Free Foreclosure Articles

 

Don't be Victimized Twice

Are You in An Upside-down Mortgage

How I Saved the Widow's Home

A Sucker is Born Every Minute

 

Don’t be Victimized Twice

 

In every disaster there are those who look for opportunities to take advantage of the vulnerable. Foreclosure brings out scammers looking for opportunities.

 

When you are facing foreclosure and looking for help to avoid losing your home, you need to be careful. There are many corrupt individuals just waiting to pounce upon you and take advantage of your misfortune. They advertise themselves as foreclosure “rescuers” or “experts.” Before you realize it, they will acquire your property without a formal or recorded purchase for a fraction of what it would have brought at sale.

 

Without recording any change of ownership they will try to rent your property to another unsuspecting person while you remain legally bound to make the mortgage payments. The mortgage company is unaware that anything is wrong and you are left on the hook to pay the mortgage on a house you no longer possess and upon which you do not receive rentals.

 

Most homeowners lack adequate knowledge about foreclosure, their legal rights, and alternatives to foreclosure. Beware of scammers who promise rescue from foreclosure.

There are mainly three categories of foreclosure rescue scams: The Phantom Help—The Bailout—The Bait-and-Switch.

 

In Phantom Help: the so-called rescuer will charge fees for light-duty phone calls or paperwork you can easily do yourself. None of these phone calls or paperwork actually results in saving your home. It just gives you a false sense of hope and prevents you from seeking qualified help.

 

In a Bailout: the rescuer deceives you into signing over title with the belief that you will be able to remain in the house as a renter and eventually buy it back over time. The actual terms are so onerous that the buy-back becomes impossible, you lose possession and the rescuer walks off with the right to sell and possess without the costs of foreclosure.

 

It is important at this point to stress that you DO NOT SIGN anything without consulting an attorney, no matter what these scammers tell you. If the deal is so good and so beneficial to you it will be just as good in a few days after you have had sufficient time to read the document and seek legal advice. Any deal that sounds too good to be true, usually is.

 

In Bait-and-Switch: under the guise of having you sign documents to bring your mortgage current, the rescuers will cause you to surrender your ownership. The documents appear to be temporary loans. They will do this in a sneaky way so that you will not realize you have been scammed until you are evicted.

 

How does the scam work? Scammers approach homeowners in many ways including a straightforward phone call, or flyers and brochures being left at the door, and even a knock on the door. Some of the scammers are well organized and advertise in the local newspaper classified section. Some even have their own websites.

When you are faced with foreclosure, you do not have much time to react. This can lead you to make hasty decisions without consulting others. Scammers almost always highlight the lack of time and insist that you make quick decisions.

 

They then pressure you for a quick signature on documents that you have not been given adequate time to read.

The initial contact typically revolves around a simple message and frequently contains a “time is of the essence” theme, adding a note of urgency to what is already a stressful and possibly desperate situation. Once you fall for the trap and decide to move forward with the rescuer, you will be promised a fresh start at the initial meeting and they may also provide you with testimonials of other homeowners they claim to have rescued. They will then instruct you to cease all contact with your lender and allow them to take over. Any time you cease all contact with your lender, it is dangerous. It cuts off access to your options and you can quickly run out of time to prevent foreclosure. By the time you realize what is happening, it’s too late and you have been conned.

 

Scammers will do everything to cut off a homeowner’s access to correct information. They win the homeowner’s trust and warn the homeowner to stay away from attorneys and counseling agencies, ironically on the grounds that the attorneys and agencies are “out to make money from the homeowner’s misfortune.”

 

Once it is too late to save your home, you will have been drained by substantial heavy fees and other charges. If a deed was signed on fraudulent promises, you, the homeowner, will be evicted by the “rescuer” from the property you once owned.

 

To learn about foreclosure read Defeat Foreclosure it is available right here.

 

 

Are You In An UpSide-Down Mortgage?

In a 2007 newsletter, I made the claim that in 2008 we would see real estate values drop by 40%. My colleagues thought I had lost my mind. But I was seeing all of the signs that the bubble was about to burst but you could not discuss this topic openly in mixed company for fear of being labeled crazy. It was then that I began to write my book, Defeat Foreclosure. As I began writing my book there were about 150 foreclosures per day in the county of Los Angeles. By November, 2008 there were 750 per day. Today that number exceeds 1,000.

I live in one of the most affluent zip codes in Los Angeles and when I look over my daily foreclosure list it is shocking that I am surrounded by dozens of foreclosures and properties with major tax liens in some of the most luxurious high-rise property in Southern California. The sub-prime meltdown was believed to only affect the financial ignorant and irresponsible homeowners, people living beyond their means or those using their home like an ATM cash cow. But this crisis is proving to be an “equal opportunity” destroyer of lives and families. No one is immune to bad business investing and poor judgment, or worse, mortgage schemes.

