Thursday, December 10, 2009

Snohomish County Blog Obama's Failed Foreclosure Prevention Plan

A growing list of experts calling for the Obama's administration to scrap its failed foreclosure-prevention plan in favor of one that would actually help troubled homeowners keep their homes. The Congressional Oversight Panel that Warren heads issued a new report Wednesday, concluding that the government's $700 billion bailout program did in fact help stabilize the financial system -- but has largely failed to boost lending or prevent foreclosures. The latest report spelled out just how dramatically the administration signature foreclosure effort, called the Home Affordable Modification Program, has fallen short: • Nationwide, only 10,187 homeowners have received permanent mortgage modifications. That's only 4.7 percent of those enrolled in three-month trial plans. In October, Herbert M. Allison Jr., the Treasury Department's assistant secretary for financial stability, told the panel that Treasury had internally forecast that "up to 75 percent" of trial modifications would achieve permanent status. • Of the 79 mortgage services enrolled in the program, only 10 have received payment for successfully modifying loans on a permanent basis. They earned $2.3 million for their efforts. By contrast, the administration had set aside $50 billion in bailout money for modifications on mortgages not owned by government-backed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The data is through the end of October. The administration launched its foreclosure prevention drive in March. HAMP was supposed to help three to four million homeowners avoid foreclosure by modifying their mortgages, enabling them to make lower monthly payments. But with 10 percent unemployment (a 26-year-high), mounting foreclosures and as many as one third of all homeowners with a mortgage currently owing more on the mortgage than the underlying property is worth, the program simply "isn't working," Warren said. "The program that Treasury has designed does not have the scope, the scale, or the permanence needed to deal with the foreclosure problem," she said. It's a stinging indictment of a program launched to great fanfare not even a year ago, as President Obama sought to help aggrieved homeowners on Main Street who had watched for months as massive infusions of taxpayer dollars went to Wall Street instead. Even though the Treasury Department every month touts the numbers of homeowners signed up for trial plans as a sign of progress, Warren's panel notes in its report that monthly foreclosures still far outpace the number of new trial modifications. "The Panel emphasizes that it is the number of foreclosures averted, not the number of trial modifications offered or even trial modifications commenced, that is the proper metric for evaluating HAMP," the report reads. "As currently structured, HAMP appears capable of preventing only a fraction of foreclosures." By contrast to the program's target of three or four million homeowners helped, the report notes: "Projections for foreclosure range from 8.1 million over the next four years to as high as 13 million over the next five-plus years." So even if Treasury actually hit its target the program would still only be dealing with a third of projected foreclosures. A major source of the panel's frustration is the program's failure to adequately address the problems of unemployed homeowners and those with negative equity. Those without a job typically don't have enough income to qualify for the program. And what homeowners who owe more on their houses than they are worth really need is to have their total debt reduced. But HAMP doesn't incent lenders to reduce principal. So "underwater" homeowners might see their interest rates reduced through HAMP, but if their principal remains unchanged, they are at increased risk of defaulting again. "No one is helped by a program that kicks foreclosures down the line. The panel's report suggests that Treasury (like the FDIC is doing) should consider principal reductions.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Snohomish County, Real Estate Guidelines that should make it easier for some financially troubled borrowers to sell their homes…short sales

Snohomish County, WA. The Obama administration laid out guidelines that should make it easier for some financially troubled borrowers to sell their homes. Guidelines for Short Sales The guidelines are designed to encourage the use of short sales, transactions in which the borrower with lender approval sells the home for less than what is owed on the loan. The program also makes it easier for borrowers to voluntarily transfer ownership of properties through a “deed in lieu of foreclosure.” Short sales can result in higher prices than foreclosures and can be less damaging to local neighborhoods, in part because homes aren’t left vacant and exposed to vandalism. But these transactions are often difficult to complete. Borrowers and mortgage companies to receive funds from Government Under the plan Borrowers will receive $1,500 from the government if they sell their homes for less than the amount of their mortgages. Mortgage-servicing companies will also receive $1,000 for each completed short sale. The program is open to borrowers who may be eligible for the government’s loan-modification program, but don’t end up qualifying, or are delinquent on their modification, or request a short sale or deed-in-lieu transaction. The short-sale program is the latest addition to the Obama administration’s $75 billion foreclosure-prevention plan, which includes incentives for mortgage companies and investors to rework troubled loans. The government first said in May that it would include short sales in the program, but it has taken months to finalize the details. Second Mortgage receive up to $3,000 to release their liens Under the new guidelines, second-mortgage holders can receive up to $3,000 of the sales proceeds in exchange for releasing their liens. Investors who hold the first mortgages, meanwhile, can collect up to $1,000 from the government for allowing such payments. Borrowers who complete a short sale under the program must be “fully released” from future liability for the debt, according to the guidelines.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Marysville, WA. Home For Good, Now Accepting Applications for Housing

