By Sean Coffey, Program Manager at Foreclosure Help
Editor’s Note: Foreclosure Help is a program funded by the Cities of San Jose and Sunnyvale, California, to assist homeowners and tenants in these two cities. If you are outside of San Jose or Sunnyvale, we suggest locating the nearest HUD-approved housing counseling agency on the HUD website: HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies.
1) It’s almost impossible to stop a trustee sale at the last minute: We have had a number of homeowners in San Jose or Sunnyvale who contacted Foreclosure Help a week before the trustee sale, or even a day or two before the trustee sale. While we will make every effort to assist them, the unfortunate truth is that options become very limited the closer you are to a foreclosure trustee sale. The bank/servicer can’t necessarily postpone the sale if it’s too close to the sale date (because of their internal policies), and there isn’t time to get your documents together and submitted and accepted by the bank or servicer. While we can try and overcome some of these obstacles, it is far less stressful and you increase your chances of success if you can begin working with a housing counselor when you first have problems with your mortgage. Filing bankruptcy may be an option to stop your trustee sale, but it’s better if you’re making the decision to file bankruptcy because you’ve considered all your other options and it makes the most sense in your situation. Filing bankruptcy also takes time to do, and filing it a week or two before your trustee sale (instead of trying to do it the day before) will give you the time you need to meet with a reputable attorney, get your paperwork together, etc.
2) Don’t let “bank run-around fatigue” be the reason that you let go of your home. In the beginning of the foreclosure crisis, many homeowners I spoke with had no idea where to turn, what to do, or how to work with their bank. Now, in 2013, most of the homeowners that contact our program have already tried working with their bank once or twice to request a modification. They may have been denied a modification for any number of reasons, including:
- The bank or servicer said the package was incomplete (even though you may have sent the same documents to them multiple times).
- The bank or servicer said that the Net Present Value (NPV) test was negative.
- The bank or servicer did not give a reason.
- The bank said they would call me, but they didn’t, so I assumed they were working on it, but it turns out they weren’t, and my file was closed.
- My income wasn’t sufficient when I first submitted my request.
These are all complaints that homeowners cite when we ask if they’ve tried to modify their loans before. This is where working with a HUD-approved housing counselor can be so important. While you as a homeowner are only working on one mortgage, a certified housing counselor has likely worked with hundreds of homeowners before your case. This means they bring experience and expertise in assisting you, can help you put together a complete and accurate package to send to your bank or servicer, will work with you on your budget to increase your chances of a modification, and often have contacts/channels at banks or servicers that ordinary homeowners (or “expert loan modification companies”) do not have access to.
3. If you’re able to hold on, the market is improving. Ask any real estate agent in San Jose or Sunnyvale about the market right now, and you’ll hear how dramatically it’s improving. If you’re able to get a modification from your bank so that you can continue making payments, then you will have time for the equity in your home to increase as the market continues to improve.
4. Foreclosure Stress is not good for you or your family. You’ve probably heard that money issues are one of the biggest stresses in a marriage. It is incredibly stressful to deal with foreclosure, mortgage, and money issues, and it impacts the entire family. Part of the stress may be the uncertainty you feel about whether or not you have a real chance at a modification and holding on to your home. By working with one of our HUD-approved housing counselors, you’ll get a much better understanding of the programs that exist like HAMP, Keep Your Home California, HARP, etc.
Instead of wondering about your eligibility for these programs and whether or not they could have helped you save your home, come meet with a housing counselor who will give you a direct, unbiased assessment of your situation. While we can’t guarantee a loan modification (and we’d recommend running away from anybody who guarantees you a loan modification) , we can help you understand your eligibility for programs and how to be a successful candidate for a loan modification.
5. Your friend means well, but they don’t know what they’re doing: You may have had offers of help from a friend who is an attorney or a real estate agent who thinks they can help you. While they may have good intentions, the end result is often ugly. We’ve had a number of homeowners who contact us after a failed attempt at a modification by an attorney or a loan modification expert. Sometimes they’ve paid for the modification, sometimes it was done for free. (As a side note it is ILLEGAL in California to charge an upfront fee for a loan modification).
The bottom line is that you want to work with a housing counselor who knows the programs inside and out, who doesn’t have an incentive to “sell” you on a particular solution (like a short sell), and who knows the foreclosure timeline and process in California. Good intentions are nice for birthday presents and greeting cards, but when it’s your home on the line, you need to seek out expert, trained, and certified counselors.
6. Our services are already paid for by the Cities of San Jose and Sunnyvale through a grant: This mean we don’t charge homeowners for our services. This means our housing counselors can give you an honest, up-front assessment of your situation and they’re not financially motivated to try and steer you towards a certain outcome.
Call us at: 408-293-6000, visit our website: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org, or send us an email: email@example.com. The sooner you call us, the more options you have and the more helpful we can be.
If you are a homeowner living in San Jose or Sunnyvale and are struggling with your mortgage, please contact ForeclosureHelpSCC, a program funded by the City of San Jose and the City of Sunnyvale at (408)-293-6000 or visit our website: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org. Our HUD-approved counselors can help you evaluate your options, learn more about federal and state programs that may help you with your mortgage issues, and will help you create a plan forward.
Please note: All content included in the ForeclosureHelpSCC blog is provided for information only and should NOT be considered legal or tax advice. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us on our hotline: (408)-293-6000, or visit our website: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org or send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Si usted es dueño de una casa en San José o en Sunnyvale y están luchando con su hipoteca, por favor póngase en contacto con ForeclosureHelpSCC, un programa financiado por la ciudad de San José y la ciudad de Sunnyvale, al (408) -293- 6000, o visite nuestro sitio: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org. Nuestros consejeros aprobados por HUD puede ayudarle a evaluar sus opciones, aprender más acerca de los programas federales y estatales que pueden ayudarle con sus problemas de hipoteca, y le ayudará a crear un plan para seguir.
Por favor, tenga en cuenta: Todos los contenidos incluidos en el blog ForeclosureHelpSCC se proporciona únicamente a título informativo y no debe ser considerada como consejo legal o fiscal. Si usted tiene alguna pregunta, por favor no dude en contactarnos a nuestra línea directa: (408) -293-6000, o visite nuestro sitio:www.foreclosurehelpscc.org o envíenos un correo electrónico: email@example.com.
Nếu bạn là một sinh hoạt chủ sở hữu nhà ở San Jose hoặc Sunnyvale và đang đấu tranh với nợ nhà, xin vui lòng liên ForeclosureHelpSCC, một chương trình được tài trợ bởi thành phố San Jose và thành phố của Sunnyvale ở (408) -293-6000 hoặc truy cập trang web của chúng tôi: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org. Nhân viên tư vấn của chúng tôi đã được HUD chấp thuận có thể giúp bạn đánh giá các lựa chọn của bạn, tìm hiểu thêm về các chương trình của liên bang và tiểu bang có thể giúp bạn với các vấn đề thế chấp của bạn, và sẽ giúp bạn tạo ra một kế hoạch phía trước.
Xin lưu ý: Tất cả các nội dung trên Blog ForeclosureHelpSCC được cung cấp thông tin duy nhất và không nên coi là hợp pháp hoặc tư vấn thuế. Nếu bạn có bất cứ câu hỏi , xin vui lòng liên hệ với chúng tôi qua đường dây nóng: (408) -293-6000, hoặc truy cập vào trang của chúng tôi: http://www.foreclosurehelpscc.org hoặc gửi email cho chúng tôi: firstname.lastname@example.org.