Pinellas County Distressed Properties - Do You Owe More On Your House Than It's Worth?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Real World Properties, Inc.| Your Real Estate Consultant for Life

Continuing the process of learning as much as I possibly can about my local market and how best to help those caught in the pinch of the mortgage crisis and subsequent foreclosures resulting, I've been compiling statistics in an effort to hopefully sooth some fears.

Nationwide, the statistics of homeowners who are currently not making a mortgage payment is reported as one in ten--this means that if you walk outside your house, look up the street and down the street--there is at least one house in view where there is a homeowner who is struggling to make their next mortgage payment.

An even scarier statistic is that one in six homeowners are "upside-down", which means that they owe more on their home than it is currently worth in today's market.

One perspective I would like to mention, however, is that being upside down is only an issue if you actually HAVE to sell your house--for those who are not having difficulty making payments and plan to stay in their homes, well, no problem, right?

To me, the biggest shame is the number of homeowners who are in over their heads and are not getting the help they need to resolve the situation, or perhaps even worse--they know they are in trouble, and turn to the wrong kind of help.

I have a friend who came to me recently, asking for my help and advice because he was getting behind on his mortgage payments, and he really wanted to keep his house.  I advised him to first speak with his lender, which did happen to be one I know to be offering good loan modification solutions.

He took my advice, and the lender offered a 2.25% fixed interest rate for two years, and then a fixed 5.5% for the remainder of the loan term.

"Great!"  said I--having seen a number of 'workouts' which did not benefit the homeowner enough to get them out of trouble.

Not the end of the story, however--this same friend had also been approached by another type of bottom-feeder--a "private lender" who offered to purchase the house as a short sale from the bank, and allow the former owner to then re-purchase at a lower purchase price, for a fixed profit for the lender.

I asked every single professional that I know, and this scenario stunk more and more the longer it was exposed to the light of day.  Can you say "fraud"?!


I'm begging--if you are falling behind on your mortgage payments--please, please consult with one or more certified distressed property agent, or an attorney, or a CPA--NOT your family attorney, NOT anyone else who is not familiar with the current real estate market--someone who is successfully negotiating these very tricky situations in the trenches right now.

If you or anyone you know is currently creeping into default, please call me, email, or check back here--I'll be hosting a Distressed Property Help Seminar and special call-in lines to help answer your questions.



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Loretta Buckner

Your GREEN Real Estate Consultant For Life!
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