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Tips for Buying in a Tight Market

Increase your chances of getting your dream house in a competitive housing market, and lower your chances of losing out to another buyer.

1. Get pre-qualified for a mortgage. You ll be able to make a firm commitment to buy and your offer will be more desirable to the seller.

2. Stay in close contact with your real estate agent to find out about the newest listings. Be ready to see a house as soon as it goes on the market  if it s a great home, it will go fast.

3. Scout out new listings yourself. Look at Web sites such as REALTOR.com, browse your local newspaper s real estate section, and drive through the neighborhood to spot For Sale signs. If you see a home you like, write down the address and the name of the listing agent. Your real estate agent will schedule a showing.

4. Be ready to make a decision. Spend a lot of time in advance deciding what you must have in a home so you won t be unsure when you have the chance to make an offer.

5. Bid competitively. You may not want to start out offering the absolute highest price you can afford, but don t go too low to get a deal. In a tight market, you ll lose out.

6. Keep contingencies to a minimum. Restrictions such as needing to sell your home before you move or wanting to delay the closing until a certain date can make your offer unappealing. In a tight market, you ll probably be able to sell your house rapidly. Or talk to your lender about getting a bridge loan to cover both mortgages for a short period.

7. Don t get caught in a buying frenzy. Just because there s competition doesn t mean you should just buy it. And even though you want to make your offer attractive, don t neglect inspections that help ensure that your house is sound.

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

Making an Offer on a Short Sale What You Need to Know

Are you looking to buy a new home Are you thinking that now’s a great time to find bargains Before you make an offer, it pays to know a little about the seller’s situation.

If a home is being sold for below what the current seller owes on the property and the seller does not have other funds to make up the difference at closing the sale is considered a short sale. Many more home owners are finding themselves in this situation due to a number of factors, including job losses, aggressive borrowing against their home in the days of easy credit, and declining home values in a slower real estate market.

A short sale is different from a foreclosure, which is when the seller’s lender has taken title of the home and is selling it directly. Homeowners often try to accomplish a short sale in order to avoid foreclosure. But a short sale holds many potential pitfalls for buyers. Know the risks before you pursue a short-sale purchase.

You’re a good candidate for a short-sale purchase if:

* You’re very patient. Even after you come to agreement with the seller to buy a short-sale property, the seller s lender (or lenders, if there is more than one mortgage) has to approve the sale before you can close. When there is only one mortgage, short-sale experts say lender approval typically takes about two months. If there is more than one mortgage with different lenders, it can take four months or longer for the lenders to approve the sale.

* Your financing is in order. Lenders like cash offers. But even if you can t pay all cash for a short-sale property, it s important to show you are well qualified and your financing is set. If you’re preapproved, have a large down payment, and can close at any time, your offer will be viewed more favorably than that of a buyer whose financing is less secure.

* You don t have any contingencies. If you have a home to sell before you can close on the purchase of the short-sale property or you need to be in your new home by a certain time a short sale may not be for you. Lenders like no-contingency offers and flexible closing terms.

If you’re serious about purchasing a short-sale property, it’s important for you to have expert assistance. Here are some people you want to work with:

* Experienced real estate attorney. Only about two out of five short sales are approved by lenders. But a good real estate attorney who’s knowledgeable about the short-sale process will increase your chances getting an approved contract. Also, if you want any provisions or very specialized language written into the purchase contract, a real estate attorney is essential throughout the negotiation.

* A qualified real estate professional. You may have a close friend or relative in real estate, but if that person doesn t know anything about short sales, working with him or her may hurt your chances of a successful closing. Interview a few practitioners and ask them how many buyers they’ve represented in a short sale and, of those, how many have successfully closed. A qualified real estate professional will be able to show you short-sale homes, help negotiate the purchase when you find the property you want to buy, and smooth communications with the lender. (All MLSs permit, and some now require, special notations to indicate that a listing is a short sale. There also are certain phrases you can watch for, such as  lender approval required. )

* Title officer. It s a good idea to have a title officer do an initial title search on a short-sale property to see all the liens attached to the property. If there are multiple lien holders (e.g., second or third mortgage or lines of credit, real estate tax lien, mechanic s lien, homeowners association lien, etc.), it’s much tougher to get that short sale contract to the closing table. Any of the lien holders could put a kink in the process even after you ve waited for months for lender approval. If you don t know a title officer, your real estate attorney or real estate professional should be able to recommend a few.

