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Top 5 Craziest Foreclosure Rescue Attempts

Treasure hunting, demolition, forgery–even a telethon. Our picks for the top five most bizarre foreclosure rescue attempts.

Three years after the recession hit, Americans still are losing their homes to foreclosure in record numbers. Not even celebrities are immune. Wanting to do anything you can to avoid losing your home is only natural. There are a wealth of resources on HouseLogic (http://www.houselogic.com/guides/finances-insurance/home-finance/foreclosure-guide) to help you take action. Still, some homeowners have tried other, less-proven methods. Here’s a countdown of some outlandish foreclosure rescue attempts:

5. I pimped my yard to PETA.
This past March, “Octomom” Nadya Suleman was reportedly approached by PETA when word got out about her mortgage woes. The offer: A billboard sign urging pet owners not to let their dog or cat become an “Octomom” in a campaign to raise awareness about controlling the pet population. Suleman ended up letting PETA advertise on her front yard for $5,000. In April, Suleman reached an agreement (

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/04/15/entertainment/main6399349.shtml ) with the mortgage holder for a sixth-month extension to pay off the $450,000 debt.

4. God made me do it.
Earlier this month, a Montana man, Brent Arthur Wilson, was convicted for removing For Sale signs and forging ownership papers on a foreclosed home in a bizarre effort (

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38242178/ns/business-real_estate/) to keep a roof over his head. During his trial, Wilson claimed that “Yaweh,” or “the creator,” gave him the home. The jury was out for less than an hour before finding Wilson guilty. He now faces up to 30 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced August 19.

3. Buy my T-shirt, save my house.
To raise the $250,000 he needed to avoid foreclosure on his Port Washington, Wis., pad, former Saved by the Bell star Dustin Diamond sold T-shirts (

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,199934,00.html) with his photo and a caption reading, “I paid $15 to save Screeech’s house.” (The extra “e” in “Screeech” was to get around copyright laws.)

The down-on-his-luck comedian turned his money problems into a publicity ploy, telling his story on The Howard Stern Show and even scheduling an online telethon to raise more money. The appearance was canceled moments before it went on the air. Despite all that, it looks like Diamond is still going to lose his home. Wells Fargo started foreclosure proceedings in April.

2. If I can’t live here, no one can.
This past February, Ohio carpet business owner Terry Hoskins decided that he’d rather bulldoze his $350,000 house to the ground (

http://www.wwlp.com/dpps/news/strange/ohio-man-bulldozes-home-to-avoid-foreclosure-jgr_3244918) than let the bank have it. Hoskins also basically confirmed that he’d do the same to his carpet store if he had to. Thankfully, it didn’t come to that. Although Hoskins didn’t technically break any laws, the bank did hold a sheriff’s auction of his business property to pay off the $600,000 debt he owed.

1. Superman saved our house.
On a more positive note, a rare comic book (

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/07/27/faster-speeding-bullet-superman-saves-familys-home/) (an Action Comic #1-the issue that introduced Superman to the world) was recently found in the basement of a couple facing foreclosure. Although it hasn’t been valued yet, Stephen Fishler, co-owner of ComicConnect.com, guarantees that the comic will bring in more than enough to pay off the mortgage at auction time. Other rare finds like this have been valued at more than $1 million.

The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is dedicated to providing resources that help families facing foreclosure take every step they can to keep their home. To find out how to (legitimately) fight foreclosure, visit the HouseLogic Foreclosure Resource Guide (

http://www.houselogic.com/guides/finances-insurance/home-finance/foreclosure-guide/).

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

Insurance Programs

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) enables homebuyers to obtain conventional home loans with relatively small down payments. Prior to the advent of PMI, lenders of conventional mortgages traditionally required a down payment of at least 20 percent of the home’s purchase price.

Saving enough money to make a down payment of ten or twenty percent is one of the greatest barriers to homeownership today, so that requirement shrank the pool of potential homebuyers. Having insurance helps first-time and moderate-income purchasers surmount this obstacle by reducing the down payment required to obtain a mortgage to as little as three percent of the purchase price. Both private and federal programs offer mortgage insurance. Down payment requirements may vary depending on the insurance issuer.

