Boulder Real Estate Blog November 8, 2017

Defaulting on Home Mortgages

Answers to 5 Common Questions About Default

Unfortunately, in today’s slowly recovering economy, many homeowners continue to find themselves in financial trouble. As a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I have worked with many clients over the past few years to help resolve their financial dilemma in the best way possible. There are many options available to distressed homeowners — unfortunately, most people are not aware of what these options are.

To help clarify confusion and shed light on optimal homeowner options, real estate finance expert Marian Anthony, answers five questions distressed homeowners often have:

1. Should I intentionally default on my home mortgage?
You’ve probably heard of people “intentionally” or “strategically” defaulting on their mortgage, willing to take the hit to their credit in favor of freeing up cash flow in the short-term. Rather than defaulting, however, homeowners should talk with their real estate professional about the potential for a short sale. A short sale could lead toward the debt showing as “settled” on your credit. Walking away and allowing the bank to foreclose still allows the second lender to render a judgment — and possibly garnish your wages. You may also have to file for bankruptcy to recover from the credit nightmare.

2. As a borrower, what are some ways I can gain leverage with my lender?
One way to gain leverage with a lender is to establish a “substitute mortgage” — a security pledge that is offered to the seller’s lender with a third party for a lesser amount of the current payment. Over time, this will result in a significant amount of collected funds that can be used as negotiating leverage to release the borrower from the debt, or dictate terms for a favorable loan modification.

3. Why have loan modifications and foreclosures become the predominant answer for so many in distressed property situations?
The reason why loan modifications and foreclosures have become the answer for so many is because many real estate professionals erroneously consider the short sale process to be too complex. It is essential to work with a real estate professional who is equipped with the right forms and contact information, and who knows how to orchestrate a short sale transaction.

4. Why is a short sale strategy more advantageous than a foreclosure?
The reduced payoff in a short sale can release you from the debt obligation. This often allows you to re-establish your credit faster and re-enter the market much wiser. A foreclosure can ruin a homeowner’s credit and take much longer to recover from.

5. I’ve heard borrowers in default need a ‘General Public Disclosure?’ Why?
Many people are not aware of the alternatives available to them when facing foreclosure. Knowing your options, as detailed on a General Public Disclosure document, can make all the difference in establishing a deal that’s in the homeowners’ best interest.

Remember that every distressed homeowner’s situation is unique; therefore, it is essential to contact a real estate professional — and often an attorney — to determine the best possible solution for you. I am happy to assist, so please feel free to contact me, and please pass this important information on to others in need.