Homes for Good have five new affordable rental homes that will soon be available in Maryville. Homes for Good, is a non profit organization providing assistance for families with children who have lost their homes to foreclosure and are at risk of being homeless. Income Eligibility and Rent: These homes are restricted to families in Snohomish County at or below 50% of the areas Median Income. For a family of 3, annual income would be $37,950 or below. Rent levels are set in compliance with HUD Home “Low Rent” levels, approximately $1,095 for a 3 bedroom homes. Rent includes utilities. How it Works: Home For Good's Equity First program offers participants the opportunity to live in the home of their choice now and then purchase the home for the same price as Home For Good originally paid for it, up to two years later, with a fixed, low interest rate assumable mortgage. Each participant accepted into the program works through an individualized Home Buyer Action Plan designed to enable the participant to qualify for the conventional mortgage at the earliest possible opportunity during a two-year period. All mortgages are placed in Fannie Mae approved conventional loans at 30 or 40 year terms with fixed interest rates. What Happens to Families After Loosing Their Homes to Foreclosure? According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, the overwhelming majority (76.2% of those experiencing foreclosure…were staying with families or friends. More than half (54.5%) stated that people were going to emergency shelters. Even more alarming, 41.6% of families who lost their homes were already living on the streets. How to Apply: Contact Homes For Good at 425-672-9098 Online Applications About HomeSeeker Center HomeSeeker Center (HSC) provides a stable platform for consumers to search for property that reflects the best values in the housing market today. The Company aggregates available Distressed Property Sales, New Construction Homes, and Banked Owned Property and Building Lots in one convenient location. HSC is designed to Assist Distressed Property Owners in understanding options available to them to avoid or prevent foreclosure. HSC specializes in these difficult home sale situations. HSC provides automated real-time market updates combined with its Puget Sound Real Estate Blog to keep savvy consumers informed. Media Contact Information: Donald Sieb 425-931-4665

Saturday, October 17, 2009

King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties, WA. Discounted New Construction Homes and Condos…Special Financing and Other Buyer Incentives Offered by Builder

By: Don Sieb HomeSeeker Center has compiled a list of new construction homes and condos most not shown on MLS, where the builder’s and lender have teamed up to move standing inventory. These properties have been discounted to reflect current market values and the construction Lender is extending incentives to help their client get these properties sold. Special Bank Financing Available…includes: Together these financing incentives can total $20,000! • Low down payments (3.5-5%) • Mortgage interest rates as low as 3.5% based on buyers qualifications • No mortgage insurance • Up to 3% credit to buyer to apply toward closing cost • Condo Financing available without 50% of the homes being sold • “Jumbo Loans” Available based on amount financed by Buyer “It is refreshing to see the Lender work closely with their builders to help both the builder and lender prevent foreclosure”, says Don Sieb, Managing Director of HomeSeeker Center. With fewer buyers in the market and standing inventor of new homes still remaining high, many builders have been forced to turn their development projects back to the lender. When this happens it continues downward pressure of home values. HomeSeeker Center (HSC) compiled a list of over 400 eligible properties in King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties in over 30 cities in the Puget Sound area. To learn more please contact us. (HSC) specializes in distressed property sales…Connecting Buyers and Seller. (HSC) is a one stop resource that provides information about local market conditions and to find properties that are priced well below current market value in the Puget Sound Area. Buyers can expect to save thousands of dollars on distressed property sales. HSC aggregates all available Distressed Property Sales, New Construction Homes, and Banked Owned Property and Building Lots in one convenient location. We are adding additional properties daily so please check back frequently.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Snohomish County, HomeSeeker Center Announces New Service (4.0 Release) to Include its new Mortgage Resource Center

