Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 12

Have You Heard of This New Refinance Option?

by Dean Kessler

Are you a homeowner who has an adjustable rate mortgage, or a high interest rate mortgage, or a mortgage balance larger than the value of your home? Nationally, 1 in 4 homeowners is upside down in their home loan. California is even more troubling with 1 in 3 homeowners upside down in their home loan.

If your mortgage is owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, you need to know about their Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). Administered by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae homeowners can refinance to a new loan and lock in at today’s lower fixed interest rates. And their may also be a principal reduction.

To qualify, you need to be a homeowner who is current on your loan payments, and your loan balance is 80% to 125% of your property’s current value. A majority of home owners who purchased in the past 5 years will meet this requirement.

This refinance program was ready to expire June 30, 2011 and has recently been extended one year thru June 30, 2012.

Now you won’t know Freddie or Fannie is your lender by who you’re sending mortgage payment to every month. The Wells Fargo’s, Bank of America’s, Chase’s, etc, brand name lenders may just be “servicing” the loan on behalf of Freddie or Fannie. To find out if you have a Freddie Mac loan, visit For a Fannie Mae loan visit

HARP is intended to pull borrowers “above water” and help them get out from under plummeting property values and/or increasing interest rates. Nationally 621,803 homeowners have taken advantage of this program. Yet this represents only 10% of annual home sales nationally so it’s clear many homeowners are not aware of this program. If you have questions, both Freddie and Fannie’s websites have excellent examples, one of which may fit your scenario. Additional questions should be directed to your favored Eureka area loan officer or mortgage broker who knows how to speak HARP.

3 Reasons the Term “Strategic Default” Is Misleading

by Dean Kessler

3 Reasons the Term “Strategic Default” Is Misleading

In a recent study, the Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index found that a full 36% of Americans would consider “strategic default”—another term for walking away from your mortgage—if they were underwater (owed more on their home than what it was worth).

Now that more than one in four American homeowners is “underwater,” I feel that it’s important for the community to know the truth about strategic default.

The truth is the foreclosure process carries with it credit issues, current and future employment challenges, issues with security clearance and possible debt collections.

That’s why it is vital to explain the 3 reasons why the term “strategic default” is misleading:

  1. There’s nothing strategic about defaulting on purpose, especially when you have options like short sales, mortgage modifications, and refinance (just to name a few) that may keep you from foreclosure.
  2. The waiting periods to apply for a new mortgage loan are at least five years less in a short sale vs. a foreclosure.
  3. A foreclosure will show up on your credit report every time you apply for a home loan, car loan, new job, etc., and will affect your financial situation for many years to come.

If you are underwater and can no longer afford your mortgage payments, you need to create a genuine strategy to avoid foreclosure, helping to provide stability for you and our community.

If you have any questions about what steps you or someone you care about should take next, contact me today!

IMPORTANT GOVERNMENT DISCLOSURE: You may stop doing business with us at any time. You may accept or reject the offer of mortgage assistance we obtain from your lender (or servicer). If you reject the offer, you will not have to pay us for our services. The above brokerage is not associated with the government, and our service is not approved by the government or your lender. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan.


Submitted to local press and television outlets:

While major lenders examine foreclosure and eviction practices, Dean Kessler offers local homeowners an understanding of the alternatives to foreclosure, including short sales.

Eureka, CA – 11/10/2010 – As Ally Financial, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase review their foreclosure processes across the country, CDPE-designated agent, Dean Kessler of The Kessler Team, helps local homeowners understand alternatives to their distressed situations.

“There is a common misconception among homeowners that the so-called foreclosure freezes translate into a ‘get-out-of-my-mortgage-free’ card. This simply isn’t so,” Kessler said. “It is vital for homeowners facing foreclosure to understand that there are other, more beneficial options, including short sales.”

A short sale occurs when the lien holder accepts the sale price of a property that is less than the borrower’s mortgage balance. Short sales have become an increasingly utilized alternative to foreclosure, growing 126.5 percent in the past year alone, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Lender Processing Services (LPS) also estimates that more than seven million mortgages are either delinquent or in the foreclosure process.

Starting in September, major lenders initially began freezing foreclosure procedures in the 23 states requiring a judicial review. Bank of America and Ally have since resumed foreclosures in these states, continuing to review their processes, and JPMorgan has yet to lift its temporary suspension.