If you believe that we have an oil shortage then you have succumb to the dumbing down in America. There is enough oil in Alaska and off shore in the United States to last 200 years. Equally abhorrent is how fast our government came up with $30 billion to rescue Bear Stearns but not $25 billion to save strapped homeowners. The $700 billion bail out only means that the same white color criminals, elected officials and mortgage bandits will be able to do it to us again. This betrayal of U.S. taxpayers revealed that our political leaders were more interested in saving Wall Street than Main Street.

If you are in an UpSideDown Mortgage in which you now owe far more than the property is worth then walk away! Yes, you read me right. If your lender or Loss Mitigation department will not answer your telephone calls, return messages and honestly negotiate a resolution to your problem mortgage, walk away! And tell your lender you will walk. We read in the newspaper that “lenders do not want your property;” … “it costs them an average of $60,000 to dispose of an empty house.”

What they do not tell you is that most of those houses have been stripped of their sinks, bathtubs, toilets and anything that can be removed and sold from the structure. The really ugly aspect of and foreclosure transaction is that the unsuspecting buyer at a foreclosed sale may be left holding the bag on tax liens, mechanics leans or are left to rebuild the property at their expense. The foreclosed deal turns out to be a financial albatross to the new owner that can be financially pushed into yet another foreclosure in the immediate future.

Too many shortsighted lenders threaten homeowners and pretend they win in foreclosure but it usually cost them more to foreclose then to negotiate a reduction in the balance of your mortgage or to do a loan modification by adjusting the interest rate to bring the homeowner in line with the new Obama program of the mortgage limit of 31% of income. Therefore, instead of begging and pleading you might consider threatening to walk away… it might bring about honest negotiating.

If your interest rate is going to continue to escalate through the ceiling… walk away! If your financial circumstances are going to be further complicated with late fees, and various penalties, then walk away. Irresponsible advice, perhaps. It might take the lender weeks or months to evict you but at least you will spend what little money you have left to get your life in order and stop playing the part of victim.

If tens of thousands of homeowners start walking, the problem will be solved quickly as Wall Street and corporate criminals cannot survive if you start out-smarting them and their mortgage schemes that were used to victimize you and your family in the first place—especially when these mortgage brokers knew full well that you did not qualify for the loan on which you would eventually default. They encouraged “Liar’s Loans” the insiders joking term used to describe a loan in which the borrower lied about their income, and did not need to show a pay stub or a tax return… and the lenders knew all along the buyers were lying.

When tens of thousands of homeowners walk away from their mortgages and their credit card debt maybe our irresponsible government officials will start to uphold consumer laws already on the books that truly protect the consumers instead of giving lip service to the hoodlums in corporate America and Wall Street who continue to charge illegal “usury rates” of interest that suck the life-blood out of this economy. For more information on how to stop foreclosure read Defeat Foreclosure. It is available right here.

To learn about foreclosure read Defeat Foreclosure it is available right here.

 

 

 

How I Saved the Widow’s Home

Job loss, Foreclosure, Depression... or just bad timing, let's face it, these are difficult times. This article is intended to share my 17 years of real estate experience and to help enlighten my readers on how to save your home, protect your credit and fend off the fraudulent foreclosure scam artists. If you are in foreclosure, or like 5 million other Americans, headed in that direction, then we have a lot of work to do. A 'Default Notice' from your lender is not the end; it can also be a new beginning.

 

A woman in Pennsylvania recently contacted me after reading my book, Defeat Foreclosure. Her husband had died and in that dreadful week their mortgage interest rate increased to 7.25% or by $300 per month. Mrs. Phillip was panic stricken realizing that she had not just lost a husband of 45 years, and his retirement income of $1,880.00 per month ... the money that was making those mortgage payments.

 

Her husband had 3 kidney transplants in 30 years, heart bypass, hip replacement and a knee replacement. He was surely the authentic "bionic-man." The final surgery to stop internal bleeding took his life. The $75,000 home equity loan was used to pay for medications above and beyond Medicare and any insurance the couple had. This additional loan posed another problem that I had to resolved.

 

Their charming Tutor-style home in Western Pennsylvania was worth about $220,000, but with the current mortgage of $300,000 and the equity line, this widow was terribly "up-side-down" at this point in time with little to no prospect of selling the property in this ugly real estate economy. My first question to this widow was: "Do you want to stay in the house?" She did, and she could not imagine walking away from all of those memories, or worse, facing foreclosure.

 

"Loan Modification" is a rather unknown term to many homeowners; it is a phrase that with this growing financial crisis will become used and abused in the immediate future. With a letter from this homeowner granting me access to her mortgage records, I was permitted to step in to resolve the widow's crisis. I negotiated both of her loans with her lenders and was able to "Modify" her first variable interest rate mortgage from 7.25% down to a fixed 4.78%, thereby reducing her monthly payments to enable her to keep her home and live within her own retirement income.

