property is only $500.

    Wher do I go from here? Will a deed in lie of foreclosure be the best way out? How do I go about doing this?

  5. cwilson Says:

    Answer 1 for Herbert P.

    A deed in lieu of foreclosure or a short sale, where the lender agrees to take less in satisfaction of its mortgage, may be an option. You need to contact you lender or the lender’s loan servicing agent directly to negotiate such a resolution. If you do not wish to negotiate this yourself, you may also want to use the services of a HUD certified mortgage counseling agency, which generally does not charge for its services. HUD’s website provides a list of such agencies by state at http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm. However, you should be aware that a deed in lieu or a short sale may still affect your credit although less so than a foreclosure sale.

    Duane Shewag
    Paralegal
    Real Estate Fraud Unit
    Office of the District Attorney
    County of Santa Clara

    Answer 2:

    Hello,

    To pursue a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure the home must have been listed on the market for over 90 days with no offers, have you listed the home? You must work with a realtor who has experience in short sales.

    Also, a deed-in-lieu needs to have a clear title (no second mortgage, even with the same lender), and it generally must be a primary home.  Call your lender to find out their specific guidelines.

    In the meantime, it looks like listing the home for sale is a good option for you.  If you do want to pursue a loan modification, you may end up having to pay the difference for a while with a renter.  If keeping the property and paying the difference is less expensive than a foreclosure/short sale in the long run, than consider the option.

    Katrina Zárate, Certified Housing Counselor
    Housing Education Program
    Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco
    595 Market Street 15th Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94105
    Phone: 877-511-2272 ext 189 / Fax: 415.896.9732
    Email: kzarate@cccssf.org
    Website:www.housingeducation.net

  6. Michael Frazier Says:

    Why should any mortgage lenders ever offer, or even be allowed to offer, loans secured by real estate with anything less than 20% cash down payment when borrowers believe that if market prices someday drop sufficiently that their loan balance exceeds the value of the property then they the borrower can walk away or insist upon loan modification?

  7. JILL Says:

    Hello,
    Just wanted to say I enjoy your show…Becca encouraged me to write in and ask this question about my living situation.
    I’m a tenant living in a San Carlos, Condo. I’ve been here seven years now. I quite like it here, but am I throwing my $1,500 away monthly for rent. I’ve asked my landlords that reside in Virginia, if I could have first right of refusal, should they decide to put it on the market. That was almost 2 years ago, I never did receive a response.
    Am I wasting my money, or should I get out and buy a Condo of my own and take advantage of the situation the economy is currently in…?
    Thank you
    JILL

  8. becca Says:

    Answer for John:
    If you can actually get approved for a refi, sure go for it to get a fixed rate mortgage. be sure to carefully review any fees and ask lots of questions. you should connect with a local HUD counseling agency - go to a homebuyer’s education workshop regardless of the fact that you already own a home, as these classes teach you how to understand your loan, loan disclosures, and the pros & cons of refinancing.

    you may also want to go to http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov and see if you’re eligible for a modification.

    Peace!
    Live Long & Prosper!

    Sheri Powers, JD, MA
    Homeownership Center Director
    The Unity Council
    A NeighborWorks Chartered Member &
    HUD Approved Counseling Agency

  9. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR JERI:
    I suggest you forget about refinancing and apply for a loan modification under the HAMP program. Go to http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov to see if you qualify for the modification and to confirm that your current servicer is participating in the program.

    I’m not sure that the refinancing history your describe helps you or hurts you; move on and apply for a modification.

    I would also suggest you both enroll in a financial fitness & literacy course, to learn how to manage your finances as well as your expectations. We offer a 5 week class that begins on Tuesday September 8th. Cost to you is $20/each for materials: that’s a whole lot cheaper than refinancing. All you have to do is show up & choose to be present, tell the truth without blaming or judging, share what’s important to you, and be open to outcome, not attached to outcome.
    Contact homeownership@unitycouncil.org for more info and/or to register.

    Peace!
    Live Long & Prosper!

    Sheri Powers, JD, MA
    Homeownership Center Director
    The Unity Council
    A NeighborWorks Chartered Member &
    HUD Approved Counseling Agency

    510-535-7181 office
    510-532-5983 fax
    spowers@unitycouncil.org

  10. becca Says:

    ANSWER 3 FOR HERBERT
    Hi Herbert,

    If you feel that you can no longer sustain the properties then you
    should consider liquidating via a short sale. A short sale will limit
    your tax liability as opposed to a foreclosure as you can qualify for
    the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness act of 2007 and any chance for deficiency
    for any unpaid principal balances will be vastly reduced. Seek advise
    from a tax advisor and an attorney for more information on this bill.

    A deed in lieu of foreclosure is very rare especially since neither of
    the homes are your owner occupied home and your hardship is not
    permanent. The initial criteria for a deed in lieu of foreclosure is a
    permanent hardship, your property taxes and insurance must be escrowed,
    you cannot have any second liens and the property has to be your owner
    occupied home. An example of when a deed in lieu may work will be if the
    principal borrower dies and the widow cannot sustain the payments.
    Variations in the criteria may occur since things changes everyday with
    bank requirements but this is the basic criteria.

    In terms of a short sale, you should contact a realtor that specializes
    in short sales in your area and that has actually seen a short sale go
    through since the process is vastly different than a regular sale and
    requires more attention. The common timeframe for a short sale is
    approximately 3-6 months. A short sale will be made more difficult if
    you do not show a valid hardship to the bank (i.e. a cut in hours,
    unemployment, underemployment, mandatory pay reduction, elimination of
    overtime, divorce, separation, incarceration, decline in business
    earning, ect.) It may also prove more difficult because the second liens
    on both properties have to approve the short sale and, more often than
    not, the second lien will receive no funds from a short sale so they
    expect you to pay them off at least a percentage of what you owe to
    them. In short, with what little I know of your situation, it appears
    that a short sale may be your best bet but you should seek a more in
    depth look at your situation with a qualified housing counselor.

    Best regards,
    Javier A. Giron, Certified Housing Counselor
    Housing Education Program, Freddie Mac Department
    Consumer Credit Counseling Services of San Francisco
    595 Market St. Suite 1200
    San Francisco, CA, 94105
    Phone: (877) 511-2272
    Fax: (415) 896-9732
    Email: jgiron@cccssf.org
    Website: housingeducation.net

  11. becca Says:

    ANSWER 4 FOR HERBERT

    As you were implying, the rental option does not make financial sense.
    If the homes have been on the market for 90 days, then a deed in lieu of
    foreclosure is a possibility. However, they are very rarely granted.
    You may want to consider the short sale option in your situation
    instead. A short sale is when the home sells for the current market
    value which is less than the loans that you owe. Depending on the state
    that you are in, the remainding debt may be forgiven. You could have
    potential tax implications and would need to speak with legal aid about
    that matter. Given the fact that you have two mortgages on each
    property, there could potentially be some additional back and forth
    negotiations between the lenders. You also need to keep in mind that a
    short sale stays on your credit report for two years and you may not be
    able to purchase another property until you rebuild your credit.

    Jula Pereira
    Housing Counselor
    Housing Education Program
    866-520-0922 x283
    jpereira@housingeducation.org

  12. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR JOHN

    You are more than welcome to try applying for a refinance to fix your rate. This would be a wise decision for the future. Overall, it is a difficult time to refinance, given the state of the housing market and the general lack of equity in properties. Because your ARM is only readjusting in 4 years, it may be fine to wait and see how everything unfolds in the next few years. If you do not have equity in the property and you have either a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan, you may want to research the Making Home Affordable refinance program as an option. You may also see whether you may qualify for a modification program as well.

    Jula Pereira
    Housing Counselor
    Housing Education Program
    866-520-0922 x283
    jpereira@housingeducation.org

  13. becca Says:

    Answer for John:
    You might check out the makinghomeaffordable.gov website and look at the refinance option (if your investor is Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac) or the modification option. The modification option might allow you to fix the rate while keeping the same loan regardless of who the investor is. Another website to check is financialstability.org
    This is assuming the rate adjustment might create a financial hardship. Otherwise a traditional refinance should be a personal choice and a loan officer might be better to advise you.

  14. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR HERBERT:
    A deed in lieu is normally only considered following you trying to sell
    the property unsuccessfully. This would only be considered if there are
    no junior liens or encumbrances on the property and only if it is in
    marketable condition as this option would require the lender to then
    sell the property. For the lender it saves the time and cost of
    foreclosure. For you it would keep a foreclosure off your credit and
    possibly avoid additional liabilities such as a deficiency judgment. It
    is also considered in other situations however it is rare. You might
    consider contacting a realtor who specializes in short sales and listing
    the property for sale. You might also consider seeking legal advice
    regarding bankruptcy.

  15. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR JERI:
    A deed in lieu is normally only considered following you trying to sell
    the property unsuccessfully. This would only be considered if there are
    no junior liens or encumbrances on the property and only if it is in
    marketable condition as this option would require the lender to then
    sell the property. For the lender it saves the time and cost of
    foreclosure. For you it would keep a foreclosure off your credit and
    possibly avoid additional liabilities such as a deficiency judgment. It
    is also considered in other situations however it is rare. You might
    consider contacting a realtor who specializes in short sales and listing
    the property for sale. You might also consider seeking legal advice
    regarding bankruptcy.
    Michael Nord

  16. becca Says:

    Hi, Herbert.

    A deed-in-lieu of foreclosure or a “friendly” foreclosure (since the
    borrower elects to relinquish ownership on the property on his own
    volition) is normally an option that is few and far between to come by,
    especially when you have more than one lien on your property — this can
    be true even for 80/20 loans that are housed by the very same lender on
    each of the loans (due to possibly differing investors on each of the
    loans). If you have 2 separate lienholders and/or lenders, the
    likelihood of getting a deed-in-lieu is less than likely to occur.
    Almost always, the lender requires for your to attempt to sell or list
    your property for 90 days before they could even consider talking with
    you about a deed-in-lieu; in your case, your lender may first elect to
    have you short sell your property before they may talk to you about a
    deed-in-lieu. There are a few factors that a lender assesses prior to
    considering this option: existing liens on the property, the condition
    of the property, title encumbrances, prior attempts to sell the
    property, proof of hardship, etcetera. The less issues for them to
    handle to get the property “sellable” or “liveable”, the better are your
    chances of having your lender consider the likelihood of this option.
    In any situation, it is always best to approach your lender directly
    pertaining to possible options you may consider regarding your property,
    especially at the first instance that you notice possible issues of
    maintaining your mortgage payments.

    Racquel Sartaguda
    Housing Education Program
    595 Market Street, 15th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105
    Phone Nos.: HUD (866) 520-0922, PMI (800) 632-7663 or General (415)
    788-0288, ext.232
    Fax No.: (415) 777-4057
    mailto:rsartaguda@cccssf.org
    http://www.housingeducation.net

  17. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR JERI:

    If you are unable to negotiate a loan modification yourself, you may
    want to contact a a HUD certified mortgage counseling agency, which
    generally does not charge for its services. HUD’s website provides a
    list of such agencies at http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm.

    Duane Shewaga
    Paralegal
    Real Estate Fraud Unit
    Telephone: (408) 808-3787
    E-mail: dshewaga@da.sccgov.org

    Office of the District Attorney
    County of Santa Clara
    70 West Hedding St., West Wing
    San Jose, CA 95110

  18. becca Says:

    Michael Frazier Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 6:14 pm e
    Why should any mortgage lenders ever offer, or even be allowed to offer, loans secured by real estate with anything less than 20% cash down payment when borrowers believe that if market prices someday drop sufficiently that their loan balance exceeds the value of the property then they the borrower can walk away or insist upon loan modification?

    ANSWER:

    Interesting question. I would like to hear the mortgage industry’s response. I would also like to ask the CEOs and Product & Marketing VPs within the mortgage industry who created, & aggressively marketed short term financing (2, 3, 5, 7, 10 year fixed adjustable rate loans, and negatively amortizing loans) to people who were never taught anything about mortgages and homeownership pros & cons, why they would aggressively market short term financing for the purchase of a long term “investment” without also aggressively requiring education and full disclosure of the terms of the mortgages and how they would work over time? why would they also aggressively incentivize mortgage brokers and retail loan officers to push these products that typically required no income verification, over more stable, ordinary boring 30 year fixed full documentation mortgages? did you know brokers got paid 3-5 time more if they could convince someone to use a 2/28 or 3/27 or neg am loan with a prepay penalty over a boring 30 year fixed full doc loan? and y’know I have heard more than a few real estate agents grumble about the extra time required for people to take homebuyer education workshops…..hummm…. lots of questions…. did you know that brokers and loan officers are 100% commissioned sales people? if they don’t close the deal, they don’t get paid. shd we also be thinking about changing the compensation structure? I suspect the answers to all these questions, yours and mine, has a lot to do with the bottom line: PROFIT.

    Keep in mind too that 20% cash down means lower home prices - it’s easier to save 20% of $50,000 than it is to save 20% of $300,000. who do you think would be buying homes in the latter scenario? Consider the consequences - broadly!

    Peace!
    Live Long & Prosper!

    Sheri Powers, JD, MA
    Homeownership Center Director
    The Unity Council
    A NeighborWorks Chartered Member &
    HUD Approved Counseling Agency

    510-535-7181 office
    510-532-5983 fax
    spowers@unitycouncil.org

  19. becca Says:

    JILL Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 6:53 pm e
    Hello,
    Just wanted to say I enjoy your show…Becca encouraged me to write in and ask this question about my living situation.
    I’m a tenant living in a San Carlos, Condo. I’ve been here seven years now. I quite like it here, but am I throwing my $1,500 away monthly for rent. I’ve asked my landlords that reside in Virginia, if I could have first right of refusal, should they decide to put it on the market. That was almost 2 years ago, I never did receive a response.
    Am I wasting my money, or should I get out and buy a Condo of my own and take advantage of the situation the economy is currently in…?
    Thank you
    JILL

    ANSWER

    I suggest you attend one or more HUD approved Homebuyer Education workshops ASAP. These workshops are designed to answer the types of questions you raise here, and more importantly, to help inform you of the pros and cons of homeownership vs renting. there is absolutely nothing wrong with renting. whether or not you are “throwing your money away” by renting depends entirely on what your goals are. Homeownership is an expensive proposition. There is ongoing maintenance & repairs, both minor and major! you have to be able to save as a homeowner, otherwise when things go wrong, you pay for the work with credit cards and before you know it, you’re deeper in debt than before you started. you need a plan. do you have one?

    also, beware of buying into a condo in today’s market. you will be sharing ownership in common with a lot of other folks…. you need to know what the risks are as well as the benefits. … you want to be sure the condo HOA is a healthy one financially, as well as inter-personally.

    Like I said, go to a HUD approved homebuyer education workshop and start doing your research.

    Peace!
    Live Long & Prosper!

    Sheri Powers, JD, MA
    Homeownership Center Director
    The Unity Council
    A NeighborWorks Chartered Member &
    HUD Approved Counseling Agency

    510-535-7181 office
    510-532-5983 fax
    spowers@unitycouncil.org

  20. becca Says:

    answer 2 for Michael Frazier

    Unless a borrower qualifies for a government sponsored program, a borrower cannot force a lender to modify a loan. We have seen where lenders have refused to modify loans even when the property is under water, especially when the borrower cannot show that he or she has sufficient income to support even a modified loan. And modification of a loan may not mean better terms. The term of the loan may be extended to reduce monthly payments but the interest rate may stay the same. And a borrower takes a risk that in the future there may not be similar bailout programs as now being sponsored.

    Another reason for lowing LTV ratios is to promote the public policy of reducing the number of foreclosures and stabilizing the housing market to the benefit of all homeowners. Fannie Mae recently announced on July 1st that it was implementing a new loan-to-value ceiling for ratios up to 125% for loans qualifying under the Home Affordable Refinance Program. “This step aims to reach even more borrowers who would benefit from a lower payment,” said Michael J. Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Many borrowers in good standing have been shut out from the benefits of refinancing due to significant declines in property values across the country. By broadening the scope of the initiative, more borrowers will experience savings on their monthly mortgage payments and have a better chance of sustaining home ownership over the long term.” HARP is part of the Administration’s Making Home Affordable plan aimed at stabilizing the housing market, helping Americans reduce their mortgage payments to more affordable levels, and preventing avoidable foreclosures.

