Just Served Foreclosure Papers,  What to do?

After about 4 months of not paying your mortgage, most banks have an automatic button that gets pushed to start the foreclosure process.  You will know when this happens as they will "serve" you papers.

Being served foreclosure papers is not fun.  The first thought is that you must move by morning....which isn't true.

You will have to move, but not for some time.  The average time in Florida is 12-18 months for a bank to file suit and finally auction off the house.  You have time on your side.

Important items to know about Foreclosure in Jacksonville:  

  1. When served papers, Lis Pendens, you have 20 days to respond to the suit.  Talk with an attorney immediately.  Just about every attorney on…

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A few years ago, if you mentioned a Short Sale, most people would look at you with a puzzled look on their face.  Today, many are becoming educated on exactly what a short sale is...first hand.  It's becoming a common term in every household.

I predict over the next 12 months the term "Short Sale" will be used almost as much as "Foreclosure".

The driving factor:

  1. The banks are increasingly more willing to allow a seller to sell a home for less than is owed = A Short Sale.  The banks would obviously rather sell while an owner is keeping up with the property trying to get it sold vs. a Foreclosure where an owner has usually bailed out months if not years before the bank puts the property up for sale.
  2. HAFA which stands for Home Affordable…

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An almost daily question:  Should I keep paying my mortgage with my house being so far upside down or should I just let it go? The real answer is:  It's up to you. Some things that may help you decide: Pay or Go (no longer available):  Handy tool for doing an actual cost basis/financial approach to the decision making process.  Make sure to read some of the links to national stories on the subject. Watch this ABC prime time news story.  It not only talks about the growing trend of strategic defaults, but also the irony of the Mortgage Bankers Association recent Short Sale of their own corporate building.
What ever you decide, know that you have several options including a Short Sale.  None of the options are "pain free" as most will come with some form…

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One of the many issues with loan modification is that you must "qualify" for the modification.   A modification is complicated with a good amount of red tape.  Many home owners sit and wait, not knowing their housing status fate, just to find out that they get denied due to one of many factors including but not limited to:  "not enough income".

When your Loan Modification gets Denied, you have Options

You basically have 3 options after a denied loan modification:

  1. Find a way to Pay the Mortgage and stay put.  Many go this route if they still have the income to support the mortgage, albeit barely enough income.
  2. Short Sale and move to something Cheaper.  If you just can't pay and you value your credit score, do a Short Sale.  Move to a rental…

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This story is crazy. MBA Mortgage Short Sales. or read it in the WSJ.

The Mortgage Banker Association has completed a short sale on their office building after owning it for a very short period of time....less than 2 years.

Not a big deal, other than the fact that they represent an industry that has made it very very very difficult for struggling homeowners to complete a short sale or do loan modifications.

Funny thing about all this:  the cheif executive of MBA, John Courson, was recently asked about owners walking away from homes or stopping payment after trying to do the right thing by reaching out to the mortgage bank via a loan modification or a short sale.  He responded with,  "What about the message they will send to their family and their…

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Save the date: Jacksonville Boat Show - April 16, 17, and 18, 2010!

There is no better addition to your Waterfront Home lifestyle than a boat!

Boats will be on display at the Metro Park and Marina downtown Jacksonville.  See this handy map for location of your favorite boats and accessories.

This annual event always pulls a large crowd of boaters from every walk of life.  Food and entertainment surrounded by every boat imaginable from sea kayaks to yachts.   Check out the official Jacksonville Boat Show here.

See you there!

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Looking at a home owners options to sell a home is difficult when their home is worth less than is owed on the mortgage.  Many owners have decided that being upside down in a home is not worth it, and they decide to stop paying the mortgage.  This is known as Strategic Default.

Without arguing the "ethical" dilemma that many face in a Strategic Default, it's better to just acknowledge that it is happening in every neighborhood in Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra Florida.

Avoid Foreclosure: Do a Short Sale

If you are in the situation where you need to stop making payments on your home, it is inevitable that at some point the bank will choose to start the foreclosure process.  This can all be avoided by completing a Short Sale.  Check out Short Sale…

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Hot Question of the week:  When should I list my home for sale?

I've been getting this question a lot more recently.  There have been many home owners who would like to sell their current house and buy a new home but they have been waiting for the market to turn.

Before you put your home up for sale, have the proper expectations for the current real estate market:

  1. Competition:  There are still a lot of homes on the market.  Check out this Google Real Estate Map to see a birds eye view of just how many homes are on the market in Jacksonville, FL.
  2. Pricing:  If you purchased your home between 2004 and 2008, you most likely paid more than what it is worth today.  You can read about the value drops in a CNN Money magazine article.  If you are…

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A hot topic:  Why do Short Sales Take So Long?

As home values have dropped by 20-30%+ in Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra, FL, many of the real estate transactions taking place are Short Sales.  The only thing short in a short sale is the amount of money to cover the existing mortgage.  By nature, short sales are Long Sales interjected with frustration, happiness, frustration, and back to happiness. They take forever.

So why do Short Sales take so long?  I've attempted to answer this question in a 2 part answer:

Answer Part 1: Understand the volume. After all the red tape and big bank shenanigans to try and get you to make just 1 more payment, there is a person at the end of the line that is the "negotiator".  This persons job is to look over the…

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Horror stories are now floating around everywhere about failed Loan Modifications.  I've witnessed many of these first hand as friends have attempted to get modifications and they flat out fail.

Several Major Concerns with a Loan Modification:

  1. You agree to "modify" a loan on an over valued house that could take DECADES to break even.  Bad idea.  So now you are pretty much payment over priced rent to a bank on a property that you won't have basically any ownership in until WAY OFF In the future.  Just a bad idea.
  2. 70% of loan modifications result in HIGHER Payments!  Check out the Loan modification article from Wall Street Journal.  This is not 50/50 but instead a very high likelihood that you will get a higher monthly payment when you jump…

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