Some of the other risks faced by buyers of short-sale properties include:

* Potential for rejection. Lenders want to minimize their losses as much as possible. If you make an offer tremendously lower than the fair market value of the home, chances are that your offer will be rejected and you ll have wasted months. Or the lender could make a counteroffer, which will lengthen the process.

* Bad terms. Even when a lender approves a short sale, it could require that the sellers sign a promissory note to repay the deficient amount of the loan, which may not be acceptable to some financially desperate sellers. In that case, the sellers may refuse to go through with the short sale. Lenders also can change any of the terms of the contract that you ve already negotiated, which may not be agreeable to you.

* No repairs or repair credits. You will most likely be asked to take the property  as is. Lenders are already taking a loss on the property and may not agree to requests for repair credits.

The risks of a short sale are considerable. But if you have the time, patience, and iron will to see it through, a short sale can be a win-win for you and the sellers.

* Not all real estate practitioners are REALTORS . A REALTOR is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS and is bound by NAR s strict code of ethics.

Note: This article provides general information only. Information is not provided as advice for a specific matter. Laws vary from state to state. For advice on a specific matter, consult your attorney or CPA.

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

Wells Fargo Short Sale Guide

A Wells Fargo Short Sale is a way for troubled borrowers to avoid losing their homes in a foreclosure. In a short sale, the bank agrees to accept less than the amount owed on a borrowers mortgage, allowing him or her to sell off the home at a discount. Often, this makes more sense to Wells Fargo than foreclosing, as they tend to lose less in the process.Banks have been put on the spot for being less than efficient in helping consumers, but the Wells Fargo short sale is known to be among the fastest in the industry. In fact, one can complete a short sale with the bank in as little as two months, instead of the six or more it usually takes with other lenders. If youre considering a Wells Fargo short sale, heres a simple guide to help you get started.

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Prepare Your Hardship Letter – Wells Fargo short sale officials put a lot of weight on the borrowers hardshipthey want to know that your only option is a short sale and youre not just taking advantage of market conditions. Your hardship letter should explain in detail how you fell behind, and how a Wells Fargo short sale can help you. Make sure youre able to back it up with the right documentation, such as dismissal slips, medical bills, or divorce papers.

Find A Good Agent.

You need to list your home with a qualified real estate agent before applying for a Wells Fargo short sale. The listing agreement is one of the main requirements in the short sale package. Find an agent who has specific experience in short sales, particularly with Wells Fargo, as theyll be more familiar with the system and in-house policies.

Check Your Homes Value.

Wells Fargo recommends short sales for people who cannot or do not want to stay in their homes, and whose homes have depreciated. Your agent can draw up a comparative market analysis of similar homes to give you a basis of comparison, which you can use to help your Wells Fargo short sale case. The bank is more willing to work with borrowers who have underwater mortgages than those who still qualify for other alternatives.

Market Your Home.

Like other major banks, Wells Fargo has tightened its rules in closing deadlines. You have to complete your Wells Fargo short sale before the date set in the agreement; otherwise the bank will choose to foreclose. Try to get your Wells Fargo short sale home viewed by as many buyers as possible, and work with your agent to negotiate with buyers for the best possible deals.”

Article Source: http://www.articlesnatch.com

About the Author:
The author regularly writes on Short sale related issues like buying, selling, real estate short sale and loan modifications. With over 14 years experience in the real estate short sale field as a real estate broker, he provides help even first-time buyers and sellers to get the perfect deal. His suggestions and views are based on his professional experience. If you are looking for more information on author and his article on short sale, real estate short sale, Wells Fargo short sale

Short Sale, Foreclosure

Many a times, for some people questions comes to mind: What is a short sale – It is when the property owner will accept less sale price than the amount which is due as per the loan amount when the property is sold. Lenders sometimes accepts low amount to avoid the expense and time of a foreclosure. A short sale generally persists when the loans amount on the property is greater than what the property can be sold for. The short sale is the best alternative for owners who no longer can afford make their mortgage payment and want to avoid foreclosure which is more embarrassing.

