Finding the right time to sell

Q: We’re only upside down on our mortgage by a very little amount, but definitely want to sell our house. With prices going up, should we wait until we don’t have to short sell or should we just bite the bullet and sell it now? Thanks. George

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Lenders must play by new foreclosure rules

I have a foreclosure date coming up and don’t know what to do. How can I tell if my bank is legally foreclosing on me? Is there anything I can do? Sonia

I’m sorry about the news. I know that a pending foreclosure can be very stressful. I don’t know the background of your particular situation but I can tell you that on April 19 the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released a set of guidelines for proper foreclosure procedures.

U.S. banks have had their hands slapped several times regarding improprieties in their handling of foreclosure cases. These new guidelines are designed to standardize how banks approach foreclosures and apply to homes that are scheduled to go to foreclosure in the next 60 days. [Read more…]

The quest to save a home

Q: My husband, kids and I live near the beach. We’ve owned our home since 1999. At the end of 2011, my husband shut his company. We tried to keep our heads above water while he searched for another job.

Our house did go into foreclosure at one point, but we borrowed from family and got it out, but of course ended up accruing lots of fees on top of our regular mortgage, which we were already struggling to pay. I tried twice to get a loan modification, but was denied because our bank says the owner of our deed only allows HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program), no other programs. We also have a lot of equity in our home. We’re cash poor but house rich and trying hard to get out of our financial struggles.

We’ve had our house for sale for nine months. The longer it’s on the market, the more we keep trying to figure out how we can keep it. My husband got a new job and I work while kids are in school. My questions to you: How can we just lower our interest rate so we can keep our home? Loan mod is out of question. How long does it take to build FICO score back up and to refinance? Can we get a co- signer to refinance? Can you give us some pointers how to show the bank we are responsible and hard-working and just need a break on our interest rate?


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New law aids distressed homeowners

One of the lesser talked-about laws that went into effect Jan. 1 is the California Foreclosure Reduction Act, which is part of the Homeowners Bill of Rights that California’s Attorney General proposed three years ago.

The law benefits homeowners and establishes new procedures that lenders must follow. [Read more…]

Your options after a loan mod is turned down

Q. I’m trying to figure out what to do. I was turned down for a loan modification recently and have a foreclosure date in a couple of weeks. I thought that these banks are supposed to help but mine doesn’t want to. I really don’t know what to do and don’t want to lose my house. I’m always getting mail from people who say that I don’t have to, how can they say that? What are my options?

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