Lenders typically require mortgage insurance on low down payment mortgages because loss experience and studies have shown that a borrower with less than 20 percent invested in a home is more likely to default on a mortgage should problems arise. In other words, there is a good correlation between the size of the down payment made on a mortgage and the eventual likelihood that the mortgage will be paid-off according to its terms.

Although it is the borrower who normally pays for PMI, the insurance coverage protects the lender, not the borrower. The insurance protects lenders against default-related losses on conventional first mortgages made to mortgage borrowers who make down payments of less than 20 percent of the home’s purchase price. PMI typically provides lenders with a default guarantee covering the top 20-to-25 percent of the mortgage balance. The lender assumes the risk for the remaining (uninsured) portion of the loan.

Lenders are required to automatically cancel mortgage insurance on new mortgages once the equity in a home reaches 22 percent. Homeowners may request to cancel at 20 percent equity levels. Lenders are required to provide homeowners with the information needed to cancel their insurance. At this point, the insurer is no longer liable for default of the loan. If the loan was sold to Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, homeowners should contact their lenders once equity reaches 20 percent because they have more lenient requirements for insurance. Equity levels are determined according to the purchase price of the home. Any increased values do not apply. However, if the homeowner feels that his property has increased significantly in value, dropping the loan to value ratio below 75 percent, than the homeowner may request a new appraisal and cancel the PMI. There are some exceptions to cancellations, such as existing mortgages and high-risk loans.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac currently require mortgage insurance on all low down payment programs with a Loan to Value (LTV) ratio of 90-95 percent. A down payment of 3 percent requires coverage of at least 18%. Down payments of 5 percent require coverage between 25 and 18 percent. Loans with 10 percent down require 17 to 12 percent insurance coverage. There are several different options available to borrowers to increase initial buying power and reduce monthly payments while maintaining a security and safety level for lenders. At the inception of the loan, lenders can either add a small percentage rate increase or add additional points at the close of the deal. Information on Freddie Mac Mortgage Insurance and Fannie Mae Mortgage Insurance is available online. Fannie has partnered with PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. in order to create more affordable housing opportunities. This insurance company s website has information about how PMI helps homebuyers, how to calculate PMI premium, products, realtor training and PMI cancellations requirements.

CalHFA is home to four divisions: homeownership programs, multifamily programs, mortgage insurance services and small business development. Its mission is to finance below market-rate loans to create safe, decent, and affordable rental housing and to assist first-time homebuyers in achieving the dream of home ownership. The Mortgage Insurance Services division helps prospective homeowners move past current mortgage insurance challenges and restrictions by utilizing the California Housing Loan Insurance Fund. The insurance fund encourages lenders to make loans to hard-to-serve borrowers and buyers with little or no money for a down payment and closing costs. It also assists lenders by insuring loans for borrowers with past payment problems. Insurance is provided to those homebuyers that meet the income and area requirements. For more information: read CAR s paper CalHFA, and visit CalHFA Mortgage Insurance website.

Mortgage Insurance Services Programs

This list constitutes an inventory of mortgage insurance programs requiring minimal upfront funds with participating lenders.
Cal Rural ACCESS 97/6 (conforming, statewide)
CalHFA Conventional
CalPERS 97 & 97/3 CalPERS members have additional benefits such as reduced Title and Escrow Fees through , Stewart Title and Old Republic Title. Other benefits are 30-day rate lock, 100% financing option, Free 60-day rate protection, two free float downs, controlled closing fees, closing cost assistance and reduced mortgage insurance rates. For more information go to CalPERS Advantage program.
CalSTRS 80/17
CalSTRS 95 Conventional
CalSTRS 95/5
Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac 97/3
Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Conventional 95 & 97 LTV
Freddie Mac 100 & 100/3
Lease Purchase – ABAG Program
Lease Purchase 97/3
NHF – Access & Gold 97/7 Conventional

HOUSING PRIMER

Low-Cost Ways to Spruce Up Your Home Exterior

Make your home more appealing for yourself and potential buyers with these quick and easy tips:

