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Martina Ryan's Blog

By Martina Ryan | Agent in Queens, NY

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Queens, Financing in Queens, Foreclosure in Queens  |  January 17, 2012 12:32 AM  |  1,717 views  |  No comments

    If you are a homeowner in distress or if you have defaulted on your mortgage or simply cannot afford your payments, a short sale may be your best option.  Once you are 90 days delinquent on your mortgage, a Lis Pendens is filed by the lender.  The sooner you address the delinquency the greater the likelihood the lender will want to work with you to sell the property.

    In a short sale, you list your property for sale at fair market value, even if that value is lower than what you owe on your mortgage. If a buyer is identified and the property is sold, the proceeds from the sale are used to pay off your mortgage debt, even if the proceeds are less than the amount owed on the mortgage.

    By working with your local real estate agent to successfully complete a short sale, you can help resolve your mortgage situation with less negative consequences than might result from a foreclosure. If you meet all the requirements of the HAFA  (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative) program, the lender will accept less than the amount due on your current mortgage and release you from any further responsibility for your outstanding mortgage balance. In addition, you may be eligible for relocation assistance of up to $3,000 to help cover your moving, rental or relocation expenses.

    How does a short sale work?

    Step 1 Qualification:

    1.There must be a realistic hardship for the lender to approve your sale.  A hardship can be described as job loss, income loss, divorce, relocation, and many other factors.

    2. Your lender will require some documents to begin the process:

    Hardship Letter - This will outline your current hardships justifying the need for a short sale.

    Financial Worksheet - This outlines your assets, liabilities, and expenses.

    TWO most recent income tax returns

    TWO most recent bank statements.  All pages must be included.

    TWO most recent pay stubs from work

    Third Party Authorization  This will allow your realtor to discuss terms of your mortgage with your lender on your behalf.

    Step 2 Pre-Sale:

    After your eligibility for the program is determined, you will receive the Short Sale Agreement to sign and return. The Agreement will outline the minimum sale price that will be accepted for the sale of your property and will also identify the sales costs that may be deducted from the final sale price. Sales costs include broker commissions and closing costs. There are no upfront fees paid by you.  These fees are paid by your mortgager upon successful closing of the short sale. If you agree to the terms of the program, you will be asked to actively market your home with your real estate agent for a period of no less than 120 days.

    Step 3 Offer:
    When you receive a written offer from a buyer to purchase your property, your real estate agent will be asked to submit the required documentation. 
    Once all documentation is received, the bank will respond within 10 days to inform you if the offer is approved.

    Step 4 Closing:
    Once the sale closes, you may be eligible to receive up to $3,000 to help with your moving, rental or relocation expenses.

    If you have any questions on how a short sale works or whether it is the right choice for you, you can call me directly at 718-775-5344 and I will be happy to assist.

  • Emergency Homeowners Loan Program Deadline July 27 Extended to September 15

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Queens, Financing in Queens, Foreclosure in Queens  |  July 21, 2011 7:44 PM  |  1,506 views  |  No comments

    The Emergency Homeowners Loan Program was announced earlier this month by the Department of Housing & Urban Development.  It was set up to help those unemployed keep their homes if they got behind on their mortgage payments, however few have heard about it and the deadline for applications is fast approaching.

    The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act provided  $1 billion to HUD to implement the Emergency Homeowners' Loan Program (EHLP).

    If you have experienced hardship due to lack of employment & have made every attempt to keep your home but the recent recession has made it impossible for you to keep current on your mortgage; then this could be the silver lining to your nightmare. 

    The program was set up to work as a bridge for people hit by unemployment and was to help them get back on their feet without having to foreclose on their homes. 

    HUD will give you $50,000 to bring your mortgage payments up to date and help make future payments for two years. This is a forgiveable loan at zero interest as long as you do not default on your mortgage.  There are a few guidelines so read through the requirements below and start your application.

    EHLP is designed to provide mortgage payment relief to eligible homeowners experiencing a drop in income of at least 15% directly resulting from involuntary unemployment or underemployment due to adverse economic conditions and/or a medical emergency. Other EHLP eligibility requirements include:

    • Income Limit: Applicant has a total household income equal to, or less than, the greater of either $75,000 or 120 percent of the Area Median Income for a household size of four (4) persons previous to loss of income resulting from involuntary unemployment, underemployment, and/or medical emergency/serious injury.
    • Delinquency: Applicant must be at least three months delinquent on mortgage payments, as signified by notification by their lender/servicer.
    • Likelihood of Foreclosure: Applicant must have received notification of their lender's/servicer's intention to foreclose on their mortgage as a result of the delinquency, and must also certify to the likelihood that their mortgage will be foreclosed upon.
    • Ability to Resume Payment: Applicant can be determined to have a reasonable likelihood of being able to resume repayment of the first mortgage obligations within 2 years, and meet other housing expenses and debt obligations when the household income rises above 85% of the previous level.
    • Principal Residence: Applicant must reside in the mortgaged property as their principal residence, both at time of application and for the duration of the program loan period. The mortgaged property must also be a single family residence (1 to 4 unit structure or condominium unit).
      To find out more about the program and how to file the application go to the following site powered by HUD:


      The deadline has been extended to September 15.