 

But that left an unresolved equity loan with CitiBank for $75,000. Like too many lenders these days, CitiBank simply ignored my correspondence and telephone calls for nearly 60 days. I don't like being ignored, especially by a $10.00 per hour paper-pusher that was playing God with this widow's life, so, I went into action and wrote a letter utilizing a number of tricks under my hat including offering CitiBank $0.30 cents on the dollar and admonished the lender for ignoring the plight of a woman who just lost her husband through medical circumstances. I sent a copy of that letter to the CEO of CitiBank and to several media outlets in the vicinity of the lender's corporate office. Within a week a Loan Mitigation officer was calling me three times a day wanting to settle.

 

This process took numerous letters, the widow's previous tax return which they seemed to have "misplaced," dozens of telephone calls and yes, stubborn tenacity on my part. After agreeing to the settlement I had negotiated, I prepared to wire the money from the widow's bank account into CitiBank Mortgage account which failed three times because the incompetent $10 per hour employee gave me the wrong bank transfer numbers, to a state where the lender did not have a branch. But that is another story. The end of this story is that my widow gets to stay in her home and cherish happier memories of her husband and their life together.

 

Nothing is impossible in today's mortgage crisis... just keep in mind these lenders cannot afford to take back these properties and it costs them $30,000 to $60,000 to foreclose. In order for them to accept federal funds they are compelled to sell one repossessed property for each 5 new loans they create. The name of the game therefore is to get to a loan mitigation officer who can make decisions. Stop talking to telephone receptionists or $10 per hour paper-pushers.

 

To learn about foreclosure read Defeat Foreclosure it is available right here.

 

 

A Sucker is Born Every Minute

If you are heading to the next foreclosure auction you would do yourself a favor by taking what little money you have and giving it away. The only people getting rich in foreclosure are these so-called foreclosure "experts" selling homes on television for $70,000.

 

Just think about it. If the median price home in your state is $200,000 then what can you get for $70,000 dollars? The answer is quite clear--a shack, an empty shell and four walls...no sinks, no toilets, no bath bubs, no plumbing, no water tank no heater and certainly no windows. You get four walls, many of which have had major holes pounded into the plaster by evicted hostile former owners who went out of their way to destroy the property. Any savings in a foreclosure immediately evaporate when you need to spend $100,000 just to make the property livable. Ask yourself this question. Do I have the money to buy the property and where will the money come from to bring the property up to the standards necessary to rent or resale? You already know the answer--that the warm and fuzzy feeling of buying something at 30% of its value quickly disappears when the money you just saved goes back into the money pit, a house needing major repairs.

 

Worth thinking about, some banks and mortgage companies who have repossessed properties in foreclosures will not make new loans on houses that have been stripped.

 

Homeowners who destroy their property in foreclosure should be sent to jail--but our liberal politicians and courts believe that personal property rights allow owners to destroy what they can no longer afford to pay for. It's a clear sign that capitalism and the judicial system are running amok.

 

I know of some cases in which former owners had parties on the eve of their evictions in which they invite their friends to bring hammers and chain saws to break through plaster walls just for the fun of it... such criminal destruction of property should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And until we do, these crimes will continue. A $70,000 bargain is not such a bargain if you need to put $100,000 into repairs.

 

The barkers on these foreclosure shows never tell you that most of these properties are dogs, real dogs. Do you want to own a house in a neighborhood surrounded by drug dealers and empty houses growing marijuana inside? How safe is your investment if it is surrounded by gangs, former prison inmates, and registered rapists? Then why would you be convinced that this $70,000 property is such a bargain? Or are you like many buyers who are just planning to do the minimum amount of repairs so they can make a "killing" by pawning it off on some other poor sucker? Unfortunately our American society has evolved into this ugly "Brave New World."

 

If you are convinced by television infomercials that anyone can instantly gain riches and the technical skills of investing in risky real estate you are dumber than dirt. Americans are currently discovering that the vast majority of people don't have a clue what they are signing when purchasing a home... the sub-prime mortgage melt down reveals this lack of knowledge. Believing now that these same buyers are investment gurus capable of wrestling property deals away from the big boys are out of touch with reality. The high rollers of real estate investment buy all the good property on the foreclosure market. What usually ends up on the auction block are the dogs!

 

Do not get snagged by the hype being fed to the general public by television commercials produced by the same scam artists that hyped people into believing they could afford to buy a house with no money down and refinance it when the prices went higher. The sleazy "get rich quick" scam artists are the ones making millions, stupid!

 

I watch these foreclosure auctions and my immediate thought is about B. T. Barnum, the famous man of the circus who once said: "A sucker is born every minute." And the people in the audience are ripe for the picking.

 

Under the glaring lights of the television cameras and the smooth-tongue auctioneer plus the barkers running up and down the aisles in their tuxedos screaming "Buy!, Buy, Buy," this is nothing more than the 21st century equivalent of selling snake oil.

 

Buyers beware.

To learn about foreclosure read Defeat Foreclosure it is available right here.

 

 

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