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Can Filing Bankruptcy Stop Foreclosure

Ever since the real estate bubble burst, the number of Americans facing foreclosure continues to rise. Prior to 2008, lenders were loaning 125% of the inflated real estate appraisals. The low market was based on the prices of homes to continue to rise and never go down. By now, everyone in the world knows how this ended. Many people got caught up taking out second mortgages on their family home to buy a new car, a boat, or taken an extravagant vacation. Everyone thought that if they got in trouble they could sell their house, pay off the notes and walk with a few bucks. Today, most homes are underwater and many of them are upside down on their first trust deed. Because of this, some bankruptcy attorneys figured out a way to use Chapter 13 bankruptcy to strip a lien on a second or third trust deed. No one wants to file for bankruptcy, but many times there are no other options. In today's economy it's becoming more and more apparent that filing bankruptcy might be the best option instead of the last resort. With today's real estate market in the tank, unless you're planning on walking from a piece of property, you probably won't be able to sell it to save your shirt. This is where filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy comes to the rescue. A Chapter 13, unlike a Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires the debtor and their bankruptcy attorney to come up with a feasible repayment plan that will last 3 to 5 years. The debts being paid on the payment plan are paid by priority, with unsecured debts getting paid last. If the value of the home drops beneath the amount of the first trust deed, the second or third trust deeds no longer are secured by the real estate, technically making them an unsecured debt. The bankruptcy attorney will file a motion with the court to strip the lien off of the second mortgage making it an unsecured debt and eligible for bankruptcy discharge. For many folks this has become a lifesaver. If someone is still employed and capable of making their house payment, they will no longer have to worry about losing it to foreclosure. The beauty of filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy is flexibility. The bankruptcy court understands that a lot can happen during the five-year payment time frame. For someone that runs into further financial trouble like medical issues or the loss of a job, they can contact their bankruptcy attorney and ask for the payments to be reduced temporarily or even permanently. If the person cannot continue completing the Chapter 13 payment plan, they can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and eliminate all their debt in the bankruptcy discharge. Having this flexibility allows an individual that is trying to do the right thing and save the family home from foreclosure, the ability to make changes during the process. Filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a complicated procedure and should not be attempted without the help of a bankruptcy attorney. Every situation is different and should be discussed with a bankruptcy attorney from the individuals region. Defaulted on Bankruptcy? If you have already filed bankruptcy and defaulted, and are now in danger of losing your home to foreclosure, not all hope is lost. We can work with the bankruptcy courts and trustees therein to provide an alternative to losing your home to Sheriff Sale. Once again, time is of the essence, so please contact us ASAP so we can begin to work on a solution today! Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7182253
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Selling Your Home Fast

Are you one of those home owners who wish to sell their homes as soon as possible? There is a meager chance that you might be able to do so. Yet, you might very well be able to do that if you find the right people. The big issue you will be dealing with while selling your house is how you can get cash faster than the usual selling procedure can bring you. Well, you don't need to worry about a thing. You still have a great option when it comes to selling your house fast: you can sell your home and receive the complete agreed cash shortly after striking a deal with a company that invests in real estate. There may be different reasons which can drive you to sell your home. Maybe the lack of maintenance has finally got to your home, and made it so ugly that you can't bear to live in it any more. And now that the repair costs are surely out of your control, the last thing you would want is to invest your savings on fixing your house. This really justifies your decision to sell your house fast to home investors for cash. It is these individuals who can deal with any type of property better than you can. Yet the lack of maintenance may not be the only reason behind the shabby look of your house. Its deterioration can also result from accidents such as natural disasters and fires, both of which come with heavy repairing costs. You may have also suffered from careless tenants who have damaged your home so bad that it needs a whole makeover. Whether you plan to sell your house fast due to any of these problems, a home investor is your best option. One of the best features of having to sell your house for cash to real estate investors is that the latter offer timely services to property owners in distress. If you are sinking in debts, these investors will offer you the means to dig yourself out of your financial crises. Once you have a deal with them, they can take care of all the legal matters associated with your property, and you will be free from worries for a long time. Even if you are not in a hurry to sell your property, just imagine the trouble you would have to go through to place your ads on-line or in the classifieds. And, do not expect anything but a handful of buyers outside your ugly home. Just like you, no one wants to live in a rundown home! Aside from that, the waiting will definitely bring you down. Some home owners finally give up and end up paying thousands of dollars to get their homes fixed. Yet, even then, selling their homes will only manage to get them half the market rate. This further builds up one's distress. Try to sell your house fast to a real estate investor, and you will be able to spare yourself from this nightmare. Most people hesitate when selling their home in distress because they feel it's worth nothing. These people need to see the true picture. If you possess such a property, then don't just sit back and wait for things to happen. All you need to do once you decide to sell your house is to contact real estate investors, and let them give you a reasonable amount for your property
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Homeowners Hit by Sandy May Save Thousands

