I Can Only Help Those Who Want To Help Themselves!

Real Estate Agent with Leigh Brown & Associates, RE/MAX Executive

Ever feel like you're beating your head against a wall sometimes?

I have some dear past clients that I've worked with a few times in the past.  Lovely people, as nice as they can be.  Hardworking, conscientious, the whole deal.

When they bought their current home two years ago, they decided to keep their previous home as a rental property in Charlotte NC.  There wasn't a lot of equity in the house so they hoped to improve that situation over time while tenants made the payments.

Alas, they had bad tenants.  Didn't make payments on time, when they actually made payments.  Didn't treat the house so well and didn't vacate when they were supposed to vacate.

In the meantime, the husband lost his job.  You know, bank downsizing.  Took him a month, but he found something else.  However, in that time, they fell behind on the mortgage payments since their income had been cut in half and the tenants had decided not to pay their rent.

I got the call to sell the house here in Charlotte NC.  I advised the sellers to talk to the bank and let them know that we were trying to sell it, to forestall a little and just keep the lines of communication open. They said that they did so.

We went over to look at it when vacant, and it was completely trashed.  Carpet was nasty, paint horrible, trim ripped off of doorframes and window frames.  Took the sellers a couple of weeks to get it straightened out. 

Then, the letter from the bank came with the auction date.  So we took the sign and put it against the side of the house until we had word that it would be okay to sell it. 

Much to my surprise, an investor saw the sign against the house and called for information.  The man is legit, has cash, and wants the house. 

But now we're under the gun for time.  The redemption period is up on Friday at which point the bank takes over completely and there's nothing else we can do.  So I've been leaving emails and telephone messages for the sellers to get me some contact information at the bank so we can let this buyer buy the house.  They're not pushing the issue.  Not standing on top of the bank for help.  Leaving voicemails and waiting for return calls.

They want my help, but they aren't willing to take the time to get me the information I need in order to help.  I do not stand to make any money here, I'm just trying to help save their credit from a complete foreclosure (the late payments will be bad enough). And they're not understanding how critical time is.  Have they already given up and assuming that the house is gone?



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Ronda Myers-Waters
Willems Realtors, Principal Broker - Chesterton, IN

Our listing agreements have a place for the sellers to put their mortgage information that gives the agent consent to talk to the mortgage company.  If you can get something like that in writing and fax it over to the mortgage company most will then talk to you.  Especially if you have a buyer that wants the place. 

Good Luck on this one.  I know that it can be frustrating.

Apr 04, 2007 03:01 AM #1
Monika McGillicuddy
Prudential Verani Realty - Atkinson, NH
NH Real Estate Broker
what is that saying? You can lead a horse to water but not make it drink...frustrating for you Leigh! I hope they wake up and take your advice!
Apr 04, 2007 03:02 AM #2
Paula Henry
Home to Indy Team @ HomeSmart Realty Group - Avon, IN
Realtor - Indianapolis Real Estate - 317-605-4174


One of the things I require when I know my seller's are facing foreclosure or a short sale is a " Mortgage Authorization Release Form". This allows you to contact the lender directly. It may not help you in this situation, but something to keep in mind. Best to you~

Apr 04, 2007 03:06 AM #3
Leigh Brown
Leigh Brown & Associates, RE/MAX Executive - Charlotte, NC
CEO, Dream Maker - Charlotte, NC

Ronda-that would be helpful-if I could get the mortgage information out of them! =)

Monika-I do, too.  I just want to help because they are such nice people and they moved to America about 15 years ago from Africa, so I want them to have everything go RIGHT.

Paula-I've been trying to get that form out of them since they first mentioned the bank.  Unfortunately, they're not grasping how crucial time is right now.

Apr 04, 2007 03:14 AM #4
Ed Vogt
Midwest Properties of Michigan - Grandville, MI
Grandville, MI Midwest Properties
The sad part is, there's no guarantees the bank will work with you when you finally do talk to them.  We had one house, similar situation, the bank decided it'd be better off owning this poorly dilapidated home than letting us sell it - for more than we were trying to get!
Apr 04, 2007 03:28 AM #5
Leigh Brown
Leigh Brown & Associates, RE/MAX Executive - Charlotte, NC
CEO, Dream Maker - Charlotte, NC
Ed-That's one thing I'm afraid of.  The paper pushers still don't get the different in productive assets and non-productive assets, take it into inventory and then sell it through 'their' agent.
Apr 04, 2007 03:29 AM #6
Carmen Offutt
La Rosa Realty - Altamonte Springs, FL

I have been in that situation and the best way to do it is by taking time to do it with them. Sitting at their dinning room table, getting the letter from the bank (the one stating the foreclosure procedure), writing a letter authorizing you to mediate with the bank that includes the loan number and the owners signature.  Once you have done this you can practically handle the whole situation for them.  Most people in this situation are in denial up to the last minute, it is a very painfully emotional time for them.

Apr 04, 2007 03:39 AM #7
Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker
Bummer sounds to me like they may have given up.
Apr 04, 2007 09:45 AM #8
1SG (Ret.) David Kucic
Hawaii Military Realty, Inc. - Ewa Beach, HI
President and Owner
Leigh-Too bad for those sellers.  If they only truly understood what you are trying to do for them maybe they would act a little differently.  If they let the bank take over then they will have "ghosts in the closet" for many years to come.  Good luck and I hope you get through to them before its too late.  Aloha!
Apr 04, 2007 01:20 PM #9
Aziz Abdur-Raoof
RE/MAX Rewards - Columbia, MD
Howard Co. Real Estate Scoop
You tried and maybe by tomorrow they will wake up!  
I would want you on my side!
Apr 04, 2007 02:02 PM #10
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Must be frustrating, Leigh. So close and yet so far. You may be right - they might feel there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Keep trying - perhaps all hope is not lost. Unfortunately I have heard similar stories a number of times - people don't seem to realize that they MAY have some options, with foreclosure being the worst case scenario.


Apr 09, 2007 02:58 PM #11
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645
They are probably so depressed that they have completely given up.  One of the elements of being a landlord that many people do not realize.
Apr 09, 2007 07:45 PM #12
Leigh Brown
Leigh Brown & Associates, RE/MAX Executive - Charlotte, NC
CEO, Dream Maker - Charlotte, NC

The update is that by the time they got the bank contact information to me, the house had gone to the bank's attorney and up for auction.  So nothing else that can be done at this point to save them.  On a bright note, they talked to a lender of mine who has given them some advice about how to start the process of making their credit pretty again over the next couple of years.  Thank heavens they don't need to buy any more real estate for a while!

Apr 09, 2007 10:45 PM #13
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