“While some of these lenders have restarted their foreclosure process, homeowners remain generally uninformed of what this means to their individual situations,” Kessler said. “Homeowners facing financial hardships deserve to know the options available to them, and that lenders are willing to work toward alternatives to foreclosure.”


Making Sense of Mortgage Modification

by Dean Kessler

There has been much in the news in the past few weeks about mortgage modifications for homeowners who are having trouble making their house payments. Many are having difficulty qualifying for modifications, and so far the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) has had disappointing results.

Last month I was working with a Eureka homeowner in financial distress who had attempted to modify their loan thru HAMP. Three months later they where declined for a HAMP modification because a mathematical equation the lender used had determined it would be better for the lender to foreclose then to modify the loan. The lender then offered an “internal” modification, but only if the homeowners would pay an extra $80,000 on the loan if in the future they paid off the loan or sold the house. My clients declined and we successfully pursued a “short sale”. It was a very emotional decision, but financially it was there best option.

As a side note, the lender also found a reason to decline these homeowners for participation in the governments Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative (HAFA). If we had been successful in a short sale under HAFA, the lender would have had to offer the borrowers $3,000 relocation assistance.

Not all lenders are as devious as this lender was, but this experience was an example of how some lenders tend to manipulate or just completely ignore rescue programs meant to help distressed homeowners and lenders. My counsel remains for distressed homeowners to be proactive with their lender and be realistic about their options.

The Washington Post recently reported that “troubled homeowners who receive housing counseling are 60% more likely to avoid foreclosure and have their mortgage payments lowered significantly than borrowers who navigate the process themselves.” I can help homeowners facilitate the process of loan modification and discuss other alternatives to foreclosure if a modification is not an option.

As a CDPE, I feel it’s my duty to help anyone I can during these hard times. If you would like to know more about mortgage modifications and whether or not you might qualify, please feel free to contact me.

Distressed HomeOwner Help

by Dean Kessler

Released to our local media:

Local Agent Provides Resource on Foreclosure Alternatives, Short Sales

For homeowners struggling with mortgage payments, website explains differences between foreclosure and short sales.

Eureka, CA – 15 October 2010 – Local CDPE-designated agent, Dean Kessler of The Kessler Team, has released an informational report comparing the consequences of a short sale and foreclosure.

The report can be found at and provides a thorough explanation of how a short sale may potentially improve a homeowner’s future financial stability.

“Considering how damaging foreclosure can be for the homeowner and the surrounding community, it is important that everyone knows all of the alternatives available,” Kessler said. “This report is the latest addition to my website, which gives distressed homeowners a way to inform themselves on their best options.”

Currently, one in seven mortgages is in some stage of delinquency. Once a mortgage payment has been missed, the lender has the ability to begin the foreclosure process. A short sale can potentially minimize the damage to one’s future loan eligibility, credit score, employment, security clearance and more.

“We often see homeowners enter the foreclosure process without any visible means of professional guidance,” Kessler said. “My hope is to inform the Eureka area community that there are legal, dignified alternatives to foreclosure.”


Resources For Struggling Homeowners

by Dean Kessler

With More Than One in Seven Mortgages Not Being Paid, Local Agent Offers Free Resources to Struggling Homeowners 

In response to community needs, new website educates struggling homeowners on options to foreclosure. 

Eureka, CA –July 22, 2010 – Local real estate agent and Certified Distressed Property Expert®, Dean Kessler of The Kessler Real Estate Team, responded to new mortgage delinquency numbers by creating a new information website for Humboldt County-area homeowners facing financial hardships. contains vital facts about the options available to financially distressed homeowners. 

“With more than 14 percent of mortgages in default status, there are a significant number of homeowners facing foreclosure,” Kessler said. “When faced with the possibility of foreclosure, I’ve seen too many homeowners make poor choices, even walking away from their homes without calling their lender or a real estate agent. By offering free information on more beneficial options, I know I can help our community’s homeowners.”

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s First-Quarter 2010 National Delinquency Survey announced that more than 14 percent of mortgage loans are not current on payments. More specifically, 10 percent of prime loans and more than 40 percent of subprime loans are delinquent. 

“Whatever their best option is, the most important thing distressed homeowners can do is educate themselves before making a decision,” Kessler said. acts as a central location for information on the issues and options for struggling homeowners, putting all the necessary information in one, easy-to-use location. The information and materials located on the site are regularly updated to reflect market changes, trends, new lender requirements and industry updates.


