Friday, June 25, 2010

Second Mortgage Modification

Although the media is reporting that the recession is getting better, the economy is still in recovery. There are still thousands of homeowners who are struggling to make mortgage and ends meet. Many homeowners have had not only modify their first mortgage but also take a second mortgage in order to make ends meet, but now making that payment on top of all the other growing expenses can leave many struggling. There may be some help for those homeowners who are in this situation.

The 2nd Lien Modification Program (2MP) may be just what you need. A few large institutions have already signed on to the 2MP program: Bank of America (and Countrywide), CitiMortgage, Chase (with EMC and WaMu), and Wells Fargo (and Wachovia). More are expected to join this growing list.

Below are some of the eligibility requirements:
  • You have a second mortgage on your home and:
  • Your first mortgage has been modified under HAMP
  • Your second mortgage provider is one of the participating banks
  • Your second lien was originated on January 1, 2009, or earlier
  • Your second lien has an unpaid principal balance of $5,000 or more and a monthly payment of $100 or more
  • The second lien servicer has a 2MP modification agreement or trial period plan in place for you by December 31, 2012
Interest rates are reduced to 1-2%, depending on the type of second lien you have. The term of the loan can be extended to 40 years. Even better, a 2MP servicer can even forgive all or part of the second lien, which means your debt is reduced or removed.

There are some restrictions. You can’t participate if your mortgage is subordinate to a second lien, or if it is a home equity loan in first lien position. 2MP is also not for you if you don’t have to make payments on your second lien or interest is charged until the first is paid in full. Liens insured, guaranteed or held by a Federal agency like FHA, HUD, VA, or Rural Development aren’t covered under 2MP.

If you qualify, however, it can be a financial lifesaver. To learn more, contact your mortgage provider or a housing counselor through HUD.


Thursday, June 24, 2010



Homeowners across the country and here in York, PA are hearing about the so called advantages of walking away form their financial obligation (mortgage) on their home. Fannie mae has decided that they will not take this lightly when a homeowner has the ability to pay their mortgage, yet deciides not to. Fannie Mae announced they will not allow a homeowner to be eligible for a Fannie Mae backed loan for at least 7 years. They also have said that if a state that allows a deficiency judgement (Pennsylvania does) they will do just that. Fannie Mae is letting homeowners know they will not take this lightly and pursue a claim against these homwowners.

Think twice about how this can adversely affect their ability to get new credit and also could cause an potential or even a existing employer to hire or retain that person due to the foreclosure and judgement on the credit report.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Homeowner Liability

Once you have purchased a home and become a homeowner, you will have certain responsibilities. Obtaining the proper insurance for your home is an important first step. Most homeowners have liability insurance, but they don't actually understand their responsibility as a homeowner. When you own a home, you can be held responsible for any injury that happens on your property. Unfortunately, that also includes things that you have no control over.

There are many instances when a homeowner can be held liable, such as if someone slips on your doorstep and is injured, if a tree on your property falls and damages your neighbors property or even if your pet bites a visitor to your home.

What most homeowners will find surprising is that that even people who trespasss on your property and then injury themselves actually have legal recourse. The law states that once the owner is aware that there is a trespasser present on the property or can reasonably anticipate that a trespasser may be present, then the owner actually has a duty to exercise ordinary care in order to avoid injuring the trespasser.

It is important for homeowners to be aware of where their liability responsibility is and to make sure they have adequate insurance to cover any damages. For many people, the coverage included with their regular homeowners policy is enough. But in some situations, you may want more. Some common reasons to get more coverage include:

  • You own a swimming pool
  • You own a dog, especially if you own an aggressive breed of dogs, this will raise your homeowners premiums.
  • You frequently host social events. If you have parties often, the likelihood of someone getting hurt goes way up-especially if you’re serving alcohol at your parties.

As in all home owner insurance matters, take care to read your policy carefully. If you have questions about your premises liability coverage, ask your insurance agent. You might need separate riders to provide all the liability coverage necessary for your situation.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Strategic Foreclosure? Is it really an option?

What is a "strategic foreclosure"? There has been a lot of talk lately on the news networks such as ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX News, MSNBC and others about these types of forclosures. I have heard the talk that if it is ggod enough for corporate america to walk away from the financial obigations it should be good enough for the private sector to do the same.

Think of it like this, and ask yourself these questions. Does the corporation have a family to feed? Does the corporation need a place to live? Does it need to have credit in the future to buy a house or even rent an apartment? Does it need a job? If you need any or all of these things STAY AWAY from the idea of a strategic foreclosure. They entice you to milk the system for all it can give you at the time, but remember payback can come back to hit you in a big way.

The only good foreclosue is NO foreclosure. You need an expert with the experience like a CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert) who can work closely with the Banks to negotiate a settlement that will not adversely affect you for a very long time such as a foreclosure can. Please go to my web site and seach for my CDPE site for additional information that can help you or someone you may know who is struggling with the possibility of foreclosure.

Friday, June 11, 2010

What Makes A Binding Contract?

Eventhough the first part of the The Home Buyer Tax Credit has expired (it was April 30th) part two requires that the homebuyer closes on the home on or before June 30, 2010.

One of the questions that has come up as part of the tax credit push is what exactly is a ‘binding contract’ in the eyes of the IRS. It is a common real estate term that many don't understand exactly what it is.

As with anything that has to do with tax benefits or legal obligations, it is a good idea to seek the advice of a tax accountant or attorney. They can help translate murky guidelines and offer the best course of action when buying or selling a home.

When it comes to actually writing an offer, allow your realtor to craft the contract or use a standard state contract. Your offer should be thorough and concise, it is vital to not leave any terms blank or undefined. Any ambiguities in an offer can lead to misinterpretation down the line that could render the contact ‘non-binding’. Not only can this have an impact on your Home Buyer Tax Credit, other tax advantages or even the ability to close on the deal.

Be sure to do your research and take advantage of help from real estate professionals and other resources such as the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the National Association of Realtors.

All contracts have some contingencies – and some are more important than others. Just be sure to consult with an expert to make sure your offer is clean, clear and enforceable.