Real Estate Information Archive


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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.


June Update

by Dean Kessler

This is my first month’s post “government intervention” report. The 1st time homebuyer $8,000 tax credit expired the end of April. It won’t surprise you to learn the number of homes going under contract dropped by 25% compared to the same time last year. So if our government’s tax credits are gone, how are first time homebuyers still buying homes?

              First time homebuyers are still out in force and making home buying decisions. “Why is this, Dean” you ask? The easy answer are loan interest rates remain below 5% and home prices are very affordable. With this combination, homebuyer mortgage payments rival a rent payment.

The stories of loan money not being available for home buying is simply untrue. Sure, lenders are asking for reams of documents from the buyer, scrutinizing every piece of paper and making the loan approval process maddening with requests for the absurd. How does a PG&E bill reflect on a buyer’s loan qualifications? Don’t know, yet I am glad to hear lenders being much more cautions with their lending practices. For too long it was simply too easy to get loans.

  Call me with questions/comments.


HAFA goes to Washington

by Dean Kessler

Just received word that both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will begin accepting HAFA short sales. What I'm hearing is this program will go into effect on August 1, 2010.This is great news for Eureka area distressed homeowners. It will allow more flexibility in being able to short sell a property before foreclosure. And the seller is entitled to a $3,000 relocation fee from the lender.

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

Market Condition Report

by Dean Kessler

February 2010 Real Estate Market Condition Report

There is good news for sellers! Home sales are up! Loan money is flowing, interest rates remain below 5%, again. I sound like a broken record stuck on the good news.

Yet for many “distressed” home sellers, this may not feel like good news time. Yet there is good news for home owners upside down in their mortgages and making mortgage payments from credit cards and retirement funds to keep the house. Lenders will be participating in the new “HAFA” program starting 4/10/2010. If you’re not aware of this new foreclosure prevention program, visit my special website just for distressed home owners,   


Eureka Area Distressed Property Inventory Hits New High

by Dean Kessler


The number of distressed properties facing foreclosure in the Eureka area continues to increase. Over the past 4 months, 164 homeowners received a Notice of Default, the first step in the pre-foreclosure process. Unfortunately, an additional 64 homeowners received a Notice of Sale, the final step before their property is sold at auction on the courthouse steps.  Finally, an additional 85 homes went to auction and where foreclosed on.  (Statistics retrieved from


Facing a foreclosure is a scary thing, but there are things you should do – and shouldn’t do – to avoid making the situation worse.

DO answer the phone and read your mail. Avoiding your lender won’t make the problem go away. In fact, it will only make the problem worse. Your lender may be able to help you, so be sure to answer the phone and read any mail they may have sent you.

DO realistically assess you situation. Are your financial problems temporary? If you are temporarily out of work and will be fine once you find a new job, call your lender. Lenders may be able to offer a forbearance or repayment plan.

DO consider your options. If you are not in position to keep your home, consider selling it before you face a foreclosure. If you have already missed a mortgage payment, call your lender. There may be purchase options, like a short payoff or assumption.

DO be aware of certain financial responsibilities. Even if your lender sells your property, you may still be responsible for the difference in the sale price and what you owe. It is important to realize that you may be responsible for certain taxes when a lender forecloses on your property. However, the IRS does provide tax relief in certain situations.

DO protect your wealth. Recognize that you may have significant equity in your property that must be preserved.

DON’T move out of your home. In order to qualify for assistance, homeowners are often required to be living in their home. Be sure to talk to your lender before you think about moving.

DON’T ignore the problem. It may be possible to keep your home, but if you wait to take action, fewer options will be available. You have certain rights and can take certain actions to help keep your home; however, you only have a limited amount of time.

DON’T convince yourself you can afford a home if you can’t. Most lenders will only lend what a borrower can afford, but some less scrupulous lenders will allow borrowers to get in over their heads. In some cases, a home that was affordable becomes unaffordable due to changes in your life circumstances. Call your mortgage company; they may be able to help you avoid foreclosure by agreeing to an assumption or a short payoff.

DON’T fall victim to a scheme. Some people want to profit by your misfortune by offering to contact and conduct all work-outs and negotiations with your lender on your behalf – for a fee.  

Reprinted from

Q & A Forum

What will a Short Sale cost me?

Nothing! In a properly negotiated Short Sale, your lender agrees to pay any of your closing costs including the Realtor’s commission. In some situations, your lender may also agree to pay some of the buyer’s closing costs.  Very few real estate agents have obtained the training and skill for these unique negotiations. How does a distressed homeowner know whether a real estate agent is truly qualified to facilitate a short sale? Look for an agent with a CDPE designation.