Though a short sale seems to be the only solution to the problem avoiding foreclosure, the fact is there are other solutions which a short sale realtor can guide you through that will benefit the home owner as well as the lender. You need to be very careful when transacting with a third party company regarding the short sale. A lot of people understand they can make profit in short sale which might be true in some circumstances with the help of a short sale realtor.

Some of the best options to go for advice from short sale realtor to avoid foreclosure:

1. The value of your home is more than what you owe, you can get a good price to pay off the mortgages and avoid foreclosure. An advice from Short Sale Scholars can guide you the right way.

2. Advice from Foreclosure Realtor comes handy to show your lender that foreclosure is more costly & they are not likely to do any better foreclosure & remarketing.

3. Foreclosure affects your credit rating and to avoid all these painful time expert advice from Foreclosure Realtor and Short Sale Realtor come handy.

Any short sale investor knows that one of the biggest challenges they might face is dealing with the lender. The short sale process is lengthy, importantly when short sale investor has to deal with more than one lender to come up with best price for the property. If the foreclosure property is auctioned it is a more of a possibility that it is sold in lesser market value leaving you with no money in hand to go for another property to lease. Due to lack of funds after selling their foreclosure property owner will be left in cold with no money to buy another property with some down-payment. There are many reasons why we should avoid a foreclosure taking the help of Foreclosure Realtor. Foreclosure is a public preceding that property owner risks your own social status. If your mortgage sum is more than the current value of your property, you may finally to consider Short Sale with the help of Short Sale Realtor.

You need to hire an experienced Shore Sale Realtor as they are the specialist and will look after all your issues. Once you have a Short Sale Realtor whom you can trust, he will be authorized by you talk on your behalf to negotiate with lenders and short sale buyers. Expert advice from Short Sale Scholars comes effective in these situations for short sale investors and property owners as well to avoid foreclosure.
http://www.ShortSaleScholars.com

Article Source: http://www.articlesnatch.com

About the Author:
This is Euriq Gates as a story writer about short sale foreclosure

Read more: http://www.articlesnatch.com/Article/Short-Sale–Foreclosure/939443#ixzz1NNUepSyG
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution No Derivatives

California Short Sale Laws Needed To End Foreclosures

California Short Sale Laws are changing a lot of people’s perceptions on foreclosures. California was known as the state with the largest number of foreclosures due to the economic recession. The recession was taking everything it could from its residents.

The worse thing to ever have ripped from your hands is your home. Your home is what you utilize as a means to raise your family; it is your private getaway from the world and all its corrupt ways. However, for many people that is the first thing that has been going in these financially difficult times.

People are getting thrown out of their homes because of unemployment, or lay offs at their jobs. Many people are being forced to take jobs that pay them substantially less, just so they can put food on their family’s tables. Well, California’s great Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, has heard the cries of his people, and sees people’s lives as well as the states livelihood turning upside down, because of the current recession.

For this matter alone, the Governor was more then obliged to sign the Short Sale Law Bill. This bill gives people who are facing hard times due to the economy to be able to negotiate prices with their mortgage carriers to get some of the amount that they may owe on their homes knocked off completely.

This means their overall mortgage payment every month will be substantially lower, and this will stop a big majority of foreclosures from occurring. Something had to be done to help the great people of California and this relief could not come soon enough with over 833, 000 homes being foreclosed on, the economy of California was suffering a winding streak downhill.

During a foreclosure banks and or mortgage companies normally take over the homes. This leaves some of the homes empty for an elongated period of time. Which leaves the doors open for drug activity and violence to go on around those homes that are empty.

Short sales, allow the right people to keep their homes. We definitely needed something to stop the all powerful banks from taking money from us. The Stimulus package that the banks received should be enough for them to suffice, they don’t need to collect more money from the less fortunate as a means to feed their hungry mouths.

The short sale laws, gives everyone the right that is going through financial hardship the ability to speak with their mortgage institute and work out an arrangement that will suit them during these times. One big downfall to the short sale is the fact that all the money that you save, has to be listed on a 1099 at the end of the year to be filed as an income.

Filing your short sale as income is kind of seen to be a ridiculous thing to have to do. But, when you take any money away from some of the richest corporations in the world they won’t stop until they see some of that money back. So in the end, you still have to pay all taxes for the value of your home, even with doing a short sale.