    Duane Shewaga
    Paralegal
    Real Estate Fraud Unit
    Telephone: (408) 808-3787
    E-mail: dshewaga@da.sccgov.org

    Office of the District Attorney
    County of Santa Clara
    70 West Hedding St., West Wing
    San Jose, CA 95110

  21. becca Says:

    JILL Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 6:53 pm e
    Hello,
    Just wanted to say I enjoy your show…Becca encouraged me to write in and ask this question about my living situation.
    I’m a tenant living in a San Carlos, Condo. I’ve been here seven years now. I quite like it here, but am I throwing my $1,500 away monthly for rent. I’ve asked my landlords that reside in Virginia, if I could have first right of refusal, should they decide to put it on the market. That was almost 2 years ago, I never did receive a response.
    Am I wasting my money, or should I get out and buy a Condo of my own and take advantage of the situation the economy is currently in…?
    Thank you
    JILL

    ANSWER:

    Buying a home is a major decision that you alone should make. Granted the market is ripe with opportunity and there are probably many homes that you could afford for $1500 per month. Go to a first time homebuyer class and start saving for a downpayment, but take your time and don’t jump into anything.

  22. becca Says:

    Michael Frazier Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 6:14 pm e
    Why should any mortgage lenders ever offer, or even be allowed to offer, loans secured by real estate with anything less than 20% cash down payment when borrowers believe that if market prices someday drop sufficiently that their loan balance exceeds the value of the property then they the borrower can walk away or insist upon loan modification?

    ANSWER:

    The lenders try to price the loans and determine required down payment
    amounts according to the risk associated with the borrower. Less than a
    20% down payment would normally require compensating factors that show a
    low risk of defaulting. The lenders are also often forced into this so
    as not to appear discriminatory against people lacking down payment
    money.

    Michael Nord

  23. Donald Says:

    Hi,

    We bought this house in early 07′ for more than 500K. And the property progress losses it’s value. In mid 08′ the house across us was short sale for 265K. All the while we tried to contact the Bank and trying various “Help,” “Hope” and whatever, including ACORN and “COP” (Congressional Oversight Panel). All we hear were help is coming contact the bank and don’t loose hope. Predictors are everywhere, eagerly wanting to help us. Our lives took a dramatic change. I had quit my part-time weekend job due to health and to take care of my wife after she was diagnosed with a benign in her lower pelvic early this year. She underwent a surgery to remove the tumor. The Oncology discovered she had early stage cancer. After the operation, I was told it was a “success.” My wife had decided to forego the chemotherapy as her best chance of survival. We have yet to receive the complete bill for her operation, which is now over 150K. We still unable to determine how much we will have to pay. She will more likely to loose her job as our only mean of survival. What I have written here are more than what a normal family can stomach. My main focus is how to save my wife which I love very much. We will separate or divorce if necessary. However, we also face with another problem, my daughter in her sophomore year in UC Davis. How she could continue her studies without dragging her with us as we progress going downhill (You can say we are classify as poverty level)? We have paid more than 130K down payment and interest only since we moved in this house. I am sure there are others in much more dire state than we are.

    The questions now: How can we get out of this mess, without the banks coming us later? We are not interested in our credits, but how to get out? We have not missed a single payment nor late payment. My wife and I are very discipline we have no credit debts, except a small one which my wife kept . . . “to keep up good credit rating.” Everything we bought was “CASH.” If we can’t afford it, we don’t need it. We really need good sound advice to get out of this house.

  24. Donald Says:

    Thank you very much for posting our problems. I need to add further, I called 211 after browsing your website, and I was given a few phone numbers, which passed me to a few more organizations, none are interested. By the way, I have also called and went to Baylegal in Oakland. They too are unable to help us. I could find a lawyer, but could we afford spending the scare resources? NO!

    While waiting and looking for HELP, I am now preparing a “Moving Sale.” Starting this weekend in Craigslist. After that, where will I go, I don’t have the slightest idea! I desperately need sound legal advice for an orderly walkout before year-end. I am more than willing to talk with anyone genuinely willing to give us sound legal advice and not trying to make a few more bucks from us. I can be reach by my email with phone number. I am in Union City. Thank a million.

  25. becca Says:

    Cathy L asks:

    I thank you for taking your valuable time to assist me in this matter. I am a 65 year old unemployed woman with high blood pressure. I live in the home that my Dad left to myself and my 2 brothers. In 2004 I took out a $272,500 loan with World Savings to pay each of my brothers their share. My original loan was supposed to be a 1.95% fixed rate 30 year loan. I soon found myself dealing with Wachovia Bank in a “pick a payment” situation with an adjustable rate mortgage. I have had a Forensic Audit done and there seems to be some irregularities with the loan.
    · The first being the fact that the only loan application signed by me is for the 1.95% fixed rate 30 year loan. This loan application is what the title company also produced.
    · The second being the fact that the copies the title company has produced show some changes that are not on my copies. Such actions appear to be predatory considering I never sought such a mortgage.

    I have applied for and be approved for a Reverse Mortgage with Golden Gateway Financial. When I asked for a payoff from Wachovia the last week in May, 2009 they never sent one. When Golden Gateway Financial asked for a payoff they would not give them one at first. When Wachovia finally sent the payoff it was about $10,000 over what the Reverse Mortgage would cover. Wachovia has a number of fees and costs added to the payoff that they would not explain to me.

    When I tried to file for a loan modification I was told I did not qualify. With Golden Gateway Financial on the phone with me I asked again and they took my application over the phone. They would reduce the principle to 269,000 and the first year would be interest only and then it would convert to fixed rate. They would need 2 payments sent back with the signed application. I was turned down.

    I decided to apply for a Reverse Mortgage with Wachovia but I was told that my house did not qualify and Jarrad would not take my application.

    And now here I am, it is August 24, 2009 and I am STILL trying to prevent Wachovia from selling that home on the courthouse steps in Martinez , California . I am still seeking legal counsel that will represent me pro bono. I have exhausted myself, my limited fiscal resources and my patience dealing with a major financial institution that is deaf to anything except profit and blind to anything except the equity in my home.

    I am behind in my payments and my home did go into foreclosure because I am unemployed, however, I have secured a Reverse Mortgage with Golden Gateway Financial and I need approximately $10,000 to clear out the Wachovia loan. I do not have the funds and I have tried everything to secure the funds. Wachovia would not even take my application for the Reverse Mortgage. I was told by a gentleman named Jarred that my home did not qualify and now I am receiving daily calls for a gentleman named Bobby Jackson stating that my home does qualify for a “short sale”. I do not want to sell my home. I want to Reverse Mortgage it but Wachovia seems to just want me out of the home.

    I do not know what my payment would be now. I went to paperless billing several years ago and Wachovia does not send statements. I have no access to my online account because Wachovia has denied me access and will not reinstate the access.

    What I find absolutely horrible is that Wachovia refuses to try to work things out with me. Why you might ask….well here it is. My home appraises for $540,000 and my loan principle is only $272,500. If I do the math correctly it seems that Wachovia looks to reap $250,000 a quarter of a million dollars by kicking me out. The amount they want as a pay off currently stands at $321,991.53. Now it seems to me in the interest of “trying to let me stay in my home” it would behoove Wachovia to wiggle just a little after all the difference between 272,500.00 and 321,991.53 is $49,491.53.

    On June 30, 2009 I filed a Complaint for Declaratory Judgment against Wachovia. There is a Case Management Conference scheduled for November 16, 2009 and yet CTS claims they will sell the house on August 31, 2009, this is the third date change since the notice was posted on my front door in May of this year.

    I have also gone to ACORN to request help but they tell me they cannot help me since each time the sale date changes I am not notified in writing and they need to see a written copy of the sale date.

    I now need to have an attorney assist me with a predatory loan suit against Wachovia. Please help

    Respectfully,

    Cathy Langford

  26. becca Says:

    Answer for Cathy L.

    You may want to contact Bay Area Legal Aid which services Contra Costa
    County. Bay Area Legal Aid’s number is 510-233-9954; and their email
    is: info@baylegal.org If Acorn cannot help you because you need written
    verification of the rescheduled trustee’s sale date, you may want to
    call the trustee who is processing the sale and ask them to you
    confirmation of the new date. The notice of sale should have a phone
    number to contact the trustee or the trustee’s agent. Continuances of a
    trustee’s sale can be orally cried which is why you won’t receive
    another notice of trustee’s sale.

    Duane Shewaga
    Paralegal
    Real Estate Fraud Unit
    Telephone: (408) 808-3787
    E-mail: dshewaga@da.sccgov.org

    Office of the District Attorney
    County of Santa Clara
    70 West Hedding St., West Wing
    San Jose, CA 95110

  27. Robert S Says:

    We just received a 90 day Notice to Quit, as the home we were renting was sold at Trustee sale. We were expecting this, and were not interested in the Cash for Keys the bank offered.

    Our question is, when does the 90 days begin? The notice is dated 8/21, but was posted 8/27, and we have not yet received anything in the mail.

    In addition, it is possible the 90 days would be up on Thanksgiving. Would this extend the 90 days and, if so, how long?

    Thanks!

  28. Richard Says:

    We purchased our home in 2004, and in 2007 I became a disabled veteran. My savings ran out about 5 months ago, and we are now in default with Litton Loan Services. Also, the home is about $350,000 underwater - so, refinancing is not an option. We are now on fixed income from disability. I requested a loan modification and the lender refused because I did not supply all of the papers they requested. I have recently submitted all of their requested papers, and the loan modification is now under review. My concern is that they are stalling with the modification “carrot stick” and will foreclose anyway when the final date arrives. Is that legal? What are my other options?

  29. David Y Says:

    I am a 1st time home owner with a FHA coventional loan amount of $521K for 30 years fixed 6.75% interest with $3700 monthly instalment. County latest property valuation is $325K. 90% of my salary goes to the mortgage & I am thinking of doing a short sale. I am trying to do a loan modification but lender told me that currently there are no stimulus financial aid for my type of loan. Also since payment is current, the lender refused to review my request. It seems like the only way out is to default on my payments. What are my options? This is my primary residence and I would like to keep it..

  30. becca Says:

    Donald Asks:
    August 24th, 2009 at 11:53 pm e
    Thank you very much for posting our problems. I need to add further, I called 211 after browsing your website, and I was given a few phone numbers, which passed me to a few more organizations, none are interested. By the way, I have also called and went to Baylegal in Oakland. They too are unable to help us. I could find a lawyer, but could we afford spending the scare resources? NO!

    While waiting and looking for HELP, I am now preparing a “Moving Sale.” Starting this weekend in Craigslist. After that, where will I go, I don’t have the slightest idea! I desperately need sound legal advice for an orderly walkout before year-end. I am more than willing to talk with anyone genuinely willing to give us sound legal advice and not trying to make a few more bucks from us. I can be reach by my email with phone number. I am in Union City. Thank a million.

    ANSWER:

    You might consider seeking legal advice regarding bankruptcy as a possible option, assuming you are unable to afford the mortgage/s or the medical bills. Otherwise you might consider short selling the property which would usually result in the lender/s agreeing in writing to not come after you for the difference (deficiency judgement). You should consult a tax professional as there could still be tax (income tax) liabilities. The Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 could possibly provide some protection against the tax liabilites.

    Michael Nord

  31. becca Says:

    David Y
    dyisdy138@hotmail.com | 66.206.162.98

    I am a 1st time home owner with a FHA coventional loan amount of $521K for 30 years fixed 6.75% interest with $3700 monthly instalment. County latest property valuation is $325K. 90% of my salary goes to the mortgage & I am thinking of doing a short sale. I am trying to do a loan modification but lender told me that currently there are no stimulus financial aid for my type of loan. Also since payment is current, the lender refused to review my request. It seems like the only way out is to default on my payments. What are my options? This is my primary residence and I would like to keep it..

  32. K Says:

    I contacted our mortgage bank, Well’s Fargo, to request for a Loan Modification. After five months of submitting necessary documents and calling them for may updates in between, instead of a result of loan modification, we received a “Special Forbearance Agreement.” I am aware of the typical three month Loan Modification Trial period for banks in dealing with modifications. However, this agreement seems fishy and wanted to ask the experts for some advice.

    The agreement states, once agreed, if we don’t pay ~$2000 (our current mortgge is ~$4000) for the next three months, they have the right to esentially forclose. But we don’t have any defalut mortgages and we’ve always been current with our mortage. There’s no reason for a Forbearance agreement. When I contacted the bank regarding this, they (customer rep staff-they wouldn’t provide contact info or name of loan officer to speak with) said, we MUST accept this “Special Forbearance Agreement” if we want to see the outcome of the Loan Modification we started five months ago. The fact that we’ve been paying ~$4000 for the past three years and especially for the past five months (during what I thought was a Loan Modificaiton procss) should be enough to move forward with the loan modificaiton. It seems as though they are trying to default our loan. Can I trust this agreement? Is there a way we can find out the result of Loan Modification without having to sign for “Special Forbearance Agreement” that would go on our credit record. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks in advance!

  33. becca Says:

    Answer for David Y.

    There is a new FHA modification program similar to the Home Affordable
    Modification Program. Here is a link for information:
    http://www.hud.gov/news/release.cfm?content=pr09-137.cfm&CFID=17685889&C
    FTOKEN=34052131

    Michael Nord

  34. becca Says:

    Answer 2 for David Y,

    Check out the FHA website:
    http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/FHA_Home

    For the FHA option contact: HUD’s National Servicing Center at (888) 297-8685 to determine if you qualify for the FHA-Home Affordable Modification Program

    There are FHA refinance options for if you are current but are in imminent danger of default, which you must be if you are paying 90% of salary toward the loan!

    I am more concerned that you may be paying too much of your salary for housing costs (mortgage + escrow + HOA), which traditionally shouldn’t exceed over 31-35% of your monthly gross income. If you are unable to refinance or modify the loan, then the short sale could be a good option. Do you have two loans? Have you talked to your lender to see if they would allow you to list the home for a short sale? Do get some tax/legal advice so you understand all of the tax consequences or deficiency consequences of a short sale in your area.

    Best of luck!

    Katrina Zárate, Certified Housing Counselor
    Housing Education Program
    Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco
    595 Market Street 15th Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94105
    Phone: 877-511-2272 ext 189 / Fax: 415.896.9732
    Email: kzarate@cccssf.org
    Website:www.housingeducation.net

  35. becca Says:

    Answer for Cathy L:

    Hello Ms. Langford,

    This certainly sounds like a legal situation, which most of us non-profit counselors are unable to help with directly, so I will start by pinpointing a few issues that stood out to me.

    First of all, since the Wachovia loan principal is $272,500, and the payoff is 321,991.53, where is that $49,491.53 coming from? Is it all interest? Closing fees? Any legal fees? If you received in writing a breakdown of the fees attached with closing out your mortgage, I would show that breakdown to your attorney to make sure that everything seems legitimate. Not to mention, you must receive these items in writing, which your legal rep. may help push your lender to provide.

    Also, do have your attorney look over the discrepancies that you mentioned between the loan paperwork that you have and that which the lender holds.

    As far as the reverse mortgage: have you ever sought reverse mortgage counseling?
    –Contact the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at (866) 698-6322 or 1-800-388-2227 to ask for a referral to a reverse mortgage counselor in your area. This may help clarify why you were told that you do not qualify for the reverse mortgage.

    Why were you refused for a loan modification? Again, ask the housing/credit counseling number listed above so you can discuss with a counselor why you were rejected and what may make you a good candidate for a loan modification.

    Lastly, because you are in the middle of a legal matter, you may be a good candidate for a forbearance to push off the foreclosure sale date again. Though it may be too late considering the sale is so soon so…

    Do you have lots of unsecured debt that you would consider including in a bankruptcy in order to save the home? This truly depends on your goals, would you rather keep the house and put yourself in a bankruptcy situation, or do you want to avoid that all together? Talk to your attorney over the weekend to see if you can file in time to avoid the foreclosure.

    Best of luck–

    Katrina Zárate, Certified Housing Counselor
    Housing Education Program
    Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco

  36. becca Says:

    For Cathy L,

    I just wanted to pass along a link to a story about someone in a very similar situation:

    http://bulletin.aarp.org/yourmoney/personalfinance/articles/an_escape_route_from_foreclosure.html

    Michael Nord

  37. becca Says:

    Answer for K:

    Hello,

    A Special Forebearance Agreement is actually a loan workout option that has been in place since long before the Obama Modification (HAMP) and the “three month trial modifications” were ever used.

    Because there are thousands of people who need help from lenders right now, the lenders must find ways to buy more time to go over your paperwork and get you the appropriate modification. This is one reason for the forbearance. Another reason is so the lender can see that you are able to maintain some form of payment over a set period of time. The standard practice is that you receive a forbearance, and afterward the lender captilizes the mortgage amount that was reduced from your old mortgage payment during those three months in order to offer you a final modification.

    Of course, you must continue to stay in contact with your lender and supply the necessary financial package (name and loan number on all paperwork!) through the forbearance period.

    Will this go on your credit report? No! Your credit report is affected when you fall behind on payments and the lender must then report the delinquency to the credit agency. This forbearance is a form of loan workout plan meant to bring you totally current.

