Market Recovery Unlikely for 2011

January 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Market Recovery Unlikely for 2011

Real Estate Market Recovery very unlikely for 2011

By Joshua C Anderson, Lexington Realty Correspondent

Thursday January 06 2011

Los Angeles- Government stimulus programs and federal tax credits would have seemed to be great news for the real estate market, however the market has showed slow signs on recovery. While the foreclosure and unemployment rates show no signs of stabilizing, 2011 is almost exactly where it was a year ago with the exception of a few changes.

According to expert analyst the real estate market has yet to bottom out and while prices remain low there simply are not enough qualified buyers to make up the difference. While foreclosures are still very common home values will continue to plummet, further weakening the economy. The only entities benefiting from this situation are real estate investors who are buying properties and holding on them for the long term. One of the major contributors to the crisis is delinquent homeowners who won’t budge. The government has stepped in to offer its help via the HAFA program. It’s essentially a short sale that offers sellers up to $3,500 in relocation assistance if they qualify. The majority of short sellers are in fact insolvent and the relocation assistance would be a great benefit for them. On the other hand there investors who own rental properties and they will not likely benefit from HAFA. The problem however is not easily solved; getting the delinquent homeowners to agree to the short sale requires a lot of negotiating. Like most people in the United States home ownership is the American dream and like anything else there is a deep emotional attachment.

California based firm Housing Assist of America is one of the leading short sale companies in the country and have done hundreds of short sales with nearly every lender. A spokesman from the company stated that, “2011 is going to be one our busiest years yet, banks are stepping up their efforts to get these short sales approved with efficiency and satisfactory results”. The end result of these short sales is a positive direction in the real estate market.

Disheartening News For America

December 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Disheartening News For America

Very Disheartening News for America

The more news articles I read regarding the US economy, the more I realize the average American is drowning (and tethered to a sinking house). Lets start with headlines from today like “Obama’s Mortgage Mod Plan is Still Lacking”. This article from CNN Money explains that while $30 Billion was set aside for HAMP to help struggling homeowners stay in their properties, only $4 Billion will end up being used for this purpose. Instead of saving an estimated 3 million to 4 million peoples home, they now project a total of 700,000. Why, you may ask? For the same reason these people are in this position in the first place, the benefit of Corporate America. It’s plain and simple. Wall Street greed caused this mess and its perpetual greed is keeping America here. Instead of writing down loan balances and offering REAL and sustainable plans for people to keep these properties; the executives at the top plan to foreclose on every one of them. And they are laughing all the way to the bank!

Here are a couple other headlines from CNN Money today, “Wealth Gap becomes Chasm at Christmas” and “Wall Street Bonuses May Top Last Year’s as Earnings Soar”. So basically the rich are continuing to get richer as the average Joe is slipping deeper into negative net worth with their underwater properties. The middle class is getting completely wiped out and we will be left with a very small minority of Super Rich and a large majority of Super Poor. The government could stop this but unfortunately is under Wall Street and Corporate America’s thumb.

We at Housing Assist of America have made it our business to help these homeowners that are drowning in negative equity with ridiculous mortgage payments. Our job is to fight the banks on behalf of the homeowner to allow a Short Sale. We negotiate with lenders like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, and many more to forgive these homeowners for their debts. Our clients are able to walk away and start fresh while planning a road to economic recovery. Housing Assist of America lays out a plan to repair credit and buy a home at a reasonable price. We do not charge for our services and we have a greater than 85% success rate. We are so skilled that hundreds of real estate agents contract us to negotiate on their short sales on their behalf.

Isn’t everybody FED UP with the current situation? Please contact us at Housing Assist of America to find out how we can help you. I look forward to hearing from you.

Foreclosures Continue to Bring Down The Housing Market

December 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Short Sale/Loan Modification Blog

Foreclosures continue to bring down the housing market despite a recent decline in underwater mortgages

By Joshua C Anderson, Lexington Realty Correspondent

As the holidays approach, many Americans are considering relocating to take advantage of the low prices available in the market. However, the savings are not a result of an amazing deal, there the aftermath of the worst housing crisis in history. For the miniscule market of qualified buyers, there are some great opportunities, but for the rest of the nation the turmoil continues. Just last week Forbes online magazine released an article of the worst hit cities in the nation, and that list continues to grow.

