Sáu lý do để đối phó với vấn đề Tịch thu nhà của bạn Hôm nay, không phải ngày mai

Deal with your Foreclosure Today, not Tomorrow

(Six Reasons to Deal with Your Foreclosure Problem Today, not Tomorrow)

Lưu ý: Trợ giúp Tịch thu nhà (Foreclosure Help) là một chương trình được tài trợ bởi các thành phố San Jose và Sunnyvale, California, để hỗ trợ các chủ nhà và người thuê nhà ở hai thành phố.Nếu bạn đang ở bên ngoài của San Jose hoặc Sunnyvale, chúng tôi đề nghị vị tư vấn cơ quan nhà ở gần nhất được HUD chấp thuận trên trang web của HUD đã được HUD chấp thuận Cơ quan Tư vấn nhà ở.

1) Đó là hầu như không thể ngăn chặn một bán ủy thác ở phút cuối cùng: Chúng tôi đã có một số chủ nhà ở San Jose hoặc Sunnyvale đã liên lạc với Trợ giúp Tịch thu nhà (Foreclosure Help) một tuần trước khi bán ủy thác, hoặc thậm chí một ngày hoặc hai ngày trước khi bán ủy thác.  Trong khi chúng tôi sẽ thực hiện mọi nỗ lực để giúp đỡ họ, sự thật không may là các lựa chọn trở nên rất hạn chế nếu bạn càng gần việc bán ủy thác tịch thu nhà.  Ngân hàng / servicer có thể không nhất thiết phải trì hoãn việc bán nếu nó quá gần với ngày bán (bởi vì các chính sách nội bộ của họ), và nếu không có thời gian để có được các tài liệu của bạn và phải nộp và được chấp nhận bởi ngân hàng hoặc servicer.  Trong khi chúng tôi có thể thử và khắc phục một số những trở ngại này, còn xa ít căng thẳng và bạn tăng cơ hội thành công của bạn nếu bạn có thể bắt đầu làm việc với một nhân viên tư vấn nhà ở khi lần đầu tiên có vấn đề với thế chấp của bạn.  Nộp hồ sơ phá sản có thể là một lựa chọn để ngừng bán ủy thác của bạn, nhưng nó tốt hơn nếu bạn đưa ra quyết định khai phá sản bởi vì bạn đã xem xét tất cả các lựa chọn khác của bạn và nó tạo ra có ý nghĩa nhất trong tình hình của bạn.  Khai phá sản cũng cần có thời gian để làm, và nộp hồ sơ một hoặc hai tuần trước khi bán ủy thác của bạn (thay vì cố gắng để làm điều đó vào ngày hôm trước) sẽ cho bạn thời gian cần gặp một luật sư có uy tín, hội đủ tất cả những giấy tờ cần thiết của bạn lại, vv

2) Không để cho “ngân hàng chạy xung quanh sự mệt mỏi” thể là lý do mà bạn để cho đi nhà của bạn. Trong những ngày đầu của cuộc khủng hoảng tịch thu nhà, nhiều chủ nhà tôi nói chuyện với không có ý tưởng nơi nào có thể đến, phải làm gì, hoặc làm thế nào để làm việc với ngân hàng của họ. Bây giờ, vào năm 2013, hầu hết các chủ nhà liên lạc với chương trình của chúng tôi đã cố gắng làm việc với các ngân hàng của họ một lần hoặc hai lần để yêu cầu sửa đổi nợ . Họ có thể đã bị từ chối sửa đổi nợ cho bất cứ lý do, bao gồm:

• Các ngân hàng hoặc servicer nói rằng là hồ sơ không đầy đủ (mặc dù bạn có thể đã gửi cùng một tài liệu cho họ nhiều lần).

• Ngân hàng hoặc servicer nói rằng Giá trị hiện tại (NPV) kiểm tra là phủ định.

• Ngân hàng hoặc servicer đã không đưa ra một lý do.

• Ngân hàng cho biết họ sẽ gọi cho tôi, nhưng họ không, vì vậy tôi cho rằng họ đang làm việc, nhưng hóa ra họ không, và hồ sơ của tôi bị đóng lại.