The fact that Hurricane Sandy was downgraded to a "Post-Tropical Cyclone" before it made landfall on the East Coast will save homeowners potentially thousands of dollars in home insurance deductibles. Men stand near a destroyed home in Seagate, New York. (REUTERS/Adrees Latif)New Jersey's Department of Banking and Insurance Acting Commissioner Ken Kobylowski communicated that to the insurance industry Tuesday night and New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the same Thursday morning. "Homeowners should not have to pay hurricane deductibles for damage caused by the storm and insurers should understand the Department of Financial Services will be monitoring how claims are handled," Governor Cuomo said in a release.  (Read More: Sandy's Economic Cost: Up to $50 Billion and Counting)   How is a hurricane deductible different from your basic homeowner policy deductible? It is based on a percentage of your property's insured value, and it can be up to 5 percent. So let's say your home is insured for $300,000. That's a $15,000 deductible, which is likely far higher than your regular deductible. The average homeowner deductible is between $500 and $1000. "We have informed the insurance industry that hurricane deductibles are not triggered because Sandy did not have sustained hurricane-force winds when it made land in New York," noted NY's Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky in the release. "We will be working with insurers to help them respond as quickly as possible to homeowners who need to file claims. And we will be sending our mobile command center to hard hit areas to help consumers with insurance questions and problems." (Read More: Trains Roll, but Northeast Struggles Back From Sandy.) There is very specific language in homeowner insurance policies in terms of hurricane deductibles. Usually the storm has to reach specific wind speeds to trigger the deductible. A state governor couldn't necessarily override that private contract.   "The way the insurers look at it is that this is a private contract between the insurer and the policy holder, and the policy as written is going to be enforced," noted Michael Barry of the Insurance Information Institute. "In this case Sandy does not appear to have reached the threshold to activate the hurricane deductible." The insurance companies probably didn't need Governor Cuomo's directive as such, since they were already doing their own assessments immediately following the storm.  (Read More: For Builders, the Storm Is Good for Business) "We have done a review of the best available National Weather Service data and compared that to our language, and we have determined that the hurricane deductible will not apply in those states," said State Farm spokesman Phil Supple. As for how much the difference in the deductibles will cost the nation's insurance companies, that is impossible to calculate at this point, as the companies are still waiting to get in to the hardest hit areas and tally the damage. It is also, as Supple added, "moot" to do any figuring, as they higher deductible clearly doesn't apply.
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A hurdle for short sales

A growing number of short sellers in San Diego County are seeing their deals suddenly fall apart and cash bonuses disappear because the companies that accept and manage borrowers’ mortgage payments every month — like Citi, Chase and mainly Bank of America — are selling off the servicing rights to those loans to smaller companies for financial reasons.  Servicing transfers or releases, which don’t affect the investors who own those mortgages, are nothing new. Realtors say they’ve always been around, spiked during the housing boom and have been occurring infrequently in more recent years.  They’ve suddenly spiked again, not surprisingly because servicing transfers can be a lucrative, cash-driven business for big-name lenders as well as for the small firms that buy up those rights.  How it works: Mortgage servicers are companies to which you send your mortgage payments and call if you have questions on your loan. When your loan is originated, they get a small interest of that for monitoring whether borrowers are in fact paying on time. Mortgage companies typically get 25 basis points for each home loan, which translates to $500 a year on a $200,000 mortgage,based on details from top investment publication Seeking Alpha.  Servicing rights can either be retained or they can be sold to other companies for cash.  In Bank of America’s case, they’ve been focused on selling, especially “delinquent loans needing extra attention, largely to smaller companies who specialize in that type of high-touch servicing,” said bank spokesman Richard Simon, who acknowledged that selling has increased since the start of the year.  Service releases have made sense for Bank of America, which was dethroned by J.P. Morgan Chase as the nation’s biggest bank last year, for two key reasons. One, they want to offload “legacy mortgage issues” from the acquisition of loans from the now-defunct Countrywide, and two, the demand for buying servicing rights has become “robust,” Simon added. The gains realized by companies like Bank of America with such sales have meant potential losses in time, effort and money for those involved in the short sale process.  Some consumers who had just begun or were in the middle of short sales and had their servicers change are now having to start from scratch with the new company if they want to get the deal done, real estate pros say. How this typically unfolds: The short sale is in full swing, a borrower suddenly gets a letter stating the servicer is set to change in a couple of weeks, and all the borrower can do is wait until the change occurs.  The change, which can tack on an extra four to six weeks to an already lengthy short sale, can jeopardize deals with prospective buyers because short sale agreements can expire and patience from buyers tend to wear.  Such changes also have mucked up cash incentives promised to homeowners who agree to complete short sales. When the servicer changes, it’s more likely than not that the new servicer will not carry through with awarding the incentive, which can mean the loss of thousands to tens of thousands of dollars that could help struggling homeowners, Ruhl said.  “The $15,000 to $20,000 pushes them over the fence” of doing a short sale, said Ruhl, who added that some potential short sellers still hold out hope for a loan modification. “They’re a month into it and then they find out it’s being service released … They don’t get it (cash incentive.)”  How can a borrower protect themselves from a service release jeopardizing their short sale?  Ask lenders if there are plans for a service release. They’re required to tell you, Ruhl said. Also, this way, you’ll know how much time you may have to close the deal.
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Foreclosure Facts