Snohomish County, HomeSeeker Center Announces New Service (4.0 Release) to Include its new Mortgage Resource Center HomeSeeker Center By: Don Sieb HomeSeeker Center (HSC) announced a new service integrated into its latest release of its web portal. HomeSeeker Center is a unique real estate website in that it is content rich to assist both Buyers and Seller to learn more about local market conditions, find for the best deals in real estate, search NWMLS listings, to assist homeowners at risk of losing their homes, determine the value of a home they own and now valuable information about unique home loan programs available. HSC dedicated to providing resources to assist Buyers in making informed decisions. The Mortgage Resource Center is designed to help Buyers understand the financing options available today and to address questions you may have. HSC staff has found considerable confusion regarding availability of mortgage loans. Many of our clients believe you must have near perfect credit scores and have at least 20% down to qualify for a home loan. This clearly is not the case. In a survey conducting by HomeSeeker Center only 1/3 of First Time Buyers indicated they were aware of the First Time Buyer Tax Credit Program. To insure HomeSeeker Center is providing its clients with expert guidance on mortgage programs available, the company has partnered with Golf Savings Bank (GSB) to provide the experience and expertise in Mortgage Financing. To learn more about zero or low down payment programs and to learn how to finance foreclosures please see links below: • Mortgage Lending GuidelinesUnique Loan ProgramsFinancing ForeclosuresBenefits of Getting Pre-QualifiedFind the Right Mortgage Based on Your Unique CircumstancesFree Lending Resource ReportsAsk The Expert Golf Savings Bank, is part of the Sterling Financial Family, began as Lynnwood Mortgage Corporation in 1981. Golf opened its doors as a full service bank in 2000 and by 2005 had become one of the most successful startup banks in US history. facilitates an online community of consumers who want to know the facts about what is happening in ones local market. HSC operates a Blog to keep interested parties informed about trends and facts and allows them to interact freely with each other.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Snohomish County, Wa Buying Foreclosures Part V of Series Writing up an Offer

HomeSeeker Center By: Don Sieb Buying Foreclosure in Snohomish County...Writing up the Offer Before the offer is made, make sure you contact the agent listing the property so you can ask some of the following questions. • Are you selling the property "As Is"? Is the bank willing to do any repairs? • Have any inspections taken place for the property? If so, can you provide a copy of these inspections? • Has the bank agreed to do any repairs to the home? • How will the offer be delivered to the bank? • How long should I expect the bank to respond to my offer? The offer is typically sent to the bank. The listing agent will take the originals. At this point you must have a little patience. It can take a few days for you to get a response from the bank. Many Realtors work weekends, but banks do not typically have anyone around after 5pm or on the weekends so you will not get a very quick response. HomeSeeker Center specilizes in distressed Property Sales. We strongly recommend Buyers seek our Real Estate Specialist to assist Buyers in purchasing bank owned properties.

FDIC Pushes Mortgage Help for Jobless

FDIC Pushes Mortgage Help for Jobless HomeSeeker Center By: Don Sieb Some unemployed homeowners at risk for foreclosure could get a temporary break on their mortgage payments under a plan being pushed by the FDIC. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said on Friday it is encouraging certain banks to reduce mortgage payments for the unemployed or underemployed for at least six months. Overall, relatively few of the unemployed will benefit from this recommendation because the effort would only apply to a handful of institutions. Specifically, it would affect those that bought failed banks and participate in loss-share agreements with the FDIC. In such deals, the agency covers some of the losses incurred on the assets of the failed banks. Some 53 institutions, mainly regional or community banks, have entered into such arrangements since January 2008. "With more Americans suffering through unemployment or cuts in their paychecks, we believe it is crucial to offer a helping hand to avoid unnecessary and costly foreclosures," said Sheila Bair, FDIC chairman, who has led the efforts to have loan modifications be based on income. The expanding unemployment rolls have long vexed policymakers focused on stabilizing the housing market. Existing foreclosure-prevention programs, including the president's loan modification plan, generally do not help the jobless because they don't have enough income to sustain even reduced monthly payments. Administration officials have said they are exploring ways to help the unemployed -- including through reduced payments, typically called forbearance plans. Housing advocates said they approved of the FDIC's effort. While many servicers have offered forbearance plans in the past, fewer are these days. That's because financial institutions no longer feel that borrowers will be able to land a comparable job within a few months. Assisting the unemployed Citigroup is one of the few banks that has implemented a plan to help the jobless during the housing crisis. The bank will lower the payments of eligible borrowers to an average of $500 a month for three months. Under the FDIC's recommendation, unemployed or underemployed borrowers would have their payments reduced to an affordable level for at least six months. Unlike a typical forbearance plan, where the arrears would have to be paid back within a year, the FDIC endorses allowing borrowers to catch up over the life of the loan. Borrowers who cannot afford their payments once they get jobs would be considered for a loan modification program approved by the FDIC, which includes the president's plan. Eligible borrowers could have their monthly payments reduced to 31% of their pre-tax income if doing so would cost less than foreclosing on the home.