October Home Sales Hurt by Short Sale, Foreclosure Freeze

According to the latest reports, the number of homes sales, particularly in South Florida dropped for the month of October. The culprit, it would seem, is the temporary foreclosure freeze lenders implemented during the same month.

In Broward County, home sales declined by 28 percent compared to the same month last year while Palm Beach County home sales fell 14 percent, based on a report released by the Florida Realtors. in total, Florida home sales dropped 21 percent from last year’s figures.

An economist for NAR believed the decline in home sales activity can be attributed to the foreclosure stoppage. It is expected there was a significant number of almost-completed sales which have been affected when major lenders announced their decision to review their foreclosure process as a response to the claims that foreclosure-related documents are not being reviewed correctly. These “almost” sales most likely include short sale and foreclosure sales.

Despite this, it is also believed there is a huge demand for homes but because of the current economic and housing market situation, it is yet to be felt. If lenders are able to resolve the issues surrounding their foreclosure and short sale process and unemployment situation improves, home sales activity can likewise experience an upward trend.

Of course, you should not expect this to be immediate since homebuyers can still expect difficulties particularly when it comes to obtaining financing as well as appraisals, which are below the negotiated amount.

For sellers, especially those who are in the process of getting their short sale proposal approved, such news is certainly frustrating. You need to understand that the housing market conditions are currently favoring short sales over foreclosure sales. Homebuyers who are looking to enjoy savings know that homes being sold via short sale are in a much better condition than that of foreclosed properties in some cases. Even lenders are favoring short sales over foreclosure since the entire process cost less. You just need to make sure the documents you and the buyer submit are in order and complete.

If buyers want to make sure their rights and interest are protected in a short sale transaction, you should work with an experienced short sale Realtor.

Reference:

http://weblogs.sun-sentinel.com/business/realestate/housekeys/blog/2010/11/foreclosure_freezes_hurt_south_1.html

Do Not End Up As A Statistic, Consider A Florida Short Sale

According to a report released by the Mortgage Bankers Association, Florida has the highest number of homeowners who are seriously delinquent with their mortgage payments. About 19.52 percent were about 90 days delayed on their payments while a significant percentage of the borrowers are a month or two behind. Based on this, there is one out of four Florida homeowners who are delinquent.

It is believed the reason for Florida’s delinquency rates are because of the enduring unemployment problem and the continuing decline of home prices as a result of the foreclosure mess. Of course, it does not help that in Florida, foreclosures are handled by courts and thus, resulting to large inventories of repossessed homes compared to non-judicial states.

In addition, about 48 percent of Florida homeowners are currently underwater, meaning they owe more in mortgage than what their homes are presently valued in the market. If you would like to avoid becoming one of these statistics, then it is time to get serious and look at your situation realistically.

Being on the brink of foreclosure should be a cause for alarm. If you are already behind on your mortgage payments, your credit score is already suffering. Instead of waiting for the proverbial ax to drop, it would be better if you look for help right away. For those of you who do not know where to start, talking to a short sale Realtor is a good start.

Since these agents are equipped with the knowledge and skill to answer all your questions about a short sale, then you will be able to make an informed decision. If a short sale is for you, be sure to prepare all the documents as soon as you can and start looking for a buyer.

A lot of lenders are more inclined to accept the short sale proposal if the paperwork is in order and your buyer is able to show proof that he can make the purchase. Lenders are also wary about fraudulent claims of hardship so you should make sure that you can provide them with all the proof they need. Of course, having a professional by your side to guide you every step of the way will make things easier for you.

Florida Short Sale or Foreclosure?

Unemployment and declining home values are just some of the reasons why millions of homeowners are in “distress”. When that time of the month comes to pay for the mortgage dues, more often than not, these hardworking individuals are tempted to just surrender to foreclosure. For them, it is the inevitable ending to their suffering.

For many borrowers, looking for a way out of the mess is not something which enters their mind mainly because of the overwhelming pressure to provide the right documents. A Short sale, in particular, is thought to be stressful since the process involved is quite lengthy and the number of documents needed to be prepared will entail just too much work.