    Katrina Zárate, Certified Housing Counselor
    Housing Education Program
    Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco
    595 Market Street 15th Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94105
    Website:www.housingeducation.net

  38. joe robert Says:

    We have a total of 5 houses and are currently trying to do a home
    modification thru wells fargo bank on the property we live in. This
    property is a condo that is not fannie or fredie mac approved. We went
    thru a HUD counselor but they are not doing much except for the initial paperwork. We are slowly making progress on our primary residence loan modification after much delays and problems with Wells Fargo Bank actively discouraging us and other tactics. At the time we tried saw the
    local HUD counselor in San Jose, they told us they could only help us
    with our primary residence and could not even give us suggestions on
    our other 4 houses.

    My question is is it possible to refinance or get a loan modification
    on the other 4 houses (that are now being rented out). We are
    considering just walking away from 2 of them because they are
    underwater from the 20% we put down on them. We would like to keep them
    if we could get them refinanced for a rate around 5.25 (currently
    paying 7.25%) because of the continued negative cash flow and drop
    in appreciation. Because we lost one income, we can barely make up
    the difference in the negative cash flow. What agency can provide
    advice to us (we can even pay for advice) and is reputable?

    Also, we are wondering exactly what are the consequences of walking
    away. I have heard that if the loan is non-recourse we can walk
    away without the bank coming after assets (some equity in the other
    properties). Is this true and how do I find out if a loan is
    a non-recourse loan?

    It is frustrating that the HUD programs do not help individuals
    take action on their total financial picture, just their primary
    home. We are like a number of Californians that invested in their
    retirement via buying houses after the dot.com crash.

    –Joe

  39. Molly Says:

    What are the tax implications of foreclosure? I have
    read/heard that a owner will be 1099′d for the difference in the value
    of the loan and the sale price in the house and thus that amount is
    seen as income and taxes must be paid. Can these tax debts be
    negotiated down or dismissed?

  40. Sri Says:

    Hello,

    Here are my loan particulars:

    Home purchase value: $690,000 (April 2005 - purchase date)

    Outstanding amount: $552,000 (80%);

    Current Home Value: ~ $500, 000 (depending on where you check the value)

    Loan Type: 5/1 ARM , 5.375%, Interest Only, Resets May 2010

    All my payments are up to date.

    I would like to refinance before my loan resets.

    Would I qualify for a lower rate with any of the existing programs? What are my options and where can I get more information?

    Please let me know.

    Thank you,
    Sri

  41. Rod Says:

    The one bedroom condo that were living in Marina Bay Richmond is under foreclosure from Fanie Mae (been sold over from Wellsfargo). We were given two options from the realtor to.
    1. Continue to rent from Fanie Mae, but there has not been any guidelines provided. http://www.lowesforpros.com/fannie-mae-renter-relief-on-foreclosed-properties
    2. Go ahead and participate for the Cash for Keys which is effective by Sept 8th (particular amt), Sept 20th (another lesser amt) and Oct 8th ( lest amount).
    The notice was posted on our front door last monday, August 24th.
    My question is that are suppostedly be covered with the 90 days notice?
    Any information to this will be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you

  42. Janan Says:

    I purchased my home in the bay area in Dec. 07 at 915,000, my home was recently re-assessed in June 09 by the tax agency to be valued at 677,000.

    I had a 5 year arm loan to be paid in 30 years, which meant that after 5 years of a fixed interest rate of 5.75%, it would become variable. The loan amount was 665,000.00

    Then in Jan. 08 I negotiated with my lender, Countrywide Home Loans, and was able to refinance my loan to a 30 year fixed rate of 6.25% and reduced my loan to 648,000 and the closing cost was $3268.

    I have since further reduced my principal loan amount to $472,000 by making a large payment at the beginning of this year.

    I would like to reduce my monthly payments, I am currently paying 3,989.85. My lender is no longer Countrywide Home Loans, but is now Bank of America. Last week I called Bank of America as well as Wells Fargo to see what rate I can get if I refinance my loan. They both gave me about the same rates, which was 5.375% for a 30 year loan with a closing cost of $4000 which will reduce my monthly payments to $2,669.00.

    I however do not wish to pay any fees. So please advise what I should do.

  43. Vivian Says:

    Hello, I bought a house with someone as I could only afford 1/2. He lost his job and bailied. They made me pay citi and county transfer tax, points and fees and it cost me 30,000 just to drop his name after he quick claim deed to me. (I got basically taken advantage of). I went on permanent disability and went though interviews with my bank (citimortage) and everytime I called they said they had no such record of taking all my info. (faxed all documents requested). They offered me restructuring and I went though this 3 times where they took all the info and then said they lost it. Ive also worked with unity.

    I went through NACA which was a very very long process and again submitted documents. NACA is also a fraud as they do nothing but email the bank once and “wait for a reply” Ive been waiting for a reply for a year, waiting wasnt doing it. Something should be done about NACA’s false advertising and a grand waste of time. ALOT of time.

    Now I am going through a company Rob Black of channel 4 recommended Home Loan preservation. But they are asking for 3000.00 to do it. If I had 3000.00 I could pay my mortgage.

    I am on disability (disabled Iraq veteran) I owe 460.00 (I put 120,000 downpayment my entire life savings) and the house is worth 300,000. No one is responding. Please help or advise any way you can. Im 2 payments behind and they can take the house at 3 missed payments.

  44. Kait Says:

    I currently have a fixed mortgage at 6%. My husband’s pay was cut in June by 30% so I applied for the Hope for Homeowners modification with Washington Mutual (Chase)back in July. They are telling me I don’t qualify based on my year-to-date income. What else am I to do when we are bringing in $1000 less a month and they are basing it off of an average? Why was I submitting pay stubs reflecting this change in pay and a 2 page hardship letter if they aren’t even considering that?

  45. becca Says:

    ANSWERE FOR ROD:

    It sounds like you are a renter. For renters rights in foreclosure, you
    can contact Tenants Together at 415-495-8012 or visit
    http://www.tenantstogether.org

    Also check this website for details:
    http://www.heraca.org/downloads/Tenants_Rights_in_Foreclosed_On_Properti
    es_may09_EN.pdf

    There are new rights as of May 20, 2009 under the “Helping Families Save
    Their Home Act of 2009″

    Michael Nord

  46. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR Janan:

    You are typically able to avoid fees by accepting a higher interest
    rate. Some fees are also able to be rolled into the new loan. Check with
    a loan officer at the bank and the following websites for guidance:

    http://www.hud.gov/buying/refinance.cfm
    http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/refinancings/default.htm

    Michael Nord

  47. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR Sri:

    If you have a Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae loan you might be able to
    refinance under the Home Affordable Refinance Program. Otherwise you
    might qualify for a loan modification under the Home Affordable
    Modification Program with your potential hardship being the reset. Check
    the following website for details: http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov

    I’m not sure if you would achieve a lower rate however you might be able
    to fix the rate.
    You can see if you have a Freddie/ Fannie loan on the following
    websites:

    http://loanlookup.fanniemae.com/loanlookup/
    https://ww3.freddiemac.com/corporate/

    Michael Nord

  48. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR MOLLY:

    You might have some protection under the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of
    2007, however you should speak to a tax professional to know for sure.
    There could be federal and state tax liabilities. Check this website for
    some details on the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 and contact a tax
    professional:
    http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=179414,00.html

    Michael Nord

  49. becca Says:

    ANSWER 2 FOR MOLLY:
    Hi,

    Whenever a foreclosure is executed the lender will send you a 1099 for
    the difference amount not paid through the foreclosure sale. While you
    did not receive the income you did borrow it and not pay it back so it
    is consider income earned. Look into the debt forgiveness act of 2007 to
    see if you can qualify for the bill and possibly get the liability
    waived. You should seek tax and legal advice regarding this act and the
    liability and any tax or legal questions you may be facing. You can also
    go to http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=179414,00.html for
    more information on the bill. I do not see why the tax liability not the
    debt be negotiated down or made into payments.

    Javier A. Giron, Certified Housing Counselor
    Housing Education Program, Freddie Mac Department
    Consumer Credit Counseling Services of San Francisco
    595 Market St. Suite 1200
    San Francisco, CA, 94105
    Website: housingeducation.net

  50. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR KAIT:

    Hope for Homeowner has been hugely unsuccessful to date, although it was
    well intentioned. Last I checked, there was one loan modified under the
    program. You might have better luck applying for the Home Affordable
    Modification Program. You might be best off to receive guidance from a
    Housing Counselor. You can contact a certified counselor for free at
    888-995-4673

    The number provided is for the “Hopeline” which has nothing to do with
    “Hope for Homeowners”
    A counselor can also advise you on liquidation options in case a
    retention option does not work.

    Check these websites regarding the Home Affordable Programs:
    Makinghomeaffordable.gov or financialstability.gov

    Michael Nord

  51. becca Says:

    ANSWER 3 FOR MOLLY:
    If the property is your primary property, you may be exempt from paying
    capital gains tax for the shortfall, due to the Mortgage Debt Relief Act
    of 2007. Please refer to your tax advisor for further details on this.

    Racquel Sartaguda
    Housing Education Program
    595 Market Street, 15th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105
    Phone Nos.: HUD (866) 520-0922, extension 422 (Foreclosure Prevention)
    http://www.housingeducation.org
    http://www.cccssf.org

  52. becca Says:

    Clara asks:
    I am a loan officer and real Estate Licensed in California, working with modification in my own home is a very tough times, almost forclosure.

    My daughter who is working with the legal aid society was really shock when, I was not able to get modification on time.

    Filed November 2008, waited until Janiuary no answer, then February try to pay interest only then all of a sudden a default judgement was entered for $13,700.00 due to non-payment?

    To cure, the Citimortgage and my daughter who is a legal assistant working with forclosure called Citimortgage? They apparently stop the default and go on to the old loan program by paying the loss interest for more than $4,000.00??

    My request for modification, changing the variable interest to fixed and addidng the defaulted amount at the back end and give 40 years fixed loan.

    I told them the house is not for sale and it is to be kept until I die.

    With my pension and my roomates I could afford the monthly payments?

    The reason the loan is under my daughter, when I refinance and play on stocks the $50,000.00 and from that point on I did not think of refinancing anymore , but due to economic situation lower interest could mean lower monthly?? Why not take advantage of it?

    Bottom line still need a fixed rate for 40 years, while the rate is still on its lowest.

    Right now, my interest is 2.375% variable, until December, but if I can get it down to 2.5% fixed, good no more worry.

    Can I get help this time>> Credit is not as good and income in just enough
    to cover for mortgage and utilities.

    Clara de Leon

  53. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR JOE ROBERT:

    As to your question regarding whether your loan is non recourse, this is
    normally affected by what state you live in and the type of foreclosure
    the lender pursues (judicial or non judicial). Also if you have two
    mortgages the first could be non recourse and the second could be
    recourse. You should get legal advice regarding this. You can contact
    the American Bar Association for a referral to a reputable advisor:
    (800)285-2221 or
    http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/findlegalhelp/home.cfm

    Other than the bank coming after assets or future wages, there can be
    tax liabilities (income taxes). Speak to a tax professional also. It is
    possible to modify or refinance an investment property however there is
    less or no (not that I know of) free assistance from agencies with this.
    You might want to get some advice from a bankruptcy attorney also, so
    you know all your options.

  54. Jaren Dahlstrom Says:

    Hello,
    I am a mortgage consultant, and I have a client that I have been trying to work with on a loan modification with IndyMac. I was able to get the foreclosure sale stoped at end of May, but the initial agreement was that my client would pay the monthly and on Sept. 21 a baloon payment for the back payments would be do and payable. We were hoping to have a modification in place prior to the balloon payment coming due. All of the documentation is with IndyMac for over 60 days now. We were told that there should be a resolution within the 60 day period. But now IndyMac is saying they can’t deny or aprove
    the modification. It seem the actual loan is owned by investor and not IndyMac, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Apparently IndyMac has not
    had any luck moving the investor toward a modification agreement. This is apparently a loan that was packaged and sold to Wall Street and may have been repackaged and sold to investors all over the world. I just don’t know and IndyMac may not either who actually owns the paper.

    My client is current with her payments since the original agreement that stoped the sale. What options does my client have. I don’t believe she has or can come upwith the $17000 to pay IndyMac next month. She is her 70’s and is raising foster kids and has a boarder. Since she can’t pay the balloon payment and can’t reach a modification agreement with the investor, is their anything IndyMac can do their own?
    If not she stands to face a foreclosure action all over again, and forced sale of the home.

    Is their any kind program that could let this nice lady save her home. Given the reluctance of the investor to modify the home loan. What are her options? I am aware of short sale, however she could face paying the lender the short fall. She could hardly do that and rent somewhere else. Does anyone have a grant program or a government loan program that could keep a foreclosure from happening and keep her in her home?

    Thanks,
    J.D.

  55. R.Rodgers Says:

    My landlord is 4 months behind on his mortgage. I had to give him $4,000 as a security deposit way more than just the last months rent.

    Our lease has expired. I plan on not paying last months rent which will at least give me back $2,000. I understand I can go to small claims for the balance which will cost $800 in filing fees, to enter his checking and may take years to collect.

    Is there a legal way to negotiate with him not to pay the last 2 months and then move. When does he loose legal ownership? At what month? How can I find out how many months he is late to know if it goes into default.

    Thanks. RH

  56. becca Says:

    Answer for Vivian:

    If you believe that NACA defrauded you, you may want to consider filing a complaint with your local law enforcement agency, such as your local police department or Sheriff’s Office. You may not be the only victim of this same business if it is in fact a scam. You may also want to check to see if the District Attorney’s office in county in which you reside has a Real Estate Fraud Unit. Some Real Estate Fraud Units for the District Attorney’s Offices will take complaints directly.

    Duane Shewaga
    Paralegal
    Real Estate Fraud Unit
    Telephone: (408) 808-3787
    E-mail: dshewaga@da.sccgov.org

    Office of the District Attorney
    County of Santa Clara
    70 West Hedding St., West Wing
    San Jose, CA 95110

  57. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR JANAN:
    If you are concerned about fees on refinancing your property, you should double check and make sure your current loan does not have a prepayment penalty; otherwise, you may be surprised at close of escrow as to the true cost of refinancing your property. Your estimated closing statement should set forth the any prepayment penalty, but I would not wait for an estimated closing statement and check with who ever is helping you arrange the refinancing.

    Duane Shewaga
    Paralegal
    Real Estate Fraud Unit
    Telephone: (408) 808-3787
    E-mail: dshewaga@da.sccgov.org

    Office of the District Attorney
    County of Santa Clara
    70 West Hedding St., West Wing
    San Jose, CA 95110

  58. David Benoit Says:

    Please be careful on agreeing to the 6 month special forbearance programs if you are trying to preserve your credit. If you read the section / paragraph titled “Credit Reporting”, (I need to paraphrase as I do not have a copy in front of me at the moment) that “if you make the new payments, we will report to the credit bureaus that you have made late payments”. This is due to the fact that you are not making full payments according to the original loan agreement.

    If this is the only way you can save your house and you foresee yourself being able to make the previously agreed to payments after 6 months, or you will be out of your current hardship in 6 months, then accept this agreement. If you just need time to get you house sold as a short sale, this may also be a viable option for you.

    People, we need to get on the people in Washington and Sacramento to enable those trying to help people facing the loss of their house, to automatically demand a 45 day stay on all Trustee Sales to see if a modification can be worked out. If we do not find a way to keep people in their houses at an affordable level, this crisis will continue to snowball and take down whats left of our economy.

  59. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR RH:
    For renters rights in foreclosure, you can contact Tenants Together at
    415-495-8012 or visit http://www.tenantstogether.org

    Also check this website for details:
    http://www.heraca.org/downloads/Tenants_Rights_in_Foreclosed_On_Properti
    es_may09_EN.pdf

    There are new rights as of May 20, 2009 under the “Helping Families Save
    Their Home Act of 2009″
    Michael Nord

  60. becca Says:

    ANSWER 2 FOR RH:
    Your landlord loses title to the property when a trustee’s deed is recorded, after the property is foreclosed upon. You can check the County Recorder’s office to see if a trustee’s deed is recorded. Personnel at the County Recorder may be able to help you with the search. Many County Recorders have their grantor/grantee index searchable online but you can’t actually view the documents. Likewise, you can check the County Recorder’s Office to see if a notice of default has been recorded or a notice of sale has been recorded. In California, a notice of sale can be only be recorded 3 months after the notice of default has been recorded. This gives your landlord at least three months to reinstate the loan. The lender can go to sale 20 days after the recording of the notice of sale. A notice of sale is supposed to be posted at the property as well as recorded. The notice of default should tell you how many months behind he is on payments. This assumes that he was the original borrower.

    Duane Shewaga
    Paralegal
    Real Estate Fraud Unit
    Telephone: (408) 808-3787
    E-mail: dshewaga@da.sccgov.org

    Office of the District Attorney
    County of Santa Clara
    70 West Hedding St., West Wing
    San Jose, CA 95110

  61. becca Says:

    ANSWER 3 FOR RH:
    Hello,

    http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/findlegalhelp/home.cfm or 1(800) 285-2221
    The American Bar Association’s resource for local legal aid, your best resource for legal advice!

