homeowner: 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)

homeowner: 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)

homeowner: 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)

homeowner: 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)

homeowner: Bank of America Listens, Updates Form - 05/31/12 06:58 AM

In April, Bank of America introduced some major changes to the way short sales are initiated. One of the most talked about changes is the new Third Party Authorization form.
On the form, Bank of America stated that only a licensed real estate professional would be allowed to do any work on their client's behalf. This caused quite a bit of concern for high-volume agents who have assistants who help with processing a file, and Bank of America got a lot of feedback about the new policy.
Last week, Bank of America amended the form.
The updated version includes an area … (3 comments)

homeowner: 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)

homeowner: Lenders Providing Large Cash Incentives to Homeowners for Short Sales - 02/27/12 03:46 AM
For awhile now, we’ve instructed agents on government incentives available to distressed homeowners who opt to do short sales. Such programs include the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program, which provides up to $3,000 to assist the borrower with relocation fees.
In recent news, major publications including USA TODAY and CNNMoney have spotlighted the incentives provided by banks. These incentive programs, which offer anywhere from around $2,000 to upwards of $35,000, are intended to provide homeowners with the resources and motivation to pursue a short sale.
As banks look to ramp up short sales, such incentives are becoming more frequent. JPMorgan … (2 comments)

homeowner: U.S. Government Settles with Banks on Robo-Signing Scandal - 02/10/12 10:38 AM
Yesterday, the Justice Department and 49 out of 50 state Attorneys General announced a settlement agreement with 5 of the nation's largest banks in the Robo-signing and Mortgage Service Fraud scandal that first came to light in late 2010.
The settlement, worth $25 billion dollars, was the largest government negotiated industry settlement since the Tobacco Industry settled in 1998.
In the Settlement, $5 billion is earmarked for $2000 payments to be distributed to borrowers who were illegally foreclosed on between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2011. The remaining $20 billion will be used to help homeowners who are currently in … (2 comments)

homeowner: 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)

homeowner: 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)

homeowner: 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)

homeowner: 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)

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Alex Charfen

Austin, TX

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Our news and views on the distressed property market and Real Estate in General.




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