Cleveland Ohio was the top city to have the sharpest decline in home values, followed closely by Minneapolis and Portland. The nation however has seen somewhat of a decrease in underwater mortgage holders. But the problem of underwater homeowners still has an adverse effect on the market. The underwater homes carry the highest risk of default and foreclosures. The only realistic solution for these homeowners is a short sale. The short sale process has several benefits for the homeowners as well as the lender. The market will continue decline regardless of new buyers as long as there are foreclosures. Many delinquent borrowers do not want to face the fact that they will lose the house to foreclosure if they do not short sale, and there are still many holding on to the idea of the failed modification program.

new american homes front21 The 2008 New American Home at Lake Nona

In addition to the devastating consequences of foreclosure, many homeowners are opting for bankruptcy, deed in lieu and abandonment. All of which will continue to drive down the economy. If all of these delinquent borrowers choose a short sale, they will avoid all of these problems. Housing Assist of America is a southern California based company that has been named number one and is platinum certified through equator. HAA also has an immaculate rating with the better business bureau and doesn’t charge fees to facilitate the transaction. To learn more about them you can visit In these uncertain economic times its prudent to make the right decisions for the long run.

A Grim Reality

December 6, 2010 by  
Filed under A Grim Reality

A Grim Reality

Why this holiday season won’t be so jovial for millions of Americans

Joshua Anderson, Lexington Realty correspondent. Thursday December 2nd 2010 9:55 PST

This holiday season, retail stores will be packed beyond capacity, just as they are every year. Hot items like the Apple iPad, Xbox gaming system and the latest in children’s toys will fill shopping bags. But not so distant from the dreamlike ambience of the mall there lies a grim reality. Millions of families will not be at the malls and outlets; they will be without heat, electricity, food and of course, without Christmas festivities. One of the main reasons for this is the fact that unemployment benefits will run out for more than two million Americans. The maximum time allowed for unemployment benefits is 99 weeks. In addition to the record unemployment, there is a large surplus of foreclosures. This is the highest ever record of foreclosures in the nations history, probably in the world. When you factor in losing a job and losing a home, the hope for a person can decline very sharply. Many just want to find a way to put all of this behind them, there are a few small options that just might be able to salvage what’s left.

When economic times are at the worst, there are very limited options as to what’s available. When you factor in job loss and foreclosure risk, the main concern should be cutting your losses before it spirals out of control. Bankruptcy obviously has long term ramifications and foreclosure is not much different. A boutique firm in Los Angeles has been advising nearly all of there clients to short sale. In that process the lender agrees to accept less than what’s owed on the loan. Most of the time, the homeowner can walk away with very little damage and is usually eligible to purchase again within 14-18 months. Whichever direction the homeowner decides to go there is still the issue of unemployment that needs to be resolved.

Job seekers need to maximize their resources and find ways to stand out amongst the crowd. Thousand of seasonal retail jobs are available every year and it’s usually on a first come first serve basis. In large metropolitan cites like Los Angeles, Chicago or New York, there are many opportunities, even at a temporary level. An employees performance during the holidays season could dictate weather or not they will be rehired the following year or even be eligible for a full time position. In the end it is up to the job seeker to make a lasting impression that will insure their job security.

Innocent Bystanders

November 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Innocent Bystanders

Innocent Bystanders

Monday November 29, 2010 at 12:00 pm PST by Joshua Anderson, Lexington Realty Correspondent

Los Angeles—We have all heard the stories, a once vibrant neighborhood goes to the dumps because every other house on the block is either bank owned or currently in foreclosure. Everyone looks around and points fingers and asks who’s to blame?  Well from the top we of course by default blame Wall Street, the banks and the government. But by taking a more in depth look at the whole scenario, we realize there were a chain of events that eventually lead us to where we are today, and the unfortunate outcome, are those who suffered because of someone else’s mistakes.

Take 60 year old Sherrilynn Palladino, a ten year homeowner in the California community of Grover beach.  A responsible borrower who never missed a payment, Palladino could only stand by and watch as the price of her home plummeted until it was too underwater to do anything about it. This scenario had been played out over a million times in thousands of communities across the nation. It’s almost like a domino effect, one block falls, and sets off a chain reaction. Palladino had dreams of selling her home and cashing out. A home with good equity would have made for a secure retirement, but instead, the values declined. Between all of the underwater mortgages and rising rates, foreclosures were inevitable. In the case of Palladino though, she never missed a payment, even after being laid off from her job as an administrative assistant. Unlike her situation, most families could not afford to salvage the basic necessities just to keep up with the mortgage payment. This is where the real trouble began. Almost everyone who had an adjustable rate mortgage was bound to default at some point or another, and just as it was predicted, they did. On top of the defaulted loan, many homeowners lost there jobs, thus creating an even deeper financial burden.

Now that we are somewhat nearing the tail end of this foreclosure mess, we need to have a better understanding of what got us here in the first place. Prices will still drop for the next couple of years and lenders are stepping up there foreclosure efforts. So before the smoke dissipates there will be even more collateral damage. Sherrilynn Palladino was just one case, but there are thousands more just like her. One of the best things you can do in a situation like this short sale. The process allows you to alleviate the negative debt and does minimal damage to your credit, pending your not severely in default. Upon completing the short sale you may be entitled to up to $3,500 from the Obama driven HAFA program. The benefits are endless; however the most significant is avoiding foreclosure. After just 18 months the homeowner can be eligible to take out a new home loan and take advantage while prices and interest rates are still historically low.