Many homeowners do not know there are actually unique Florida rules which will make a short sale a more attractive option compared to walking away or a foreclosure. The biggest advantage to a Florida homeowner is the deficiency judgment. Unlike in some other states where lenders are not allowed to go after the mortgage balance after the completion of a short sale or a foreclosure, Florida laws state the opposite. This means that any bank can go after the balance within a period of 20 years.

Even though a Florida short sale involves the lender taking less than what is owed them, there is a 90 percent chance the lender will not go after the remaining balance. Why? For the simple reason they know you are not capable of paying, with all the financial documents you submitted as part of the short sale proposal. Even if the lender decides to go after the mortgage balance, they would still need to file the deficiency judgment in court.

In a foreclosure, the courts award the deficiency judgment automatically, giving the lender freedom to seek one as soon as possible. If you are thinking the nightmare will end after the bank takes away your home, you need to think about it again.

On top of it all, you will also have a deficiency judgment entered in your credit history which will make it twice as hard for you to buy a Florida home in the next couple of years.

So before you think about raising the white flag and accepting foreclosure, you should understand and realize it is not the best solution after all.

Facing Foreclosure? Get Rid of Your Fears with a Short Sale

It is understandable that one of the greatest fears of homeowners is to lose their home to foreclosure. After all their hard work and sacrifices to buy their dream home, it is indeed devastating to end up losing it all because you were not able to prepare for financial difficulties resulting from job loss or even a divorce.

Instead of constantly worrying about what the future will bring and fear of the unknown, it is better to look at where you are now and make your decisions based on this. Homeownership is certainly a part of the American dream but if you are honest with yourself, you need to accept if it is not for you at the moment.

Considering a short sale is so much better than constantly being on edge and worrying where to get your next mortgage payment. If you are on the brink of facing foreclosure, you need not be afraid about what is on the other side of the fence. The important thing is for you to you act now and prepare yourself for the inevitable.

Looking for a short sale Realtor to help you is certainly a smart thing to do instead of wallowing in self pity or worse, accumulating more and more debt just to make ends meet. A short sale will let you keep two things: your dignity and your credit score. As you know, it is more embarrassing to have a “foreclosure” sign in front of your home and the same word on your credit report.

If you become proactive, you will be able to prepare all documents needed for the lender to consider your short sale proposal. You have to keep in mind you are running against time and the sooner you face your fears, the more likely you will be able to get out of this mess in a much better shape.

Talk to a short sale Realtor now and realize the first step to conquering your fears is to equip yourself with the right information.

Will You Benefit From A Florida Short Sale?

In life, you have to learn to deal with problems that come your way as best as you can. Of course, considering the current sluggish economy has made it difficult for many to earn a living and for your investments to prosper, it is not surprising many also now have an underwater mortgage.

Such a term actually means you owe more than what your house is worth in the current market. Obviously, this is frustrating especially if the monthly mortgage payments are becoming a burden to pay. If you are having a tough time meeting all your financial obligations, maybe it is about time to admit you are in way over your head and needs a way out of this mess.

There are, in realty, many options available for homeowners like you who are about to default on their mortgage due to monetary concerns. Right now, you have a better chance of saving your financial credibility as well as avoiding embarrassment by submitting a Florida short sale proposal to your lender.

Simply put, a Florida short sale will allow you to do three things: rid yourself of your mortgage debt, save your credit score and prevent the home values in your neighborhood from declining. Even though a short sale means the lender will be accepting less than what you owe them after the sale of your home, there is likelihood the loan difference will be forgiven. This is if you were able to prove to the lender you are really not capable of paying your debt. Please note, this is not true in all circumstances. Some lenders will want some sort of payback even if you have no money at all to give them. This is an insane request from lenders but it does happen.

Compared to a foreclosure, your credit score will not be as adversely affected. You can re-establish your financial credibility faster and recover easier. As for the homes values in your neighborhood, it is a known fact foreclosures have a way of attracting vandals and other criminal elements because of their abandoned condition, thus, pulling home values down.

Considering all of this, it can be assumed a Florida short sale can benefit you like no other foreclosure alternative can. You just have to make sure you seek the help of a reputable Florida short sale Realtor for things to go much smoother.

