Tag Archive: foreclosures for sale


A very common question I get is “How soon after my foreclosure can I buy another home?” There are a couple of answers to this question and they depend on how soon and how badly you need a home.

The first option to getting a new home is to simply pick one and buy it with conventional financing. The lender who will be looking at your credit will be very reluctant to finance another home for you. However, with a large enough down payment (20% minimum) and your willingness to pay a higher interest rate, you could have a new home in 45 days.

Most conventional lenders will not allow financing another home after a foreclosure for as much as 12 – 24 months. It probably has to do with the ideal that if your previous home was lost to foreclosure, why would you be able to afford the new one. While this is good logic, it doesn’t take into account special issues with the original loss such as job loss, divorce, medical issue, or any similar problem that has had a final resolution.

I just heard of a women losing her home to foreclosure because of a job related injury and her employer not keeping her on the payroll. She became permanently disabled and was schedule to collect disability that would have easily paid her mortgage and forestalled the foreclosure. However, the first check was not sent until two weeks after the foreclosure sale and she lost her home. This is not the end of the story. I suggested she go to Legal Aid Services and fight the sale despite being beyond the redemption period. Her case is still pending but she had to get an apartment in the interim.

There are generally a couple of sources for the funds to buy a new home. The first is conventional lenders who will generally look at a foreclosure financing in 12 – 24 months at a rate about 1.25% to 1.5% above current rates for a “B” paper lender, and with a hefty deposit. The problem is that the 1%+ differential amounts to nearly a hundred thousand dollars in excessive interest over the life of the mortgage.

If getting another home is absolutely necessary, and you have a large down payment (35%), hard money lenders will loan for up to one year while you attempt to get another long term loan in place. The cost is usually 4% or “points” to close plus the usual closing costs and 12% to 15% per month. There are seldom pre-payment penalties for obvious reasons, but if there is one it should be for a maximum of three months of interest payments. Obviously, this is an expensive method of owning a home.

The next method requires a small down payment (usually 3%) and no closing costs. You should be able to move in within a week or less and the seller will be happy to work with you. This method is a Contract for Deed or a Lease Option. The Contract for Deed has the home transferred into your name with the financing in place by the seller. The agreement is that you will get permanent financing within a given time period, usually one year. However, your timely payments on the existing mortgage will go a long way with your new lender to get a better financing rate.

The Lease Option method keeps the home in the name of the seller, and gives you an option to purchase the property for as many as five years in the future. Each year the option price (“Strike price”) goes up, but this is negotiable. Should you decide not to buy the home, you will lose your deposit (“option consideration”). This method of getting a home quickly is the most cost-effective of the various options and all the aspects of the lease, purchase, partial credit for each payment toward the purchase price, no initial financing credit requirements, minimal cash, etc. are negotiable with the seller.

The key to doing a lease option is to get one document from the homeowner. The reason is that if you do have to go to court to enforce the option agreement or get your option consideration back, one agreement has been adjudicated by the courts as an equity-type agreement. This means that with every lease payment you make, you build equity in the property. If you sign two agreements, you can easily be evicted from the property and lose your option consideration with few or no grounds for recourse.

There are thousands of foreclosed single family homes available in the market today. These homes range from large sprawling estates to small-unit condos to townhouses. A common denominator among these homes is that they are all spacious enough to have two or more bedrooms, a living room, a dining and kitchen and a bath.

The more popular structure of foreclosed single family homes are detached and surrounded by outer spaces for a garage or a lawn. The prices of these homes vary depending on location, size, condition, as well as on the length of time they have been on the market. Some of these homes

only get sold after several price adjustments by the seller.

Foreclosed Single Family Homes

It is typical to find foreclosed single family homes at only a fraction of its actual price. With the right tools like a reliable online listings service, potential buyers can search for these homes by state or by price. These homes will likewise be listed on real estate companies, newspapers and the county courthouse. The listing will always have the contact details for the property manager that buyers can contact to inquire about the home.