1. Trim bushes so they don t block windows or architectural details.

2. Mow your lawn, and turn on the sprinklers for 30 minutes before the showing to make the lawn sparkle.

3. Put a pot of bright flowers (or a small evergreen in winter) on your porch.

4. Install new doorknobs on your front door.

5. Repair any cracks in the driveway.

6. Edge the grass around walkways and trees.

7. Keep your garden tools and hoses out of sight.

8. Clear toys from the lawn.

9. Buy a new mailbox.

10. Upgrade your outside lighting.

11. Buy a new doormat for the outside of your front door.

12. Clean your windows, inside and outside.

13. Polish or replace your house numbers.

14. Place a seasonal wreath on your door.

Reprinted from REALTOR magazine (REALTOR.org/realtormag) with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS .
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

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Common First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes

1. They don t ask enough questions of their lender and end up missing out on the best deal.

2. They don t act quickly enough to make a decision and someone else buys the house.

3. They don t find the right agent who s willing to help them through the home buying process.

4. They don t do enough to make their offer look appealing to a seller.

5. They don t think about resale before they buy. The average first-time buyer only stays in a home for four years.

Source: Real Estate Checklists and Systems, www.realestatechecklists.com.

Reprinted from REALTOR magazine (REALTOR.org/realtormag) with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS .
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

7 Tips for a Profitable Home Closing

By: G. M. Filisko

Be sure you’re walking away with all the money you’re entitled to from the sale of your home.

When you’re ready to close on the sale of your home and move to your new home, you may be so close to the finish line that you coast, thinking there’s nothing left for you to do. Not so fast. It’s easy to waste a few dollars here and for mistakes to creep into your closing documents there, all adding up to a bundle of lost profit. Spot money-losing problems with these seven tips.

1. Take services out of your name
Avoid a dispute with the buyers after closing over things like fees for the cable service you forgot to discontinue. Contact every utility and service provider to end or transfer service to your new address as of the closing date.

If you’re on an automatic-fill schedule for heating oil or propane, don’t pay for a pre-closing refill that provides free fuel for the new owner. Contact your insurer to terminate coverage on your old home, get coverage on your new home, and ask whether you’re entitled to a refund of prepaid premium.

2. Spread the word on your change of address
Provide the post office with your forwarding address two to four weeks before the closing. Also notify credit card companies, publication subscription departments, friends and family, and your financial institutions of your new address.

3. Manage the movers
Scrutinize your moving company’s estimate. If you’re making a long-distance move, which is often billed according to weight, note the weight of your property and watch so the movers don’t use excessive padding to boost the weight. Also check with your homeowners insurer about coverage for your move. Usually movers cover only what they pack.

4. Do the settlement math
Title company employees are only human, so they can make mistakes. The day before your closing, check the math on your HUD-1 Settlement Statement.

5. Review charges on your settlement statement
Are all mortgages being paid off, and are the payoff amounts correct If your real estate agent promised you extras-such as a discounted commission or a home warranty policy-make sure that’s included. Also check whether your real estate agent or title company added fees that weren’t disclosed earlier. If any party suggests leaving items off the settlement statement, consult a lawyer about whether that might expose you to legal risk.

6. Search for missing credits
Be sure the settlement company properly credited you for prepaid expenses, such as property taxes and homeowners association fees, if applicable. If you’ve prepaid taxes for the year, you’re entitled to a credit for the time you no longer own the home. Have you been credited for heating oil or propane left in the tank

7. Don’t leave money in escrow
End your home sale closing with nothing unresolved. Make sure the title company releases money already held in escrow for you, and avoid leaving sales proceeds in a new escrow to be dickered over later.

Other web resources
(http://www.realtor.com/home-finance/sellers-basics/closing.aspx) Closing costs explained (http://www.homeclosing101.org/costs.cfm)

G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who has survived several closings. A frequent contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

Checklist: 17 Service Providers You ll Need When You Sell

  • Real estate attorney
  • Appraiser
  • Home inspector
  • Mortgage loan officer
  • Environmental specialist
  • Lead paint inspector
  • Radon inspector
  • Tax adviser
  • Sanitary systems expert
  • Occupancy permit inspector
  • Zoning inspector
  • Survey company
  • Flood plain inspector
  • Termite inspector
  • Title company
  • Insurance consultant
  • Moving company

Used with permission from Kim Daugherty, Real Estate Checklists and Systems, www.realestatechecklists.com.

