Share creative ideas to assist people of all ages with tips to save money and improve their lifestyle!
By Nancy and Dawn Clement
October 27, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Recently, Dollar-Wi$e Diva Nancy had lunch with Jeff Davi, the California Department of Real Estate Commissioner. The event was a real estate summit with several hundred realtors in attendance. Davi challenged us to become more proactive and share our knowledge with our communities. We accepted the challenge! Our next few Dollar-Wi$e Divas columns will focus on ideas and solutions to assist homeowners who are facing hardships in paying for their mortgages.
A startling statistic: as of June 30, 1 of every 10 American homeowners is at least one month behind on their mortgage payment according to the Mortgage Brokers Association.
Most homeowners will be able to catch up and bring the mortgage current, but some will really struggle to do this.
You are probably tired of hearing all the negative news about the economy in general and real estate in particular. We know we are weary of the constant deluge of dreadful news so we wanted to share an idea that might be a good solution for you or someone you know.
One source to help for a homeowner who has fallen behind on paying the mortgage is a loan modification. This is how it works. The homeowner contacts their current lender, explains their present financial situation and attempts to re-negotiate the terms of their loan. For example, a 6.75% interest rate lowered to a 5% interest rate and the length of the loan extended from 30 years to 40 years.
That sounds easy enough; the homeowner calls their lender and working together, they construct an agreement to change the loan terms. It is not as simple as it sounds. There is a massive amount of paperwork needed from the homeowner for the lender to accomplish this task. Most consumers need someone to help them navigate the bureaucracy of the loan companies. Good news...there are organizations that can aid in the process and the best news is - the service is FREE.
There are two well-respected organizations specifically designed with the goal of keeping homeowners in their homes. One of the organizations is HOPE and their website is http://www.hopenow.com/hotline-aboutus.php. The other program is from NACA; for more information contact: https://www.naca.com/refinance/refinanceTenStep.jsp . Both programs are free for consumers.
Sadly, in the past unscrupulous people that took advantage of desperate homeowners. To stop this abuse, on October 11, 2009, Governor Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 94 making it unlawful for a licensed attorney or real estate agent to collect upfront money for negotiating a loan modification. It is legal to pay a person for a loan modification only after the restructure is complete.
The California Association of Realtors has written an article to educate and warn people about loan modifications and fraud, it is http://www.car.org/legal/real-estate-law/real-estate-resources/fraudwarn.... (This link is from a trustworthy site and is safe to open.)
The next column will be about another solution to avoiding a foreclosure. If you have questions, please e-mail them at Dollar-WiseDivas@Cox.net.
Nancy Clement is an east county Realtor®, mortgage broker and freelance writer and can be reached at 619-563-4184 or Dollar-wiseDivas@cox.net. Dawn Clement is a stay-at-home mother of three, a freelance writer, and creative shopper.