These homes can be purchased at various stages of the foreclosure process. Many buyers purchase them during pre-foreclosure through a short sale. This happens when the home owner elects to the sell the home rather than get foreclosed on. With thelender’s approval the property is sold for a price that is lower than the outstanding debt owed by the homeowner.

Buyers with ready cash on hand purchase these homes through public auctions. Auctions are popular among buyers as it takes only a short time to transfer the deed of the property to the buyer. Yet another means of buying foreclosed single family homes is through real estate agents appointed by banks or the government to sell their foreclosures.

Buying repo homes for sales have become a common exercise for a lot of investors. Even first time home buyers have completed purchases of these properties to their satisfaction. While there may be some risks involved, these are overtaken by the benefits to be reaped and this is the reason why more and more people are getting on the bandwagon and finding their own home to buy.

Most of the risks involved in buying repo homes for sales are brought about by acting on poor data. Getting the wrong information can set you back financially. It is a good thing that there is adequate knowledge about the foreclosures sector to enlighten new buyers. One should try to learn the workings of foreclosure investing first before they even look for a property to purchase.

Foreclosure Basics

Foreclosure is a legal action taken by lenders to recover losses due to non-payment of the loan they provided for a borrower used for purchasing a property. Once the foreclosure proceeding is initiated the home is scheduled for a public auction where it is offered at a value that represents the unpaid portion of the loan. If the home does not sell at an auction it becomes the property of the lender where it will again be offered to the market in roughly the same amount.

Repo homes for sales also get sold at the pre-foreclosure period. Also called short sales, these types of transactions take place when the owner themselves seeks the approval of their lender to sell the home for a price that is lower than what they still owe. Lenders usually go for this type of sale because it relieves them of the costly foreclosure proceeding. It is likewise favorable to the home owner who gets to keep their credit rating which can be decimated by a recorded foreclosure.

Renting vs Buying

For sure, you have been considering on purchasing your very own home. It has been quite some time now that you have been working so hard every single day and you want to see something that you would be truly proud of.

Truly, owning your own home will give this sense of pride and confidence into yourself compared to renting an apartment where you will always get stressed out as your land lord or land lady keeps on knocking on the door to ask for the rental.

Can you imagine, the amount that you are paying monthly to your land lord or land lady could have been almost the same amount which you can use to pay your own house and after you have done paying the mortgage it would be all yours?

Well to give you great view between renting and buying a house, take a look at this:

Renting:

1. It only requires 2 months advance and 1 month deposit, before you move in.

2. If you do not pay on time and be in default it does not affect your credit score, you can pay for the next days or month.

3. If you do not want to stay in that house anymore, you can go provided that you finish the duration allotted for the lease contract which is more or less about 1 year.

4. No more worries about repairs and damages, the owner will take care of it for you.

5. No matter how long you have been renting the place, it will never be yours.

Buying:

1. It requires huge sum of money before you can move in.

2. If you do not pay on time, this will affect your credit score.

3. If you do not want to stay on the house anymore, you need to sell it off and it will take couple of months or even years before someone will be interested in buying your house.

4. It would be all in to you when it comes to repairs and damages. You need to pay for all costs including labor and material.

5. After how many years of paying the monthly mortgage, when you full pay the entire amount including the principal plus the interest, it will be all yours.

If you are staying in a certain place due to work and you do not have any intent to stay there for quite longer, then renting a place would be great. However, if you want to settle down, have a family of your own, then you need to invest on real estate and buy your very own house. You do not want to rent a house for the rest of your life, right?

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Buying foreclosed homes has become popular amongst real estate investors and individual buyers. While these types of properties are normally priced below market value they generally require some level of repair. Those who do not carefully inspect foreclosure real estate could end up investing in a money pit.

Foreclosed homes can be purchased through public foreclosure auctions or banks. When properties are repossessed, banks first list them for sale through auction. Auction attendees submit bids and often compete against several buyers.

