alex charfen: The Luxury Home Opportunity - 07/16/12 05:08 AM

Since the beginning of the housing market crisis, the most common image in Americans' heads of a foreclosed property exhibited a house that was owned by a middle-class family struggling to make ends meet. However, there is a rapidly growing segment of homes that are struggling as well... luxury homes.
In the latest CDPE Member Broadcast, Alex Charfen discussed the growing number of homes worth over $1 million that are going into the foreclosure process. According to RealtyTrac, In 2007 there were 5,632 homes in foreclosure—just 0.5% of all foreclosure activity. That number jumped 17% higher to just over 33,000 in … (3 comments)

alex charfen: Review Deadline Extended for Wrongful Foreclosures - 07/12/12 07:23 AM

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System have extended the deadline for Independent Foreclosure Review to September 30th.
If you were affected by a mishandled foreclosure between January 2009 and December 2010, there is hope. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Reserve Board have now extended the Independent Foreclosure Review deadline from its previous date of July 31, 2012.
If you are eligible, remediation may included lump sump payments, suspension or rescission of a foreclosure, a loan modification or other loss mitigation assistance of up to $500-$125,000. If you haven't taken advantage of … (1 comments)

alex charfen: Short Sale vs. Foreclosure: Who Wins? - 07/06/12 05:21 AM

One of the most frequent questions we're asked is if short sales are essentially the same thing as a foreclosure, when it comes to the future of the consumer. The answer is...ABSOLUTELY NOT!
When it comes to credit reporting, a short sale will have a much less catastrophic effect than a foreclosure. As of right now, short sales are not listed as "short sale" on your credit report, but as paid as agreed, paid as negotiated, or paid for less than the original amount.
Also, If you are considered current with a short sale, you still have the ability to apply … (0 comments)

alex charfen: Is Buying a Home Cheaper than Renting? - 07/03/12 08:11 AM

Last month, the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University released their State of the Nation's Housing report for 2012, which revealed a growing trend in the housing market.
From 1973 to 2008, it was cheaper on a monthly basis to rent instead own a home. However, since 2008 the affordability of owning a home has continued to decline and is actually cheaper now than renting.
Watch Alex Charfen's latest video blog to learn more about this trend in the housing market.
If you're interested in learning more about short sales, you can download this FREE report from CDPE by … (3 comments)

alex charfen: Bank of America Announces New Pilot Program - 04/04/12 03:21 AM

Last month, Bank of America announced a pilot program that will provide some distressed property homeowners with a new foreclosure alternative. This new "Mortgage to Lease" program will allow homeowners facing foreclosure to remain in their homes by converting from home ownership to rental.
In this program, participating homeowners will transfer their home titles to Bank of America for forgiveness of all outstanding mortgage debt. Then Bank of America will lease the home to the former homeowner for up to three years at a rental price less than their mortgage payments, making payments affordable. After the three-year rental period, Bank of … (1 comments)

alex charfen: ‘Success is never owned, it is only rented; and the rent is due every day.’ - 02/28/12 04:14 AM

I just finished reading "Take the Stairs" by my good friend Rory Vaden, which recently hit these bestseller lists: #1 on Amazon worldwide
#1 on Barnes and Noble all categories
#1 on USA Today business
#1 on Wall Street Journal hardcover business
#2 on New York Times hardcover
Finally someone has convincingly and definitively taken on the topic of discipline and how it is the single most important factor in your success!
The title of today’s blog post comes from Rory’s book, and it reminds me of what Rick Lara, my high school speech coach, used to say – “You’re only … (1 comments)

alex charfen: Rescue Script to Uncover Distressed Property Leads - 02/03/12 09:31 AM

Current studies show that over 6 million homeowners in the country are potentially facing foreclosure. However, initiating the conversation to find out if a homeowner needs your services can sometimes be uncomfortable or even offensive. That’s why we have a refined a script that works well in any situation, whether you are on the phone or in person, and we call that script the “Distressed Property Rescue Script.”
It’s simple, effective and most importantly it makes homeowners feel comfortable to open up about their situation. This is not a sales call, or a referral call; it’s a rescue call.
Here’s the … (4 comments)

alex charfen: Mortgage Modification Scams Rampant in 2011 - 01/19/12 08:59 AM

Mortgage modification scams made the list of the Better Business Bureau's Top Scams of 2011, with more than 20,000 complaints. Sadly, there are countless organizations out there preying on desperate homeowners.
That's why trained, qualified real estate agents are needed now more than ever. The nationwide network of more than 35,000 CDPE-designated agents has helped hundreds of thousands of homeowners find a dignified solution in difficult times.
But distressed homeowners aren't the only ones being targeted. Unfortunately, even well intentioned agents have been caught up in increasingly sophisticated mortgage fraud scams.
Don't let it happen to you! Join Alex Charfen for … (1 comments)

alex charfen: Fannie Follows Freddie's Lead in Extending Forbearance Period for Unemployed - 01/17/12 09:17 AM

