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Helene Moore's Blog

By Helene Moore | Agent in Las Vegas, NV
  • Foreclosure Rescue Scams in Las Vegas Market.

    Posted Under: Foreclosure, In My Neighborhood, Home Ownership  |  May 7, 2014 5:24 PM  |  243 views  |  No comments

    Foreclosure Rescue Scams:
    Another Potential Stress for Homeowners in Distress

    The possibility of losing your home to foreclosure can be terrifying. The reality that scam artists are preying on the vulnerability of desperate homeowners is equally frightening. Many so-called foreclosure rescue companies or foreclosure assistance firms claim they can help you save your home. Some are brazen enough to offer a money-back guarantee. Unfortunately, once most of these foreclosure fraudsters take your money, they leave you much the worse for wear.

    Fraudulent foreclosure  use half truths and outright lies to sell services that promise relief and then fail to deliver. Their goal is to make a quick profit through fees or mortgage payments they collect from you, but do not pass on to the lender. Sometimes, they assume ownership of your property by deceiving you, the homeowner. Then, when it’s too late to save your home, they take the property or siphon off the eqYou have  lost your home to foreclosure despite your best intentions.

    If you think you may be facing foreclosure, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the national consumer protection agency, wants you to know how to recognize a foreclosure rescue scam. And even if the foreclosure process has already begun, the FTC and its law enforcement partners want you to know that legitimate options are available to help you save your home.

    How the Scams Work

    Foreclosure rescue firms use a variety of tactics to find homeowners in distress: Some sift through public foreclosure notices in newspapers and on the Internet or through public files at local government offices, and then send personalized letters to homeowners. Others take a broader approach through ads on the Internet, on television, or in the newspaper, posters on telephone poles, median strips and at bus stops, or flyers or business cards at your front door. The scam artists use simple and straight-forward messages, like:

    Stop Foreclosure Now!

    We guarantee to stop your foreclosure.

    Keep Your Home. We know your home is scheduled to be sold. No Problem

    We have special relationships within many banks that can speed up case approvals.

    We Can Save Your Home. Guaranteed. Free Consultation

    We stop foreclosures everyday. Our team of professionals can stop yours this week

    Once they have your attention, they use a variety of tactics to get your money:

    Phony Counseling or Phantom Help

    The scam artist tells you that he can negotiate a deal with your lender to save your house if you pay a fee first. You may be told not to contact your lender, lawyer, or credit counselor, and to let the scam artist handle all the details. Once you pay the fee, the scam artist takes off with your money.

    Sometimes, the scam artist insists that you make all mortgage payments directly to him while he negotiates with the lender. In this instance, the scammer may collect a few months of payments before disappearing.

    Bait-and-Switch

    You think you are signing documents for a new loan to make your existing mortgage current. This is a trick: You have now signed documents that surrender the title of your house to the scam artist in exchange for a foreclosure loan.

    Rent-to-Buy Scheme

    Your told to rent now and to buy it back during the next few years. You may be told that surrendering the title will permit a borrower with a better credit rating to secure new financing and prevent the loss of the home. But the terms of these deals usually are so burdensome that buying back your home becomes impossible. You lose the home, and the scam artist walks off with all or most of your homes  equity. Worse yet, when the new borrower defaults on the loan, now your evicted.

    In a variation, the scam artist raises the rent over time to the point that the former homeowner cant  afford it. After missing several rent payments, the renter as  the former homeowner  is evicted, leaving the home open for a foreclosure.

    In a similar equity-skimming situation, the scam artist offers to find a buyer for your home, but only if you sign over the deed and move out. The scam artist promises to pay you a portion of the profit when the home sells. Once you transfer the deed, the scam artist simply rents out the home and pockets the proceeds while your lender proceeds with the foreclosure. In the end, you lose your home and you are still responsible for the unpaid mortgage. Thats  because transferring the deed does nothing to transfer your mortgage obligation.

    Fraudulent foreclosure scamers   use half truths and outright lies to sell services that promise relief and then fail to deliver.

    Bankruptcy Foreclosure

    The scam artist may promise to negotiate with your lender or to get refinancing on your behalf if you pay a fee up front. Instead of contacting your lender or refinancing your loan, though, the scam artist pockets the fee and files a bankruptcy case in your name and  sometimes without your knowledge.

    A bankruptcy filing often stops a home foreclosure, but only temporarily. Whats  more, the bankruptcy process is complicated, expensive, and unforgiving. For example, if you fail to attend the first meeting with the creditors, the bankruptcy judge will dismiss the case and the foreclosure proceedings will continue.

    If this happens, you could lose the money you paid to the scam artist as well as your home. Worse yet, a bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 10 years, and can make it difficult to obtain credit, buy a home, get life insurance, or sometimes get a job.

    Where to Find Legitimate Help

    If your  having trouble paying your mortgage or you have gotten a foreclosure notice, contact your lender immediately. You may be able to negotiate a new repayment schedule. Remember that lenders generally dontt want to foreclose; it costs them money.