Article Source: http://www.articlesnatch.com

About the Author:
California Short Sale Laws– stopping foreclosure dead in its tracks. Get the latest inside info on http://www.nphsrealestate.org/short-sale/law-tax

7 Tips for Short Sale Success.

By: G. M. Filisko

Have to sell your home for less than it’s worth Our seven tips will help you get the best price.

When you owe more on your home than it’s worth, but you have to sell, you need to squeeze every dollar possible from the sale.

Here are seven tips for navigating the short-sale process.

1. Know who you owe
A short sale has to be approved by any company that has a mortgage or lien against your home. That includes your first, second, or even third mortgage lender, your home equity line lender; your homeowners or condominium association; and any contractors who’ve placed a lien on your home. Make a list and start talking to everyone early in the process. Ask what documents they’ll need from you.

2. Pick your short sale team
You’ll need to work with a team of short sale experts, including a real estate agent, real estate attorney, and your accountant. Look for agents and attorneys who advertise themselves as short sale experts. Interview at least three, and listen carefully for signs that they understand the complexities of the short sale process.
Agents should explain how they’ll arrive at a suggested price for your home. Ask them to show you a sample short-sale package or for an example of a prior short-sale success.

3. Get your documents ready
Gather the paperwork your creditors and mortgage lenders asked to see, like your listing agreement and a hardship letter explaining why you need to do a short sale. You’ll also need proof of what you earn and what you owe as well as copies of your federal income tax returns for the past two years.

4. Expect delays
Despite a federal rule saying banks participating in the federal government’s Making Home Affordable loan modification program (http://www.houselogic.com/articles/making-home-affordable-modification-option/) must respond to short-sale offers within 10 days, it may take weeks or months for your lender to decide whether to allow you to sell your home in a short sale–and even longer if you must negotiate with more than one lender or lienholder.
Your lender and lienholders don’t have to agree to your proposed short sale. They can reject your terms or make a counteroffer, which can create further delays.

5. Anticipate demands
Discuss with your short-sale team how you should respond to common short-sale demands from lenders. For example, are you willing to sign a promissory note agreeing to pay outstanding amounts after the sale is complete

6. Know the tax implications
Any unpaid amount of your mortgage “forgiven” by your lender through a short sale may be considered income to you under federal tax rules. Ask your attorney or accountant whether you qualify to exclude that amount as income on your tax returns under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation Act. Also ask if you’ll be required to report amounts “forgiven” by other lienholders, if applicable.

7. Consider how the short sale will affect your credit and what you must pay
Ask whether your lender will report the short sale to credit-reporting agencies. Having a portion of your debt forgiven may negatively affect your credit score, but a short sale typically damages your score less than a foreclosure or bankruptcy.
Ask you lawyer whether you’ll be responsible for paying back the lenders’ loss. If the lender says it will forgive any losses on the sale of your home, get that promise in writing.

Other web resources
More on short sales (http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/article-30016.html)

IRS information on the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation (http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=179414,00.html)

This article includes general information about tax laws and consequences, but isn’t intended to be relied upon by readers as tax or legal advice applicable to particular transactions or circumstances. Consult a tax professional for such advice; tax laws may vary by jurisdiction.

G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer. 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.

Dissimilarities Between A Short-sale And Foreclosure

If you find yourself in a short sale vs. foreclosure situation, you may feel like a lost soul and not be aware of opportunities you have that may help you out. The mortgage company has the advantage here because they have vast knowledge about the whole process the absence of which can make things really hard for you.

If you are actually way too far behind your monthly payments, it may be time to consider it. One thing you can do is get in touch with a preforeclosure expert who may assist you in this situation. The expert in question may know of options that could help you out. Listen to what the expert has to say, though in the end what you assume is really up to you.

So do learn this business because knowing the difference can let you make the correct decision for you. With a short sale in the process, you put your house out for sale and get everything ready for implementing the sale as quickly as possible. This means pricing your home in a way to make it attractive to buyers. In this situation it is important to have a realtor in your court.

And don’t wait for a long time, because if you do your choice of short sale vs. foreclosure may just disappear. So you can’t fritter away any time, because if you do, a foreclosure may simply descend on your unawares.