    You can check in the county records to see if a Notice of Default has been recorded, which would mean he’s around 90-120 days late. As one of the other counselors noted, it may be more helpful to clarify your tenant rights.

    Katrina Zárate, Certified Housing Counselor
    Housing Education Program
    Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco
    595 Market Street 15th Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94105
    Website:www.housingeducation.net

  62. Michael Pray Says:

    A few months ago my mother passed away and left me everthing including a house. The house has a huge mortgage on it. Am i responsible for this mortgae ?

    Thankyou

  63. r meza Says:

    I’m currently in a loan mod.(trial mod.period)with my primary home, which is close to finalising. I have a second home and in process of trying to modify that loan but the lender is offering a forbearance payment plan. yes, I’m in default with the loan. I’m alittle unsure of the payment thier asking me to pay monthly. the current payment is 1100.00 their asking me to me to payment of 1435.00 by sept.15 and start making payment of 1025.00 on Oct.1… How’s that going to help me get a loan mod, if the payments are the same as the original mortgage payments. I was under the impression that the new payments would be less in order to catch up with the loan over a period of several months. I’m I missing something here? please give some answers if you can. you can call me if you like as well.. 707-328-8482 or email me..thank you, Rudi

  64. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR Michael Pray:
    Who is the executor of the estate? Ask the executor if your mother specified what she wants you to do with the house in the will. Contact legal/tax advice for more information on being left items in a will.

    Do you want to keep the house? Can you afford it? Do you want to rent it out? Contact your local non-profit housing/credit counseling service (www.nfcc.org) to set up a budget counseling session to see if you can afford it.

    Would you like to sell the property? If so, is it worth less than what is owed? This would be a short sale and you would need to speak with an experienced real estate agent to see how properties are selling in the area.

    If you are planning to keep the property, you must contact the lender and inform them that your mother has passed. You must send written proof that you have been left the property and will be the new owner. They should be able to provide instruction.

    I’m sorry for your loss. Best of luck and keep in touch with the executor and a legal representative.

    Katrina Zárate, Certified Housing Counselor
    Housing Education Program
    Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco
    595 Market Street 15th Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94105
    Website:www.housingeducation.net

  65. Don Says:

    Hello,

    I just called my servicer: GMAC/Homecomings as my August payment is now 34 days late. They said I met the initial guidelines for Home Affordable Modification Program and sent me the full app/questionaire. Meanwhile they adjusted my monthly payment to $1240 for 5 months until the load mod app is processed. Good so far!

    I read some of the US Treasury HAMP guidelines for managing the program. I am good on all except the “value test” which states the servicer has no obligation to make a modification if failing this test which occurs when there is a large equity position in the property or the gross income is very low relative to the value of the property.

    My loan balance is 248k while similar homes (comps) in the area are selling (not listed) for 750k+. My health required me to give up a lucrative job and went on state disability until exhausted. My wife works part time and has sufficient gross and with modification provisions (reduced rate, extended term) we can get into the 38%/31% area.

    Since the lender most likely won’t be obligated to modify my loan, what would motivate them to adjust my terms since they could either just wait for me to fail more payments then start foreclosure making a very nice profit, wait me out assuming that I will have to sell and they get their note paid in full, or wait for me to file bankruptcy which I don’t know what happens to me or them?

    I am very concerned that even if we fit the profile quite nicely except for the value test, the lender has little motivation or benefit to help me. In many other situations where the home has less value than the note it is easy to see why they would work much harder to have the borrower keep payments coming in for as long as possible as time works in their favor that property values will slowly rise and catch back up.

    Are my worries and concerns misplaced, have you seen low LTV mods go through or get rejected, etc.?

    How much weight is given to the hardship affidavit?

    Thnx

  66. becca Says:

    Answer for r meza:

    It does not sound as if your lender is agreeing to modify your loan on
    your second home through a forbearance agreement. A forbearance
    agreement typically does not modify the terms of loan. Generally, it is
    an agreement in which the lender agrees not to proceed with foreclosure
    if you make current payments on your loan plus some extra amount to
    catch up the arrears on your defaulted upon payments. You may want to
    consult with an attorney or a HUD certified loan counselor, if you want
    to negotiate a loan modification for your “second”, which may be
    problematic as it is not your primary residence. HUD’s website provides
    a list of such agencies by state at
    http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm

    Duane Shewaga
    Paralegal
    Real Estate Fraud Unit
    Telephone: (408) 808-3787
    E-mail: dshewaga@da.sccgov.org

    Office of the District Attorney
    County of Santa Clara
    70 West Hedding St., West Wing
    San Jose, CA 95110

  67. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR R.Rodgers :

    Your landlord is allowed to collect up to 3x your monthly rent in some
    variation of 1st, last, and/or security deposit, assuming you are in CA.
    I would urge you to talk to your landlord about what his/her plans are
    for keeping the house out of foreclosure. Of course, your monthly rent
    payments are a part of his/her ability to do so, and you are obligated
    to keep paying rent or else your landlord can have you evicted for non
    payment. In CA, it may take several months for the property to actually
    get foreclosed upon, so just because they are 4 months behind does not
    necessarily mean they will lose the home. You need to find out how weak
    or strong your landlord’s overall financial situation is… you might
    negotiate with your landlord to apply $1000 of the security deposit to
    each of the next 4 rent payments, or not pay the next 2 months, AND you
    want to put any agreement in writing so it’s clear you are not breaching
    the terms of your lease agreement. Your obligations to your landlord are
    different than his/her obligations to the lender. Other considerations:
    If you live in Berkeley, Oakland or San Francisco, these are rent
    controlled cities with special protections for renters in your
    situation. In addition, the new federal law recently passed by the Obama
    Administration requires the foreclosing lender to give you 3 months
    notice - I believe at time of foreclosure sale - before they can start
    any kind of action to evict you as a tenant. So that in and of itself
    would give you 3 months more of wiggle room to negotiate with the new
    owner (eg, the bank) to allow you to stay to without paying rent, etc
    etc…. Check with a tenants’ rights legal organization for more detail.

    Bottom line though, as a tenant, you must continue to pay your rent
    unless you and your landlord enter into a different agreement. As much
    as you may be concerned about your security deposit, your landlord
    relies on your monthly rent payments to meet their expenses, and there’s
    no law that says they have to apply your rent payments to their mortgage
    payments, although common sense would dictate that is the appropriate
    course of action if they don’t have other income streams to pay the
    mortgage. Be careful. Talk to your landlord. Be nice. Be willing to hear
    their side of the story even if you think you don’t care. Try to reach
    a mutually satisfactory agreement and get it in writing and signed &
    dated by both of you.

    Sheri Powers, JD, MA
    Homeownership Center Director
    The Unity Council
    3301 East 12th Street, Suite 101
    Oakland, CA 94606

    spowers@unitycouncil.org
    510-535-7181 direct
    510-532-5983 fax

    http://www.unitycouncil.org

    A NeighborWorks Chartered Member and
    HUD-Certified Counseling Agency

  68. Todd Says:

    I applied for the Making Home Affordable program with my Mortgage Servicing Company, EMC/Chase. After months of no progress, they denied me claiming: “The documentation you submitted contains asset information that makes you ineligible for the program requested.” They claim that I had enough money in my bank account to pay the mortgage, which, at the time was true, but I filed with the knowledge that this money would run out and not be replenished as the rate required to continue making payments in the near future - which is now the present.

    I called today and I was told that EMC/Chase is just the servicer and that the investor needs to approve any modification, but they can’t tell me who the investor is. Additionally, I have never been allowed to actually speak with a person in their underwritting department and allegedly, these mysterious underwriters who don’t have names or phones are the ones who do that calculations, yet by every calculation I do qualify for the MHA modification. In doing some research online, I’ve heard that in some states mortgage serving companies are required to disclose who the investor is, and also that it is common that the investor is a fund of some sort that re-assigns 100% of decisions to the mortgage servicer. I want to do whatever is legal to find out who the investor is, who the underwriter is and what the terms of the agreement between the investor and the servicer are so that I can know and directly communicate with whomever it is that is where the buck stops. Does California have a law requiring any of this information be disclosed? Can I subpeona the information without legal representation and/or without filing a lawsuit?

  69. Warren Says:

    I filed bankruptcy and now facing foreclosure. The lender filed for “leave of stay”. They want me to re-affirm the loan before even talking to me, but my attorney said that’s a bad idea without knowing what the lender will do. If the lender would work with me with the suggested options mention on your program, I should be able to stay in my home in Lake County. So how do I move foward with out re-affirming the mortgage prior to any work out plans?

    Thanks

  70. Tania Says:

    Hi Becca,
    I lost my job 4 months ago and new one is hard to find. My 2 children and I are living on my unemployee benifits and our saving. But regardless, I refuse to give up our home. I have not been late in my mortgage. But if I can’t find another job by the end of the year, I have to give up our home. Can loan modification helps in this situation? What requirements I have to meet? Any guidelines that I have to follow? BTW, we live in Contra Costa County.
    Thanks.

  71. Char Says:

    I am a consumer who seems to not fit any of the current “we can help you” situations.

    We are still making our mortgage payments (1st & 2nd) barely but have never been late and we don’t plan on it if we can avoid it. We are currently in a 5/1 interest only loan that has 3 years remaining. Our worry is after those 3 years our payments become principal and interest for the remaining 25 years thus our payments are going to go up $825 mo which we will not be able to afford. Also our second is an equity line which could start going up as soon as the ecomony starts looking better. We cannot qualify for the Obama plan since our property values have dropped over $275,000 from when the crash started. We are also not a Fannie or Freddie loan. We at the time were very highly qualified borrowers and thus went to a very conservative banks for the great rates. We have called our bank trying to modify into something more secure since we do not want to leave our home but since our bank (Westamerica) did not take any of the goverment monies for surviral they are not willing to modify. Their portfolio does not have much fallout with foreclosures so they are not willing to help. What does a family in our position do? We are trying to be proactive but cannot due to our value. We owe a combined $610,000 ($510,000 1st and $100,000 2nd) and our value is only $525,000. We no longer qualify for a standard mortgage due to lesser income in our home and the value of our property. We are stuck! We need some advise. Can you please help.
    Thank you for your time and efforts!

  72. John Says:

    Hi,
    I’ll try to make this short.
    We bought our place in 2006 for $540K and $110K down payment. So we had a $430K loan. We religiously made our payments on time up until Jan. 2009.
    I am not very knowledgeable in home loans and the such so I need your help.
    Our payment was roughly $2600 a month and that was including money put aside for property taxes and home owners insurance.
    We have been dealing with Countrywide (now B of A) since Oct. of 2008. We tried to be proactive about our mortgage rate increasing in Jan. of 2009.
    We do not want our mortgage amount changed as I do not believe that is fair for tax payers. In my opinion, real estate is like the stock market; if you get in at the wrong time, tough luck. All we want is for the lender to put the mortgage rate back to where it was or lower. Roll the unpaid balance (equal to old payment) into the end of the loan and to extend out the loan period. That’s it. There is NO reason they can not do that without gouging us.
    Well of course Jan. came and nothing happened and our interest rate increased making our payment way too high. About $3800 mo and to top it off, our property was reassessed at $250K!!! We were in a hardship now and decided to skip a payment and then not pay the new amount and pay what we did previously so that the lender would take notice and start working with us. Well, we started to accrue late fees waiting for the bank to make a decision. We continued to try and work with Countrywide and it was going VERY slowly. We called in many times and literally never talked to the same person twice. We talked to several different depts. and just never seemed to get anywhere. Then they got bought out by Bank of America and they said the process would have to start all over again. Arrrrggggg!!!
    So long story short, it then becomes June 2009 and still no decision of any kind. Even after faxing in all of our financials with a hardship letter 2 times. Then in August 2009, I call in and they say that our claim has expired due to no updated financials. We never received any communication before hand to update our financial even though they have not changed one bit. We were then asked to re-open a claim and send in updated financials and another hardship letter too.
    By this time as you could imagine we were way beyond frustrated.
    Then, without doing anything, we then receive a packet on Sept 1st 2009 offering us a lowered rate and made it fixed for 10 years but the payment was not much lower and this is not including property taxes. This is ridiculous.
    We have to have an answer by Sept 27th 2009.
    My questions are many but a few of them are:
    *Why can they not make the payment lower?
    *Can we refuse the offer and have them go back to the drawing board?
    *Why should we have to pay for all of the late fees and charges when they took so long to make a decision?
    *Do we need to get a lawyer? If so, where and how would we pay for it?
    Thanks in advance for ANY help you may have.
    John

  73. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR WARREN:

    I agree with your attorney. re-affirming the mortgage debt in its current form more likely than not means you agree to the terms you currently have, which I assume you’d prefer to modify. this happens to our clients who file BK all the time. If your lawyer hasn’t done so already, they may want to ask the BK court to issue an order allowing the lender/servicer to modify the terms of the loan through the BK proceeding, so the lender is not in violation of the automatic stay. we routinely negotiate modifications for clients who are currently in chapter 13 BK.

    Peace!
    Live Long & Prosper!

    Sheri Powers, JD, MA
    Homeownership Center Director
    The Unity Council
    A NeighborWorks Chartered Member &
    HUD Approved Counseling Agency

  74. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR CHAR:

    Unfortunately, since your loan is not a Fannie or Freddie loan, lenders & servicers are NOT required to modify your loan unless they have agreed to participate in the Making Home Affordable program (go to http://www.financialstability.gov to see if your lender/servicer is on the list of participating servicers). assuming the market does not improve enough in the next 3 years for you to refinance, then you need to start to prepare now for an exit strategy. Are you able to save $800/mo now? if not, how much can you save now, monthly, for the next 3 years? if you can save say $500/mo, you’d accumulate $6000/year or $24,000 plus interest (which even at 1.5% adds up) which you cd apply to pay down the principal just before the end of the 5 year interest only period, and thereby reduce your monthly principal and interest payment. also, it is quite possible that your lender may be singing a different tune in the next 3 years. the best you may be able to do is prepare now for the worst case scenario(s) and create several alternative exit strategies. the challenge is learning to live gracefully with constant uncertainty and not let it over stress you.

    Talk to your CPA about tax consequences of selling now or later, talk to your lender about the kinds of circumstances under which they’d be willing to modify one of their loans; Educate yourself now and think outside of the box to find creative possible solutions.

    Peace!
    Live Long & Prosper!

    Sheri Powers, JD, MA
    Homeownership Center Director
    The Unity Council
    A NeighborWorks Chartered Member &
    HUD Approved Counseling Agency

    510-535-7181 office
    510-532-5983 fax
    spowers@unitycouncil.org

  75. becca Says:

    Answer for Todd:
    Unfortunately, any and all assistance your lender may offer is based on
    their particular guidelines and is strictly voluntary. However, if you
    need to obtain the name of the investor of your loan, under RESPA (Real
    State Settlement Procedures Act), your mortgage servicer must respond
    promptly to written inquiries, known as qualified written requests (see
    Sample Letter to Lender). Be sure to include your account number and
    request lender to surrender the name of the investor of your loan. Your
    inquiry should be sent separately to their customer service address.

    Within 20 business days of receiving your inquiry, the servicer must
    send you a written response acknowledging it. Within 60 business days,
    the servicer must resolve any complaints and provide you with an
    answer. The servicer must send you a written notice of the action it
    took and why, along with the name and telephone number of someone you
    can contact for additional assistance.

    Sample Letter to Lender

    The following is a sample qualified written request from you, the
    borrower, to a lender. Use this format to address complaints under the
    Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).

    Attention Customer Service:

    Subject: Your loan number
    Your Name
    Your Address
    Your City, State, Zip Code

    This is a “qualified written request” under Section 6 of the Real Estate
    Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).

    I am writing because:

    Describe the issue or the question you have and/or what action you
    believe the lender should take.

    Attach copies of any related written materials.

    Describe any conversations with customer service regarding the issue and
    to whom you spoke.

    Describe any previous steps you have taken or attempts to resolve the
    issue.

    List a day time telephone number in case a customer service
    representative wishes to contact you.

    I understand that under Section 6 of RESPA you are required to
    acknowledge my request within 20 business days and must try to resolve
    the issue within 60 business days.

    Sincerely,

    Your name

    Resource: Federal Trade Commision site:

    http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/homes/rea10.shtm

    I hope this helps obtaining the information you seek. For further
    assistance and guidance, please contact a HUD approved housing counselor
    with details.

    Elisa Landauro
    Housing Counselor
    Housing Education Program, a division of Consumer Credit Counseling
    Services of San Francisco
    595 Market St. 15th Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94105
    Phone 866-520-0922 Xt 129
    Fax 415-777-4052
    elandauro@cccssf.org
    visit our site:www.housingeducation.org

  76. becca Says:

    EXTRA INFO FOR WARREN:

    From the servicing guide for servicers for the Home Affordable Modification Program:

    A borrower actively involved in a bankruptcy proceeding prior to being placed in the HAMP is eligible for the HAMP at the Servicer’s discretion. If a servicer provides an offer under the HAMP to a borrower that is involved in an active bankruptcy case, the servicer must work with the borrower or borrower’s counsel to obtain all necessary approvals from the bankruptcy court.

