Short Sales and More

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Guide to Short Sales, Foreclosures, Distressed Properties, REOs and Bank Owned Properties in Montgomery County MD

While foreclosure rates are relatively low in Maryland compared to the rest of the country, the number of foreclosures in the state has risen substantially. There are areas in Montgomery County that have a higher rate of foreclosure than others.  While desirable because of their pricing, these homes are sometimes damaged, have mold issues or have not been taken care of.  Other terms for foreclosed properties are REO – real estate owned, bank owned and distressed.

Montgomery County’s short sales have risen dramatically.  In this situation, owners offer their property for sale for less than what they owe on it, with prior agreement from the mortgage company(ies).  Offers on these properties are subject to approval from the bank(s).

Buying a Foreclosure or Short Sale in Montgomery County

Thinking about buying a distressed property in Montgomery County – click here to search for a short sale or foreclosure property in Montgomery County.

As an agent experienced in distressed properties in Montgomery County, I can advise you on the best strategies for choosing, evaluating and making an offer on these types of properties.

The buyer of a property being sold in a short sale in Montgomery County should be aware of several key issues.  The contract is contingent upon the agreement of the sellers mortgage lenders to accept the net proceeds of the sale as full payment for the underlying debt.  This is often a long process, which can delay an anticipated settlement date, and buyers should be prepared for this possibility.

The buyer of a foreclosure in Montgomery County has to be ready to deal with various issues with the home’s condition and the bank’s rules for making an offer.

Considering Selling your Home as a Short Sale?  We Can Help

A short sale is an arrangement between the current owner of a home and the current mortgage lender to accept an offer for less than the total amount owed on the home loan which also includes other obligations such as closing costs, property taxes, transfer tax, and/or commission.

In some cases, sellers may be in default on their mortgage and are potentially facing foreclosure. Many sellers find themselves in an upside down situation, meaning that they owe more than they can potentially realize from the sale of their property.

The Myers Team has successfully sold short sales in Montgomery County, and we use a law firm with extensive experience to professionally negotiate with the banks.  Please call us at 301-910-9910 to discuss your options.

Worried About Foreclosure?

At settlement you gave the mortgage company the right to take ownership of your property through a process called foreclosure if you stop paying on your mortgage.  When you miss payments, even for as little as 60 days, you may be considered in default.  The bank may start a collection process that puts you at risk of foreclosure.

If you are missing mortgage payments, or if you have received a notice from your lender asking you to contact them, don’t ignore it!  Call the bank immediately to find out what your options are.  Our Team has had clients who were able to renegotiate their interest rate and/or come up with a payment schedule to get caught up on their home in Montgomery County MD.  General information about the types of foreclosure sales and the foreclosure process in Maryland can be found at www.foreclosures.com/www/pages/state_laws2.asp?state=md .

Local Foreclosure Help for Maryland Home Owners

Here are some of the Maryland resources for those who may face foreclosure:

The NeighborWorks Center for Foreclosure Solutions was created to preserve home ownership in the face of rising foreclosure rates.  Anyone in Maryland who calls 1-888-995-HOPE will be automatically connected to  the official Maryland foreclosure counselors.

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of MD & DE, Inc., an accredited non-profit community service organization, helps individuals and families resolve financial problems through confidential budget counseling, debt management repayment program, and community education.  For more information, call 800-642-2227.

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Developments (DHCD) HOPE Initiative offers the Lifeline Refinance Mortgage program, which provides a refinancing option to Marylanders who are currently facing problems with an adjustable rate or otherwise unfavorable mortgage.  Contact 877-462-7555 for help with non-responsive loan servicers, mortgage fraud investigation or counseling on loan programs.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has created Tips for Avoiding Foreclosure, which provides information on housing counselors and legal assistance in Maryland, and information on its FHA Secure program, which helps homeowners refinance their adjustable rate mortgages.

HUD also has a list of qualified housing counselors.  Contact a HUD approved Housing Counseling Agency or call 800-569-4287 or TTY 800-877-8339.

Homeowners Beware: Foreclosure Rescue Scams

Distressed homeowners who face foreclosure are understandably frightened and looking for relief.  They are prime targets for advertisements that promise to help and rescue from their financial woes.  Unfortunately for many homeowners in this already precarious position, they can unwittingly make their situation even worse, sometimes signing over the deeds to their most valuable asset as part of a foreclosure rescue.

In an article published in the June 25, 2007 edition of Business Week Online, The Foreclosure Rescue Racket, reporters Dean Foust and Brian Burnsed outline the general mechanics of these schemes.  An individual or group contacts desperate homeowners from an online list compiled when mortgage lenders file a notice of trustee sale with the courts, the first step in the foreclosure process.  Under the guise of helping the homeowner, the individual or group contacts these homeowners and convinces them that they can avoid losing their home by refinancing it.

The rescuer then arranges a deed of transfer with a rent to own plan, which will allegedly allow homeowners to buy back their home at some point.  However, buried deep within the stacks of paper work is some form of quitclaim or gift deed, in which the homeowner has actually signed away his home to the investor.  The rescuers then charge the former owner astronomically high rents which the homeowner cannot pay, making it impossible for him to stay in the home.  Eviction follows, and the investor may then sell the home.

Not all programs to help homeowners keep their homes are scams; there are some legitimate services.  To avoid the scams, consumers should follow certain best practices.  First, call your mortgage company to see if it is willing to work with you to bring your payments current.  Many established mortgage companies have created workout programs in response to rising foreclosure rates and are willing to work with homeowners.  Consider reaching out for help from reliable sources, including trusted counseling national nonprofits such as NeighborWorks (888-995-HOPE), or local groups, including St. Ambrose Resource Center in Baltimore.  Finally, seek expert and independent advice from a lawyer before signing any documents.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has prepared Foreclosure Frequently Asked Questions for Maryland consumers, available at http://www.hud.gov/local/index.cfm?state=md

Freddie Mac has created a useful guide, How to Avoid Foreclosure, go to http://www.freddiemac.com/corporate/buyown/english/avoiding_foreclosure/

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