• Thu nhập của tôi là không đủ khi lần đầu tiên tôi gửi yêu cầu.

Đây là tất cả các khiếu nại cac chủ nhà da trích dẫn khi chúng tôi yêu cầu nếu họ đã cố gắng để sửa đổi các khoản vay của họ trước kia. Đây chính là điều nên làm việc với nhân viên tư vấn nhà ở được HUD chấp thuận có thể là rất quan trọng. Trong khi bạn là người chủ nhà chỉ làm việc trên một thế chấp, một cố vấn nhà ở được chứng nhận đã có khả năng làm việc với hàng trăm chủ nhà trước khi trường hợp của bạn.  Điều này có nghĩa là họ mang lại kinh nghiệm và chuyên môn trong việc hỗ trợ bạn, có thể giúp bạn đưa ra một hồ sơ hoàn chỉnh và chính xác để gửi đến ngân hàng hoặc servicer của bạn, sẽ làm việc với bạn trên ngân sách của bạn để tăng cơ hội sửa đổi nợ , và thường có địa chỉ liên lạc tại ngân hàng hoặc servicers cac chủ nhà thông thường (hay “các công ty chuyên gia chỉnh sửa nợ”) không được tiếp cận.

3. Nếu bạn có thể giữ vững, thị trường đang được cải thiện. Hỏi bất kỳ đại lý bất động sản ở San Jose hoặc Sunnyvale về thị trường ngay bây giờ, và bạn sẽ nghe thấy cách mạnh mẽ cải thiện. Nếu bạn có thể để có được một sửa đổi nợ từ ngân hàng của bạn để bạn có thể tiếp tục thanh toán, sau đó bạn sẽ có thời gian cho vốn chủ sở hữu trong nhà của bạn tăng lên khi thị trường tiếp tục được cải thiện.

4. Sự căng thẳng về Tịch thu nhà không có ãnh hưỡng tốt cho bạn hay gia đình của bạn. Bạn đã có thể nghe nói rằng vấn đề tiền bạc là một trong những áp lực lớn trong hôn nhân. Nó là vô cùng căng thẳng để đối phó với nhà bị tịch thu, thế chấp, và vấn đề tiền bạc, và nó ảnh hưởng đến toàn bộ gia đình. Một phần của sự căng thẳng có thể là do sự không chắc chắn sửa đổi nợ cho bạn cảm thấy không có một cơ hội thực sự sửa đổi nợ và giữ lại nhà của bạn. Bằng cách làm việc với một trong những nhân viên tư vấn nhà ở HUD đã chấp thuận của chúng tôi, bạn sẽ nhận được một sự hiểu biết tốt hơn về các chương trình tồn tại như Hamp, Keep Your Home California, HARP, vv

Thay vì tự hỏi về điều kiện của bạn cho các chương trình này có hoặc không họ có thể giúp bạn cứu lại nhà của bạn, hãy đến gặp nhân viên tư vấn nhà ở, những người nầy sẽ cung cấp cho bạn một đánh giá trực tiếp, không thiên vị về tình hình của bạn. Trong khi chúng tôi không thể đảm bảo một sự sửa đổi nợ cho vay (và chúng tôi muốn khuyên bạn nên bỏ chạy khỏi ai đảm bảo cho bạn một sự sửa đổi cho vay), chúng tôi có thể giúp bạn hiểu được hội đủ điều kiện của quý vị cho các chương trình và làm thế nào để trở thành một ứng cử viên thành công cho một sửa đổi cho vay.

5. Bạn bè của bạn có tốt, nhưng họ không biết những gì họ đang làm: Bạn có thể đã có đề nghị giúp đỡ từ một người bạn một luật sư hoặc một nhân viên bất động sản nghĩ họ có thể giúp bạn. Trong họ có thể có ý định tốt, kết quả cuối cùng thường là xấu . Chúng tôi đã có một số chủ nhà liên lạc với chúng tôi sau khi thất bại về sửa đổi khoản vay bởi một luật sư hay một chuyên gia về sửa đổi khoản vay. Đôi khi, họ đã nhận đựơc tiền cho sửa đổi, đôi khi được thực hiện miễn phí. (Là một mặt lưu ý đó là bất hợp pháp ở California khi một khoản phí trả trước cho một sửa đổi khoản vay).

