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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 www.EurekaForeclosureHelp.com 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.”

 

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