These Facts apply to New York & New Jersey, each state follows different procedures 

1. The Defendant (borrower or property owner) misses several mortgage payments - usually 2-4 payments. 2. The Plaintiff (Lender, Bank, or Creditor) files Notice of Default or Lis Pendens with the Supreme Court and that information is passed to the county offices. 3. Judicial Foreclosure State which means the court approves the sale and the Plaintiff gives notice to the defendant. If the response is inadequate and the required loan payment and fees are not paid, the Plaintiff goes to court for Auction Sale Approval. This is commonly known as a Sheriff's Sale or Sheriff's Auction sale. 4. Once the sale is scheduled, it must be publicly advertised in two county newspapers for four consecutive weeks, and it must also be posted on the property. 5. The Plaintiff must notify the Defendant at least 10 days prior to the sale. In most cases, Defendants are allowed two adjournments to try to rectify the pending foreclosure. 6. At the Sheriff's Sale, the property is sold to the highest live bidder, and a 20% deposit is by cash, certified or bank check. The balance is due in 30 days. 7. After the Sheriff's Sale, the Defendant has 10 days to redeem the property. If the property is not redeemed (right of redemption), the Winning Bidder owns the property. If the property is not vacant, the new owner may have to obtain a Writ of Possession to have the occupants evicted. 8. If the Foreclosure Auction does not pay the loan and fees in full, The Plaintiff can file a deficiency judgment for the remainder of the loan.   Every homeowner's situation is unique. A plan that worked for someone else may not be best suited to your own needs. There is no "one size fits all" solution; however, our goal is to assist you personally and formulate a plan that works for you - NOT the bank or mortgage company. Regardless of what situation you're currently facing. In order for us to better serve you, please help us to understand your current situation. Please contact us or fill out the form below:
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Sales of Existing U.S. Homes Rise Unexpectedly: Economy