6. Dịch vụ của chúng tôi đã được trả tiền từ các thành phố San Jose và Sunnyvale thông qua tài trợ: Điều này cũng có nghĩa là chúng tôi không tính phí cho chủ sở hữu nhà cho các dịch vụ của chúng tôi . Điều này cũng có nghĩa là nhân viên tư vấn nhà ở của chúng tôi có thể cung cấp cho bạn một cách trung thực trong quá trình đánh giá tình hình của bạn và họ sẽ không bị thúc đẩy về mặt tài chính để cố gắng và chỉ đạo bạn hướng tới một kết quả.

Hãy gọi cho chúng tôi tại: 408-293-6000, hãy trang web của chúng tôi: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org, hoặc gửi cho chúng tôi email: help@foreclosurehelpscc.org. Bạn càng sớm gọi cho chúng tôi, bạn có nhiều lựa chọn hơn và hữu ích hơn có thể được.

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: help@foreclosurehelpscc.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: help@foreclosurehelpscc.org.

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: help@foreclosurehelpscc.org.

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Independent Foreclosure Review: Update on $3.6 Billion in Cash Payments and $5.7 Billion in Modification Assistance.

New info on Independent Foreclosure Review

By Sean Coffey, MPA, Program Manager at Foreclosure Help

April 25, 2013 Update: Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD7) introduced legislation today to create a monitor to review the Independent Foreclosure Review, you can read more at our new blog post: “New Federal Bill Introduced to Create Independent Monitor”

Editor’s note: Foreclosure Help is a program funded by the city of San Jose and the city of Sunnyvale, and we can directly assist homeowners  and tenants in San Jose and Sunnyvale who are facing foreclosure.  However, we are unable to assist homeowners/former homeowners in other cities and states.  If you need housing counseling, we suggest using the interactive map on HUD’s website and if you have questions about the information below, please contact Rust Consulting (1-888-952-9105).

A press release jointly issued today by the Office of the Comptroller Currency and the Federal Reserve provides homeowners some additional details about the changes made to the Independent Foreclosure Review and how these changes could impact homeowners.

In January 2013, the regulators announced that most of the original banks/servicers had agreed to replace the program because of concerns over the cost, timeliness, and administration of the reviews (For more about these concerns, see our previous post:         7 Reasons to Postpone the Independent Foreclosure Review).

The 13 banks that are part of the replacement program include:

Aurora, Bank of America, Citibank, Goldman Sachs (Litton Loan Servicing), HSBC, JP Morgan Chase, MetLife Bank, Morgan Stanley (Saxon Mortgage), PNC, Sovereign, SunTrust, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.

However, three banks (GMAC Mortgage, Everbank, and OneWest/IndyMac), did not agree to change their program, and will continue using the Independent Foreclosure Review process, which had a deadline to apply of December 31, 2012.  According to the press release, “Regulators expect the reviews for these servicers to be completed over the course of the coming year.”

What’s next?

According to the regulators, Rust Consulting, Inc. has been appointed as the payment regulator and Rust Consulting will begin contacting homeowners by the end of March 2013.    Homeowners can also contact Rust Consulting to update their contact information (which is important to do, especially if the bank/servicer’s only contact information is a mailing address or phone number for a house that was already foreclosed on).  The phone number for Rust Consulting is 1-888-952-9105, and representatives can also verify a person’s eligibility.

Am I eligible? 

Similar to the original Independent Foreclosure Review, the replacement program is only for homeowners who were part of a foreclosure action (pending or completed) between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2010.  The homeowner did NOT have to lose their home in order to qualify, but did need to be “in any stage of the foreclosure process” during that timeframe.

How much money?

The money is being divided into two categories: Cash payments and loss mitigation assistance.