Being a victim of this housing crisis doesn’t mean you need to be a casualty, in many cases it takes risk and a small amount damage to rectify the situation, but in the end it may be worth it.

The Invisible Recession

November 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Short Sale/Loan Modification Blog

The Invisible Recession

“An in depth look into what really happened after the economic collapse”

Joshua Anderson. Lexington Realty Correspondent.

We have all seen the apparent signs of the big recession. First there was the mortgage crisis, the failed banks, the Wall Street scandals and of course the unemployment rate. All of this began when the housing market began to collapse and continued on a downward spiral. The more homes that were foreclosed, the less equity became available. Small businesses began to take a dive and within a matter of months the entire financial infrastructure of the United States was faltering at a record rate. As the smoke began to clear, massive layoffs ensued and corporate giants began to buckle.

One of the highlights in this crisis was the big Wall Street bailout. Stronger banks acquired the weaker banks and we all believed that we, the American people, were somehow going to benefit from this. The outcome, we didn’t, not at all in fact. The only noticeable signs we saw of this bailout was that Wamu’s became Chase and Merrill Lynch became Bank of America. Aside form the obvious acquisitions in the news; we were left waiting for a savior. Homeowners who were delinquent were expecting modifications that never came to fruition, and the unemployed waiting to be hired again. In the midst of this fiasco, several large banks were compensating there executives with skyrocketing incomes & bonuses.

While the rest of the economy was struggling to keep up, Bank of America CEO Thomas Montag received a total compensation of $29,930.431. This was considered only slightly larger that that of Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf who made just over $21,000,000.  These numbers are astronomical and completely unfair to the American people who are barely able to stay in their homes. The most terrifying factor is that for those who are facing foreclosure thought they had a fighting chance. However, the Obama administration made it clear that stepping up foreclosures is the only way to stabilize the doomed housing market.

At this point in time, there are not many options available to those who are struggling. There is however some long term tips to keep in mind. Continuing education may be the best way to secure a great career and of course smart savings and investments. There may be a recession but as you can see there is a dramatic difference between those who are feeling the effects, and those who aren’t.

Obama Advocates Foreclosure

November 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Obama Advocates Foreclosure

Obama Advocates Foreclosures

By Joshua C Anderson, Lexington Realty Correspondent November 14, 2010 3:39 PM PT

Los Angeles—The housing market has been jolted by several failed attempts to recover and the only solution at this point, seems to destroy and rebuild.

In the midst of the month long foreclosure moratorium, harsh decisions had to be made. Obama administration officials stated that all lending and servicing institutions needed to review there foreclosure policies and procedures, this however did not result in a mass of homeowners getting out of trouble. The officials made it clear that they did not support the moratorium for several reasons. One main point being that the housing market wouldn’t return to normal without foreclosures.

A stable market in the future does not come without consequences. The continuation of foreclosures will not only hurt the housing market, but it will also have an adverse affect on the overall economy. The Mortgage modification program was supposed to lower homeowner’s monthly payments by 31%. The program was a complete failure and many homeowners have been misinformed.  Laurie Goodman of Amherst Securities said in a statement, “What they have now realized is there are a lot of borrowers who can’t be saved and have to be moved through the foreclosure process.”

This will be a hard fact to address to the American people. There will be a lot of animosity and many will feel left out. There are however, alternative options to foreclosure. The most popular and less damaging is the short sale.

Southern California based Housing Assist of America has made quite an impact on the short sale market. They are among the nation’s best negotiators and have over a 90% percent success rate. Typically in a short sale the lender will accept less than what you owe on the property and in most cases forgive the left over balance. The consequences are significantly less detrimental to the homeowner’s credit and financial situation than that in a foreclosure. Housing Assist of America has recently made an alliance with tax powerhouse H&R Block. Together, they educate at risk homeowners on short sales and tax ramifications. There scheduled to host a free seminar next week in Culver City, a hard hit  suburb of Los Angeles. As the foreclosures in the nation increase so do the opportunities for scammers. When the loan modification wave hit, several fly by night firms starting collection retainer fees from homeowners, only to yield no results. Other signs to watch out for include companies that promise results and charge an upfront fee. Banks do not charge there clients to modify or short sale there homes.

In this vulnerable time it’s important to be vigilant to what your options are. The government has made it clear that foreclosures will continue and everyone who falls into that category will inevitably fall into it, one way or the other. From a homeowner’s perspective, the best option is to accept the demise and seek out the best exit strategy. For those who are still holding on to hope or speculation, this message from the top should clearly define the future housing forecast.

