This woman called me, clearly in distress. She's losing her house that she felt she shouldn't have bought in the first place. She saw me on HGTV's "What's my house worth" and was reminded that she wanted to talk to me.
NEGATIVE AMORTIZATION (Mistake #1)
When she was looking to buy a house, using money from her 401K as a downpayment, she fell in love with a house. Three times she was turned down by lenders who told her that with her income, she couldn't qualify for a loan. But a third lender told her that she can: with a negative amortization loan.
That was three years ago. When her monthly payments started rising, she couldn't afford to make the payments and stopped altogether.
OWNER TRIED TO HANDLE NEGOTIATION by herself (Mistake #2)
She said she talked with the lender numerous times, that her case was under review. She made numerous phone calls to the bank and was told the same thing. At no time was she informed she would receive a Notice of Default soon. She made the tax payments, and hoped for the best.
She asked "several" people what to do, but never asked her realtor.
OWNER MOVED OUT (Mistake #3)
She moved out while she was negotiating directly with the bank, thinking that she needed to vacate because she wasn't making her payments. But she continued to talk with the lenders.
DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT NOTICE of DEFAULT (Mistake #4)
By the time she called me about what she can do, I asked her if she received Notices of Default or a Trustee Sale. At first she said she hasn't received any notices (her mail was supposed to have been forwarded to her at her new address).
Then she went to the house ---- and there they were. She did, in fact, receive both a Notice of Default AND a Notice of Trustee Sale. She had no idea they were there considering that the bank had been corresponding with her with letter sent to her forwarding address.
IS IT TOO LATE TO DO A LOAN MODIFICATION? SHORT SALE?
When she called them to protest, and to also tell them she would like to try for a loan modification (as she had tried to do all along), and that if that doesn't work, she'll try to do a short sale, she was told "It's too late. The property had already foreclosed on April 27, and that it would go to auction soon." She was told to go to the website www.IndyMac.com and check out the REO lists --- it's not there. Then she was told it's going to auction and it will be posted later.
Not having seen all her paperwork and notices, I advised her to speak to my company's loan modification specialist to review the documentation and to verify whether or not there is a way to postpone the auction.
However, she cancelled the appointment. She said she is resigned to having her home foreclosed.
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