Cash Payments: The 13 banks/servicers have agreed to provide a total of $3.6 billion to homeowners.  Individual amounts to homeowners will depend on the severity of the mistakes the bank/servicer made, and could range from hundreds of dollars up to $125,000 plus lost equity.  The Washington Post has created a helpful table of borrower categories: Waterfall of Borrower Categories (from their article: “Foreclosure victims to get compensation alerts in $9.3B agreement starting Friday”

Loss Mitigation Assistance: The 13 banks/servicers will provide $5.7 billion is assistance to homeowners through loss mitigation efforts, with “preference given to activities designed to keep borrowers in their homes through affordable, sustainable, and meaningful home preservation actions.”  The banks and servicers are given until January 7, 2015 to complete the loss mitigation assistance.

Bank/Servicer Cash Payments Loss Mitigation Assistance
Aurora Loan Servicing $93 million $149 million
Bank of America $1.1 billion $1.7 billion
Citibank $306 million $486 million
Goldman (Litton Loan Servicing) $135 million $195 million
HSBC $96 million $153 million
JP Morgan Chase $753 million $1.2 billion
MetLife Bank $30 million $48 million
Morgan Stanley (Saxon Mortgage) $97 million $130 million
PNC $69 million $69 million
Sovereign $6 million $9 million
SunTrust $62 million $100 million
U.S. Bank $80 million $128 million
Wells Fargo $765 million $1.2 billion
Total $3.6 billion $5.7 billion

Note: Figures are rounded.  Source: Amended Consent Orders posted on OCC and Federal Reserve website.

What Should I do next?  Rust Consulting will likely be overwhelmed by the number of phone calls from homeowners in the next few days, but it is worth taking the time to call them over the next few weeks and confirm that they have your current contact information and to verify your eligibility. The phone number for Rust Consulting is 1-888-952-9105.

For more information, visit:
Federal Reserve Press Release: “Amendments to Consent Orders Memorialize $9.3 Billion Foreclosure Agreement”

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 us: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org

Our housing 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: help@foreclosurehelpscc.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 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: help@foreclosurehelpscc.org.

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:help@foreclosurehelpscc.org.

Four Questions For President Obama and Congress about the Foreclosure Crisis Now that Elections are Over

By Sean Coffey, MPA, Program Manager, ForeclosureHelpSCC

Earlier this week, President Obama was re-elected President of the United States.  For people in the housing world, especially those of us who work with homeowners facing foreclosure, we want to know what, (if any) actions the President and Congress will take to address the ongoing foreclosure crisis, with over 5 1/2 million homeowners (nationally) “not current” as of September 2012.

A few specific issues:

1. Will the President and/or Congress intervene in any way to extend the deadline for the Independent Foreclosure Review  beyond the December 31st Deadline?   The number of eligible people who have applied for the review is far below expectations, and there have also been a number of questions raised about how independent the process actually is. The foreclosure refund program of the Attorneys General settlement, a similar program, also has a deadline fast approaching.  Depending on how many eligible people have contacted their Attorney General, it may be worth also extending deadlines for this program.

2.  What will happen with the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act?   As we discussed in an earlier blog post, not extending this debt forgiveness could have dire consequences for individual homeowners as well as the success of programs like the Attorneys General Settlement.

3. What will happen with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s overseer?   The National Fair Housing Alliance has a survey monkey poll about whether or not President Obama is going to fire the current director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Ed DeMarco.   Some advocates feel that DeMarco’s leadership has limited the GSE’s responses to the mortgage meltdown, including not allowing principal reductions.

4. Will there be any tougher consequences implemented for banks and servicers when they fail to comply with program rules in the Making Home Affordable program, or if they continue robo-signing or dual-tracking?

Are you having trouble paying your mortgage and do you live here in San Jose or Sunnyvale California? If so, contact ForeclosureHelpSCC by telephone: (408) 293-6000, email: help@foreclosurehelpscc.org, or visit our website: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org.

ForeclosureHelpSCC is a program that is supported by the Cities of San Jose and Sunnyvale, and staffed by housing counselors from four local, HUD-approved counseling agencies.