    Other foreclosure prevention options, including reinstatement and forbearance, are explained in Mortgage Payments Sending You Reeling?Here isWhat to Do, a publication from the FTC. Find it at www.ftc.gov.

    You also may contact a credit counselor through the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF), a nonprofit organization that operates the national 24/7 toll-free hotline (1.888.995.HOPE) with free, bilingual, personalized assistance to help at-risk homeowners avoid foreclosure. HPF is a member of the HOPE NOW Alliance of mortgage servicers, mortgage market participants and counselors. More information about HOPE NOW is at www.hopenow.com.

    Red Flags

    If you are looking for foreclosure prevention help, avoid any business that:

    • guarantees to stop the foreclosure process no matter what your circumstances
    • instructs you not to contact your lender, lawyer, or credit or housing counselor
    • collects a fee before providing you with any services
    • accepts payment only by cashiers check or wire transfer
    • encourages you to lease your home so you can buy it back over time
    • tells you to make your mortgage payments directly to it, rather than your lender
    • tells you to transfer your property deed or title to it
    • offers to buy your house for cash at a fixed price that is not set by the housing market at the time of sale
    • offers to fill out paperwork for you
    • pressures you to sign paperwork you havent  had a chance to read thoroughly or that you do nott understand.

    Remember  having trouble paying your mortgage or you have gotten a foreclosure notice, contact your lender immediately.

    Report Fraud

    If you think you have been a victim of foreclosure fraud, contact:

    • Federal Trade Commission
    • Your state Attorney General
    • Your local Better Business Bureau

    For More Information

    To learn more about mortgages and other credit-related issues, visit www.ftc.gov/credit and MyMoney.gov, the U.S. governmental portal to financial education.

    The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261.

    Windermere Prestige Propetties short sale specialist . I will get your home sold. !
    Helene M Moore
    702-275-2192

  • WHAT EVERY HOMEOWNER IN LAS VEGAS SHOULD KNOW. The Importance of Recording a Declaration of Homestead !

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Las Vegas, Property Q&A in Las Vegas, Home Ownership in Las Vegas  |  May 7, 2014 11:22 AM  |  295 views  |  No comments
    WHY ITS IMPORTANT TO RECORD A DECLARTION OF HOMESTEAD !

    WHAT THE LAW PROVIDES:

    When you record a Declaration of Homestead, Nevada law protects the equity in your home up to $550,000 from general creditor claims (unpaid medical bills, bankruptcy, charge card debts, business/personal loans, accidents) but would not preclude a seizure or forced sale of your residence from general creditors if your equity exceeds the $550,000. A creditor may file suit and can record a judgment lien against any real property you own. Recording a Declaration of Homestead protects your principal residence up to the statutory maximum. For example, if the value of your home is $645,000 and you have a first mortgage of $485,000 plus a second mortgage of $10,000, the equity is $150,000.

    WHAT IS NOT PROTECTED:

    The Homestead law does not protect you against debts secured by a mortgage or deed of trust, payment of taxes, IRS lien, mechanic's lien, child support or alimony payments.


    Windermere Prestige Properties
    Helene M Moore
    702-432-4600

  • What you need to know if your considering a short sale in Las Vegas.

    Posted Under: Home Selling, Foreclosure, Home Ownership  |  May 7, 2014 10:49 AM  |  247 views  |  No comments

    You're struggling to make your mortgage payments. Your home is worth less than you owe and your finances are so shaky your lender won't modify your loan.

    Before you resign yourself to foreclosure, see whether a short sale can get you out of trouble.

    With a short sale, you accept an offer on your home that's less than what you owe on your mortgage and your lender forgives the remaining debt the difference between your mortgage balance and the net proceeds from the sale. You leave with no outstanding debt and less damage to your credit history than a foreclosure. You can qualify for an FHA-backed loan two years after a short sale, compared with five years for foreclosure and seven years for bankruptcy.

    A lender or mortgage servicing company will only approve a short sale if it will lose less money than going through with a foreclosure.

    You may have heard horror stories about lenders taking forever to approve short sales, or deals getting squelched over a few dollars by a second or third lien holder (such as a home equity loan lender.

    But banks and mortgage servicing companies are approving short sales more often, and more quickly, than in the past.

    The two federally chartered companies that provide the money for most mortgages -- the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac)are even offering cash incentives to lenders that approve short sales.

    With the overwhelming demand for short sales, you have to do everything just right or your deal could get lost in the shuffle or be denied by the lender.

    Here are the 7 steps to completing a short sale deal:

    Step 1. Find out if your lender or mortgage service company will consider a short sale and what you'll need to provide.

    Call the loss mitigation department and ask a supervisor whether a short sale is possible. Some investors that own large numbers of mortgages won't accept such a loss so, if the answer is "no," the process ends right there.

    You can't do a short sale without the lender's approval.

