July 26, 2007

Foreclosure Help Is Available

The Federal Reserve Board has reminded lenders that they must educate owners and offer counseling before a foreclosure takes place. If you are in a situation do try the counseling. Keep in mind lenders lend money they dont manage property or sell property...If all else fails talk to your lender about a short sale and see if that can help you find a reasonable way out. Your Property Path has a good follow article on this.

Foreclosure Help Is Available

There is a lot more assistance out there than there was even a few years ago. A credit counselor may be a good place to start. They will make those negotiation calls to the credit card companies and maybe even to your mortgagee. They are trained and know what to say and can remain emotionally detached during what can be some ugly conversations. There are some bad apples in the counseling business, however. Use one that is approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (www.hud.gov/counseling for a state by state list) or by the NeighborWorks® organization (www.nw.org.)

In some larger cities Freddie Mac (and maybe Fannie Mae) has teamed up with local housing groups and/or legal assistance organizations to form foreclosure avoidance projects. Where these are available community based housing organizations will be aware of them.

There are now a few funds out there to help people in precarious situations with their mortgages. NeighborWorks or local community housing organizations may be able to plug you in.

If you think your problems are the result of predatory lending practices or a fraudulent loan get in touch with the state consumer protection agency (call your state attorney general or secretary of state.)

Mortgage News Daily

When the housing rebound comes
How will you know?

Because housing markets are intensely local, it won't do much good to check national figures. Instead, stay alert to leading indicators of recovery in your local market, such as: Inventory is decliningIn markets with fewer than 6.5 months of inventory, homes tend to be appreciating faster than inflation, says Mark Dotzour, chief economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M; above 6.5, prices are lagging inflation.
1. Houses are selling faster than they used to
Generally, if the average house is selling in less than a month, it's a seller's market. By 90 days it may be a buyer's ball game.
2. Realtors are feeling better
3. Sellers are acting less desperate
All this should give you a hint, says Sacramento broker Elizabeth Weintraub. "If you're seeing no decrease in FOR SALE signs, balloons and banners and OPEN HOUSE signs, and the SOLD signs aren't popping up right away, that's pretty much telling you it's still a buyer's market."


Metropolitan Area Existing-Home Prices and
State Existing-Home Sales

NAR releases statistics on state-by-state existing-home sales and metropolitan area median home prices each quarter. The state existing-home sales report includes single-family houses, condos and co-ops. The price report reflects sales prices of existing single-family homes by metropolitan statistical area (MSA)

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