Reprinted from REALTOR magazine (REALTOR.org/realtormag) with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS .
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

CalHFA Multifamily Loan Finance Programs Division

Provides permanent financing for the acquisition, rehabilitation and preservation of existing rental housing, as well as the new construction of rental housing. CalHFA-financed affordable units are targeted to low and moderate-income families and individuals in California. Through its subdivision Specific Multifamily Programs, it also offers development information including lending programs, financing terms, loan application forms and processing requirements.

CalFHA establishes partnerships with city and county officials, local housing agencies, affordable housing developers, construction lenders and other housing sponsors to develop and deliver its programs. This collaborative approach helps expand housing opportunities by maximizing the financial resources available to support the State s housing needs.

The division offers information on:

  • Multifamily Programs
  • Construction Loan Program
  • HUD Section 202 Refinancing Program
  • Loan to Lender Program
  • Permanent Financing Program
  • Predevelopment Finance Program
  • Preservation & Acquisition Finance Program (Prop. 46)
  • Special Financing Needs
  • Tax Exempt Bridge Financing Program
  • Multifamily Asset Management and Affordable Rental Housing Developments.

If you are interested in a partnership Multifamily Finance Division call 916.322.5123 or visit www.calhafa.ca.gov.

HOUSING PRIMER

What to Have on Hand for the New Owners?

Owner s manuals and warranties for appliances left in the house.
Garage door opener.
Extra sets of house keys.
A list of local service providers  the best dry cleaner, yard service, plumber, etc.
Code to the security alarm and phone number of the monitoring service if not discontinued.
As a courtesy, you could provide numbers to the local utility companies.
If it s a condo, leave information on how to contact the condo board.

Reprinted from REALTOR magazine (REALTOR.org/realtormag) with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS .
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

Real Estate Syndication Secrets – Extraordinary Profits

While many of today’s real estate investors are suffering from this massive, global economic meltdown that’s causing unemployment to rise to at least 10% by this fall, bank foreclosures to skyrocket and prices in most real estate markets to fall more than half from their peak, my students are making 6- and 7-figures with real estate investing syndication.

For example:

o My client, Jay Redding syndicated his first commercial real estate property in Indiana earning his investment business an immediate $250,000.00 in cash and equitable profits.

o My client, Certified Financial Planner, Michelle Agar syndicated her first group of 5 investment properties in Edmonton, Alberta, earning her $269,000.00 in profits.

Want to know how they’re making extraordinary profits in today’s real estate “Perfect Storm” of opportunity, and how you could do the same?

6 Elements A Real Estate Investing Business Needs to Make Extraordinary Profit Gains with Less Than a Part-Time Effort

Profit-making element #1: Vision and Planning

You need to understand that your investing business should be treated like you would for your own baby in the beginning and it should be nurtured as such. I don’t believe that any parent in their right mind with a newborn child says, “I’m going to walk away from this baby and leave it to fend for itself without any help and check up on it every few weeks or months. Then I’ll see if it has fed itself, changed its diapers, growing strong and operating with positive values and ideals.”

If they did this, their baby would die. Yet, I see one investor after another doing the same thing with their businesses and then they wonder: “what in the world went wrong.” They failed to plan. They failed to create a vision. They failed to implement proven business systems. Anf finally, they failed to focus their efforts on launching and nurturing their business so their investing business will be ready for more independence in the future.

Profit-making element #2: Specialized Knowledge

As an investor you need to know how to find, finance, hold and flip deals. You need to know negotiation strategies, NLP mind tricks, what’s-working-now techniques, real estate contracts, and how to adapt to opportunities in more than one marketplace, using more than one investing strategy. And, if you don’t have these specialized skills and knowledge then you need to find one or more partners that have the resources, skills and knowledge to help you close more deals. That’s what real estate investing syndication is all about. It’s the ultimate Joint Venture investment business.

Profit-making element #3: Applied Strategies

There are very specific strategies that you need to know in order to:

o Set up an organization that generates huge profits on its very first transaction

o Position yourself as a syndication expert so more people want to work with you

o Create and generate profits 8 to 12 different ways on every deal

o Deal with the legal ins and outs

o Finding the perfect syndication partners

o Leverage your knowledge into massive wealth

Profit-making element #4: Mentorship and Advisors

My real estate investing syndication business generated over 3.2 million dollars in equity and cash profits within its first 93 days. In 26 months we had transacted over 14 million dollars worth of real estate across 5 markets in North America.