Individuals purchasing foreclosure real estate through auctions should have a thorough understanding of how the auction process works, as well as the foreclosure laws of the state where property is located.

Some states allow foreclosed property owners to buy their house back within 30 days after being sold through auction. This can be quite disruptive when buyers have invested money for repairs or paid off creditor judgments to clear the title. This can also slow down repair progress as buyers do not want to invest in renovation work if there is a possibility the evicted homeowner will reclaim their home.

When houses go unsold through foreclosure auction they are returned to the servicing lender. At this point they become bank owned foreclosures. Other common references include real estate owned or REO homes.

Banks negotiate with lien holders to clear creditor judgments or tax liens in order to sell the property with a clean title. Banks also engage in eviction action to remove property owners refusing to vacate the premises.

These activities cost the bank money, so REO properties are normally priced higher than foreclosures sold through auction. However, buyers can purchase the property without the burden of removing liens, judgments, evicting property owners, or worrying that the homeowner will reclaim their house.

Just as when buying any real estate; buyers should engage in due diligence. At minimum, buyers should review comparable sales reports to compare purchase prices of other homes in the area; obtain real estate appraisals to determine current market value; and home inspections to determine the types of required repairs.

Banks reduce foreclosed home prices to account for the cost of reported repairs. Banks rarely reduce the asking price of REO homes unless substantial damage is discovered during property inspections. Buyers should obtain repair costs estimates to determine the true cost of the home. If the purchase price and repair costs equate to more than the appraised value, it’s best to pass and look for a better deal.

Most banks require buyers to obtain prequalified financing prior to submitting offers on foreclosed homes. When buyers purchase foreclosure real estate through public auctions they normally must present full payment to the auction house within 24 hours upon bid acceptance.

Individuals unfamiliar with buying foreclosed homes through public auctions or banks may find working with a foreclosure specialist to be helpful. Realtors can help buyers locate the type of property they desire and assist them through the process of buying foreclosed real estate.

Buyers may also want to consult with real estate investors experienced in buying distressed properties. Numerous real estate clubs can be found via the Internet. Buyers can participate in online investment groups or locate local real estate investment groups within their hometown.

Those who take time to become educated about the process of buying foreclosure real estate can minimize financial risks, locate the best financing deals, and obtain the best price for the property.

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A problem that is frequently happening to homeowners is their home has more mortgage than market value. With the severe decline in real estate markets across the country, the hardest hit areas have hundreds of thousands of “upside down” mortgages. Simply, this is where the amount owed on the property is more than the value at which the property can be sold, even if the homeowner is willing to make the payments and wait for possibly years. The adage is familiar to everyone “why throw good money after bad” with the result that homeowners across America are simply walking away from their mortgages and letting the lender take their homes back by foreclosure.

This market pressure of homes coming on the market further compounds the problem with falling home values and fewer homes being sold at any price except well below what was considered fair market value (FMV) just months before. The decline has stopped in many parts of the country and will stabilize in the coming months. Until then, the homeowner in a distressed market with an upside down mortgage is forced to make a decision about his future and whether it makes economic sense to make the mortgage payments or not.

One option to the homeowner who wants to leave his home is to offer the lender the deed to his home and simply walk out the front door never to return. So if the lender had a chance to get the deed why wouldn’t they take it so the foreclosure process with all its costs would be avoided? One reason not so obvious to the homeowner is the accounting practices of the lenders. It is more beneficial to have a foreclosure in progress than to have a bank owned property, called “real estate owned” (REO) property. While the difference is relatively small to the lender’s accounting system, when multiplied by thousands of foreclosures, the REO’s can be a financial catastrophe. More often, the lender has gotten a Broker’s Price Opinion (BPO) or appraisal as soon as the homeowner is 90 days late on his mortgage. The lender knows exactly how much trouble they are in when they take the home back by a deed in lieu of foreclosure or by a foreclosure action that turns the property into an REO.