Our housing counselors can speak to you about what your options are if you’re having trouble paying your mortgage, including programs like Making Home Affordable, Keep Your Home California, the Independent Foreclosure Review, and private, in-house modifications offered by banks and servicers as well. Your housing counselor can work with you to develop a plan of action to begin dealing with the problem instead of ignoring it.

Remember, the sooner you start working with a housing counselor, the more options you will have to address your mortgage situation and potentially remain in your home. Time is not on your side, so pick up the phone and give us a call.

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

Free Foreclosure Resource Fair: October 20th at Overfelt High School

By Sean Coffey, MPA, Program Manager at ForeclosureHelpSCC

Do you live in Santa Clara County?  Are you struggling to make your mortgage payments?  Has your income gone down?  Would you like to speak with somebody who knows about the mortgage programs and settlements and can give you honest advice?

If you would like to get all of this information in one place, then you should come to a free Foreclosure Resource Fair here in San Jose on October 20th, from 9am to 3pm at Overfelt High School.

At the fair, you can meet one-on-one with a HUD certified Foreclosure Counselor who knows the system.  They can help you find solutions and develop a plan forward.  You will learn about which programs can help you, and scams that can hurt you.

Tax and legal experts at the event will give presentations and we’ll also have a free shredding truck for you to safely shred your old documents.

Assemblymember Jim Beall, who represents the 24th District for California, will also speak about recent legislation to address the foreclosure crisis here in California.  His office is helping to organize the event, and Assemblymember Beall explains, “In this tough economy, many families are living from paycheck to paycheck, struggling to meet their mortgage. Homeowners facing default who attend the foreclosure prevention fair can get effective counseling and learn how new laws passed by the Legislature can protect them.’’

Jeffrey F. Rosen,the District Attorney for Santa Clara County states “Real estate fraud, and particularly foreclosure rescue scams have a devastating impact in our communities.  We are proud to partner with ForeclosureHelpSCC and other non-profits to protect homeowners from real estate fraud, and hold con artists accountable for their misdeeds.”

Dr. John Porter, the Superintendent of Franklin McKinley School District and its Children’s Initiative,explained the impact of foreclosures on children and neighborhoods:  “I have seen how the stress and disruption of foreclosure hinders a child’s performance in school and affects their classmates.  And foreclosures take their toll on the whole neighborhood with the lack of income and resource that make children feel less safe and secure.”

Time and space with a housing counselor is limited, so if you would like to meet with a counselor, please call ahead of time to RSVP.  You can call (408) 293-6000 to reserve your space.

WHEN: Saturday October 20, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

WHERE: Overfelt High School, 1835 Cunningham Ave., San Jose, CA.

WHO:  ForeclosureHelpSCC is a consortium of non-profits serving the community and led by the Housing Trust of Santa Clara County with Asian, Inc., Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, Neighborhood Housing Services, Project Sentinel, SurePath, and volunteers from Santa Clara County Association of Realtors, funded by the cities of San Jose and Sunnyvale. Other non-profits and banks will be there to offer information

WHY:    In July more than 1,000 families in Santa Clara County were impacted by a foreclosure proceeding, per Realty Trac. The foreclosure crisis may have passed its peak but a statewide study by the Center for Responsible Lending found, “Over 50% of existing single-family homes sold in California in 2011 were short sales or bank-owned foreclosures. ‘Lost Ground, 2011‘ found we are only about halfway through the foreclosure crisis.”

MORE INFORMATION: Please call the ForeclosureHelpSCC office: 408-293-6000, visit our website for the foreclosure resource fair, or email us: sean@housingtrustscc.org.

Foreclosures in San Jose and Sunnyvale: Three Reasons Time is Not on Your Side

By Sean Coffey, MPA, Program Manager of ForeclosureHelpSCC

In a famous Rolling Stones song, Mick Jagger told us that “Time is on My Side.” However, this is NOT the case if you are having trouble paying your mortgage here in San Jose or Sunnyvale, California. While you have probably heard stories of people not paying their mortgages for a long time and remaining in their home, these stories are the exception, not the rule.

