I heard from another Bankruptcy Attorney today that Countrywide Home Loans has opened a phone line, 1-800-262-4218, to help people prevent foreclosure. I believe this program is in direct response to President Bush’s statements of several weeks ago. As you may recall, President Bush requested that mortgage companies begin to work with people who are falling behind. Afterward, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) came out with FHAsecure Initiative and Guidance on Appraisal Practices in Declining Markets. Additionally, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) promulgated its Statement on Loss Mitigation Strategies for Servicers of Residential Mortgages.
The Question is: Has anything changed? The answer is a simple and resounding NO, not in Florida. Because the overwhelming majority of my clients live in Florida, I will limit my response to my little piece of reality known as Florida. On the other hand, not only am I receiving calls from our local citizens, but also from investors all over the United States who decided to cash in on our little real estate bonanza. People are flooding the mortgage companies with requests for help. I have yet to see one successful modification in 2007.
I have many clients who are trying to do a short-sale or a deed in lieu of foreclosure. These procedures are not working. The clients are having trouble finding anyone who will listen. If they do find someone who will listen, then, they don’t qualify. If they qualify, then they submit the paperwork and wait. In the meantime, the foreclosure is proceeding and the foreclosure attorney is pushing the case as fast as possible. Right before the sale date, guess what, they don’t qualify anymore. Then my phone starts ringing.
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Last modified: September 26, 2007