If the property is encumbered by a second mortgage and other liens such as mechanic liens or any junior mortgages or judgments, the only way the lender can safely take the property back is to “extinguish” these junior liens and get free and clear title after the foreclosure action. So if the homeowner calls the lender and requests to give a deed to the lender, the lender will do his research first to see whether the foreclosure process is necessary.

A homeowner in foreclosure who has no junior liens, mortgages or judgments against his property should call the lender directly and request the procedure for the lender taking the deed from him. Caution – if the lender says the homeowner must fill out a financial statement and give a “hardship letter”, the homeowner must remember that the lender can use the financial information to get a judgment against the homeowner later if the residence is not the homeowner’s homesteaded property or if the homeowner has other assets that can be attached by a judgment. Get legal advice from an attorney who is competent in dealing with real estate transactions about what information is actually needed by the lender to take the deed, and remember if there are junior liens, the lender will never take back a deed in lieu of foreclosure no matter what they tell the homeowner.

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How does a foreclosure affect your credit report is an interesting question. Yet this is the most frequently asked question we get. The method of calculating a credit score (FICO Score) is proprietary information. What complicates the issue even further is that all credit information is calculated into the individual’s credit score as it is entered by creditors and is only updated whenever there is an inquiry.

The second most asked question is “How soon does the foreclosure go on my credit report?”. This depends on the lender but in the vast majority of cases, as soon as the homeowner is 90 days late (30 days in some states), the foreclosure info is filed with the credit reporting agencies. It will not be “reversed” by a short sale or a deed in lieu of foreclosure unless negotiated by the homeowner, and often that doesn’t work.

So with the foreclosure question, the homeowner’s credit score is first decreased by his late payments. Usually, he is also late on other bills because of his financial crisis and has additional late payments, collections, or even judgments that all lower his credit score. So if he had his credit score of 680 on a specific date before he started his personal financial decline, after he has been served with his foreclosure notice or even after the foreclosure is completed; his new score could be 420 or lower. He is usually shocked and dismayed, but the real problem is how much more interest the lenders want because of his low credit score. For example, an auto loan to an “A+’ credit customer could be 0% interest while for a “D” credit customer, it could be 11% or higher. What does that actually mean? It means that the “D” credit individual will pay $7,500 to $13,000 more for the same car as the “A” credit buyer! The collateral for the loan is the same car, so the “D” credit person is unfairly penalized for his credit situation.

The foreclosure’s actual point impact on an individual’s credit report is estimated to be from 125 to 175 points. The bigger impact is from the late payments on other bills which quickly mount up. The net effect is generally considered to be about a 240 point decline counting his late mortgage payments. Ironically, the lower your credit report to start, the less the impact of additional late payments, and if you get into the 400’s, it’s really hard to get much lower without almost trying to hurt yourself. Many of the items on any credit report can be removed over time. It requires persistence and it’s estimated that 30% of all items on credit reports are incorrect and can be removed just by an inquiry or showing a paid invoice. Also the credit score reduction for the foreclosure is reduced as time goes on, until it settles at a minimal deduction (50 to 75 points) after a few years.

It is absolutely untrue that once you have had a foreclosure you can never buy a home again, as we see people buying a new home within a year of losing theirs to foreclosure. There are even homeowners who legally buy homes within 30 days of their foreclosure using legal techniques with no cash and no credit.

Foreclosure victims, who want to do conventional financing in the future, will have to pay a higher interest rate (approximately 1 and a half to 2%) unless their down payment could be 10% to 20% of the purchase price. This sizable down payment can often be obtained from friends or family members and carried as a second mortgage or second deed of trust on the property.

I am often asked if doing a “Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure” or a “Short Sale” with the lender reports the same as a foreclosure. Unfortunately, depending on how the lender reports your foreclosure, it could stay on your report even if the lender accepts your deed to resolve the foreclosure. The foreclosure action does not have to be filed in the courts to be considered a “foreclosure” by the lender. If your lender accepts a “Deed in Lieu Of Foreclosure” or a “Short Sale, always them ask for a letter explaining they have accepted your deed in exchange for your home, and that they will retract or not put a foreclosure notification in your credit record. If they tell you they have to, it’s not true, ask for a Supervisor until you get your letter.