I credit much of my success to Research in Motion’s CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie. Working under two of the world’s most prominent self-made technology billionaire face-to-face for four years certainly helped me hone my business and relationship skills fast. Remember, behind every successful entrepreneur is a mentor that has helped guide he or she in the direction they want to go.

Profit-making element #5: Strategic Partners

When you become a real estate syndicator and partner with other investors who have money to invest in the market you:

o Build a formidable reputation

o Do more deals by leveraging this concept

o Create a fortune for yourself without using your own money

o Become a major player in the market without risking any of your own capital

In other words, when you transform your real estate investing business into a syndicator, you create a win/win/win for everyone involved.

Profit-making element #6: Systems and Processes

Once you have launched your real estate investing syndication business and put the right systems and processes in place, you can work part-time from your laptop and Blackberry. Re-inventing himself as a real estate syndicator, with just 10 hours of effort, Robert Beagle closed his first real estate deal and made over $61,000 in profits on a property he had never seen!

As you complete more transactions and learn to master systems and processes you’ll be able to put your business on autopilot and complete even more deals in less time.

Real estate investment syndicator Brad Wozny, has transacted over $14 million worth of real estate across 5 markets in North America in just 26 months, Now, he’s sharing how everyday real estate investors can close more real estate deals around the world and pocket more 6-figure checks simply with real estate syndication. Claim your copy of his FREE 6-FIGURE Syndication Secrets report now at: http://www.RealEstateSyndicationRiches.com
Click Here!

Author: R Brad Wozny
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
Import duty tariff

How to Make Money in Real Estate Investing

Lower Your Taxes

Tax incentives for real estate investors can often make the difference in your tax rates. Deductions for rental property can often be used to offset wage income. Tax breaks can often enable investors to turn a loss into a profit.

For which items can investors get tax breaks? You could claim deductions for actual costs you incur for financing, managing and operating the rental property. This includes mortgage interest payments, real estate taxes, insurance, maintenance, repairs, property management fees, travel, advertising, and utilities (assuming the tenant doesn’t pay them).

These expenses can be subtracted from your adjusted gross income when determining your personal income taxes. Of course, these deductions cannot exceed the amount of real estate income you receive. In addition to deductions for operating costs, you can also receive breaks for depreciation. Buildings naturally deteriorate over time, and these “losses” can be deducted regardless of the actual market value of the property. Because depreciation is a non-cash expense — you are not actually spending any money — the tax code can get a bit tricky. For more information about depreciation and various tax alternatives, ask your tax advisor about Section 1031 of the U.S. Tax Code.

Have a Positive Cash Flow

There are two kinds of positive cash flows: pre-tax and after-tax. A pre-tax positive cash flow occurs when income received is greater than expenses incurred. This sort of situation is difficult to find, but they are usually a strong and safe investment. An after-tax positive cash flow may have expenses that outweigh collected income, but various tax breaks allow for a positive cash flow. This is more common, but it is generally not as strong or safe as a pre-tax positive cash flow.

Regardless of what kind of real estate you choose to invest in, timely collections from your tenants is absolutely necessary. A positive cash flow — whether it is pre-tax or after-tax — requires rental income. Be sure to find quality tenants; a thorough credit and employment check
is probably a good idea.

Use Leverage

One of the most important factors in determining a solid investment is the amount of equity you are purchasing. Equity is the difference between the actual worth of the property and the balanced owed on the mortgage.

Benefit from Growing Equity

While investing in real estate is relatively complex, it is often worth the extra work. When compared to other financial investments, like bonds or CD’s, the return on investment for real estate purchases can often be greater.

The key to real estate investing is equity. Determine an amount of equity that you want to achieve. When you reach your goal, it’s time to sell or refinance. Determining the proper amount of equity may require the assistance of a real estate professional.

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Daniel Andrade, REALTOR® DRE #: 01849983
Century 21 My Real Estate Co
7825 Florence Avenue, Downey , CA 90240
call today 323-215-9836
daniel@mynewhouses.com

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