In today’s post, we are going to review three “time issues” that homeowners should consider if they are having trouble paying their mortgage:

1. Foreclosure timeline in California: Once you miss your first mortgage payment, it will be reported on your credit. However, it isn’t until after you miss your second mortgage payment that your bank or servicer can file a Notice of Default. This is the first step in the foreclosure process. While it is serious, you still have at least 90 days after the Notice of Default is filed before you could receive a Notice of Trustee Sale. During that 90 days, you can bring the mortgage current or work with your bank on an arrangement like a modification or repayment plan.

After the 90 days has passed, then your bank or servicer can send you a Notice of Trustee Sale. A Notice of Trustee Sale tells you that the home is going to be sold in three weeks. These are the minimum time frames allowed by law. Your bank or servicer may move slower than these time-frames, but they can’t move any faster.

An important note: the Notice of Default and Notice of Trustee Sale are both public record, so you may be contacted by people who want to “help.” I’m biased, but based on our experience cleaning up after these “experts,” I would be very wary about accepting help from people that call you. In fact, in California, it is illegal to charge an up-front fee for a loan modification.  Instead, if you’re here in San Jose or Sunnyvale, call ForeclosureHelpSCC (408-293-6000), where we can set up an appointment for you to meet with a trained housing counselor from one of our four HUD-approved counseling agencies. We are funded by federal and local grants, so we do not charge the homeowner for our services.

2. The Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act is currently set to expire at the end of 2012.
Earlier this month the Los Angeles Times reported on a topic that has many people in the housing world concerned: “Mortgage debt relief may bring new pain: a tax bill.”  The Times explained that a law passed in 2007- The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act is set to expire at the end of the year. Prior to enactment of this law, if you had a foreclosure or a short sale, the difference between what you owed and what the house ultimately sold for (at auction or via a short sale) was considered taxable income. The same issue would apply for principal reductions. For example, if you had a mortgage balance of $450,000, but short-sold your house for $400,000, then the $50,000 difference would have been considered income by the IRS. However, under the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act, that income has been exempted.

As the Times notes, many of the new settlements, like the Attorneys General settlement, include principal reduction, and much of the relief isn’t slated to begin until 2013. Kevin Stein from the California Reinvestment Coalition pointed out that the relief offered under these settlements won’t be nearly as meaningful if homeowners are being taxed on it.

While there is legislation pending to extend the debt forgiveness, nobody knows for sure what will happen. If an extension is not put in place, homeowners who already face difficult financial situations could find themselves facing a large tax bill.

3. Independent Foreclosure Review Program This is the third “time issue” for San Jose and Sunnyvale homeowners to consider. In our earlier blog post, we explained the details of the Independent Foreclosure Review for homeowners who dealt with issues related to robo-signing from 2009-2010. The deadline to apply for this program is December 31, 2012.

Are you having trouble paying your mortgage and do you live here in San Jose or Sunnyvale California? If so, contact ForeclosureHelpSCC by telephone: (408) 293-6000, email: help@foreclosurehelpscc.org, or visit our website: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org.
ForeclosureHelpSCC is a program that is supported by the Cities of San Jose and Sunnyvale, and staffed by housing counselors from four local, HUD-approved counseling agencies. Our housing counselors can speak to you about what your options are if you’re having trouble paying your mortgage, including programs like Making Home Affordable, Keep Your Home California, the Independent Foreclosure Review, and private, in-house modifications offered by banks and servicers as well. Your housing counselor can work with you to develop a plan of action to begin dealing with the problem instead of ignoring it.

Remember, the sooner you start working with a housing counselor, the more options you will have to address your mortgage situation and potentially remain in your home. Time is not on your side, so pick up the phone and give us a call.

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

Refinance vs. Modification: What are the differences?

By Yvonne Castillo, Housing Counselor at SurePath Financial Solutions, one of the members of ForeclosureHelpSCC

With the housing crisis all around us in San Jose, Sunnyvale, and other cities in Santa Clara County, we hear some buzz words over and over, words such as foreclosure, modification, refinance and short sale. As a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, we often hear questions about the differences between modification and refinance, and which one is the best one to choose. The information below explains some of the main differences between these two options.