If you’re in the unfortunate circumstance of relocating to or reside in an costly real estate marketplace, you might be shocked at the ridiculous price of homes. You’ll find that individuals inside your community and also the nearby media are pessimistic about the nearby housing market. Financial experts advise against purchasing a house as an investment. Only a tiny percentage of young families can afford to buy a house. What’s worse, you hear about friends or family who reside in other states and have bought estate sized houses for the exact same price as a nearby condominium. It is easy to develop a pessimistic attitude about buying a house. While the thought of home ownership may be the American dream, you back away from the high cost of house ownership.

Regrettably, many homeowners dream about the ideal real estate markets in other cities, all the while neglecting to take advantage of discount homes in their own backyard.

Many homebuyers who have relocated from a low priced home marketplace to a high priced home market fail to take advantage of local bargains. They come from a community where homes sell for $100,000 to a new neighborhood where $100,000 would only fetch a single bedroom town house. In order to purchase a decent size family house, you’d need to invest upwards of $250,000. Instead of factoring in the quality attributes of their new community, they dream about how they could live in a mansion back at their old community. Pessimistic about the existing real estate marketplace, they continue to rent.

Over time, these same renters begin to become aware of how much property values have escalated through the years. The $250,000 property that originally seemed outrageously priced is now worth more than $500,000 in today’s marketplace.

By misjudging this situation and comparing property costs from their old neighborhood, they missed out on a fantastic opportunity to earn substantial equity. It’s essential not to compare various real estate regions when contemplating the acquisition of a house.

In the event you decide to search diligently,, you can locate fantastic bargains inside your local real estate market. Regardless of how expensive homes are in your community, you should be able to discover a fantastic deal. If you decide to research the price of houses throughout the world, you’d realize the price of houses in the United States aren’t as unreasonable as you may believe.

As inflation continues to drive home costs upward, today’s property prices will be looked back on as a great discount. History has proven over the last 60 years that U.S. property costs have continued to rise.

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When a foreclosure is finished and the home is sold or assessed by an appraisal, for the loss on the mortgage, the deficit amount the bank will not get back from the mortgage balance and expenses due, is called a deficiency. In most states, the lender has an option to get a judgment in this amount against the borrower and this is called a “deficiency judgment”. In addition to the loss of the homeowner’s home he also has the potential of having to repay this judgment in the future.

Even if the bank accepts a “deed in lieu of foreclosure” they can still get a deficiency judgment against the borrower. The borrower is the one responsible for the mortgage or deed of trust payments and he may or may not be the homeowner. If the homeowner has a co-signer, the co-signer will be as legally responsible as the borrower to pay back the deficit due. Depending on whether the foreclosure is judicial or non-judicial, and the specific terms of the mortgage, the bank may not be able to seek a deficiency judgment. These laws vary state-by-state and should be reviewed carefully to determine which applies to the reader.

The bank doesn’t just have the amount of the unpaid loan balance due but also legal fees, accelerated interest payments, back principal payments, in some cases pre-payment penalties, and other expenses as part of the judgment amount. This is why a homeowner who has had his mortgage a couple of years could owe more than he borrowed originally. As an example, the homeowner borrowed $200,000 in June of 2006 and in January of 2008 he goes into foreclosure and the final judgment against him could be $218,000! This is because of the additional expenses and the fact that he pays mostly interest in the first 10 years of his mortgage.

The largest loss the lender has is his loss of the ability to loan about 7 – 10 times the unpaid mortgage balance. This is because the Federal Reserve requires the banks to put cash into a non-interest bearing account to cover potential losses. Since the bank can no longer use these funds to get additional loans from the Fed, he is losing tremendous loan power. This loss of revenue to the lender can not be passed on to the homeowner or borrower.