Time may not be on your side when it comes to a choice as regards short sale vs. foreclosure. So it is very essential to take action immediately because if a foreclosure becomes unavoidable there is nothing you can do about it. So keep in mind that the time to act is when you begin to have difficulties paying your mortgage. This is positively not the time to run and hide, because you don’t want to lose all control and be just put out of house and home.

It is not a simple matter, but there are people who can give you good guidance as to how to proceed. It is of paramount importance not to fritter away time, but to act swiftly. If you do, you will have more options available to you and this can be a good thing for you and for your family.


Article Source: http://www.articlesnatch.com

About the Author:
There is a whole collection of articles and resources on Short Sale Homes, and they can be found at http://www.foreclosureshortsale.co/featured/things-you-should-know-about-preforeclosure. If you want to learn more about foreclosure and short sale visit short sale vs. foreclosure.

Sellers and Buyers Cities Requiring PreSale PreInspection

You don’t want to get stuck at closing. Many cities in Los Angeles County have certain requirements in order to close escrow. These may include anything from a fee and an inspector doing a drive by to full interior inspection reports in some cities. They may include fees, taxes and even pulling permits or waivers and credits

Be aware of the requirements in the city you are considering buying or selling in to make sure your not surprised and your closing goes off without a hitch

Azusa
Bell
Beverly Hills
Carson
Compton
Cudahy
Culver City
El Monte
El Sereno
Gardena
Hawaiian Gardens
Hermosa Beach
Huntington Park
Inglewood
Laguna Beach
Los Angeles City – 9A Report
Lynwood
Manhattan Beach
Maywood
Monterey Park
Newport Beach
Orange
Oxnard
Palos Verdes Estates
Pasadena
Port Hueneme
Rancho Palos Verdes
Redondo Beach
Rolling Hills
San Diego
San Marino
Santa Monica
South Gate
Signal Hill
Torrance
Thousand Oaks

 

Watch out for the presale preinspection. Call me for details 323-215-9836

Bank of America Extends Modification Offers

More Than 200,000 Bank Customers May Qualify for Principal Reduction Under Government Agreement With Large Mortgage Servicers
CALABASAS, Calif., May 08, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) –Bank of America Home Loans has begun reaching out to customers who may be eligible for forgiveness of a portion of the principal balance on their mortgage under terms of a recent settlement among five major banks, 49 state attorneys general and the federal government.

The first letters in a targeted outreach to more than 200,000 potential candidates for this assistance are arriving in homes this week; most of the letters will be mailed by the third quarter of this year. The bank estimates average monthly savings of 30 percent on mortgage payments of customers who qualify for this program.

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“Building on home retention and payment assistance programs already in place, we are meeting our obligation to deliver this additional relief to our customers following the completion of the recent global mortgage settlement,” said Ron Sturzenegger, Legacy Asset Servicing executive. “To the extent principal reduction and other modification tools help us turn mortgages headed for possible foreclosure into long-term performing loans, it will be positive for homeowners, mortgage investors and communities.”

Bank of America actually began making principal reduction offers under the program guidelines in March, initially concentrating on homeowners who were already in the modification review process. So far under this early initiative, about 5,000 trial modification offers have been mailed, providing a potential total of more than $700 million in forgiven principal. Homeowners are required to make at least three timely payments before the modification can become permanent.

The wave of mailings beginning this week will reach a broader base of customers who may be eligible for this principal reduction program. The letters provide each homeowner with a description of the program and an invitation to provide financial information to begin the review process.

To be eligible for this program, a homeowner must meet certain criteria, including:

 

  • Owes more on the mortgage than the property is worth today.
  • Was at least 60 days behind on payments on January 31, 2012.
  • Has a contractual monthly payment for principal, interest, property taxes, hazard insurance and any applicable homeowner association fees totaling more than 25 percent of gross household income.
  • Has a loan that is owned and serviced by Bank of America, or serviced for another investor that has given the bank delegated authority to do such modifications.

 

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA/VA are not participating in the principal reduction program, but other modification programs which may provide comparable reductions in monthly payments are available on those loans.

A key goal of mortgage modifications is to provide an affordable monthly payment, based on borrower’s ability to pay. Most modification plans begin with a reduction of the interest rate, then an extension of the number of years to pay off the mortgage, then if necessary, interest-free forbearance of principal to be paid back at the end of the loan. Bank of America has offered principal forgiveness, but in more limited, targeted situations to eligible borrowers with certain types of mortgages.