  77. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR TODD:
    You should write a demand letter, citing RESPA, section 6, a Federal law by the way, (goggle Respa section 6 and you will find sample letter templates) and fax it , mail it via certified mail with return receipt so some one has to sign for it, and even email it to the lender. they are required under RESPA to disclose who the investor of your loan is. However, to find out if the investor expressly prohibits modifications will take more effort. (there may be a limit to the number of total modifications that a servicing agreement between the investor and the servicer actually permits, which is rare but does exist). otherwise, I would work with a HUD counseling agency in your area and simply reapply. we routinely instruct our clients to be prepared to be declined at 2-3 times before they get a “yes” (this assumes you qualify of course), just because the whole process is so convoluted. persistence with an in tact sense of humor for the absurdity of it all are necessary to keep your sanity and get the results you truly want.

    Peace!
    Live Long & Prosper!

    Sheri Powers, JD, MA
    Homeownership Center Director
    The Unity Council
    A NeighborWorks Chartered Member &
    HUD Approved Counseling Agency

    510-535-7181 office
    510-532-5983 fax
    spowers@unitycouncil.org

  78. Jennifer Bautista Says:

    Hello,

    Our home has a Notice of Sale set for next month Oct. 15. We’re working with an arbitrator, who is helping us get a loan modification for the past 8 months to no avail. He’s been giving update almost every week. The agent promised we won’t pay them unless they get the modification from our current lender. We submitted our final offer a few days ago. He suggest we short sale the home to buy us time, but we fear that we may have to pay fees if we go this route. We will not fork out anything unless we get the modification.

    First question, what is short sale and are there fees involved?

    Second, up ’til what point can we stay in our home? Say our home get a bid on the Sale date but we find out after the sale we got approved for our final offer. Do we have a fighting chance of keeping our home even after it has sold?

    I would appreciate any help you can give.

    Thank You,
    Jennifer Bautista

  79. Dee Says:

    Hi,
    We bought our place a year back thinking that we are buying at the bottom. But property values in our neighborhood depreciated another 25%. So we owe (379000) more than what our property’s value (328000 per county assessment). I met with NID-HCA agent based on recommendation from makinghomeaffordable.gov. Filled up initial paperwork but wanted them to engage with my lender before I hand over all the paperwork to them. That never happened. Per makinghomeaffordable.gov, we do qualify for a refinancing/modification. We hold a Fannie Mae loan originated loan serviced by Suntrust Inc. Have never been late on monthly payments. I am looking to reduce my monthly payments based on the property values and some hardships that i am facing. At this point, we will be in a position to continue to make payments, but given the job unstablity, things change in a matter of a day.

    Any suggestion on what should be my next course of action? Can any other agency help me go through this process? Any help is deeply appreciated.

  80. JD Says:

    I just want to know if one is upside down on their loan and one has a five and one arm , how can one refinance without going through a modification. The person in question has an excellent credit history and has paid more than their monthly payment. As of this year four and a half percent is due on the loan of the arm portion of the loan so, nothing has been done at this time. However the one year period, arm, would be up soon and the loan is still upside down. Please advise.

    Thank you,
    JD

  81. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR JD:
    They should seek a modification under the Making Home Affordable Program
    (HAMP). There is a refinance component under HAMP, but if the 1st loan
    equals more than 125% of the current market value of the property, then
    the refinance option under HAMP is not available. I.e., house is worth
    $100,000. 1st loan amount is $128,000. Borrower does not qualify for
    HAMP refinance option, so borrower wd apply for a HAMP modification. If
    1st loan amount however is $123,000, then you might qualify for a HAMP
    refinance provided you have sufficient income etc…

    The HAMP modification is more generous however, than the HAMP refi
    offers I have seen. HAMP modification applies the “waterfall” 2%, 40
    year, principal deferment process; the HAMP refi does not.

    Start now with the modification application. Expect it to take 6-9
    months before you get approval (no kidding), and also expect to be
    declined 2-3 times before you get a yes. It’s a frustrating process, but
    we have been seeing an increase in the success rate of our proposals,
    but he wait time is very long. Be patient, keep at it, be prepared to
    send updated info when they ask for it, be nice to the people on the
    phone that you talk to. They have a thankless job. Be the smiling voice
    that brings a little bright spot in their day of working a crisis
    hotline….

    Sheri Powers, JD, MA
    Homeownership Center Director
    The Unity Council
    3301 East 12th Street, Suite 101
    Oakland, CA 94606

    spowers@unitycouncil.org
    510-535-7181 direct
    510-532-5983 fax

    http://www.unitycouncil.org

    A NeighborWorks Chartered Member and
    HUD-Certified Counseling Agency

  82. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR JD:
    The person in question may want to consult with a HUD certified loan counselor to ascertain if such a refinance is possible. HUD’s website provides a list of such agencies by state at http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm

    Duane Shewaga
    Paralegal
    Real Estate Fraud Unit
    Telephone: (408) 808-3787
    E-mail: dshewaga@da.sccgov.org

    Office of the District Attorney
    County of Santa Clara
    70 West Hedding St., West Wing
    San Jose, CA 95110

  83. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR Kait
    Hi,

    The bank is getting a financial picture of you now and before before
    they make a decision on whether they will modify your loan. There are
    different modification programs available from internal ones between the
    banks and investors and the national ones such as the making home
    affordable. So if you do not qualify for one then they can run you
    through the other programs that you may qualify for. You raise your
    chances significantly if you can show them that you can more or less
    balance your budget with not so high of a deficit. They base your income
    off an average so they can get a notion of your future wages at the rate
    you are going at now. Not knowing much more about your case I cannot
    accurately assess your situation and you should contact a HUD approved
    agency look at your case. You can call 888-995-4673 for a counselor to
    help you out.

    Best regards,

    Javier A. Giron, Certified Housing Counselor
    Housing Education Program, Freddie Mac Department
    Consumer Credit Counseling Services of San Francisco
    595 Market St. Suite 1200
    San Francisco, CA, 94105
    Website: housingeducation.net

  84. Don Says:

    Hi, Thanks for all your hard work and informative shows and responses. We are in the process of trying to get a modification w/Wells Fargo because I have lost my job and my wife is on disability. My question is: is there any benefit to doing a short-sale over just walking away from the house? I read that if a short-sale ensues that the homeowner ends up being liable for the condition of the house etc, which I believe is not the case with simply defaulting and walking away from the home???
    Thanks

  85. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR TANIA:

    I am very sorry to hear about your job loss. It is important to contact
    your mortgage servicer to let them know you are experiencing a hardship.
    It is possible you may be a candidate for a variety of workout options.
    If your lender is a participant in the Making Home Affordable program,
    you may be eligible for the HAMP, which is a government sponsored
    modification program. Generally lenders need a source of income, other
    than unemployment; however, there are lenders who will use unemployment
    income to determine eligibility. For more information on this
    particular program you can go to http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov. If your
    mortgage servicer is not an MHA participant it is possible they have
    other modification programs you may qualify for, but I would recommend
    contacting your lenders Loss Mitigation/Home Retention department to
    determine which options are available to you at this time. If you need
    assistance working with your lender you can contact the Hopeline at
    888-995-HOPE to reach a HUD approved housing counselor for further help.

    Jill Spickelmier
    Certified Housing Counselor
    Housing Education Program
    Consumer Credit Counseling Service, SF

  86. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR TANIA:

    You might have better luck applying for a forbearance (temporary
    reduction in payments). You can use unemployment income to qualify for a
    loan modification, however the lender would be offering you a long term
    solution based on a short term source of income, which might not get
    approved. There is a lot of information/ guidelines on the following
    websites:
    Makinghomeaffordable.gov
    Financialstability.gov
    Hmpadmin.com

    You can go to http://www.hud.gov/local/ca/homeownership/foreclosure.cfm
    to find HUD approved counseling agencies that are free. You might also
    want to consider liquidation options ahead of time as a precaution.

  87. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR TANIA:

    First, stop using your savings to pay your mortgage or other credit card
    debt. If, worst case scenario, you are not able to find a job that pays
    enough to pay your mortgage and basic living expenses, then you will
    need your savings to move, and rent a new place. Moving expenses, 1st
    last and security deposit can add up. Second, As much as you may want to
    keep your home, you may not be able to. Third, there are several
    HUD-approved counseling agencies in CC County. North Richmond CHDC is an
    excellent organization doing loss mitigation work as is Pacific
    Community Services in Pittsburg. Work with a counselor to help you get a
    forbearance where the lender agrees to defer some or all of the monthly
    payment for a specific period of time while you get back on your feet.
    You will need a plan on how to repay the arrears or deferred payments
    once the forbearance period ends. This may include a modification (best
    option), lump sum payment or repayment plan. If you qualify, you should
    go for the modification once you are re-employed. Lenders will not do
    modifications if you do not have a regular source of income that is
    reliable and likely to continue into the foreseeable future (3 years is
    the general standard although they don’t always ask for a specific time
    period, they will apply the 3 year rule of thumb to income like child
    support or benefits you may receive).

    Again, it is NOT a good ideal for you to exhaust your savings to try to
    save your house because ultimately there is no guarantee you will
    succeed in being able to keep it. Good luck! And DO consult with a HUD
    Counseling agency for assistance.

    Sheri Powers, JD, MA
    Homeownership Center Director
    The Unity Council
    3301 East 12th Street, Suite 101
    Oakland, CA 94606

    spowers@unitycouncil.org
    510-535-7181 direct
    510-532-5983 fax

    http://www.unitycouncil.org

    A NeighborWorks Chartered Member and
    HUD-Certified Counseling Agency

  88. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR DON:
    You should talk with your consultant or tax expert. A short sale may have adverse tax consequences if you have debt in excess of your basis although the recent Foreclosure Relief Act may have eliminated this potential liability at least for federal taxes. A short-sale may help mitigate adverse information on your credit history but even a short sale will have an adverse effect to the extent the lender is losing money. You can always negotiate with the lender and obtain an agreement that you will have no further liability either for the condition of the house or on your debt through a short sale. You may want to consider consulting with an attorney on these issues.

    Duane Shewaga
    Paralegal
    Real Estate Fraud Unit
    Telephone: (408) 808-3787
    E-mail: dshewaga@da.sccgov.org

    Office of the District Attorney
    County of Santa Clara
    70 West Hedding St., West Wing
    San Jose, CA 95110

  89. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR TANIA:
    Hi,

    A loan modification will definitely help in keeping the home but in
    order to be considered for one you will need a steady form of income. A
    lender is not likely to offer a permanent solution with temporary
    income. Some lenders may entertain a modification if your unemployment
    benefits will last for 9 months or more. A lender just wants to see that
    you can more or less sustain your budget with your current mortgage. It
    may reflect a deficit each month but not a significant one. Depending on
    the program that may be offered to you, a modification may very well
    curtail to your current financial situation. In terms of time, the
    common foreclosure timeline here in California is approximately 8-9
    months from the date that you miss your mortgage payment. You should
    consult with a non-profit housing counselor to further assess your
    situation and to get a recommendation on what is the best steps for you
    since I do not know the specific details of your situation. Hope this
    helps.

    Best regards,
    Javier A. Giron, Certified Housing Counselor
    Housing Education Program, Freddie Mac Department
    Consumer Credit Counseling Services of San Francisco
    595 Market St. Floor 15
    San Francisco, CA, 94105
    Website: housingeducation.net

  90. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR DON:
    Hello,

    First of all, check some legal and tax advice regarding foreclosure/short sale in your area to get the specifics for your state. If your state practices judicial foreclosure, you may be liable for a deficiency judgement, where the bank could come after you in court for whatever you still owe after the foreclosure sale. This would not happen in a short sale.

    A short sale affects your credit report in the long run for only a few years, and deducts fewer points from your score, while a foreclosure may affect you for up to seven years.

    If you complete a short sale, you may not be liable for any more of the mortgage amount. But, the left over mortgage amount may be consider unearned income by your bank and taxed. This is a standard consequence of a short sale, and nowadays you may be able to write off the taxes through the IRS Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007
    http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=179414,00.html. This is for primary homes.

    In foreclosure, you may have a delinquency judgement, tax consequences, legal fees, and credit consequences that are all not normal in a short sale. The short sale is, in general, the better option.

    As far as being liable for the condition of the home, keep in mind that a short sale is above all a Sale. As standard sale practices go, getting an appraisal, working with a real estate agent, disclosing the condition of the property, this all still applies.

    Best,

    Katrina Zárate, Certified Housing Counselor
    Housing Education Program
    Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco
    595 Market Street 15th Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94105
    Website:www.housingeducation.net

  91. Carl Says:

    I’m writing you about housing refinance resources for people current on their mortgage payments but owe more than their homes are now worth. We have a first loan that’s a 5-year fixed interest-only @ 5%. It expires in November. I’ve tried to refinance with my bank but am unable to because of our current home value, which has plummeted @ $100,000.

    We asked the bank if there were other options – we asked about the Obama administration’s plan. Per their request, we told them our monthly expenses and faxed pay stubs as proof of income. They said they’d get back to us (this was back in March). I followed up 3 times but they say there’s no information yet. Our loan isn’t connected to Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, which I heard is a requirement of the president’s plan. I visited BofA a month ago and asked about loan modification, but they said we needed to be delinquent on our payments in order to talk to the modification dept. THE BANK ACTUALLY SUGGESTED WE NOT PAY OUR MORTGAGE FOR 3 MONTHS SO WE COULD ACHIEVE “DELINQUENT” STATUS! We don’t want to default on our payments!

    There must be other options. In addition to being in contact with your office, I’ve been working with Acorn in Fresno to see what else we can do. They’ve submitted proposals to our lenders on our behalf. I’ve also contacted Congressman Pete Stark’s office and they’ve opened a case on our behalf as well, but we haven’t heard back from either one of them regarding a resoluiton and our rate adjusts in a month and a half.

    The other alternative we’ve heard about are attorneys who will negotiate a loan modification/reduction in principle on our behalf so we can qualify for financing but we’re not sure if any of these folks are legitimate or just scams.

    Currently we have 2 loans. Though consolidating both loans would be ideal, at this point we’re hoping just to finance the larger loan (at a decent interest rate, of course). Are there any groups that can negotiate on our behalf or any other resources that might be helpful to us nothing is resolved through Acorn or Mr. Stark’s office?

    We’ve been fighting this uphill battle since November of last year. Please help!

  92. Laura Says:

    I lost my job and I am trying to get a loan modification so my payments will be lowered and allow me to keep my house. I was told a couple of times that I could not get a loan modification if I am not working, is this correct? I applied for a loan mod and a couple of people I talked to on the phone told me I most likely won’t be eligible since the only income I have is unemployment.

    I thought that being unemployed is one of the qualifications that would allow me to qualify for a loan mod. Am I wrong in understanding it this way? I have no debt, I am current on my mortgage, so far and only have the utilities/food/gas. They provided me with a moretorium that will put me in 8k debt instead of helping me. I have since applied with HUD and I am waiting for an appointment to meet with them, but if they can reduce my payments I could probably afford to stay current on my payments until I find a job. Without it I might lose my house.

    Can you offer any advice? I would really appreciate it.

    Thanks in advance,

    Laura

  93. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR LAURA:
    This question comes up a lot. A loan modification is a permanent change
    to the terms of your existing mortgage. In considering a modification,
    the lender is looking at your ability to repay the entire debt, not just
    your ability to repay the debt over the next few months. So if you are
    unemployed and receiving unemployment benefits, and this is your only
    source of income, that income will only be available to you for 6-9
    months at the most, maybe a year if Congress is feeling generous.

    In this situation, you want to request a temporary forbearance where the
    lender agrees to defer some or all of your monthly payment for a
    specific period of time, (say, 3-6 months) so you can focus on getting
    back on your feet. The deferred amounts however will have to be paid
    back. Typically, this can be done by either (1) capitalizing the arrears
    (adding the deferred interest to the balance you already owe, and
    re-figuring your new payment based on your new principal balance
    amortized over the remaining term of the loan) which only results in a
    slight increase in your monthly payments (2) spreading out the repayment
    of the deferred amount over a shorter term, usually 3-24 months, which
    will usually significantly increase your payment, which doesn’t work for
    most people, or (3) having you make a lump sum payment at the end of the
    forbearance period, which only works if you know you will have a lump
    sum of money available to make such a payment. Like maybe you’ve been
    told by the insurance company they’ll be paying you in 3 months for your
    injuries or damage to your car, etc…

    The “moratorium” that you referenced sounds like a forbearance. So if
    your payment is $2000/mo, and they agreed to allow you to skip your
    payment for 4 months, then at the end of 4 months you would owe $8000.
    The question is, how do you repay it? In a lump sum? Over 3-24 months?
    Or over the remaining term of your loan (28 years or whatever is left).
    To answer that question, you need to do an accurate budget, and see if a
    short term repayment plan makes sense for you or if you want to try to
    get them to agree to capitalize the $8000 which will spread out the
    repayment over the remainder of the loan term.