The major factors in deciding whether the lender will pursue a deficiency judgment are whether the lender feels he can collect the judgment and the cost to collect it. In the process of working with the homeowner, the lender pulls his credit and can see what other outstanding bills he has and whether they are being paid timely. The lender can not see what assets the homeowner has but can sometimes see where he works. The homeowner will be asked to fill out a Net Worth Statement (“NWS”) which will disclose these assets to the lender. This document is a major part of the decision to pursue the judgment or not. If the lender has no reason to believe the homeowner has extensive assets, they will issue the IRS Form instead. A note of caution – falsifying the NWS can be bank fraud in some states so be careful if you intend to return the NWS to the lender.

The deficiency judgment is determined by the court-approved “Final Judgment” amount in most states. However, in some states, the property must be sold or an appraisal done to determine the “expected” net loss. If your state does this procedure by appraisal, contest the appraisal and have the judgment lowered if you believe it was not correct.

The lender usually chooses not to get a deficiency judgment and instead report the loan deficiency amount on IRS Form 1099. The result to the homeowner is a “phantom income” requires him to pay income taxes on this amount. In this situation the final cost of the guarantor’s foreclosure is the amount of income taxes he pays the IRS instead of the entire deficiency judgment. This is a substantial savings to the homeowner and the lender also benefits because there is no collection on his books that is counted as a liability. Unless there is suspicion of fraud in the original loan, the lender will issue a 1099. In December of 2007 legislation was enacted that allows a maximum exemption amount a homeowner who resides in his property can write off for this deficiency amount.

Carefully weigh your rights and options when you make a decision to allow your home to be lost to foreclosure, as there are solutions besides foreclosure and deed transfer to the lender. Do not be paralyzed with fear that the lender will follow you forever to collect the deficiency judgment, as you have a number of options to fight this including attacking the validity of the original loan.

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What a Foreclosure Eviction Means

Short Sales and Foreclosure

You can expect an eviction if your home is sold because of a foreclosure sale. Whether the sale is by auction, or by a trustee’s sale, the eviction is the legal process by which a property owner physically removes a tenant or trespasser.

Evictions for renters are handled by strict contract law standards and the tenant often has more rights than the landlord. In many states, tenants can sue their landlord for breach of contract, possibly harassment and receive many times their monthly rent if they win the law suit. Some cities make it extremely difficult to evict tenants for any reason. This is not the case with foreclosure evictions because the former homeowners are not tenants. Well-meaning people often tell foreclosure victims about experiences they know about where tenant/landlord law was involved. Again, this is not the situation where foreclosures are involved.

Foreclosure evictions are handled slightly differently in most cities so it is important that you contact the court issuing the eviction notice to determine what to expect. The person who serves the eviction notice, or posts it on the front door usually is not the same person who will enforce the eviction. The eviction will be enforced by a representative of the court, often a county sheriff or policeman. Occasionally, the person giving the notice will tell you that you “actually” have an extra 24 hours, BUT DON’T expect this extra time. Plan on being completely moved out before the actual deadline.

If you are looking at being homeless, contact your local Red Cross or county housing agency for a place to stay temporarily and for cash if necessary. If you have the ability to rent a storage unit for your furniture, store it until you find a place to stay so you aren’t driving a rental truck around town looking for a place to rent. A little preparation is useful in avoiding tons of aggravation later.

The actual eviction may be handled differently, but often an officer of the court (sheriff or policeman) accompanies the new owner or his representative, to the property and alerts anyone in the premises that the eviction will start in a few minutes. In this case, the owner’s representative is responsible for removing everything they don’t want from the premises. The people in the premises are being evicted, not the contents of the property! If the contents are junk or the owner doesn’t want any of it, it usually will be thrown into the swale or the street for sanitation to pick up. If the former owners are not in the premises (at work), the contents could still be thrown out or kept by the new owner. The items put in the street sometimes start a feeding frenzy among the neighbors. Don’t let this happen to you. Take action to resolve your foreclosure early or get moved out before the actual eviction occurs.

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