Monday, October 25, 2010

File for Bankruptcy, Save Your Home?

By defaultresearch Published: October 25, 2010

There is a lot of advertisement and talk about how, if you file for bankruptcy, you will be able to save your home and avoid a looming foreclosure. While this may seem like a good plan, it very well could be the law offices that are touting it more than anyone else, because it brings them a lot of business in this current economy. Even so, it is worth exploring, if you are in a position of needing to take action that will save your home from foreclosure.

When it comes to filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it is important to realize that this route is one that still has you paying off all your debt. So, if not being able to afford all your bills was an issue, then this route may not be all that helpful. This form of bankruptcy is for individuals and businesses, and allows the person to propose a repayment plan on all their debt.

While it will usually save the debtor money in the long run, it does not eliminate any debt that they may have. All in all, Chapter 13 bankruptcy could help to save a person’s home from going into foreclosure.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy, an option only individuals can file for, will eliminate outstanding debt so that the person never has to pay it off. However, not everything is included in that debt, some things, such as school loans for example, cannot be included, so those will still need to be paid off. When it comes to the person’s home, some states do allow for a home exemption, which would keep the home from being lost in the bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy, whether Chapter 13 or 7, is not a perfect system. For those who are considering this option as a way to save their home, the best route is to speak with a bankruptcy attorney to explore the options. The bottom line, however, is neither will save a home if a mortgage continues to go unpaid.

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« U.S. Pending Home Sales Rise 4.3%

Saturday, October 16, 2010

30-Year Mortgage Rates

Freddie Mac reports that the average interest on 30-year fixed mortgages slipped to an all-time low, for the third consecutive week, to 4.19 percent.

At the same time, 15-year fixed-rate loans and the five-year adjustable-mortgage rate both also hit record lows. Rates on the former were 3.62 percent, while the latter averaged just 3.47 percent.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Nathan Becker (10/15/10)

Richard's Notes:  Appraisers need to wake up and stop appraising homes below market values.  I've seen countless times home-buyers writing offers on homes and the seller taking the best and highest offer only to find out later the house is not appraising for such an amount.

It's important that sellers choose an offer with a buyer who has a decent amount of money down in case the house doesn't appraise.  This deal can still be made because the difference could either be covered by the buyers down payment or the seller can reduce the selling price to help accommodate.  Either way, with a buyer with a reasonable down payment, their can be some level of negotiation. 

When a buyer is only investing the minimum 3.5% FHA loan down payment, if the appraisal doesn't come in at what the buyer is willing to pay for, the lender is NOT going to loan the money.  This is also important for listing agents to price the home accordingly and work with offers that are reasonable.  Taking the market conditions into account, choosing the highest offer is not the smartest choice.

Work with a professional real estate agent in the San Fernando Valley can make the difference between selling your home or listing your home.  You don't want to list your home, you want to sell it, right?

Written by: Richard Johnston, 818-730-4128

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Westwood Notary

If your loved one is in the hospital and needs to sign important documents ( Power of Attorney, Affidavit, etc...) in order to transfer their right to you in-case they might have a life-threatening emergency, it's important to have those documents signed in front of a notary as quickly as possible.

Be sure the signer has a valid picture ID or they are two identifying credible whitnesses with a valid picture ID.  A few of the hospitals I've performed notaries are at Sherman Oaks Hospital and the UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Hospital in Westwood Village, CA. 

Time is of the essence when it comes to having important documents notarized.  If the signer is unable to communicate or is unaware of what is going on, the notary can refuse to notarize the document(s).  Luckily, the notary I performed today in Westwood, CA had a signer who was aware before her surgery. 

If you're looking for a Westwood Notary, call 888-810-4054.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Michaels Arts & Craft Encino

I Stopped by the Michaels Arts and Craft Store today in Encino after showing a few million dollar homes in Encino. What a great store! 

I was walking through their picture frame isles and was suprised at the quality and selection.  This place puts Aaron Brothers Art Frame to shame.  They have a 40% off frame sale going on.  The quality is excellent and you get alot more for your money.  I bought two frames.  Increadible deal!

I believe they just opened their store a few months ago at this present location.  The place is very clean and well organized.  Plenty of sales associates to help out.

Here is their address:
17230 Ventura Blvd
Encino, CA 91316-4008
(818) 783-7970

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Northridge Notary

Finding a reliable Northridge notary can be a challenge.  On one hand, you need the documents notarized correctly.  On the other hand, you need someone who can get there within 30 minutes. 

If you have been putting off having your documents notarized in Northridge, your wait is over.  Travel fee can be waived for six or more signed documents.

To find a Northridge Notary, call 1-888-810-4054.

Monday, October 04, 2010

WalkScore - Why It Helps You Choose the Right Home

72 is the walkscore out of 100 for my home here in Sherman Oaks, CA.  On average, I would have to walk a few blocks to get to the local supermarket, gas station, pizza store, etc...

To test the walkability of a few addresses near my home, I discovered homes which are located closer to supermarkets, gas stations, and coffee houses fared a higher score than those further away from me.  The closer home to the supermarket received a WalkScore of 78. 

WalkScore estimates that a score of 70-89 is considered very walkable.  What exactly this means is probably you can walk to the local supermarket or any store catoring to the general public within a few blocks or less.

What is WalkScore? Walk Score is a number between 0 and 100 that measures the walkability of any address.

You can see what your WalkScore is by visiting this site: . By the way, all the available properties for sale on my San Fernando Valley real estate site has a WalkScore automatically inserted. 

Banks Stop Foreclosures - Review Documents

It appears that the major banks have put foreclosures on hold....

Improper foreclosure procedures are throwing another curve ball at the troubled mortgage industry.
Regulators from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency have told seven major banks to review their foreclosure procedures after Bank of America and Wells Fargo joined JPMorgan and GMAC (now known as Ally Financial) in freezing their foreclosure processes.

Banks that regulators contacted include HSBC, Citigroup Inc., PNC Financial Services Group Inc., and U.S. Bankcorp (USB).

Simultaneously, title insurer Old Republic National said Friday it would stop insuring the sales of homes foreclosed by JPMorgan Chase & Co. or GMAC Mortgage until questions about documentation are cleared. An inability to get title insurance could bring home sales to a halt.

Source: The Wall Street Journal (10/01/2010) and Reuters News (10/03/2010)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Close Escrow in a Week in San Fernando Valley

Are you planning on buying a bank owned or short sale home with an all cash offer?  The great news is that you can close escrow in as little as a week.

There are many benefits to being an "All-Cash" buyer.  The first and best is that the seller might accept your lower offer knowing you can close in a week and without the issues of an appraisal and difficult underwriting guildlines a lender will have.

Here are some of the benefits...
  • No appraisal inspection/appraisal review issues or delays
  • No loan or underwriting issues or delays
  • Parties having the option to waive certain reports or inspections that they are not interested in paying for, that a lender may require as part of the loan process
  • The buyer paying less money in closing costs

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