By Kay Wilson-Bolton
August 15, 2006 –
We all know what trouble looks and feels like. Money goes out faster than it comes in. The day the house payment comes due arrives faster each month. The payment dates seem to come closer together each month and the payment is expected to rise again soon.
When these factors conjoin, you must admit that trouble is on the horizon. Ventura County homeowners are beginning to see the impact of high prices, low start rates for mortgage loans and no down payment financing.
Last week, a customer called to report that she was a few days away from foreclosure on a $45,000 loan and needed help. We found a lender who would make her a short term loan, and put her in touch with an attorney to help evaluate her situation complicated by her husband’s recent death.
It was too late. The sale took place, even while help was on the way. The foreclosing private lender, for A $45,000 loan, ended up with a home worth $650,000 with a first trust deed of only $160,000 with a major lender.
Homeowners who sense that trouble may be imminent can get help from their lenders if they act responsibly and quickly.
Homes can be sold if there is equity available. If not, homes can still be sold if everyone works with the lender to help prevent a foreclosure.
Without sufficient equity to pay off closing costs and the mortgage, lenders will work with borrowers on what is called a “short pay off” in cases of hardship, as long as the borrower cooperates with the lender and starts early to do their part.
If you see trouble ahead, contact a REALTOR® who has experience in dealing with banks and who understands today’s real estate market. They can guide you through the process of avoiding a foreclosure. It is a process, and there are dos and don’ts. Interview your next REALTOR® and ask lots of questions.
Don’t wait till the last minute to take action. Head it off by making the right moves. Home ownership in the long haul is always best. While contrasting market conditions can complicate that statement, banks and lenders don’t want your home. They want you to stay in it and make the payments on time.
Kay Wilson-Bolton is the owner of CENTURY 21 Buena Vista and brings a regional perspective to local issues. She can be reached at 805.340.5025.