“As we near the end of 2010, the housing market remains fragile, and has recently come under renewed pressure from slowing economic growth, weaker employment and foreclosure uncertainties, We believe that it will be a considerable time until the housing market has a sustained recovery.” A chilling statement from Freddie (FMCC) Mac CEO, Charles Haldeman.

Foreclosures Crippling the Economic Recovery

October 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Short Sale/Loan Modification Blog

Home prices & sales are up but foreclosures are still crippling the economic recovery.

By Joshua C Anderson, Lexington Realty correspondent. October 26, 2010

Los Angeles-It’s been more than a few weeks since the major lenders have enacted the foreclosure moratorium. “We are looking intensively at the firms’ policies, procedures, and internal controls related to foreclosures and seeking to determine whether systematic weaknesses are leading to improper foreclosures,” said Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke. Many homeowners are still clinging on to the idea that they will not be foreclosed as a result of this investigation. The reality of the situation is that only ten percent of at risk homeowners will get out the situation there in.

Several key factors that are adding to the demise of the housing market include the fact that the housing recession is nowhere near over. Most of the nation’s communities have not yet bottomed out and optimistic speculation is merely opinion driven. Once the market does officially bottom out, prices will not rebound automatically. It will take quite some time for the rest of the economy to get up to speed, and even then it will be a long recovery. Another common misconception is that the worst is in the past. Rick Sharga from Realty Trac, an online foreclosure company, says he does not envision foreclosure activity stabilizing until late 2011. There are still those who will continue to believe that there loans will be modified, even though several reports from the top news and government agencies confirmed that it was a huge failure.  One of the realistic solutions in this market is to mitigate as much as loss as possible. Many of the homeowners who are facing foreclosure do have an opportunity to salvage what’s left of there credit and financial future by attempting a short sale.

Knowing that are very few positive solutions to this crises, it would behoove homeowners to seek out reputable companies, attorneys and accountants. By doing adequate research, the average homeowner can avoid fraud and even foreclosure. According to the California department of real estate, companies that are conducting modifications, loans, short sale and forensic loan audits, arte required to be registered and certified with the department. It is up to the homeowner to seek out this information and make the right decision based on there situation.

Bank of America Resumes Foreclosures

October 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Short Sale/Loan Modification Blog

Bank of America Resumes Foreclosures

On Monday, Bank of America stated that, after having reviewed 102,000 foreclosures in 23 states where courts must sign off on proceedings, they are now resuming the process on said cases.

B of A stated that the first of the new affidavits are scheduled to be submitted by October 25, 2010, and will continue reviewing in 27 other states soon after. According to a B of A spokeswoman, no errors were found during their review, and less than 30,000 foreclosure sales across all 50 states will be delayed as result of the investigation. The announcement came one day before the banks third quarter earnings report, the news sending B of A’s shares up 36 cents to $12.34 or 3.01%. B of A stated that the review process, “has been an important step to give customers confidence they are being treated fairly.”State Attorneys General have stepped up pressure on banks recently after it was revealed that some bank employees had signed foreclosure affidavits without verifying that the documents were accurate, also known as “Robo-signing”.

October 1st was the initial launch of review for B of A, and October 18th is said to be the day the bank will expand its document probe to all 50 states. The bank says that their initial assessments in the remaining 27 states show that the basis for their foreclosure decisions were indeed accurate.

So far at least five other major mortgage servicers have announced their own document review process. 1.8 million Loans are in foreclosure in the 23 judicial states, while 1.3 million are pending in other parts of the country, according to a Morgan Stanley analyst report.

Bankruptcy May Prevent Foreclosure

July 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Bankruptcy May Prevent Foreclosure, Blog

Can Bankruptcy Prevent Foreclosure?

There are some cases where bankruptcy can help homeowners prevent foreclosure.  The first and foremost thing a bankruptcy will do is stop the foreclosure process.  Lenders are unable to proceed with a foreclosure until permitted to do so by the courts.

When filing for bankruptcy, there are two types to decide from: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

A chapter 7 bankruptcy will stop foreclosure, but this will usually lead to having to liquidate your assets.  Many BK attorneys prefer this method because it gets rid of all unsecured debt, but leaves secured debt such as your mortgage, exempt.  In a case like this, borrowers will still owe their mortgage payments but they can now afford to make them because all of their other debts have been discharged.

Although many experts claim that Chapter 13 is usually more effective at helping homeowners keep their home.  This gives them time to repair their finances, lasting anywhere from 3-5 years, over this period of time the court allows an income based budget with monthly payments made to trustees.

The trustees pay the bills, first paying off the secured debt. After that, the trustee pays off unsecured debt, starting with back income taxes.  Following this  comes unsecured debt, such as credit cards and medical bills.  If borrowers keep up on their payments they can emerge from bankruptcy with their homes still in their possessions.

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