Help!, I'm Losing My Home?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 Broker - Realtor

74 Year old senior. . Terrified about losing her home. . .

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) does not get these kind of letters. . we do!

Yet they hold the key to help ALL REALTORS do SHORT SALES in a uniform and dignified way.

They have the power to . . but they don't want to use it!


The Question:


i am a senior (74) recently widowed, living in an adult community with high hoa fees (421 mo) +a $1073. mo. mortgage.  my husbands lengthy illness has left me almost destitute and the only thing that was keeping me afloat was my job, which was terminated 8 months go.  i am now living on social security and unemployment, which will be running out in the next 3 months.  i have a mortgage of $146K+ and equity line of $31K +2 credit debts of 10,000 and 8000.  The house is probably devalued due to the economy - from approximately $190K to about $160.  I've talked to the bank re my mortgage but they can only lower it so much and when I add the huge hoa fees, it is undoable.
I was told that short sale may be my best option.  no prospects for gainful employment or an increase in $ - my other assets are 401K of about $9000 and approx. $2000 in savings.  I am terrified I will have to divest myself of these in bankruptcy or foreclosure.  Do you know if deed in lieu of foreclosure is any better than short sale?

M*****  from
Beaufort County, South Carolina 

My Answer:

Dear M******:

Unfortunately, you do not have too many options at this point. .
short sale indeed may be your best option at this point but, of course a complete financial assessment should be done by a professional to advice you properly. 
Whatever you do, my advice is not to dip in your savings or create more debt for you in an attempt to stop the inevitable.

Millions of people in similar situations like you have done so and completely ruined the chances to recuperate from a futile attempt to preserve the undeniable. .
It is breaking families w/ Divorce. . Bankruptcy. . their 401K's are being decimated.
Your 401K is not a security note for your mortgage. .the house is the only thing that the bank is entitled to.
All of these can be avoided with a short sale. .if you qualify.
Just remember. . 
You are losing a HOUSE.. . not a home!
No one can  take your home away from you!
I will give your name to someone reputable from my organization and see how they can help you on Monday




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Barbara Charlton
inactive - license is on ice with State of MN - Lakeville, MN

This just breaks your heart. It's often the seniors who fall through the cracks. I'm glad she reached out to you. We have to be the front line to help these folks.

Nov 29, 2009 09:54 PM #1
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder, with thousands of floor plans and almost unlimited customization available! - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Thank you for doing all you can to help her.

Nov 29, 2009 10:02 PM #2
Marzena Melby
Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty - Richfield, MN
Realtor, Twin Cities Minnesota Real Estate

In a case like this, hardship is easy to show, therefore your seller will qualify.  However, there are situations where clients may not qualify.

Nov 29, 2009 10:18 PM #3
Amy Hahn
Pine Knoll Shores Realty - Morehead City, NC
Realtor/Broker - Crystal Coast, NC

This is unfortunately all too common these days. Hopefully, she will qualify and have the opportunity to get back on her feet. 

I Love this... "Just remember. . 
You are losing a HOUSE.. . not a home!
No one can  take your home away from you!"

Nov 29, 2009 10:44 PM #4
Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
Your Realtor Down the Shore!

I agree, NAR should be doing so much more.  They should be advocates for people in this situation, by demanding some uniformity.  I'm glad that couple reached out to a caring REALTOR like you!  

Nov 29, 2009 10:46 PM #5
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

Fernando - I agree, NAR can do more to provide assistance to those in trouble, makes more sense to me than it's campaign to get more buyers with it's emphasis on how a house is an investment that is almost sure to grow.

Nov 30, 2009 05:32 AM #6
Emcee M. Arah
Remax Excellence - Silver Spring, MD - Silver Spring, MD
Realtor w/Architectural Dimension, CRS, CDPE, CIAS

You can't help but feel the most upset about senior citizens in these situations with no way out. Just think...  They have given their entire lives - paying taxes, paying social security, paying, paying, paying.  Only to be repaid by losing their house.  In the end, we want to be the ones giving hope, not dashing it across the rocks. It really is true that seniors and children always get the short end of the stick. Sad but true.


Nov 30, 2009 11:38 PM #7
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Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group

301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA
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