The recent announcement by President Obama of incentives to homeowners of $1,500 for selling their home in a short sale is just further evidence that lenders are unwilling or unable to complete realistic loan modifications. The President is realizing that lenders would rather take a short sale loss and move on than deal with modifications.
Many homeowners get emotionally attached to their homes, but they need to be realistic. If you are in a position where you cannot afford the existing payment and are severely behind in payments, it is unlikely a loan modification is going to help. With only 66,000 modifications in 2009 under the Obama HAM program nationwide, it seems unlikely that anything is going to get better.
Once homeowners realize that they may not be able to save their home and realistically think about moving on, they can properly evaluate all possible options. Many homeowners end up losing their homes during a modification review and end up with personal liability on 2nd or 3rd mortgages. Bankruptcy can be a useful tool to resolve some of these issues. It can be used to remove 2nd liens and bring a homeowner current on back owed payments.
The other options are short sales or deeds in lieu of foreclosure. Homeowners should consult with a local real estate or bankruptcy lawyer to be sure they are protecting their finances moving forward.
Many homeowners are pounding their heads against a wall trying to get lenders to work to get them current or give them some form of loan modification. Many of these homeowners have been taking out of credit cards, personal loans, or other sources just to survive. However, many lenders look at large amounts of other debt negatively when considering your total debt to income ratio in a modification. These homeowners don’t realize that a loan modification is not going to suddenly save them from the brink.
Often times a bankruptcy filing is a better option. It can eliminate the other credit card debts, personal loans, 2nd mortgages, and 3rd mortgages. It all depends upon the type of filing under what chapter of the Bankruptcy Code, but it is even possible to force principal reduction in some cases. Although there have been attempts at federal legislation over the last year to allow bankruptcy judges to force modification of terms of mortgages on principal residences, they are always defeated. There are ways to eliminate 2nd mortgages even on principal residences in some cases.
Homeowners needs to look at all their options and not delaying because your lender will move a foreclosure forward no matter how seemingly nice them seem on the phone.
For more information, contact us or view our website.
Many people question whether they should save money by filing their own bankruptcy case or hiring a petition preparer or other online source that puts the forms together. Bankruptcy is a federal court case that can have long term implications on a person’s credit, finances, and their life in general. People pay for health insurance and pay to see a doctor when anything might affect their health long term, yet they fail to seek expert advice when it comes to their financial health.
Many of our cases come from people who did their case on their own and now have to pay significant fees for us to correct what was done improperly in the first place. The bankruptcy code is a complex set of laws and procedural rules, many that vary by court location with local rules. Many petition preparers do not have access to the local forms that need to be filed. Petition preparers or doing it yourself does not give you the proper guidance and legal review of which bankruptcy case is best for you, how to prepare for bankruptcy, how to list assets and debts, how to go through the process, which exemptions to claim, how to save your home or other assets, and how to minimize the long term impacts. If you fail to properly file the required forms, including required local forms, the court can dismiss your case. At that point, you would have to pay the filing fee again to refile and have lost weeks or months that your case could have been moving forward.
If you fail to list a debt, you can still have liability for it after the case. Our firm runs checks to be sure we are aware of all debt that may be out there, even some that you may have forgotten about or didn’t even know was there.
Bottom line, be sure to investigate all the possible consequences before deciding to do your own bankruptcy. It may sound better to save the money and not get expert advice, but realize that you are eliminating all kinds of debt, so paying a little up front to be sure you are protected and getting rid of hundreds or thousands of dollars a month in payments can be worth the investment.
For more information, go to our website or call for a free consultation 888-881-6591.
The Obama administration released figures at the end of last week indicating that only 32,000 homeowners have entered into final loan modifications under the HAM program this year. That is out of the several million homeowners that are likely eligible. These results show that lenders are slow or unwilling to finalize modifications to save homeowners. Lenders are putting homeowners in 3 month trial plans that are lasting 6 months and not leading to final modifications.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can result in elimination of 2nd mortgages and other debts and allowing homeowners to keep their homes. A Chapter 7 can still allow homeowners to keep their homes as well through reaffirmation agreements. The additional bonus is that the bankruptcy puts a stop on foreclosure or eviction proceedings, resulting in additional time for the banks to get their acts together and start finalizing modifications. Homeowners without this protection are relying on lenders telling them they will hold off on selling the home, but that is not a legally binding agreement. I get new clients who tell me their lender said they were working with them and not to worry, only to get an eviction notice stating their home has already been sold.
Now is the time to take action. Do not rely on a customer service rep telling you not to worry, they won’t sell your house, because they will. You will never hear from that person again and they are not about to help you find a new place to live.
For a free consultation with an actual attorney and not a paralegal or assistant, call us today. 888-881-6591.