I keep telling myself.."This is the last post I'll write about short sales"... but I keep coming back to the same old story and that's disappointment.
I moved into this brand new neighborhood. I got to see the trees grow from twigs to full grown logs. The neighborhood was a nice friendly place for family values and there wasn't many homes for sale.
While we lived there I continued to learn about the nieghborhood and my knowledge grew to the point where today I've listed and sold quite a few homes there over that time.
I also do extensively farm the area with my bi-monthly market reports....keeping the neighborhood informed of our ever changing market. The information I supply is "free" and there is never an obligation if you call me with general questions and I even make appointments to give homeowners a consultation which is always free of charge. Sometimes people just call me to thank me for sending the information. They always tell me how nice it is to be able to keep the information and compare it to the previous one sent out. But I do receive many calls to come by and list their homes as well.
About a month ago I received a call from a homeowner who lives in the same neighborhood. There was the voice of a young girl on the other line asking me if I could help her parents out of a bind. The first thing I asked her was why she was calling me instead of her parents. You see they didn't speak much English and were of latin decent. She asked me if that would be a problem and of course I said not at all.
Their problem was that their home was on a course to foreclosure destruction and they wanted to know if I could list their home and sell it as a short sale.They were receiving my market reports for a long time and thought they could put their trust in me. It seems I've been getting more and more of these calls by the day and figured that one more wouldn't be a problem but I let them know that although I've been through this before.....there were no guarantees. They said that they weren't living in the property and would have to come in from Orlando and would be calling me the following week to set up an appointment. I never did hear back from them and then they called me last week and wanted to meet with me this past Saturday. They even asked me to email them all of the paperwork so they could read it and sign it and hand it to me at the house.
I wanted to ask a few preliminary questions just so I knew what I would be getting myself into.They told me they were already 4 payments behind which didn't help matters and that both loans were with the same bank. I guess you could say that was about the most positive news I could get. They also told me that they were already approved for a short sale with the bank and had sent in the banks short sale package. As they continued to giving me information I was seeking...it was looking more bleak but I still agreed to meet with them to see if there was any solution I could come up with.
We met Saturday afternoon at the home and they seemed to be a really nice family. The husband and wife and their three children and another relative....even though the parents didn't speak English and the kids were there to help....we were communicating and I knew they were fully aware of what I was going to tell them. I guess you could say I saw a sparkle in their eyes. But before I was past the first room of the home I was inspecting and noticed that just about the whole ceiling was covered with brown spot water stains and there was this big hole with exposed bathroom pipes. Even though I'm not a licensed contractor I knew exactly what the problem was. I previewed the rest of the home and most of it was in fair condition.
I was thinking..."How much worse could this get?" Well it did get pretty bad once we stood there and I started to explain what will most likely happen in a short sale situation. I also explained to them that even though they were approved by the bank for a short sale and even if we have a contract it still would be at least a minimum of 90 days or even more before we would know the outcome. I also let them know that this would not stop the foreclosure process unless they were able to get an extension which usually runs 45-60 days. I let them know that most likely they would be served by an attorney very shortly.
All of a sudden they tell me that they just got served and showed me the papers. I told them they had a few choices. They could hire an attorney to go to court and get an extension or try it themselves. They needed to pay an attorney to get them this extension and I gave an idea of what the costs could be.
But even far beyond that problem was that they told me that they were now 5 payments late. This wasn't making me feel any better. I let them know that they only had 15 days of the 20 days notice to answer the court and if they didn't they could kiss the home goodbye. I wanted to know why they waited to call me. They told me they had a tenant living in the premises and they were being really nasty about letting them try to get the home sold so they needed to get the tenant out first. I was also wondering about all the paperwork they sent the bank. Was it lost?... Did they ever receive it? Their answer was exactly what I told them happens a lot. They tried to mail it three times and then call the bank to confirm that theyv'e received it and each time were told that nothing was on file.
Finally after they tried three times to get confirmation.... they sent it out registered mail with proof of delivery and still were told that even though they had proof it was delivered...the bank didn't have it. I can't tell you how much time I spend just chasing the paperwork. I try to save time.
Time is the most important part of the short sale. If you run our of time then you might as well just pack your bags.This was making me really angry...but I can only go by what these people were telling me. There's always another side to the story but this sounded way too familiar to me.
Now I knew why they didn't contact me in April because if they did..maybe I had time to fix this problem.
Now my back was up against the wall...what could I do now? There was no time and even if they get the extension....60 days would be a long shot without even knowing if we'd get an offer in time. My last resort was to ask them if they tried to do a deed in lieu. They told me the bank would not approve one.They were told of this by an attorney in Orlando...but they could only afford to pay $30 dollars for a half hour consultation. Apparently I gave them more information than their legal consultation.
If only I knew earlier...maybe I could have helped.
My only other idea was a long shot. Have them go down to the courthouse tomorrow morning and ask for help. They wanted to try to file the extension themselves. I also told them they should call the bank up and speak to a supervisor and explain what happened to their paperwork and the time they lost.
I was pretty upset that I couldn't think of anything else we could do and told them to let me know what happens.
I'm not sure if they knew what the future would hold and I was really angry because in my opinion these people in lost mitigation that answer the phone are totally unqualified to give this type of advice to people. I'll bet you that most consumers don't realize that when they are looking for answers...they shouldn't rely on these people to give them information just to make them feel better and get them off the phone. The public is being misled with the advice they are receiving and these people should really think before they go ahead and assure someone that everything will be alright.
I hope there is a positive outcome with this family but I'm not too confident on this one...it might be too late......
**Update...the family had an executed contract and they were advised by someone to file bankruptsy so the sale never went through.
For more information please contact Neal The Real Deal Bloom-CRS-Realtor® /Remax Premier Assoc.
2500 Weston Road ,Suite 103
Weston FL 33331
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