Homeowners in Distress - How to Avoid Losing Control

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Platinum Properties

As part of my daily work routine I review the new foreclosure listings in my area, mainly the PREFORCLOSURE recordings, which is the lender's step that starts the foreclosure process in California. I contact the homeowners and furnish information on how a foreclosure works and what to expect next. This is somewhat tricky, as the three most typical reactions are:

  • Denying there is a problem with their mortgage. Over the next few months, the majority of these homes are lost to foreclosure. I sympathize with the owners for wishing the problem away, my experience from speaking with many owners in the same distress has taught me that avoiding the discussion does not promote a solution.
  • Owners are or claim to be in an active workout solution with their lender. Fortunately, a modest number of owners do manage to obtain a permanent loan modification. Others are denied for various reasons and presented with an immediate recording of the Notice of Trustee Sale.
  • Don't respond to mail and don't open the door. This is the most common distressed homeowner reaction. Facing foreclosure is an emotionally draining and embarrassing situation. Not maintaining contact with their lender and not discussing the facts with an experienced Realtor is the recipe for losing the little control a distressed homeowner still has over unfolding events.


What is a homeowner in preforeclosure or imminent mortgage default to do? Discuss the situation openly with an experienced Realtor. He or she may be able to analyze the owners' options from a different perspective and have alternatives and information available to aid owners make the best decision for theselves. Two heads are better than one! Realtors who have earned the SFR designation (Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource) have the necessary education and are a good choice. The selected real estate professional should have listed and sold a short sale home at least within the past 12 months.

To request a FREE copy of "How Does a Foreclosure Work?" and other related consumer information call Sylvia Jonathan at (714) 856-7003 or email sylvia@re4oc.com


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Sylvia Jonathan

Broker Associate, SFR
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