    Hope this helps.
    Hope this helps. If your

    Sheri Powers, JD, MA
    Homeownership Center Director
    The Unity Council
    3301 East 12th Street, Suite 101
    Oakland, CA 94606

    spowers@unitycouncil.org
    510-535-7181 direct
    510-532-5983 fax

    http://www.unitycouncil.org

    A NeighborWorks Chartered Member and
    HUD-Certified Counseling Agency

  94. Stacy Says:

    Hello All!

    My husband and I purchased our home in Sacramento, CA in 2004 (that should tell you a lot), and are (by recent estimates) nearly upside down on our loan more than the house is worth. Up until this last month, when we were advised by our lenders that they could not help us in any way, we have been current on our payments. My husband has just been transfered to Houston, TX and we have to make a decision ASAP! There is so much fact and fiction going around about short sales and foreclosures, we do not know WHO to believe. Our lenders are HSBC and GMAC. PLEASE HELP!!!

    Stacy

  95. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR STACY:
    You may want to consult with an attorney and a tax specialist. A short sale can may have unexpected tax implications if you have your mortgages exceed your basis although Congress may have changed the law in this regard. Also, it is my understanding that a short sale may still have some negative implications on your credit, as any amount written off by a lender would still show up on your credit report/score, although it may not look as bad as an outright foreclosure sale.

    Duane Shewaga
    Paralegal
    Real Estate Fraud Unit
    Telephone: (408) 808-3787
    E-mail: dshewaga@da.sccgov.org

    Office of the District Attorney
    County of Santa Clara
    70 West Hedding St., West Wing
    San Jose, CA 95110

  96. Tomas Lopez Says:

    Hi, I am a home owner facing foreclosure and would like to talk to a counseling to get assistance on getting a loan modification. I have been working with the Bank since March/2009 and still no solution offer from the Bank. I tried for about a year paying only the interest on the house, but due to a drastic changed on my job and the income I am bringing home I can not longer afford to make payments on my house. I have filed all necessary documents with the Bank (Chase)but it does not seem to go anywhere. What can I do, can some one please contact me to further explain my situation and see if there is a way I can save my house. Thank you and hoping to hear from you soon.

  97. Julie from Boulder Creek, CA Says:

    I am so disheartened by what I am reading here…

    Two years ago I refi’d to a 30 year fixed at 6.5% and have a second at 7.75%. I was above water with a total debt of $345K. My home value has plummeted to approx $200K (realistically, probably lower). I am throwing $2700/month at this home that I will never see any equity for. The bummer is that I have a job and make good money. But I am 51 and facing retirement relatively soon. I am not able to put as much money toward my retirement as I could due to this crisis.

    After reading the posts, I don’t see any help for me and I don’t even know where to begin.

    Can you help?

    Julie

  98. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR JULIE:
    You may want to consult with a HUD certified loan counselor to ascertain if a modification of your loan or a refinance is possible. HUD’s website provides a list of such agencies by state at http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm These agencies generally do not charge for their services.

    Duane Shewaga
    Paralegal
    Real Estate Fraud Unit
    Telephone: (408) 808-3787
    E-mail: dshewaga@da.sccgov.org

    Office of the District Attorney
    County of Santa Clara
    70 West Hedding St., West Wing
    San Jose, CA 95110

  99. becca Says:

    Answer for Tomas:
    You may want to consult with a HUD certified loan counselor to ascertain your options and the costs and benefits of a short sale or foreclosure. It is my understanding that to the extent a lender writes off part of its loan to accommodate a short sale that will still show up on your credit report although it may have less impact then a foreclosure sale. There may also be unintended tax consequences if your mortgages exceed your basis and you complete a short sale, so you may want to consult with a tax specialist. HUD’s website provides a list of such agencies by state at http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm

    Duane Shewaga
    Paralegal
    Real Estate Fraud Unit
    Telephone: (408) 808-3787
    E-mail: dshewaga@da.sccgov.org

    Office of the District Attorney
    County of Santa Clara
    70 West Hedding St., West Wing
    San Jose, CA 95110

  100. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR TOMAS:
    Hello,

    Go to:

    http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm

    Or call HUD at (800) 569-4287. You will be able to find a housing counselor near you. Remember, the process of modification is taking many months, so make sure you are following up with your lender every week. Don’t give up hope, and make sure to update the lender with your financials whenever they request.

    Best,

    Katrina Zárate, Certified Housing Counselor
    Housing Education Program
    Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco
    595 Market Street 15th Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94105
    Website:www.housingeducation.net

  101. Scott K Says:

    We put our Bay Area condo up for sale back in 2007 because I took a job in another state. We were unable to sell, and eventually were foreclosed upon.

    Greenpoint Mortgage was the original lender, who sold us an ARM and a “home equity” loan together to finance the original purchase in 2004. The loans were acquired by Countrywide, then Bank of America.

    Despite foreclosing on the condo in January 2008, BOA continues to send payment demands for the “home equity” loan. When I spoke to one of their representatives, she told me they’d continue to do so for “probably ten more years”. Am I really liable for this loan? If not, what do I have to do to get BOA to close the matter?

  102. Anna Says:

    I have my mortgage with Homeq Servicing, my modification was denied because my husband (the borrower) is dead, and the HAMP program requiered that the borrower must live at the property. Is that correct? I was offered an in-house-modification with a downpayment impossible to pay for me. Is anything else I can do?
    Thanks for your help.

  103. Ephraim Says:

    Is it true that the bank must issue another Notice of Sale if the original trustee sale has been postponed more than 3 times? Also, my mortgage holder is Bank of America and I feel, as a tax payer, that I helped bail out this bank. Now, after they used my tax money to help themselves, they now took my house (trustee sale was 10/20/09) What rights do I have?

  104. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR Ephraim:
    You may want to have this matter reviewed by a civil attorney. You may want also want to check with the trustee who conducted the foreclosure sale to see if there were any surplus proceeds generated from the sale and if you have a claim against the proceeds. The law used to be that a trustee’s sale could be postponed on a beneficiaries instruction only three times but that law changed and Civil Code section 2924g now provides that a beneficiary can postpone a sale an unlimited number of times as long as it does not exceed a total of 365 days. Again you may want to consult with a civil attorney if you believe that the sale was somehow improper.

    Duane Shewaga
    Paralegal
    Real Estate Fraud Unit
    Telephone: (408) 808-3787
    E-mail: dshewaga@da.sccgov.org

    Office of the District Attorney
    County of Santa Clara
    70 West Hedding St., West Wing
    San Jose, CA 95110

  105. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR ANNA:
    Are you living in the property? Are you on the mortgage or title to the property? Did you sign a quit claim deed to the property? When did your husband die? If you are not on the mortgage or title, you wd need to probate the estate of your husband & have an executor appointed; then the executor (this cd be you) cd then negotiate with the bank to try to obtain a modification on your behalf.

    Remember too, that you have to earn enough income to qualify for a modification.

    Contact a HUD counseling agency for help.

    Sheri Powers, JD, MA
    Homeownership Center Director
    The Unity Council
    3301 East 12th Street, Suite 101
    Oakland, CA 94606

    spowers@unitycouncil.org
    510-535-7181 direct
    510-532-5983 fax

    http://www.unitycouncil.org

    A NeighborWorks Chartered Member and
    HUD-Certified Counseling Agency

  106. Adam whatley Says:

    How much money can I borrow with a 2nd mortgage? My home is worth $123,000 & I owe $100,000 on it. I am trying to conslidate debt but need to know what I can pull out with a 2nd mortgage & how much interest it would be? Also what about refinacing my 1st mortgage & puting all together. Is this possiable?

  107. Dan Says:

    I’m a new home owner. and in need of a FHA modifacation I’m also a state of Calif employee. As you may know that my income has been affected latly,the state has issued three furlough days and a 10% pay reduction. As of Janurary 2010 another furlough will be forced on me. Is there hope for me in lowing myn interest rate, as my dept to income ratio has become a factor now when paying my creditors.

    Thanks Dan

  108. becca Says:

    Question From Blanca Castaneda

    I need some assistence in keep my house, I am behind with some payments and
    the morgage is trying to charge a lot every month payments that I won’t able
    to make in the future I am looking how to refinance my house, I need some
    help God bless who can read this and can help me to do not lose my house

    Answer:

    for You do not provide enough information for any of us to be able to advise you with any specific detail. I suggest you attend a foreclosure prevention workshop - we have one in Oakland on 11/11, 11/18 and 12/3, from 6-9 pm. If you are more than 6 months past due, you shd call a HUD approved cousnelig agency and get help immediately. Si necessita ayuda en espanol, se puede llamr a nosotros a 510-535-6943, para apprendar como commensar el processo. Out intake number is 510-535-6920.

    If you are unemployed, or have lost a significant amount of income, your best bet is to ask for a forbearance agreement where the lender agrees to defer some or all of your monthly payment for a specific time period while you look for work.

    You can forget about refinancing if you have missed more than 1 or 2 payments on your mortgage.

    Modification is different from refinancing, and forbearance is different from both of those. You need to learn what your options are. Go to http://www.hud.gov or http://www.nw.org and look up a housing or foreclosure counselor in your area.

    Sheri Powers, JD, MA
    Homeownership Center Director
    The Unity Council
    3301 East 12th Street, Suite 101
    Oakland, CA 94606

    spowers@unitycouncil.org
    510-535-7181 direct
    510-532-5983 fax

    http://www.unitycouncil.org

    A NeighborWorks Chartered Member and
    HUD-Certified Counseling Agency

  109. becca Says:

    ANSWER FOR DAN:
    You can check the following website for information and links to the FHA
    modification program:

    http://www.hud.gov/news/release.cfm?content=pr09-137.cfm&CFID=17685889&C
    FTOKEN=34052131

    You might also want to contact a non profit hud approved counselor to
    help you. You can locate one through the HUD website, http://www.hud.gov or
    call the Hopeline at 888-995-4673

  110. Nick Jones Says:

    On today’s show, a question was asked about ramifications of “walking away from a home and mortgage”. Besides the obvious problem with credit ratings being destroyed, are there any other economic ramifications to walking away? Thank you.

  111. Susan Says:

    So here is my problem/question. We bought our home in 4/08 and in 6/09 we fell into hardship as pay was cut more then $400.00 a month by rising health care costs. We contacted the Morgage company right away when we missed a payment and they returned the 7/09 payment demanding full payment for the 2 months. They have refused to take an payments from us from this point on. Upon contact the morgage company they requested inormation from us, which was sent in 8/09 in full. Two weeks ago on 11/12/09 we found a notice of public sale set for 12/03/09. A 20 day notice. We have contacted the morgage company almost every day since trying to stop the sale, but they have not yet even looked at our file. It is just now being entered into their system. As of today we have 6 business days before our home in auctioned and with only 20 days to find a place to go, yet still hold out hope that they will work with us and we can keep our home. Yet, we were told again today to call them back tomorrow 11/25/09. Is this even fair or legal? What can we do?

  112. Larry Says:

    I am seriously behind on my fist mortgage and the foreclosure process has begun. I have tried to work out a program with my first mortgage to keep the house, but it does not look like it is going to work out. We have had our house on the market for several months and are hoping to sell before the house is foreclosed. If we sell the house now, for what it is listed at, we will just barely be able to pay off both 1st and 2nd mortgages. I am current on my 2nd mortgage. My question is, should I continue to keep making my payments on the 2nd mortgage? Or should I be saving what little money I have, considering either we will be selling the house shortly or be foreclosed on?

  113. Scott K. Says:

    I originally posted this 10/23/2009, but have yet to receive any help:

    We put our Bay Area condo up for sale back in 2007 because I took a job in another state. We were unable to sell, and eventually lost our condo through foreclosure.

    Greenpoint Mortgage was the original lender, who sold us an ARM and a “home equity” loan together to finance the original purchase in 2004. The loans were acquired by Countrywide, then Bank of America.

    Despite foreclosing on the condo in January 2008, BOA continues to send payment demands for the “home equity” loan. When I spoke to one of their representatives, she told me they’d continue to do so for “probably ten more years”. Am I really liable for this loan? If not, what do I have to do to get BOA to close the matter?

  114. becca Says:

    Answer for Larry:

    Larry,

    This is an issue you may want to consult with an attorney or a HUD certified mortgage foreclosure counseling agency. One issue you may want to explore is whether the holder of your second can sue you personally, if their lien gets wiped out by a foreclosure by the holder of the 1st. You can locate a HUD certified mortgage foreclosure consultant through this link: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm You may also want to contact a HUD certified mortgage foreclosure consultant to see if they can help you modify the terms of your mortgages and to explore other options which may be available to you. Watch out for scams. There are many companies offering loan modification services, who make unsupportable claims of success, and will take your money. and then provide no or ineffective services. In California, it is illegal for any such service, even an attorney, to receive fees in advance of completing their services. A HUD certified mortgage foreclosure consultant will generally not charge for their services.

    Duane Shewaga
    Paralegal
    Real Estate Fraud Unit
    Telephone: (408) 808-3787
    E-mail: dshewaga@da.sccgov.org

    Office of the District Attorney
    County of Santa Clara
    70 West Hedding St., West Wing
    San Jose, CA 95110

  115. becca Says:

    Eloise Sanchez asks:

    I lost my job last year and learned about the government loan modification programs earlier this year. I applied for loan modification in July 2009 and was placed on a forebearance plan in August 2009. I continued making my regular mortgage payments and finally talked with someone in September 2009 who agreed that the forebearance plan was not appropriate for me and advised me to submit a new set of forms to be considered for a different loan modification plan. Last week I received a call from someone who said my loan modification was being denied because my loan to value was too low!! In other words, I have too much equity in my home! This does not make any sense to me and when I asked him why I wasn’t told this when I first applied for loan modification, and he admitted that someone should have caught it then. He advised me to refinance my mortgage. Of course, when I called the refinance department they told me I’m not eligible because I don’t have a job!! This has been a very frustrating experience only to learn that I have fallen between the cracks of all these programs. I now find myself between a rock and a hard place. I currently have an interest-only loan which ends in about a year. What do I do now??? Help!!

  116. becca Says:

    Sharon Pelle Asks

    Chase Home Finance, LLC offer to modify my mortgage loan in Feb2008. Aug 12, 2008, after 5 months of waiting for the modification, and following their instructions to telephone them every 3-weeks, Chase Home Finance auctioned my home of 24 years. Is there any recourse of action. Please, please assist me.
    Sharon Pelle

  117. becca Says:

    Answer for Eloise Sanchez
    I would speak to a housing counselor to go over your situatuion and
    finances in more detail. If you have considerable equity, a modification
    is still possible however from a business standpoint the lender can
    likely recover all of their money through foreclosure versus taking a
    loss if they have to lower your payments to make it affordable. If you
    need your payments lowered considerably to make it affordable then it
    might make better business sense to your lender for them to foreclose.
    This is determined when the lender performs a NPV (net present value)
    test. For those reasons, you should try to get as close to a balanced
    budget as possible, so it does not appear that a drastic reduction in
    payments is required. You might want to consider selling to recover your
    equity and prevent foreclosure. Check http://www.hmpadmin.com for details on
    the modification program. Check
    https://www.hmpadmin.com/portal/docs/hamp_servicer/npvoverview.pdf for
    an overview of the NPV test.

    Michael Nord

  118. Crazy4 Says:

    We have a country wide now BOFA loan. Upon reviewing my loan documents, it looks like we qualify under the Attorney General’s Country Wide settlement. However, Countrywide is denying. Should i get an attorney?? Any suggestions?

  119. Dre Says:

    We bought our home in 2004 for $600K (80/20 loan)in the Bay Area which appraised for $250K in mid-2008 (owner occupied property). We contacted our 1st loan co. (Litton Loan Svc) to refinance who was unwilling to work with us unless we had defaulted payments, so we did. This worked out since my spouse’s hours got cut significantly. Sent in all the paperwork (multiple times) and didn’t hear a word from our 1st lender. However, the 2nd lender (CitiMortgage) was more than willing to work with us but we held off on negociating to hear from the 1st lender.

    A few months ago we received lawyer paperwork regarding the default payments and that they were going to auction the house. By that point, the value of the house dropped even more and we weren’t willing to fight to save the $600K house that barely valued $200K. We found out that the house was sold at the beginning of Dec 09 but had moved out in Nov in anticipation of an earlier sale.

