Home ownership can become a heavy responsibility at times, especially like now, when times are tough. It can also be challenging to find help when things are difficult because of a decrease in, or loss of income, illness, unexpected disaster, unexpected major home repairs, or a personal crisis such as separation or divorce. Add to that a reduction in home values, and the problem can seem insurmountable. While savings can help to alleviate some of the impact of these life events, it is still helpful to be aware of potential programs and alternatives offered to distressed homeowners, too. In fact in last month’s State of the Union address, President Obama made reference to this struggle in home ownership, saying, “And while Government can’t fix the problem on its own, responsible homeowners shouldn’t have to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom to get some relief.”
If you find yourself in a no-win situation regarding your mortgage, it can be helpful to speak with your lender and ask about loan modifications that can be made in the short term. You can ask about the short sale process, too, and see if that may be a viable option for you. A short sale is when your lender agrees to accept a lower price than is owed on your property as payment in full. There is a lot of paperwork that accompanies this type of sale and it is helpful to use a real estate agent that has short sale experience with this type of transaction. In fact, some real estate agents like us, and some home buyers, specialize in just this type of sale and can be a great help to you!
If you want to stay in your home, rather than sell, programs such as the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) , or the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative (HAFA) offered by Freddie Mac may all be options. Fannie Mae and your individual lender may have other programs that can assist you as well. Please click here to view a variety of tools on how to avoid foreclosure. Remember that you do have options, if you are willing and able to face them. It will take time to explore them but don’t give up!
If you would like to talk to a certified expert on short sales and foreclosures, Alex Wilkas is just the person to call. Our number is at the top of this page. Call us so we can walk you through the options you have before it’s too late and you lose your largest life investment, the home you and your family are living in. San Mateo County is one of a handful of counties in California that hasn’t seen a great deal of foreclosures but short sales have been plentiful. Don’t be embarrassed to talk to us about this. We are here to help you.