Late last night, Congress reached a settlement in the “fiscal cliff” negotiations. As a result, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act has been extended for another year. The measure will continue to exempt from taxation mortgage debt that is forgiven when homeowners and their mortgage lenders negotiate a short sale, loan modification (including any principal reduction) or foreclosure. REALTORS® should tell their clients to keep their short sales on the market and encourage them to consult with their own tax advisers about their tax situation.
For some Homeowners in Danger of losing their home to Foreclosure, there has been a lot of Incomplete Information out there….
For example, many believe that a loan modification is a “cure-all” for distressed homeowners. While it is true that it can be a good option for some people, it isn’t always the best solution.
There are many more options available to homeowners. As a real estate professional with the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation, I have put together a list of 5 questions that anyone who is in danger of losing a home should ask before they make a decision.
There is a lot of misinformation out there.
For the vast majority of homeowners out there who are in danger of losing their homes, a short sale represents a vastly superior option.
The reality is that a foreclosure is a devastating option.
As a real estate professional with the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation, I have put together all of the benefits of a short sale over a foreclosure in a free report that is available to anyone.
HARP is designed specifically to help borrowers who may be ineligible for traditional refinancing due to loss of home value or because they have little (or no) equity. Like other refinancing options, with HARP you receive a completely new mortgage with new terms, interest rates and monthly payments. The new loan completely replaces your current mortgage and may lower your payment, which could help improve your monthly financial situation.
HARP may be an option if:
You are current on your mortgage payments (and haven’t been late in the last 6 months)
Your home value has decreased
Your first mortgage exceeds the current market value of the home
Your loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
In the news, there is talk of a housing recovery. Experts feel more optimistic about the state of the housing industry in America. However, if you or someone you know is one of the millions of homeowners who is stuck with a home on which you owe more than the property is worth, however, the feeling of helplessness can be overwhelming and frustrating.
More than 6 million homeowners nationwide are in some stage of foreclosure.
If this is the case with you or someone you care about, you are all too aware of the stress and uncertainty that accompanies notices of default, unwanted phone calls and offers of help that turn out to be no help at all.
Avoiding foreclosure now could make or break your attempts to get a loan in the near future and determine whether you can get affordable interest rates.
That’s why I’ve made my site available for anyone in our community struggling with mortgage payments.
Foreclosure alternatives like short sales and deeds-in-lieu allow homeowners to avoid many of the damaging effects of foreclosure. In addition, short sales may have less of an impact on credit scores than foreclosure.
Qualifying for a Short Sale consists of having a “Valid Hardship” and the documentation to back it up.
Some typical Examples of that are an acceptable Hardships may be:
Loss of Employment
Death or illness of a family member
Relocation or Job Transfer
Divorce or Separation
Unexpected home repairs you cannot afford
These are only a few ideas of what may be accepted, it is always wise to seek out an experienced Short Sale Specialist Realtor to better assist you in getting started in your short sale.
Recently there have been glimmers of hope that our economy is finally seeing a pinhole of light at the end of the tunnel (There is your metaphor of the day!). Growth, while still slow (too slow for some) is at least…growth, and the housing market has, as some experts say, at least stabilized and in some areas showing slight signs of improvement.
That may not be the absolute most sunshiney positive outlook, but compared to where we were just a few years ago, there are many people who are in a better, or at least stable, place financially nowadays.