    Now, how would we go about handling the 2nd loan (20%) now that the house is sold and the 2nd was only openned to purchase the house (no cash taken out)? And when does our time start to try to rebuild our credit score again since this house was the only ding against our previous 750-800 credit score?

  120. becca Says:

    Answer for Dre:

    Hello,

    It is time to contact some legal advice. In CA, it is not likely that you will be sued for a mortgage owed, but it is best to check with an attorney who may be able to see if the second mortgage is pursuing any sort of deficiency judgement (where they sue you for the mortgage amount). Also, check with a tax specialist regarding a 1099 after foreclosure on the remaining mortgage amounts.

    As far as credit rebuilding, you can start that right away. Go to your local credit counseling agency (www.nfcc.org) to find a counselor to discuss credit rebuilding strategies. Your local agency may also offer free workshops on this topic.

    Best of luck,

    Katrina Zárate, Certified Housing Counselor
    Housing Education Program
    Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco
    595 Market Street 15th Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94105
    Phone: 877-511-2272
    Website:www.housingeducation.net

  121. becca Says:

    Answer for Dre:

    As long as the second mortgage was the same loan you used to purchase the home, the second lender has no recourse against you for the amount they lost once the home was foreclosed. In other words, you no longer owe them anything as the result of the foreclosure by the 1st lien holder. The amount they write off or cancel because it is now uncollectible is called the deficiency amount. You will however, receive an IRS 1099 from both the first and second lien holders for the amount of the deficiencies on each loan. You will need to claim this on you income taxes and file the appropriate tax forms to apply for relief from personal income taxes that ordinarily you’d have to pay, based upon the amount of debt that has now or will be discharged by the 1st & 2nd lien holders. Go to http://www.irs.gov and search for “mortgage debt forgiveness” or “foreclosure” or “discharge of mortgage debt” after foreclosure. There is plenty of info about it on the IRS website, so DO NOT TRUST in chit chat & Urban legends amoungst friends, family, co-workers etc… go to the source and verify, verify, verify….

    You should work with an experienced tax attorney or CPA to make sure your 2009 taxes are properly prepared so that you minimize any potential tax liability. Don’t panic; chances are good you won’t have any tax liability as a result of the discharge of mortgage debt, but I can’t say for sure since I haven’t seen your paperwork.

    Also keep in mind that if you didn’t pay all of your mortgage payments during 2009, you will not be able to claim as much in interest deductions and possibly even property taxes depending on if you paid them or not, so you may end up owing income taxes if you didn’t also change your withholdings when you stopped making your mortgage payments… get some experienced help!

    As far as rebuilding your credit: pay all your bills on time, and your scores shd increase significantly at the end of 18-24 months. Budget budget budget. The foreclosure will stay on your credit for 7 years, but you can recover from it within 3-5 years. There are already loan programs available for people who had a foreclosure & rebuilt their credit. The waiting time is a minimum of 3 years from the date of the foreclosure sale.

    Work with a HUD approved counseling agency to start rebuilding your credit. I suggest you stop using credit cards except 1 with a small limit; use only your debit card, e.g., cash, for everything; use a program like Quicken or Microsoft Money to track ALL your finances, and don’t buy at the top of the market ever again. Use only a 30 year fixed rate mortgage and make certain your housing expenses including taxes, insurance & HOA do not exceed 35% of your gross household income. Then add $200/mo for maintenance. That’s for future reference. For now, start saving, and learn the basics about investing

    Sheri Powers, JD, MA
    Homeownership Center Director
    The Unity Council
    3301 East 12th Street, Suite 101
    Oakland, CA 94606

    spowers@unitycouncil.org
    510-535-7181 direct
    510-532-5983 fax

    http://www.unitycouncil.org

    A NeighborWorks Chartered Member and
    HUD-Certified Counseling Agency

  122. Chan Says:

    Hello Sir/Madam,

    My property in Newark, CA was placed in ‘Notice of Default’ by Wells Fargo bank.
    I want to contest bank to produce ‘Original Mortgage Note’ for my property.

    Appeciate for guiding me
    - Which court I need to approach to file for ‘Original Mortgage Note’ request from bank.
    - What are the forms to fill

    - Can you guide me for experienced attorney and also approx fee I need to plan.

    Your early reply is greatly appreciated.

    Thanking you ..

  123. sarah Says:

    Moved into rental with family 3 months ago and signed a 2 year lease. Homeowner collected 1st, last and deposit. 2 months after moving in find out an NOD was filed and the home is beginning stages of foreclosure. Through a public database found that owner had not paid property taxes since 2006 and the home was in default in excess of $50,000. To us this was amazing that it had not foreclosed sooner, but it shows how backed up the banks are. We confronted the owner and asked for proof our security deposit was in a seperate account as required by our contract. He would not show us. Mind you, the owner had last and deposit totaling several thousands of dollars from us. After hesitation, we paid rent again per our 2 year lease and contract. 3rd month following us moving in, the last tenant shows up at our door looking for the homeowner and his contact information. The owner never returned that tenant’s deposit and changed his contact information. Now we became very alarmed. Tenants should have more rights in these circumstances and this situation in particular. Depending on the attorney we ask, several say to pay rent as required by our contract. However, several others have said go ahead and fight this because the landlord has clearly spent out deposit as well and sit out what they owe us in the form of 2 months rent. Then moving forward, pay monthly again once we’ve sat out what appears we will never see, last and deposit. The other attornies say to pay and if we don’t get our deposit back take to small claims….but what is the point of taking someone to claims that has no money. So what if the judge rules in our favor…it just becomes a case of good luck trying to collect on the judgement. It’s just very unfortunate that it seems the law can still be in the landlord’s favor - when they are not holding up there contractual agreement with the tenant to peace and privacy etc. We would rather pay the banks in this case then the landlord. If everyone who could not afford their mortgage did this….the banks would never make any money. It’s just a tough situation, I know there are a lot of people dealing with this.

  124. Linda Says:

    I was laid off of job of 12 yrs in June 2009. I requested loan modification from local Wells Fargo and sent them all required info. A couple of months later they called to see if someone had contacted me. They could not give me an answer and said someone would contact me.
    I was then directed to their Home modification unit in Washington state (I live in So. Calif.). I sent that unit information 2x to qualify for a govt program. Then I was contacted by their unit in Iowa, and again sent all the requested/required info 2x. I was finally informed last week that I did not qualify for a loan because I did not meet the criteria of 31%.
    I was out of work from end of June to mid Nov 2009 when I got a full time permanent job with Healthnet, at half of what I used to make. My loan payment is $2604, I have been paying $1000/mo all thru this. My monthly income is $2640, I provided documentation of a renter at $500/mo and a 2nd job at another $500/mo. I had requested a payment of $1800. At $3600/mo I could pay 50% of my income to the house. Meanwhile I will continue to look for a job making more money, but need time to build income again.
    I will file bankruptcy on $20,000 credit card debt. What upsets me most is that I could have salvaged this 6 months ago. I could have rented this house @$2200/mo, paid the difference and moved into a 1 bdrm apt for a couple of years til I made more money. Wells Fargo’s disorganized approach is costing me my home of 11 yrs. Now that I am $13,000 behind, they said they would not work with me if I rented the house now. They would not put that amount at the end of the loan and unless I could make $1000 or more extra per month, they could not do anything else.
    I feel I qualify for a modification, but don’t know what else I can do. I saw your show this evening and while it was very informative, no scenarios like mine. Can you give any advice? Thanks in advance for any help you can give! Linda

  125. Robert Says:

    We moved in to our home with 80/20 loan at the top of the housing market and seen our home value drop to 50% of the purchase price. The Bank that hold the 80% loan has provided a reasonable loan modification but the 20% loan holder will not reduce the monthly payment more than 1/2 point of the interest rate when the original interest rate was set at 9.5 percent. We have send the Hardship paperwork and still the Bank will not work with us. The Bank is currently asking for the entire debt of the loan and will not perform a loan modification and have sent the account to their recovery department. What are our options in negotiating with the Bank and could we file Bankrupcy with the 20% loan and still hold on the house. Also can you please advise where in Riverside County can we receive financial conselling without requesting a substantial up front fee.
    Thanks in advance for your help.

  126. becca Says:

    Answer for Linda:

    The government HAMP program requires, among other things, that you live
    in the home and that your payment on your first mortgage (including
    principal, interest, taxes, insurance and homeowner’s association dues,
    if applicable) be more than 31% of your current gross income to meet the
    minimum qualifications.

    You might want to speak to a HUD approved housing counselor. You can
    call 888-995-4673 for the Hopeline or visit
    http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/fc/

    The lender could still choose to modify your loan but if you do not fit
    the guideline above they would not receive subsidies from the government
    to do so.

    Michael Nord

  127. becca Says:

    Answer for Robert:

    Yes you can speak to a legal adviser regarding Chapter 13 bankruptcy and
    the possibility of a “strip down” or “cram down” for the 2nd. You can
    try INLAND COUNTIES LEGAL SERVICES at (951) 368-2555 or
    http://www.inlandlegal.org/

    Michael Nord

  128. becca Says:

    Answer for Robert:

    IF YOU QUALIFY, bankruptcy may assist you by stripping the 2nd lien
    altogether, assuming as you say, your house isn’t even worth enough to
    cover the 1st lien holder’s note. The second lien holder is being -
    well, how shall we say, ummm, RIGHT. better not in a public forum.
    Contact a local hud approved counseling agency for advice. Go to
    http://www.nw.org and click on “look up a foreclosure counselor”. Put in your
    zip code and it will give you a list of organizations you can contact.
    Our agency provides free counseling and we work with bankruptcy
    attorneys through our Legal Assistance Program that cd properly advise
    you. go to http://www.unitycouncilhoc.org to complete the online intake and
    email us at info.hoc@unitycouncil.org to get a free consultation with
    our counseling staff and BK attys.

    And yes IF YOU QUALIFY you cd most likely keep your house even if you
    file BK.

    Sheri Powers, JD, MA
    Homeownership Center Director
    The Unity Council
    3301 East 12th Street, Suite 101
    Oakland, CA 94606

    spowers@unitycouncil.org
    510-535-7181 direct
    510-532-5983 fax

    http://www.unitycouncil.org

    A NeighborWorks Chartered Member and
    HUD-Certified Counseling Agency

  129. becca Says:

    Answer for Robert:
    SPRINGBOARD- PALM SPRINGS is a HUD approved Mortgage Delinquency and Default Resolution Counseling agency and should provide services free of charge. You should be aware that it is illegal for anyone to charge up front fees for loan modification services. Springboard - Palm Springs contact information is as follows:
    Phone: 800-947-3752
    Toll-free: 800-947-3752
    E-mail: housinghelp@credit.org
    Website: http://www.homeownership.org

    Duane Shewaga
    Paralegal
    Real Estate Fraud Unit
    Telephone: (408) 808-3787
    E-mail: dshewaga@da.sccgov.org

    Office of the District Attorney
    County of Santa Clara
    70 West Hedding St., West Wing
    San Jose, CA 95110

  130. January Says:

    We own our House, but not the Land it sits on. Now there are “Ground Rent” issues going on. The Land owner has filed an Unlawful Detainer against us and says we it is due to our not paying some of the past “Ground Rent”. The problem is we have since we have regained “Property Control” from my fiance’s ex-wife. However, the ex-wife had not paid all her Ground Rent. The Land owner let her get away with not paying some of the Ground Rent in the amount of $2,922.13. Now that my fiance and I have taken over the house and have moved in; he (the land owner) now has been doing everything he can to get us out and to obtain the house through “Abandonment” laws. The Land owner has even called Code Compliance, when that failed he decided to file an Unlawful Detainer suit against my fiance for his ex-wife’s past due amount. When the Judge dropped that Unlawful Detainer suit due to there not being any written Rental Agreement and/or Lease; the Land owner went and hired a real estate lawyer who is now setting an Unlawful Detainer Court Date. The lawyer is saying there is an Oral agreement between my fiance and the Land owner’s employee.?? The other thing that is wrong with this whole mess is we made a $500.00 payment in Nov. 2009, and have in our possession the Money Orders meant for Dec. 2009 and Jan. 2010. We were advised by an attorney to aquire the M.O.s like we normally would, but not send them due to the Unlawful Detainer suits. And to inform the Land owner that as soon as he negotiates a mutually agreeable Lease with us, then we would give the M.O.s to him. However, the Land owner would not and will not communicate with us and just filed another Unlawful Detainer suit due to non-payment of Ground Rent based on some unknown Oral Agreement. What are our rights and what laws protect us the homeowner? We only want time to sell the house and move now. We are tired of the whole drama and uncooperation of the land owner. Do we have the right to get timr to sell our house? And no the land owner will not buy the house at a fair amount or sell us the land at a fair amount. He just wants to obtain our house for free. He does not have a good reputation with our fellow citizens, but for some reason he keeps winning cases that are totally unfair and by all means should not be legal. Help us and our 6 children Please, before we not only loose our house, but all our money that we have invested to secure a roof over our heads. Help us find whatever rights and/or laws that will help us sell our house and therefore have the means to obtain another one. Time is running OUT!!!

  131. Donald Wong Says:

    Like many millions of Americans, we are heading for foreclosure. We debated Pro and Con, searched every conceivable avenue for help. At the same time we received countless unsolicited letters and flyers from Realtors, Lawyers, Profit, Nonprofit organizations and etc. begging to ‘help” us.

    Out of so many only one exceptional person trying to help us. Here is my advice for logical way out. First, find out if your mortgage is “Recourse” or “Non-recourse” loan. All mortgages in CA and AZ are non-recourse unless you refinance. Second, are you willing to walk out and disregard your credit? If you have decided and have done your homework, Walk out, DON’T SHORT SALE. You don’t need a lawyer. Start saving every penny you have. You have six months or more to stay in your home, before anyone can evict you. The Banks cannot do anything to you. You are not legally bound to keep the house if you don’t want to. Don’t pay your property tax or home insurance, except your utilities bills. Watch PBS (Bill Moyers Journal, David Brancaccio’s Now) and KPFI Pacifica Radio (Amy Goodman) and NPR, for their excellent eye opening public awareness and investigating programs.

    Do not be ashamed of walking out. You are not alone making such blunders. Corporations and Banks make such mistake too and they walk out. Finally, we have ZERO debts except wife’s hospital and house’s mortgage. We have cash reserve and receive almost ZERO interest from the banks, but paying through our nose for keeping our money for them to speculate. In a few short weeks I will have to put two of our family members down — Cocky and Chalet, which live with us for more than ten years. All Human Societies in the Bay are full or unable to take them in.

    Rather, than taking KQET Bandwidth and explain the above. Follow the web page below, which convinced us to walkouts.

    Watch first, Dr. David Hudson University of Missouri KCMO
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pwAFohWBL4

    The Nation’s Housing: Walking away from a mortgage
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/25/AR2009112504186.html

    ABC News: Is It Wrong To Walk Away From A Mortgage Deep Underwater?
    http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/mortgage-defaults-borrowers-walk-away-underwater-home/story?id=9802435

    More on Pacifica Radio Dr. David Hudson University of Missouri KCMO
    http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/58530

    Real News YouTube Mortgage debacle
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdsnIYurpSM

    Non-Recourse Loans Vs. Recourse Loans
    http://www.trulia.com/blog/hannah_fliegel/2009/05/non-recourse_loans_vs_re

    Underwater, but Will They Leave the Pool? Recourse and Non-Recourse Loan
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/24/business/economy/24view.html?ref=business

    In California how can you determine whether your mortgage loan is a non recourse loan or a recourse loan?
    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/In_california_how_can_you_determine_whether_your_mortgage_loan_is_a_non_recourse_loan_or_a_recourse_loan

    CA Foreclosure and Short Sales, Recourse and Non-Recourse
    http://www.ftb.ca.gov/professionals/taxnews/2009/July/Article_9.shtml

    More on Dr Michael Hudson
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pwAFohWBL4

    Why IndyMac/OneWest Always Forecloses
    http://iamfacingforeclosure.com/blog/2009/12/01/anatomy-of-a-government-abetteded-fraud-why-indymaconewest-always-forecloses/

    New York Times on Walk Out
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/03/business/03walk.html?ref=business

    NPR On Foreclosure
    http://www.npr.org/search/index.php?&sort=match&searchinput=foreclosed

    Reuters - Run, don’t walk
    http://www.breakingviews.com/2009/12/23/underwater%20mortgages.aspx?sg=nytimes

    U.S. Loan Effort Is Seen as Adding to Housing Woes
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/02/business/economy/02modify.html

    Guess What? IndyMac (now One West Bank) & BofA WOULD RATHER FORECLOSE!
    http://www.trulia.com/blog/bob_hertzog/2009/09/guess_what_indymac_now_one_west_bank_bofa_would_rather_foreclose

    I like to thank KQET and Becca King Reed for their untiring effort for the Bay communities . It’s comforting to have them around, we need them as they need us. Thanks. Donald Wong

  132. becca Says:

    Donald,

    We are all saddened to hear of your impending foreclosure. But we are heartened to hear that you have taken control of your situation and made a decision that works for you and your family. As you know, You are not alone in walking away from a mortgage. Even so, it’s never easy to say goodbye to a family home. It’s even harder to say goodbye to a pet.