How long does a Short Sale take?

Depends. Once a purchase offer has been submitted some lenders are responding quickly. In a recent negotiation the lender tendered acceptance within 4 days. Another lender had taken 90 days. All lenders are overwhelmed with the amount of Short Sale offers they’re processing. Each is unique. After we receive lender approval, escrow is opened and typically closes within 30 days.

I have a first and second loan and owe much more than what my house is worth. Can I avoid a foreclosure and participate in a Short Sale?

Yes! Many of the Short Sales we’ve negotiated included multiple lenders with loan amounts much larger than the property’s current value. Lenders understand that a property will only sell for today’s market value. As long as an offer is reasonable, lenders would rather enter into a short sale than take the property back at foreclosure and attempt their own REO sale in the same market.

Dean Kessler is The Broker/Owner of RMK Realty, Inc and The Kessler Real Estate Team in Eureka. He has earned the prestigious Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation at the Distressed Property Institute in Florida and is uniquely qualified to help homeowners in financial distress.

Prestigious Designation to Help Homeowners in Danger of Foreclosure

by Dean Kessler
DEAN KESSLER of THE KESSLER REAL ESTATE TEAM in EUREKA has earned the prestigious Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation, having completed extensive training in foreclosure avoidance and short sales. This is invaluable expertise to offer at a time when the area is ravaged by “distressed” homes in the foreclosure process.
Short sales allow the cash-strapped seller to repay the mortgage at the price that the home sells for, even though it is lower than what is owed on the property. With plummeting property values, this can save many people from foreclosure and even bankruptcy. More and more lenders are willing to consider short sales because they are much less costly than foreclosures.
In the Humboldt County area, more than 96 homes are in danger of foreclosing. It is happening in all price ranges. Local experts say that even high-priced homes are not immune.
“This CDPE designation has been invaluable as I work with sellers and lenders on complicated short sales,” said Realtor Kessler. “It is so rewarding to be able to help sellers save their homes from foreclosure.”
Alex Charfen, founder of the Distressed Property Institute in Boca Raton, Florida, said that Realtors® such as Kessler with the CDPE designation have valuable training in short sales that can offer the homeowner much better alternatives to foreclosure, which virtually destroys the credit rating. These experts also may better understand market conditions and can help sellers through the emotional experience, he said.
The Distressed Property Institute opened in January 2008 and provides training on-site and online. The CDPE is the premier designation for Realtors helping homeowners in distress and handling short sales.
“Our goal is to educate as many people as possible so we can help as many homeowners as possible,” Charfen said.

Foreclosure Prevention Team in Humboldt County

by The Dean Kessler Team


(Eureka) Regardless of the reasons that are used to explain the current mortgage crisis in the United States, the reality that we are faced with is that more homeowners are in financial distress due to real estate than at any time in the history of real estate.


Eureka’s own Dean Kessler of The Kessler Real Estate Team at RMK Realty Inc., has earned the designation of a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and is ready to help families in need of his services. “I will help homeowners find the best solution to whatever financial crisis they are facing,” says Dean Kessler. “I am fully informed of the issues and know the detailed processes and procedures for working with and through the banks. There are many options that homeowners can take to prevent a foreclosure. We help our clients identify the options that are best suited for their situation.”


Residential real estate has many specialized areas and many agents take specific courses to deepen their understanding of issues and build upon the foundations they learned when acquiring their real estate license. The Distressed Property certification is one of the most important certifications in today’s market; it gives agents a full understanding of the complexities of short sales, pre-foreclosure, and foreclosures.


One thing remains the same for the majority of homeowners: the best solution for an individual wanting to sell a property is to seek the guidance, counsel and services of an educated licensed Realtor.


Says Dean Kessler, “Sometimes the best solution can be a ‘Short Sale’ – when a negotiation is entered into with the homeowner’s mortgage company or companies to accept less than the full balance of the loan at closing.” This should be one of the last options before foreclosure.


Owners in pre-foreclosure should seek out a Certified Distressed Property Expert as soon as possible. The foreclosure procedure timeline in California is only four (4) months from Notice of Default (NOD) until the foreclosure sale.


To find out all the benefits and options for preventing foreclosure, contact Dean Kessler, Broker, CDPE. His market includes Eureka, Fortuna, Arcata and McKinleyville. He can be reached at or 441-1765.


Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

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