Fannie Mae revealed its new Unemployment Forbearance Program, which mortgage servicers are required to implement by March 1 for all Fannie Mae-owned and backed loans.
Servicers can now provide up to six months of relief for eligible unemployed borrowers without Fannie's review and approval. Borrowers may also apply for an additional six months of forbearance, for a total of 12 months.
Fannie's announcement follows a similar move by Freddie Mac.
To find out if your loan is backed by either GSE, use the "Fannie Mae Loan Lookup" or "Freddie Mac Loan Lookup" tools on the Useful Links section of our website. … (1 comments)

alex charfen: Freddie Mac Announces Up to 12-Month Forbearance for Unemployed - 01/17/12 03:32 AM
Effective Feb. 1, Freddie Mac is giving mortgage servicers expanded authority to provide six months of forbearance to unemployed mortgage holders without prior approval, and an additional six months (12 months total) with prior approval. This new policy essentially doubles the previously offered forbearance period. It's important to note: This applies to Freddie Mac-owned or guaranteed loans only. There is ACTION required. The homeowner must contact the servicer to request the forbearance. Delinquent borrowers in an existing short-term forbearance plan can be evaluated for an extended forbearance term under the new policy. Again, homeowners will need to contact their servicer to … (0 comments)

alex charfen: Bank of America Shrinks Window for Short Sale Backup Offers - 01/11/12 10:01 AM

In an effort to shorten overall cycle times, Bank of America has reduced the window for submitting a backup offer on a short sale from 14 days to eight days after the initial offer becomes invalid. Once a backup offer becomes necessary: Contact your short sale specialist immediately to let him or her know you have a backup offer to submit. Within eight calendar days, resubmit the listing data, submit the short sale offer, and upload the offer documents and supporting documents. Note: All backup offers will require approval, regardless of similarities to the previous offer. If no backup offer … (4 comments)

alex charfen: Federal Reserve Recommends Short Sales Among Solutions to Housing Crisis - 01/06/12 09:53 AM
On Jan. 4, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sent a letter and white paper to Congress outlining his insights and recommendations on restoring the health of the U.S. housing market. Among the key findings on current market conditions: Housing prices remain 33% below their early 2006 peak Currently, 1 in 5 mortgage holders are underwater (12 million homeowners) In states with the price declines (i.e. Nevada, Arizona and Florida) roughly half of all mortgage borrowers are underwater on their loans The number of properties currently in the foreclosure process is more than four times larger than the number of properties in … (0 comments)

alex charfen: Bank of America Broadcast offers Glimpse into Future of Short Sales - 11/02/11 04:44 AM
When the book is written on how our country emerged from the foreclosure crisis, chances are that Bank of America’s broadcast from the Charfen Institute studio last week will be cited among the turning points. If any of you missed my interview with Bob Hora, Senior Vice President of Mortgage Servicing at Bank of America Home Loans, you can click here to view the broadcast in its entirety.
As the nation’s largest loan servicer, Bank of America’s influence cannot be underestimated. And with 35,000 real estate agents having been trained in the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) curriculum, the influence of … (2 comments)

alex charfen: HARP 2.0: What it is; What it isn't - 10/26/11 04:53 AM
 
When the Obama Administration announced a series of changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) early this week, our phones started ringing with inquiries from the media for our input concerning the impact. And we had even more questions about HARP during our CDPEAdvanced Broadcast this afternoon.
The new HARP is by no means a game changer, but the media’s attention will spark questions from your clients. Your ability to offer an informed perspective is critical to the value you bring to the relationship.
Here’s essentially what we’ve had to say about the revamped government mortgage refinancing program:
HARP … (0 comments)

alex charfen: 20th Anniversary STAR POWER ANNUAL CONFERENCE - 06/26/09 01:48 AM
Howard Brinton's STAR POWER annual conference is a "must-attend" for real estate professionals today. Without Howard's friendship and guidance, Cadey and I - and the CDPE - would not be where we are today. Event details: Wednesday July 29 - Saturday August 1; Hyatt Convention Center Downtown - Denver, CO. For more information, visit: www.starpowerconference.com. I look forward to seeing you there! In today's market, it's important to remain educated on issues affecting homeowners and the solutions you can provide, including short sales and foreclosure prevention.
(1 comments)

 
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Alex Charfen

Austin, TX

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