Sales of previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly climbed in October, showing record-lowmortgage rates are helping spur the world’s largest economy. Purchases of existing houses increased 2.1 percent to a 4.79 million annual rate, exceeding the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed today in Washington. Property values rose over the past 12 months by the most in seven years as inventories dropped to the lowest level in almost a decade. Enlarge image Confidence among homebuilders unexpectedly climbed in November to a six-year high, propelled by the biggest jump in sales in a decade. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of builder confidence increased to 46, the highest level since May 2006, from 41 in October, according to the Washington-based group. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg 24:27 Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke speaks about the U.S. housing market, economy and central bank monetary policy. Bernanke, speaking in Atlanta, says the Fed will use its policy tools to speed economic growth and a recovery in housing. (Source: Bloomberg) Gains in home prices are boosting consumer finances and sentiment, which in turn are underpinning the household spending that accounts for about 70 percent of the economy. Companies such as Lowe’s Cos. (LOW) are among those saying the outlook is improving as the market recovers from its worst slump since the Great Depression and foreclosures are whittled down. “Housing’s cheap, borrowing is cheap and, if you can get credit, it’s a great time to buy,” said Ward McCarthy, chief financial economist at Jefferies & Co. Inc. in New York, who projected a 4.8 million annual rate for October sales. “We’re fighting our way through distressed-property sales.” Another report today showed homebuilder confidence climbed in November to a six-year high, propelled by the biggest jump in sales in a decade. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo sentiment gauge increased to 46, the highest level since May 2006, from 41 in October, according to the Washington-based group. Shares Rise Stocks rose, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index notching its biggest advance in two months, amid the better-than- projected data ad growing optimism that President Barack Obama will reach a compromise with Congress that will avert the fiscal cliff of tax increases and budget cuts slated to take effect next year. The 500 Index climbed 2 percent to 1,386.89 the close in New York. The S&P Supercomposite Homebuilder Index increased 0.9 percent. A housing turnaround is also taking place in other parts of the globe. Home sellers in London increased asking prices in November for a third month as the city’s wealthiest areas continued to lure overseas buyers, Rightmove Plc said today. Prices in the U.K. capital increased 1.2 percent to an average 483,709 pounds ($769,600), the operator of Britain’s biggest property website said. The median forecast of 77 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 4.74 million rate of U.S. existing-home sales. Estimates ranged from 4.5 million to 5.05 million. September’s pace was revised to 4.69 million from a previously reported 4.75 million. Median Price The median price of an existing home climbed 11.1 percent to $178,600 from October 2011, today’s report showed. The increase was the biggest year-over-year gain since November 2005 and reflected a pickup in demand for more expensive properties, the group said. “Housing prices have bottomed now on a national basis, and in some markets you are seeing some good appreciation,” Robert Niblock, chief executive officer of Lowe’s, the second-largest U.S. home-improvement retailer, said in a telephone interview today from the company’s headquarters in Mooresville, North Carolina. “People are going to feel better about spending on their homes believing that in the future they’re going to be worth the same or more than what they are today.” Lowe’s today reported fiscal third-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates, sending shares up by the most in more than three years. Inventory Shrinks The number of previously owned homes on the market decreased 1.4 percent to 2.14 million, the fewest since December 2002. At the current sales pace, it would take 5.4 months to sell those houses, the least since February 2006, and down from 5.6 months at the end of September. Sales of existing single-family homes increased 1.9 percent to an annual rate of 4.22 million. Purchases of multifamily properties -- including condominiums -- rose to a 570,000 pace, the most since January 2011, from 550,000. Purchases climbed in three of the four regions, reflecting a 4.4 percent increase in the West, a 2.1 percent gain in the South and a 1.8 percent rise in the Midwest. Demand fell 1.7 percent in the Northeast as superstorm Sandy disrupted the market, the agents’ group said. “We anticipate more impact to be showing up in November and December,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said in a news conference as the figures were released. Existing-home sales have improved from a low of a 3.39 million annual rate in July 2010, climbing to a two-year high 4.83 million pace in August. In the buildup to the subprime lending collapse and recession, purchases reached a peak of 7.25 million in September 2005. Less Distressed Home prices are recovering as distressed property makes up a smaller share of the market and purchases shift toward short sales rather than foreclosures, which are more deeply discounted, according to economists at Morgan Stanley. Distressed properties made up 24 percent of the market last month, down from 28 percent a year earlier. Short sales, in which a lender agrees to a transaction for less than the balance of the mortgage, accounted for 12 percent of the market last month, the same as foreclosures. The latter made up about 17 percent of the market a year ago, Ted Wieseman, a Morgan Stanley economist in New York, said in a research note. Cheaper borrowing costs will probably continue to fuel demand for those able to get financing. The average rate on a 30-year, fixed mortgage declined to 3.34 percent last week, the lowest in data going back to 1972, according to McLean, Virginia-based Freddie Mac. Fed Action The drop in financing costs indicates efforts by Federal Reserve policy makers are paying off. The central bank is pressing ahead with record easing, including a plan to buy $40 billion a month of mortgage-backed securities, intending to spur growth and reduce a 7.9 percent unemployment rate. “Continued weakness in housing -- reflected in falling prices, low rates of new construction, and historic levels of foreclosure -- has proved a powerful headwind to recovery,” Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said last week. “It is encouraging, therefore, that we are seeing signs of improvement in the housing market in most parts of the country.” He has resorted to unorthodox policies six years after home prices started a plunge that knocked the economy into the longest recession since the 1930s. Strict lending rules remain an obstacle to an even stronger rebound in residential real estate, Bernanke said. While tighter credit standards after a collapse in the subprime mortgage market were appropriate, “it seems likely at this point that the pendulum has swung too far the other way, and that overly tight lending standards may now be preventing creditworthy borrowers from buying homes, thereby slowing the revival in housing and impeding the economic recovery,” Bernanke said.
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