30% of Distressed Florida Homeowners Not Interested in Avoiding Foreclosures

In Palm Beach County, facing foreclosure is something considered to be ordinary. With the state being hit hard by the foreclosure crisis, it should not come as a surprise why many homeowners are having a tough time staying in their home.

Of course, if you are in the same unfortunate situation as these homeowners, you would look for a way out of your mortgage problems and do everything you can to avoid foreclosure. There is always the option to have your mortgage loan modified or submit a short sale proposal to your lender.

In Palm Beach County, it would seem that 30 percent of the distressed homeowners who have been found to be eligible to enter foreclosure mediation cannot be reached, were unresponsive or do not want to participate. The mediation is sponsored by the Palm Beach County Bar Association and even offered for free. It started last July and was actually intended to provide distressed borrowers with options to prevent foreclosure.

It has been hard for the organizers to contact the 3,200 borrowers who received a foreclosure notice, the first step in the foreclosure process. The good news is they noticed that those who attended the mediation program felt almost immediately better as soon as they have talked to one of the mediators. A lot of homeowners only needed to be given a little encouragement to make them realize their problems can actually be solved if they start acting as soon as possible. So far, there were 41 mediations which have occurred and 10 of these have ended up with settlement agreements. A second batch of 100 mediations is being scheduled.

Last year, the Supreme Court of Florida has ordered its circuit courts to halt foreclosure mediation sessions as part of their efforts to bring down the number of foreclosure cases currently being reviewed by the system. Lenders were even charged $750 per case.

The organizers believe that the lack of response can be attributed to the increasing number of foreclosure-related scams. As a result, struggling homeowners are wary of any mail or letters offering help or assistance.

Reference: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/money/real-estate/one-third-of-palm-beach-county-homeowners-in-1030213.html

Tips for Short Sale Realtors

Being in the business of helping homeowners with a short sale transaction is no longer as easy and simple as it used to be. With lenders worried about fraudulent short sale proposals, the chances of getting approved for sometimes seems it has become so slim you would actually wonder if it is all worth it.

If you add the other problems usually encountered by short sale Realtors such as cut commissions and the seller or buyer backing out at the very last minute, it is not surprising why a lot of agents are leaving the short sale business.

Of course, there are those who entered the business with open eyes and have learned to adjust to the changing market and needs of the short sale sellers, buyers and lenders. If you are new to this business, you might want to consider the following tips in order to avoid getting frustrated.

Getting the facts. One of the mistakes that many short sale Realtors make is becoming subjective. In this business, the things which will help you make decisions are the facts and nothing else. If you have all the facts, you will not have a hard time coming up with critical decisions. These facts will actually guide you to making the right ones. Of course, this also means you need to take things slowly since getting all the facts will mean being patient and resourceful.

Lowering your expectations. Although you would want everything to go as smoothly as possible, there is always a huge likelihood that something will go wrong. You can always look ahead and anticipate the usual problems so that you will be prepared if it happens.

Be honest. This is perhaps the most important trait you will need to become successful in the short sale business. Honesty should, first of all, apply to you. You should be brave enough to admit your limitations in terms of your skills and knowledge. by acknowledging these weak points, you are actually giving yourself an opportunity to improve and be the best in this business.

Indeed, being a short sale Realtor has its ups and downs but, you are the only one who can dictate which of these two will define your job.

3 Reasons Why Home Buyers Should Consider Short Sale Properties

Despite the dim outlook for the housing industry, home buyers and investors are actually rejoicing over the fact there is no better time for them to make real estate purchases than now. After all, home prices are at their lowest and you also have foreclosures and short sale properties included in the large selection.

Of course, for many experts, buying a short sale home is a practical choice. Here are the most common reasons why you should consider a short sale over a foreclosure:

Physical Condition – a short sale property is in many cases in much better condition since the home is yet to be abandoned and has not attracted vandals. Considering the owner is having money troubles, you need to be thorough when it comes to checking the property for damage. Hire a professional inspector so you will have a clear idea of what the true condition of the property is.