REFINANCE
What is a refinance?  A refinance is a new loan that you take out to pay off your old loan. A traditional refinance will require you to have equity on the property (up to 20%) to request a new loan.

Reasons why people refinance:  There are many reasons you may want to refinance your existing mortgage. For example, you may do it to lower your payments or interest rate. Or, to consolidate your 1st and 2nd mortgages, to extend or shorten the length of your mortgage, to change lenders, or to add or remove someone from your existing mortgage.

What happens when you refinance?  It is similar to the process of when you received your original mortgage. Because this is a new loan, you will receive a new loan number and your new loan may have different terms than your old loan.

Before you contact a lender to consider refinancing you should order your credit reports from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion (consider using Annual Credit Report to get an idea of the information included in your credit report). Generally speaking, the higher the credit rating you have, the better an interest rate you can qualify for, and the more money you will save. You will also need to show sufficient income to afford the new payments as well as your household expenses.

Unemployment and temporary disability benefits are considered temporary forms of income. Therefore, they are not acceptable forms of income when refinancing. You should also be current on your mortgage, car and credit card payments for approximately the past twelve months when considering refinancing as an option to remain in your home.

What costs are involved in a refinance? When refinancing there can be origination, processing and closing costs. Some lenders may waive some of these fees by including them into the loan balance. Check with your lender about any up-front or financed cost involved.

What if I do not have equity in my property? If your property is worth less than what you owe and your loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you may want to learn more about the Home Affordable Refinance Program, also known as HARP. This is one of the federal programs to assist homeowners to refinance their loans even if they don’t meet the equity criteria. You can learn more about the program on the Making Home Affordable website.

MODIFICATION
What is a loan modification? It is a temporary or permanent change of the terms of the current mortgage agreement that is usually requested to make the mortgage payments more affordable.

What is the main reason why people request a loan modification? The main reason to consider a loan modification is to have more affordable mortgage payments and remain in your home, especially if you do not qualify to refinance your mortgage. You have to be experiencing a financial hardship which has made it difficult to make your current mortgage payments or missed one or more of your mortgage payments. It’s important to note that banks and servicers do not consider it a financial hardship if your only reason to modify your loan is because you owe more on your mortgage balance than the home is currently worth (also known as being “upside down”).

What terms can be changed in a modification? When receiving a loan modification you will keep your current loan number but some of the terms on your mortgage will be modified. This could include lowering your interest rate, or modifying an adjustable rate mortgage (where the interest rate varies) to a fixed rate mortgage where your mortgage payments and rate will remain fixed for the life of the loan. In some modifications, the interest rate is lowered for a few years (for example, a modification under HAMP can go as low as two percent), and then gradually increases over the course of a few years.

Will my payments be lower with a loan modification? For many households the loan modification has allowed them to reduce their mortgage payments and bring their loan current. However, it is important to note that if your current loan is an interest only loan, then changing it to a fully amortizing loan (where you are paying interest and principal) could result in an increase of your mortgage payment. However, banks and servicers can address this issue by lowering the interest rate, or lengthening the life of the loan (for example from 30 to 40 years).

In some limited cases, a loan modification may reduce or defer the balance owed. The homeowner may have a wish list of how they want their bank or servicer to modify their loan, but ultimately it is up to the bank or servicer (and sometimes the investor(s) who own the mortgage) whether or not they will modify the loan, and if so, how the terms will be adjusted.

Are there costs involved with a loan modification? Generally, there is no origination, processing and closing costs included when doing a loan modification. However some lenders will charge a small loan modification fee that is added to the balance of your loan and disclosed in the loan modification documents.

What information will be reviewed in a loan modification? Your bank or servicer will require a complete financial disclosure to evaluate the possibility of granting a loan modification. Information regarding your household income and expenses, amount of debt, proof of income, reason of the financial hardship, debt to income ratio etc, will be required to evaluate your modification request. If you have stopped making your mortgage payments, your bank or servicer will review if the non-payment is a result of the financial hardship. The bank will also want to see that there is a sustainable action plan going forward that will allow you to have sufficient income to continue paying your modified mortgage.