    I’m sorry we can’t provide you with some information that would help you out of your housing situation but I may have some information that could save Cocky and Chalet.

    If you would be willing to allow another family to adopt them, try these organizations below. Their help is free.

    Smiley Dog Rescue Owner Assistance:
    http://www.smileydogrescue.org/blueweb/resources/owner_assist_program.html

    Petfinders : Post a free classified ad for an adoptable pet
    http://www.petfinder.com/classifieds/classifieds.html

    Free classified
    http://monterey.craigslist.org/pet/

    Good luck to you and your family, Donald.

    Becca King Reed

  133. Carmen Spicher Says:

    We have a ARM loan that we thought was a 7 year fix. we also thought we were getting a loan through Indymac bank. When we tried to do a loan modification we were told we couldn’t because the private investor didn’t want to. We were not aware that we were getting a loan through a private investor that we could never negoiate the loan.
    What can we do???? Please help.
    Best regards
    Carmen Spicher

  134. Kalima Rose Says:

    My housekeeper has a mortgage deep underwater–due to being a payment option Wachovia mortgage, the note has ballooned to $420,000 on a house worth about $200,000 (or less) in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland. She also has about $30,000 of credit card debt, with family income of ~$50k/year. She has tried many nonprofit helpers in getting a modification, but Wachovia continues to ask for the same papers (now going on 8 months). She is asking me if we can help her by engaging in a short sale and renting the home back to her. Is there someone who could advise me about options for succeeding at short sale, and what options i have in offering her a mortgage that we would finance ourselves? She previously had a 30-year $120k fixed mortgage that she could easily pay the note on.

    Thanks,
    KR

  135. becca Says:

    Answer for KR:
    This is what I understand to be your plan: buying the house yourselves and renting or lending back to your housekeeper. First, do you qualify for a loan to purchase her property?

    If you would like to buy her house and rent/sell back to her, contact a real estate agent. They will be able to give you an idea of the current market value of the property, and what the likelihood is that the lender would accept an offer of less than what is owed. Is there a second lien on the property? The credit consequences and the consequences of negotiating the payments on a second lien would lie with your housekeeper (the original borrower). You would only be responsible for making the offer.

    There is a snag: you are the employer, and the bank may not approve your offer to purchase because they know you would rent back to the original buyer. This is an arms-length transaction violation (your real estate agent would be able to help more with this rule), and so the bank may not allow you to buy!

    What may be easiest is if your housekeeper alone qualifies for a loan modification. Encourage her to continue to apply directly with the lender; this process takes time.

    Lastly, if you decide to purchase the property and become the landlord or the lender (yes, you would seek local counseling on how to become a lender), you need to make sure that taking on this asset makes sense for you financially and for your tax situation (and you need to qualify for a loan). Hope this all helps!

    Cordially,

    Katrina Zárate, Certified Housing Counselor
    Housing Education Program
    Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco
    595 Market Street 15th Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94105
    Website:www.housingeducation.net

  136. becca Says:

    Answer for KR:

    A licensed real estate broker who specializes in short sales may be able to help you although a short sale will still have a negative impact on your housekeeper’s credit although not as bad a foreclosure sale. There may be unintended tax consequences if debt is forgiven which in the past was treated as income but changes in the law may have mitigated such unforseen tax liability. It would be worthwhile double checking with an accountant or tax preparer. Also, even after the short sale your housekeeper would still face the $30,000 in credit card debt (over half of her gross annual income) plus her other debts. She may want to consult with a debt counselor or bankruptcy attorney. Be aware that there are many praying upon desperate homeowners facing mounting debt and lowered equity in their homes. You should only deal with a licensed professional with a good reputation.

    Duane Shewaga
    Paralegal
    Real Estate Fraud Unit
    Telephone: (408) 808-3787
    E-mail: dshewaga@da.sccgov.org

    Office of the District Attorney
    County of Santa Clara
    70 West Hedding St., West Wing
    San Jose, CA 95110

  137. becca Says:

    Answer for KR:
    Interesting. If you are able to give your housekeeper a loan for
    $150,000, why don’t you offer to purchase the note from the bank for
    that amount? then you’d be the new investor, you could cut her mortgage
    payments to whatever (@ 5% FIXED FOR 30 YRS THAT WD BE A pi PAYMENT OF
    $805.23; or at 4% fixed $716.12, plus taxes & insurance of course) and
    then you wdnt have to pay her for housekeeping…

    Ok, just kidding. I wd caution very strongly against bailing out your
    housekeeper. Loan mods are a tricky slippery business when you know what
    you’re doing… and nothing but a world of frustration when you don’t.
    that’s because they keep moving the cheese — and people are likely to
    agree to almost anything when it means saving their home… so you put
    yourself in a very awkward position by trying to do too much and maybe
    screwing it up or worse violating some little known law.

    Our agency is located in the Fruitvale area of Oakland… I’m of course
    wondering if your housekeeper came to us for assistance and if so, what
    happened…. please have her contact me.

    Sheri Powers, Unity Council

    Sheri Powers, JD, MA
    Homeownership Center Director
    The Unity Council
    3301 East 12th Street, Suite 101
    Oakland, CA 94606

    spowers@unitycouncil.org
    510-535-7181 direct
    510-532-5983 fax

    http://www.unitycouncil.org

    A NeighborWorks Chartered Member and
    HUD-Certified Counseling Agency

  138. Nandan Nabar Says:

    Has Bank of America started the Phase 2 of the Making Home Affordable plan for loans having LPMI? I have Fannie Mae owned loan with LPMI of $590K on home worth $630K. Can I Refi under Obama’s Refi? I have been turned down by my current lender BOA for Refi since I have LPMI (lender paid MI) on my loan. Does anyone know or have experience doing Refi under the Obama’s Making Home Affordable Refinance plan for loans that have a lender paid MI in CA? I have confirmed that loan is held by Fannie Mae.Appreciate any help on the same.

  139. larry walker Says:

    my question is i do not know what is legal, what is not however here are some questions, on 2-7-2006 i signed a note for a 5 year fixed payment mda, the payment in the truth in lending was shown as $1,914.00 for 60 months, they told us the first year would be for 1.9% interest, and our loan would be for $525,000.00 the truth in lending did not show 1.9% but 6.470% however all of the other documents showed that the loan was for $525,000.00 and the interest rate was 1,9% for 360 months, then later they called and stated the appraiser told them that the fireplaces (3) should have rock on the face of them and that this would cost $25,000.00 so they sent out new paperwork and told us that our note would now be $550,050.00 and they changed the truth in lending statement and showed we had a monthly payment of p&i of $2005.70 for 37 months, and the truth in lending now showed a new interest rate of 7.14% but in other places in the note it showed 1.9% for 360/360 months, we made all of the payments on time and early from 5-1-2006 as shown on the truth in lending statement- our lenders filed chapter 11 in 2008 and turned our note over to a collecting company and they changed the note from $550.050.00 to somewhere between $600,000.00 and $848,000.00 they changed our payment from $2,005.70 to $4,749.09 and our escrow payment from $512.00 to $1,125.16. they have refused to answer 10 questions over the past 20 months, the new payments were started on November 1 of 2008, now because the new company will not supply us with information necessary to sell the home, and has refused to supply requested information such as , who is the holder of our note, who and where is the person listd on the deed of trust, what is the exact amount of the payoff, a persons full name phone number with extension number within you company who can speak good english so we can have a point of contact. a full copy of all payments posted date etc, from May 1 2006 to April 1st 2010, and the same information on our escrow account, a full copy of the insured title search paid for in 2006. a full copy all 83 pages of the note we signed in march of 2006 and a full copy of the note that was signed on 2-7-2006 how come this company will not comply to our request? I need help please contact me here lwalker1230@peoplepc.com 417-833-3358

  140. Riley Conn Says:

    Original loan was with WaMu. Started a refi 2.5 years ago. Wamu was purchased by JP Chase. Finalized refi with a signed note by myself and Jp Chase. Note was never recorded and now Jp Chase has no record of my mortgage. Have been going back and forth with them for more than a year. What should I do? The funny thing is that are property taxes keep getting paid by someone (Chase??) even though we dont have an impound account. How do I solve this?

  141. gary dahms Says:

    I bought my house in sept of 06 and still live in it.I was married and 3 months after, I bought a cleaning business.After a 1 1/2 she left and economy fell apart and i had lots of bills so I filed a chapter 13 on everything.business was not good and still is not good.Bankruptcy was approved may 6, 2010.I still cant make payments but I would like to try to save it somehow.I am divorced now and the house is mine.I know my income needs to rise to save it but is there still a chance for me to save it and stay in my home or how long b-4 they give me a notice to vacate.What do i do?

  142. Kathryn Sumner Says:

    There was a newspaper article published Tuesday April 20, 2010 regarding a class action suit that you partner with Attorney Will Kennedy of Santa Clara. This is in regards to lenders pursing nonrecourse loans and lenders pursuing them.

    In 2007 my late husband purchased our home and the lender gave us a no down 2nd (line of credit)as well as the first. This was used 100% to purchase the house. Our home went into foreclosure and they are going after me for the 2nd. I have tried to explain the law in California but they insist on going after me. The loans were a service provider but Well Fargo is primary I found out when we went through foreclosure.

    How can I contact anyone to get involved with the class-action suit or have a letter sent to them to get them to stop.

  143. Ron Says:

    I was in the middle of a loan modification with Citi Mortgage. They have another branch of their company do the fact finding and or gathering. The MOS Group (Mortgage outreach Services) They would tell me that I was complete and that they were sending back my paperwork for the under writers to approve or not approve. Then they called me and said that I need the declaration page from my Insurance company. Citi mortgage already has a declaration page from my Insurance company. While I was getting a copy of the declaration page they sold my home. They had put notices on my door twice before and given me 3 certified letters saying they were going to sell my home on steps of the courthouse. I would then notify the “MOS Group” and they would tell Citi”hey, we are still getting info from him for you” and they would post pone the sale. This last time they did not give me certified letters or notice on my door. The citi mortgage person said they just put it in the newspaper somewhere this time. I came home to find a new notice stating that my home was sold and to contact this realty team to find out term of “getting Out”.
    Does not sound like they had honest intentions with me.
    And, here is another question. Does Obama know they do this, was this his intention? I think not!!! All I needed was this information to be passed on to keep my modification in line.

    I need answers and help!!!!!

    And today I found a document that I printed from Citi mortgage stating that I did in fact accept their modification offer.
    The last person I spoke to at citi mortgage stated that I did not have a new loan amount or an offer. Just a chance to to go through the process. I printed the document for my records and have now found the persons name and loan amount that we had agreed to. If Im not mistaken they did one of those recording deals or another person on the line to hear me say yes to their offer…
    HELLLP

  144. Addie Says:

    The house we are renting was foreclosed via auction in July 2010. On 8/2/10 we received the 60 notice from Fannie Mae. I called the number on the notice and told the lawyer that we have a lease, and asked if we were supposed to receive a 90 notice. He said that Fannie Mae only gives 60 days notice prior to eviction, not 60. I faxed him a copy of our signed lease. Do they need to serve us with a new 90 notice?

  145. Elisa Says:

    hi,
    i was contacted today by new hope financial saying that there were gov credits to be applied to my mortgage. he said there business was based out of california. i have been looking online if this is a scam. A good bit about business called new hope financial and names and alias previously used. he said our payments could be lowered to nearly 2% for the entire loan life. i don’t get how this could be possible. and i can not find on the web any government related information to such material. have you any idea about this company and this sort of thing? i would greatly appreciate any feedback. elisa

  146. Donald Wong Says:

    It has been quiet a while since I last visit this site. My wife and I separated, lost my beloved pets and my daughter mounting students loan. It is extremely painful. My bank is IndyMac or Bank OneWest Bank. We tried so hard for more than a year trying to talk to IndyMac with no success but kept on threaten us. We finally had enough and walks out we did not take or asked for the $1,500. Can someone advise and refer me to the AG or relevant Department/Lawyers so we can list our names to be included in any class action lawsuit? Neither IndyMac nor OneWest Banks produced the “NOTE” to show that they or anyone owns the property. Thanks.

  147. Margarita Alessi Says:

    Can someone give me advice about commertial loans? I have a mortgage with Union Bank and I was looking for a modification but they sold my note to a private Investor.Do I have any options other than pay now or get forclosed? Please HELP! This is a 8 units Apartment Complex .Thanks.

  148. Peter Says:

    I filed chapter 7 in Sept of 2009, discharged Jan 2010.
    I have been working with Bank of America and made 4 trial payments,
    still no permanent loan mod. now I am being asked by First American title to have my wife quick claim deed the house to me. Can someone give advise?
    They claim the Title is clouded because they never had my wife sign the trust deed. But she is on the title.

    Peter

  149. Linda Says:

    please advice about a loan modification- We want to request a modification due to the interest rate adjusted on 11/1/10 and we cannot afford the payment of $3600 plus payment for second loan of $530, tax, and insurance.
    The first loan is for $690,000 and the secondo $110,000.
    Can the lender approved a modification for the first loan only?
    Please advice why the lender is asking for a tax transcrip, and if in this case a modification makes sense, the current market value of the property is $450-480K.

    Thank you.

  150. monica Says:

    l have 5 loans with Chase formerly Washington Mutual they ARE ADJUSTABLE TO A BALOON, L,AM TRYING TO GET cHASE TO ,MODIFY IT HAS BEEN 8 MONTHDS. oNE LOAN THEY MODIFY AND L SIGHNED CONTRACT AND THEY SAY L DEFAULTED BUT THE BANK ACTUALLY DID.LS THER HELP FOR PEOPLE LIKE MYSELF.aLSO hAMP HAS LEFT ME HANGING?

  151. Mary Says:

    I have a question regarding the securitization of my mortgage and who has the right to foreclose.

    When I received my NOD it named Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee for GSR 2007-OA1. Since I’d never heard of our loan being transferred to Deutsche Bank I looked it up at the San Diego County Recorders office and ordered a certified copy of the Assignment. It was dated 3/22/10 - for a loan supposedly transferred to a 2007 securtization pool. Although the Prospectus required all loans to be legally transferred to the pool within 120 days it was only recorded with the County three years later.

    And then of course the paperwork technicalities with this same loan: the transfer date was 3/22/10 but it wasn’t notarized until 3/30/10. But the NOD was filed on 3/29/10.

    Regardless of the 3 year delay, from my research my understanding is that since it was a non-performing loan in default it could not be transferred into the pool.

    My concern is if the Trustee for the pool does not have the legal standing to foreclose would the proceeds be being paid to the wrong entity and years hence could the real legal holder of the note (Countrywide now BofA) come after us?

  152. Brent Says:

    My loan was recently sold to a new company and after 14 days of recording with the new company they posted a Trustees Sale on my front door. What are my options? I have called them just short of 10 times and they are unwilling to accomodate me. I have until December 3, 2010. Can I push that date and buy some time?

  153. drouse Says:

    We have a Condo that we might have to put on the market soon. We are current and not underwater on the loan(barely). Back on 06 we refinaced from a ARM to a 30 year fixed and in the process removed a lien from a bankruptcy. The originator was WaMu who of course is no more. I don’t know it for a fact, but it is likely that the loan was sold into a security. Given the mess with conveying the notes properly from buyer to buyer and title insurers starting to balk, should I be concerned about a clouded title reducing the possible sale price of our unit?

  154. jorens Says:

    I would like to know if I can still save my house from foreclosures. We received a notice of default 11/03/10 for non payment for 15 months. We cannot afford the monthly payment of $3,015.00/month. We applied for loan modification for almost 2 years now and we were told that we are not approved. I would like to know if there is any other options to save our house.

    Thank you,

  155. meilei Says:

    We were approved for a modification - got the official approval notice, but had a few questions regarding the wording in the documents. The lender now states that it was received back from us after the deadline listed on the paperwork and refuse to enstate the official modification. All modified payments have been made - they are refusing to do this based on a date on the papers. That is their ONLY basis for refusing…. Why would they refuse to enstate the modification on this small technicality. They have sent us a certified notice to pay $23,000 by March 1 2011 or they will proceed with their foreclosure process. They adamantly refuse to do anything for us. Our only option they say is to pay the $23,000 and resume the old payments of ~$2500/mo. Our modified payment was to be $1,000. and we have made that $1,000. payment for 6 or 7 months now…

  156. Gabriela Says:

    We bought a home at $555,000 gave $200,000 to begin and now owe $320,000. However, because of the value decrease on homes, our home’s value is less than what we owe. We can afford to make the payments and have been making them promptly, but we would like to know what we can do to lower the price of the loan (adjustment/modification). what would or first steps need to be?

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