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August 22, 2007

Today's Housing Bubble Post - Foreclosures Rise 58%

-- by Dave Johnson

U.S. foreclosures rise 58 percent in first half of 2007,

The number of U.S. homes facing foreclosure surged 58 percent in the first six months of the year, the latest sign of mounting problems in the mortgage industry, a data firm said Monday.

... "We could easily surpass 2 million foreclosure filings by the end of the year, which would represent a year-over-year increase of over 65 percent," said RealtyTrac CEO James J. Saccacio.

California, Florida, Texas and Ohio were among the states with the highest number of homes receiving foreclosure-related notices, the firm said.


Posted by Dave Johnson at August 22, 2007 2:53 PM

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Comments

Anyone facing foreclosure should be aware that there is one very important alternative to avoid the foreclosure and that is the Short Sale. A Short Sale is a proven way for a homeowner who owes more than the house is worth to avoid a foreclosure and the subsequent credit hit.
I would advise anyone facing foreclosure to discuss their situation with an experienced Realtor. Short Sales are not a part of real estate basic training but there are a number of educational seminars a Realtor can take to get up to speed. Lenders will pay a reasonable selling commission so Realtors have an incentive to get involved in Short Sale situations.
The basic requirements for a Short Sale are a Listing Agreement with a Realtor and a Sales Contract from a Buyer which are submitted to the Lender along with a Hardship Letter from the Seller explaining why they cannot continue to pay the mortgage and supporting documents such as tax returns, bank statements, information and photos of the home and the Comps, or comparative home prices supporting the offer. The way mortgages are sold, the lender can be anywhere in the country and certainly not aware of local real estate conditions.
If the package is complete, the Lender will order a BPO, or Broker's Price Opinion, from an independent Realtor. Ths BPO is the key to the whole process. If it is too high, the Lender will not accept a low offer. Your Realtor can meet with the Agent doing the BPO and offer information supporting the offer, such as the average time on market of comparable homes, recent selling prices and point out any defects in the home. Most Lenders will accept an offer lower than the BPO, but usually not much more than 10% lower, though that will vary depending on the company.
The sales contract should specifically state that the offer is contingent on the Lender accepting the purchase price in full and forgiving the Seller the deficiency on the mortgage. Yes, there can be tax consequences. The Seller does receive a 1099 on the forgiven part of the mortgage, but there are provisions in the tax code for the offset of the phantom income due to insolvency. Most Short Sellers will satisfy the insolvency requirements or the Lender would not be allowing the Short Sale in the first place. Be aware too that if the home goes to foreclosure, a 1099 is received for the FULL amount of the mortgage, plus late fees, legal fees etc. Obviously every situation is different so a CPA or tax attorney should be consulted.
The process does all take time and Lenders are swamped, expect at least 2-3 months before a sale can be finalized, even if the Lender accepts the first offer. If they do not, the price can be negotiated.

I am a Realtor, a Broker Associate and I am involved in Short Sales. It is a detailed but fairly straightforward process that can work to benefit Buyer, Seller and even the Lender. The Buyer gets a good price on a home, the Seller gets to avoid the disruption and credit hit of a foreclosure and the Lender avoids the delay and expense of foreclosing on a property they don't want to own and that would negatively impact their ability to make more loans.
All this information is available on the web site
www.free-foreclosure-information.com

Posted by: RealBritFL [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 22, 2007 8:12 PM

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