Are You Living Under the Cloud of an Unmanageable Mortgage?
You didn’t buy your home planning on the value to drop. But about 25% of homeowners in the U.S. find themselves in just that situation. The Housing Crisis is a national epidemic affecting good people who have played by the rules, paid their taxes and reached for their American Dream.
The sad fact is that foreclosure is not an isolated event. For months prior to the loss of a home, financially pressured homeowners live under a cloud of uncertainty. Then for years afterward, the damaged credit affects their ability to buy another home or obtain loans at favorable terms. Foreclosure can even complicate employment prospects.
There are Alternatives to Foreclosure
Foreclosure is seldom the only viable option for distressed homeowners–especially with numerous Federal and State programs available, and streamlined short sale systems to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.
- Short Sale: Most banks would rather agree to a sale price less than the amount owed than to become the owner of a distressed property in a foreclosure proceeding.
- Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure is an option that enables homeowners to transfer ownership of the property back to the bank.
Short-Term Financial Setback Solutions
- Forbearance suspends payments for a specified time period. Missed payments are eventually either repaid in full or added on as an extension to the loan term.
- A Repayment Plan is similar to a forbearance, with past-due loan amounts spread out over a specified time frame, resulting in an increased mortgage payment until the mortgage has been brought up to date.
Long-Term Financial Setback Solutions
- HAMP – Home Affordable Modification Program – For the homeowner who has fallen behind on payments due to a long-term financial setback, such as a job loss or permanent drop in income, HAMP is a permanent loan modification program, administered by the U.S. Treasury.
- HARP – Home Affordable Refinance Program – For homeowners current on mortgage payments but unable to refinance because the market value of the home is lower than the mortgage amount, the recently revised HARP 2.0 offers a way to refinance underwater home values.
One of the Most Important Things to Know
The sooner help is sought, the more options are available, and the greater chance of success.
As a real estate professional who has earned the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation, my mission is to provide financially strapped homeowners with alternatives to foreclosure, help them steer clear of scams, and assist them in finding the solution that best meets their needs.
These are tough times, but more help is available than ever before. If you or someone you care about is ready to navigate away from the dark cloud of an unmanageable mortgage, contact me today and let’s get started.