    If a short sale is possible, ask what documentation you'll need to seek approval. The typical "short sale documentation package" requires:

    • A hardship letter that explains why you can no longer repay your mortgage.
    • Financial documents, including two years of tax returns, two months of pay stubs, four months of bank statements.
    • Records on how your agent marketed your home, from reports on how many potential buyers viewed it to photos of unrepaired damage.
    • Sales documents, including your listing agreement, a signed purchase offer, preliminary title report, preliminary settlement statement and written approval from all junior lien holders.

    Step 2. Hire a real estate agent who's experienced in short sales.

    Interview several agents and ask how many short sales they've closed in the last 12 months and whether they've received any special training in short sales. Get references from their short sales clients.

    When you pick one, give the agent power of attorney so he or she can talk directly to your lender. You need a well-versed agent who knows how to work with a loss mitigation department and move your deal along.

    Step 3. Find the right price.

    You won't get any offers if the price is too high. But your lender may not accept a short sale if the price is too low.

    A Realtor experienced in short sales makes sure that the broker checks the house inside and out and gives the broker comparable listings and other info to help the broker price the house accurately and quickly.

    Step 4. Put your home up for sale and start preparing your short sale documents.

    Think of a short sale documentation package as a mirror image of a loan application. You want to make your finances to look as bad as possible without lying.

    Lenders are most likely to consider short sales when a homeowner has serious financial problems, so the hardship letter is the cornerstone of your case.

    Like a good country song, your hardship letter tells a heart-rending tale of how you got into this mess -- for example, you've plundered your savings to pay your spouse's medical bills and you can't afford your mortgage payment now that you're living on one small income.

    Step 5. Cut a deal with lenders that have second mortgages on your home.

    If you have a home equity loan or line of credit from a bank or mortgage company that's not your primary lender, it must lift its lien on the home even though it won't get a cent from your deal.

    Many times second lien holder will  go along with short sales because they get nothing from a foreclosure. That means they've accepted your loan as a total loss, no matter what.

    But some second lein holders stop deals cold because of $10,000 owed to them.If you run into a recalcitrant second mortgage holder, suggest a  short pay.which means you agree to repay some of what you owe as an unsecured personal loan.

    Another option is to ask whether the second mortgage holder will accept a few thousand dollars from the primary lender in exchange for lifting the lien. (An agreement you'll have to take back to the primary lender for approval, of course.)

    Step 6. Pick a good buyer.

    If you've priced the home right, you may get several bids.

    If that's the case, you want to pick the best possible buyer. That means someone with a substantial down payment, preapproved mortgage and few contingencies (such as having to sell their current home before buying yours).

    The stronger the buyer, the more likely you are to win approval from your lender.

    Step 7. Submit the deal for approval.

    Loss mitigation departments are overwhelmed by foreclosure proceedings, loan modification requests and, of course, proposed short sales.

    It's critical that you submit all of the documents your lender requires and follow its guidelines to the letter.

    If you don't, your deal can be delayed, sometimes for months. And don't expect the lender to tell you that something is missing. You have to follow up to make sure you've provided everything the lender needs.

    If all goes well, your lender will approve your short sale six to eight weeks and your deal could close after all parties accept the terms .

    Always work with a short sale specialist.

    Call Helene Moore For your short sale !
    Windermere Prestige Properties
    Helene M Moore short sale specialist for the Las Vegas Market.
  • FOR SALE BY OWNER :

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Las Vegas, Home Selling in Las Vegas, Home Ownership in Las Vegas  |  January 30, 2014 9:18 PM  |  343 views  |  No comments

    FSBO Dangers

    Most buyers today work with a buyers agent to represent their interests. If you choose to sell your home on your own, You will  be negotiating with a professional and relying on your own skill to finalize a contract. Not only could you end up selling your home for less money, you could leave yourself open to potential legal problems unless you have the contract vetted by an experienced real estate attorney.

    FSBO transactions can be successful, of course, but 90 percent of homeowners prefer to work with a professional rather than risk an unsatisfactory home selling experience. When you buy a for sale by owner you typicaly don't having any realtors involved which can be  very risky.

    Helene M Moore
    Windermere Prestige Properties

    702-275-2192
  • 1031 EXCHANGE . THE THREE PROPERTY RULE

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Las Vegas, Investment Properties in Las Vegas, Home Ownership in Las Vegas  |  January 27, 2014 1:56 PM  |  290 views  |  No comments

    There are three rules that limit the number of properties that can be identified. You must meet the requirements of at least one of these rules:

    • 3-Property Rule: You may identify up to 3 potential replacement properties, without regard to their value; or
    • 200% Rule: Any number of properties may be identified, but their total value cannot exceed twice the value of the relinquished property, or
    • 95% Rule: you may identify as many properties as you want , but before the end of the exchange period .You  must acquire replacement properties with an aggregate fair market value equal to at least 95% of the aggregate fair market value of all the identified properties.
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