EUREKA, CA – JULY 6, 2010 – Local real estate agent, DEAN KESSLER of THE KESSLER REAL ESTATE TEAM, is a Certified Distressed Property Expert, and is now offering free educational information for homeowners who are delinquent on their mortgages. 

Accessible through, these educational materials clearly explain what a homeowner’s options are when faced with an unaffordable mortgage, as well as the benefits of each option. 

One option highlighted in the website is the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program, or HAFA, which offers eligible homeowners $3,000 to pursue a short sale or deed-in-lieu, two alternatives to foreclosure. 

“We often find that homeowners in a difficult financial situation will hesitate to directly contact a professional for help,” KESSLER said. “My website offers a way to learn about what options are available so anyone can empower themselves with the necessary knowledge and then contact me to help pursue their best options.” 

The latest numbers on mortgage delinquency show that approximately one in every seven mortgages is in some stage of delinquency. While they might not be immediately foreclosed upon, these homeowners become more at risk of foreclosure the longer they wait to do something about their missed mortgage payments. 

“Many of these distressed homeowners bought their homes in a financially responsible manner,” KESSLER said. “Unfortunately, these people have had their finances turned upside-down over the past few years. Now, they must make their mortgage payments with constricting incomes.”

The CDPE designation KESSLER has acquired provides real estate professionals with specific understanding of the complex issues confronting the real estate industry. Through comprehensive training and experience, CDPEs are able to provide solutions for homeowners facing financial hardship in today’s market. 

For more information about the CDPE Designation, visit

Government Programs For Homeowners

by Dean Kessler

If you are struggling with mortgage payments, there are new government-backed programs that can help.

Take action and find out about your eligibility by filling out the free surveys here. These surveys will give you quick answers about what your options are, and what steps you need to take next. You'll also find other valuable information on foreclosure avoidance options to help you make the best decision for you circumstances.

If you need more immediate attention, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'm always here to assist you.  I am a trained Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE), trained in helping families in distress avoid foreclosure.

Local Agent Provides Free Government Program Eligibility Surveys

by The Kessler Team

Local Agent Provides Free Government Program Eligibility Surveys to Eureka Area Homeowners Facing Financial Hardships

Website presents information and answers questions on homeowner eligibility with new foreclosure avoidance resource.

Eureka, CA – 5/4/2010 – Local CDPE-designated agent and community advocate, Dean Kessler of The Kessler Real Estate Team has announced the expansion of an information website for Eureka-area homeowners in distress:

This resource now contains eligibility surveys for government programs offering help to distressed homeowners, including the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program, or HAFA, which increases the likelihood of a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. 

“These surveys will let homeowners quickly discover new options made available by the government,” Kessler said. “When faced with the possibility of foreclosure, I’ve seen too many homeowners make mistakes because they hadn’t been advised by a qualified professional. These people didn’t know the options available, or even how to find any information on their situation. My website helps to solve this problem.” acts as a hub for information on the facts and issues for struggling homeowners, putting all the necessary information in one, easy-to-use location. With the addition of these new eligibility surveys, the site lets homeowners make educated decisions about their future.

“Seven out of 10 homes that have gone into foreclosure did so without even being listed on the market,” said Alex Charfen, co-founder and CEO of the Distressed Property Institute. “Agents like Dean Kessler with the CDPE designation are helping distressed homeowners understand that there may be options available to avoid foreclosure.”

The CDPE designation provides real estate professionals with specific understanding of the complex issues confronting the real estate industry. Through comprehensive training and experience, CDPEs are able to provide solutions for homeowners facing financial hardship in today’s market.

For more information about the CDPE Designation, visit

Home Owner Seminar

by Dean Kessler


Please join us for our free February Home Owner Seminar. We are devoting the entire seminar to answering questions about loan modifications and short sales (Selling for less than is owed on the home).

  • How to decide whether to loan modify or do a short sale
  • What paperwork is involved
  • What are the credit implications and when will creditors calls stop
  • What are the benefits of doing a short sale vs. foreclosure
  • Which are the best and worst banks to work with

WHEN: Tuesday, February 23rd -  7 to 8:30 PM & Saturday, February 27th - 1 to 2:30 PM 

WHERE:  The Adorni Center - Conference Room. 1011 Waterfront Drive, Eureka      

HOW:  Call 441-1765 or email [email protected] to reserve your spot. Space is limited


The Kessler Team

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 12

 CA Department of Real Estate #01313330