Monday, July 23, 2007

Can't Pay Your Mortgage?

REALTORS® are in the business of helping people become homeowners and want to do everything they can to make sure you can afford to stay in your home.

• The best and least expensive option will often be working with the current lender (or the “loan servicer” hired by the lender to oversee your loan). Read more about your options on the next page.

• If your current lender isn’t willing or able to help, you may be able to refinance your current mortgage with another lender. REALTORS® can help you find responsible lenders that make fair and affordable loans.

• To address the growing foreclosure problem, especially with subprime loans, some state and local governments and nonprofit organizations are offering financial assistance. Ask your REALTOR® or counselor about who to call.

• Counseling agencies are in the business of helping borrowers like you. Check out Counseling Resources for some ideas.

• Remember, you should shop just as carefully for a mortgage as you do for a car or anything else you buy. Getting the lowest possible rate and fees can save you many thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

• Sometimes the only option is selling the home. Of course, no one is better at helping a seller than a REALTOR®. It is better to sell than go through foreclosure because it will be easier to
qualify for credit in the future and buy another home.

Be wary of advertisements like “Cash for Houses/Any Situation” or “We Buy Houses for Cash.” Consumer groups have learned that many of these are scams that bait homeowners with the promise of rescuing them from imminent foreclosure. Unfortunately, the “rescue” often
involves the borrower signing over the house and the family being evicted from their home. You can read more about these scams by clicking this link: Foreclosure Rescue Scams in the San Fernando Valley.

Richard's notes: A great senior loan officer I can recommend is Tom Cortesi with First Financial. Tom is by far the best loan officer I have worked with. He is honest, professional, and does not overcharge. Tom's fee is around 1%. Compare that with the average loan officer who charges 3-5%. That is a substantial savings over the life of the loan and will save you money every month. He is a trusted advisor for my clients and friends and he has never let me down. You can contact Tom Cortesi by visiting his website here:

If you are having problems paying your home loan, contact Tom today. If Tom is unable to help, the next option might be to list and sell your house. Even if you have not paid for many months, it's a better option selling your house as a short sale, rather than losing your house to foreclosure. Don't wait to the last moments to make a decision.


Richard Johnston, RE/MAX OTB Estates
San Fernando Foreclosure Expert

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