Under the terms of the government settlement, the bank will strive to provide an affordable payment to qualified under-water homeowners by first reducing the principal balance to as low as 100 percent of the current property value, then lowering the interest rate and forbearing additional principal, as necessary, to reach the target payment. The settlement terms require a final calculation to determine that the cost incurred by the mortgage investor to modify the loan does not exceed the expected loss to the investor if it goes to foreclosure instead, commonly known as positive net present value.

For further information on the settlement programs, Bank of America Home Loans customers may call 1.877.488.7814.

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 57 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,700 retail banking offices and approximately 17,250 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 30 million active users. Bank of America is among the world’s leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE:BAC) is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

SOURCE: Bank of America

Website Resources for Foreclosure Help

Here are some legitimate resources to help you fight the foreclosure crisis.

You’ve been warned about foreclosure scams. But sometimes it’s really hard to tell if something is a scam or not. Some less-than-reliable outfits have even taken to including “hud” or “gov” in their URLs to fool you into thinking they are legitimate foreclosure counselors. It pays to be wary. Below are some websites from government and non-profit agencies that can help you with foreclosure. Some are seeking volunteers and donations to help stop the foreclosure crisis.

HOPENOW.COM
Research your options with this web form (http://www.hopenow.com/homeowner-options.php)
Find your mortgage lender (http://www.hopenow.com/mortgage-directory.php)
Find a foreclosure counselor in your area (http://www.hopenow.com/hopenow-counseling.php)
Focused on helping homeowners in crisis, this alliance helps you determine your options

FTC.GOV
Find a foreclosure counselor (http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre26.shtm)
Raise your own credit score (http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre03.shtm)
Fix mistakes on your credit report (http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre13.shtm)
The Federal Trade Commission has expert advice

FINDAFORECLOSURECOUNSELOR.ORG
Find a legitimate foreclosure counselor near you (http://www.findaforeclosurecounselor.org/network/nfmc%5Flookup/)
This non-profit organization was created by Congress to provide financial support, technical assistance, and training for community-based revitalization efforts

MAKINGHOMEAFFORDABLE.GOV
Making Home Affordable (http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/)
Making Home Affordable: short sale documents (https://www.hmpadmin.com/portal/programs/foreclosure_alternatives.html)
Making Home Affordable: deed in lieu documents (https://www.hmpadmin.com/portal/programs/foreclosure_alternatives.html)
The official government site for loan modifications and foreclosure alternatives

PORTAL.HUD.GOV
Find resources to avoid foreclosure in your state (http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/topics/avoiding_foreclosure/local)
Consult state and local resources

MYFICO.COM
Improve You Credit Score
(http://www.myfico.com/CreditEducation/ImproveYourScore.aspx) Credit Q&A (http://www.myfico.com/crediteducation/questions/)
Credit Basics ( http://www.myfico.com/crediteducation/articles/)

Understand credit and your credit scores

ANNUALCREDITREPORT.COM
See your credit report (https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp)
Get all the details on late payments and other information, but not your actual credit score

RESPONSIBLELENDING.ORG
The Center for Responsible Lending (http://www.responsiblelending.org/)
A non-profit organization that works to stop predatory lending practices

CREDITEDUCATION.ORG
Volunteer to be a credit counselor (http://www.crediteducation.org/Become-a-Volunteer.aspx)
Non-profit agency that works to provide financial literacy

LIVEUNITED.ORG
United Way (http://www.liveunited.org/income/)
Donate or volunteer to decrease the number of families that are financially unstable

NCRC.ORG
Donate to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (http://www.ncrc.org/index.php)
Send a donation to help NCRC “ensure that people in traditionally underserved communities are treated fairly and justly when applying for credit, opening a bank account, getting a mortgage, a loan, or other financial product or service.”

IRS.GOV
The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act (http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=179414,00.html)
Get the details about when you might owe taxes on any debt that is canceled through a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure

OCC.GOV
Download a PDF on identifying a loan modification scam (http://www.occ.gov/ftp/advisory/2009-1.pdf)
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency provides detail about scams, including “10 Warning Signs of a Loan Modification Scam.”

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

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