If you are a homeowner living in San Jose or Sunnyvale and want to know if either of these options will be applicable to your case 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. HUD approved counselors are available to provide free counseling sessions that will help you review your finances and evaluate the options for you.

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

Nancy’s Nine Rules for an Effective Relationship With Your Housing Counselor

By Nancy Rueda, Housing Counselor at Asian Inc., one of the members of ForeclosureHelpSCC

Trying to find assistance during a difficult time with your mortgage may be overwhelming, but there are trained housing counselors who can help you learn about your options so that you can make an informed decision. Today I’m sharing a few tips that will help you get the most out of your time with your housing counselor.

1) Take notes – At a housing counseling appointment you will learn a lot of new information about mortgage assistance programs, and what your options are if you are having trouble paying your mortgage. As part of your appointment, we will also give you a handout that explains the foreclosure timeline and process in California. It can be really helpful to take notes so that you have something to refer back to after your appointment.

2) Bring questions to the appointment: Before meeting with your housing counselor, write your questions and bring them to your appointment. That way you won’t forget any important questions or concerns you have about your mortgage.

3) Arrive on time: Housing counselors are assisting a number of homeowners at any given time. By being on time, you can ensure that you get the full time allotted for your appointment with your housing counselor.

4) Share all important information with your housing counselor. There are two really important reasons for you to make sure you’re sharing all relevant information with your housing counselor. First, similar to a doctor making a diagnosis, a housing counselor needs all information about your mortgage, financial, and income situation so that they can do a thorough analysis and make sure you’re informed about all options available to help you. If you only provide them with half the information, then you may miss out on learning about all of your mortgage options. Second, if your housing counselor is advocating on your behalf with your bank or servicer, they need to be operating with the same information that the bank or servicer has in order to be an effective advocate for you.

5) Awareness: While friends and family members may have received a loan modification, each mortgage situation is different. The banks and servicers (and in some cases, an investor who may or may not approve of a modification) all have different programs and policies. This could mean that the same bank provides two very different modifications for two houses on the same street. Or, because of investors, the bank may be allowed to modify one mortgage, but not the other.

6) Documents, documents, documents: If you are submitting a request for a loan modification, you will be asked to provide a lot of documents to your housing counselor. Housing counselors can’t submit incomplete packages to the bank or servicer. By providing all of the documents at one time, you can make your case go smoother and it will be easier for your housing counselor to submit a package to the bank. If a housing counselor has to wait on documents, it can slow them down in submitting a package to your bank or servicer. In addition, during the time your housing counselor is waiting for “late” documents, the documents you already submitted may become out of date, and you will have to submit new ones.

7) Follow up with your servicer – After your housing counselor informs you that your workout packet has been submitted to your servicer, follow up with your servicer. Do not wait for your housing counselor to remind you. It’s suggested that you follow up with them every week and make sure to write down what was discussed, the date, time, the name of the person you spoke with and their ID number on your note book. If you are giving information to the bank or servicer, it should match the information that your housing counselor submitted in the package. If circumstances change (i.e. you get an increase or decrease in pay), let your housing counselor know.

8) Keep your housing counselor updated – There will be times when your bank or servicer will contact you directly and may request additional information from you. Don’t forget to contact your housing counselor and inform them of what was discussed or what was requested from you. If you had to fax documents to your servicer, send them to your housing counselor as well, that way they are aware of what was provided to your servicer.

9) Be patient, polite and proactive – As overwhelming as this process is, housing counselors are here to assist you in learning about your options, which may include a short sale, modification, or in some cases, letting go of the home and planning a successful “exit strategy.” Regardless of which path you decide to take, it’s a “team approach” and your active participation is important. Being patient, polite, and proactive will also be helpful in communicating with your bank or servicer, since you may have to be the messenger between different departments at your bank or servicer.

Have you worked with a housing counselor before? Do you have any comments or tips you would like to share?

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.