Reasonable Price – since the owner is in a situation wherein the property needs to be sold at the soonest possible time or at least before the lender files a foreclosure case, you can certainly negotiate the price. Before you bid, make sure the amount is well within the acceptable limit. Do comparative studies of the other properties sold in the area and find out if there are also other bids. If there are, you might want to offer more especially if you like the property. of course, short sale homes are a lot cheaper than the other existing homes for sale so you should expect to enjoy savings.

Helping Out Someone in Need – keep in mind you are actually helping another person by buying a short sale home, although it would not really feel like it since you are also getting a good deal too. You just need to understand the entire process can take longer than traditional sales so you need to be on top of things and reachable in case of problems.

Right now, the trend is clearly showing buyers taking advantage of the benefits of buying short sale properties. If you are wise, you will look at these properties since there are golden opportunities waiting to be discovered.

Short Sales: A Review

Nowadays, it is not surprising if you have heard of the term short sale especially if you are one of those unfortunate homeowners who is having trouble fulfilling their mortgage obligations. This term actually comes from the simple fact the lender will be paid an amount short of what is due them in mortgage balance.

Typically, there are three parties involved in the short sale transaction: the owner, the buyer and the lender. Of course, most of the time, the owner is represented by a short sale Realtor in order to ensure a smoother and faster transaction.

Since a short sale will require the lender’s approval, you need to make sure that all the required documents will be submitted. Usually, you will need to submit the following: purchase and sale agreement, authorization to release information, bank statements for the last 2 years, tax returns for the last two years, pay stubs for the past two months, completely-filled out financial worksheet, hardship letter (preferably handwritten), and other short sale forms required in your state. Once the lender receives these papers, they will be reviewed and checked for accuracy.

The entire short sale process can take from anywhere between three months to a year, depending on the communication with your lender. It is vital you keep communication lines with the lender and buyer open so that in cases of problems, you will be able to talk to the concerned parties at the soonest possible time and address the issue at once.

Waiting for the approval can be nerve-wracking since it could always go either way. The important thing is to be ready for the outcome. In any case, you will need to look for a new home. You can use the time to look for properties to rent or talk to your relatives and ask for help in looking for a place to live. You have to keep on moving and not waste time wallowing in self pity. The situation maybe unfortunate but it is not hopeless. If you are lucky to get a short sale approval, you will be able to own a home again in a couple of years.

Short Sales Being Resisted As Lenders Revive Foreclosures

During the last week of October, GMAC and bank of America decided to resume foreclosure filings after stopping due to allegations there are legal problems surrounding the foreclosure documents being signed and processed by so called robo-signers.

A lot of homeowners who were hoping to avoid foreclosure via short sale were disappointed and are actually wondering why their lenders are balking at the foreclosure alternative. Short sale transactions involve selling the distressed property at an amount less than what the owners owes the lender. The lender will receive the proceeds of the sale and consider the mortgage paid. In many cases, the lender forgives the difference especially if it is clear the owner cannot afford to pay the balance.

During the foreclosure moratorium, a lot of experts thought the lenders would be pressured to accept short sale proposals and mortgage modification in order to recover some of their loss, but instead of thoroughly reviewing their foreclosure process and checking if there are legal issues, most lenders just did a quick check and resumed with their foreclosure cases.

In other states, although most of the underwater homeowners have decided a short sale is the best option to stop foreclosure, they realized it would not be possible considering the complicated and lengthy short sale process which lenders have set up.

If you ask lenders, they will tell you their main concern about short sale transactions is fraud. There are many well-to-do homeowners who make it seem like they were having financial problems and try to cut loss on their property, whose values have declined. There are also cases wherein the owner would simply sell their home to another family member via a short sale and then buy it back. Based on a study, banks lose an average of $300 million every year due to fraudulent short sales. Approximately 2 percent of the total short sale proposals or applications are fraudulent.

On the other hand, many owners fail to get approval on their short sale proposal due to their failure to forward the correct documents or were not able to find a suitable buyer whose offer will satisfy the lender. In such cases, having a short sale Realtor would have made a huge difference.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/25/business/25short.html?_r=1&scp=5&sq=foreclosures&st=cse