      You will find the application here:



    • Home Sales Show A Slight Turnaround in May

      Posted Under: Home Buying in Queens, Home Selling in Queens, Foreclosure in Queens  |  July 5, 2011 2:41 PM  |  1,389 views  |  1 comment

      The Pending Home Sale Index rose 8.2% in May & is up 13.4% from May 2010 for all of the US.  The Index rose 7.3% in the Northeast from last month's numbers and was 4.4% higher than its May 2010 levels. 

      The highest growth rate was in the West with an increase of 12.9% from last month and a 13.5% jump from last year's numbers.

      Based on a NAR studies, there were 3.72 million existing home sales in May.  This study does not include new construction where sales declined in May by 2.1%.

      All cash purchases made up 30% of these sales, most of which were bought by investors compared to 59% all cash sales in 2010. 

      Applications for mortgages sank slightly towards the end of June as the market is still struggling with tight lending regulations and a glut of shadow inventory & unemployment is creating fear for potential buyers. 

      Uncertainty concerning the economy seems to be still a huge factor stalling the recovery.  However, if investors are getting into the mix; it may be a sign that June will be a good month for sales in general and perhaps we have finally turned the corner and are on our way to that long awaited recovery.


      Posted Under: Home Buying in Flushing, Home Selling in Flushing, Foreclosure in Flushing  |  June 17, 2011 10:33 PM  |  1,476 views  |  1 comment

      Pending home sales fell 11.6% in April and is down 26.5% from April 2010. 

      Tight credit seems to be a major factor that is hindering the housing market recovery. 

      The US economy seems to be caught in the proverbial Liquidity Trap where people with funds to invest are unsure of market conditions and are waiting for prices to drop further and lenders are reluctant to lend due to the historically high default rate of past years. 

      Sellers and buyers are stuck in an economic cul de sac and realtors all over the country have to go that extra mile to make that sale.  It's a far cry from the good years where inventory was short and property sold before the ink on the listing agreement was dry.

      Now congress is proposing to decrease the Mortgage Interest Deduction on tax returns from 33% & 35% to 28%.  This will undoubtedly put the American Dream further out of reach for the average family in middle America and have a huge effect on our ability to do business.

      Coupled with this beginning January 1, 2013 ObamaCare imposes a 3.8% tax on unearned income, including the sale of single family homes, townhouses, co-ops, condominiums, and even rental income.

      There will be a closing of the Frontier like in the wild west of the 1890's and it will be a on-way ticket back to a declining housing market.


    • Should You Opt for a Short Sale?

      Posted Under: General Area in Queens, Home Selling in Queens, Foreclosure in Queens  |  June 6, 2011 10:07 AM  |  2,147 views  |  1 comment

      Short sales are a good alternative for homeowners who owe more on their home than the underlying mortgage and are unable to pay the monthly payments.  If you have applied for a Loan Modification from your lender and still cannot get your head above water; then this is a better alternative than foreclosing on your property.

      Foreclosures can be stressful and have a devastating effect on your credit.  Walking away from a property does not mean that the lien holder will not pursue a judgment against you and it may eventually come back to haunt you down the road.

      A Short Sale is an alternative to foreclosure proceedings and undoubtedly the lesser of two evils.  You are basically selling the property at a loss under an agreement with the lender.  Typically there is some debt forgiveness involved and at the end of the sale you get to move on with your life without the impending doom of foreclosure or a bankruptcy blight on your credit that could follow you around for 7-10 years.

      If you qualify under the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives short sale program you may receive financial assistance of $3,000 to help with relocation expenses after the sale is completed.


      The first step for the homeowner is to hire a qualified real-estate professional who specializes in short sales.  They will help you negotiate with the lender and set an appropriate listing price for your property, market it, and get it sold.  They will also help you put the short-sale package together, negotiate the contract with the buyers, and work with the lender to make sure that everything goes smoothly. 

      The amount of your mortgage that is forgiven by your lender is typically considered income, and you may have to pay taxes on that amount. Under a temporary measure passed in 2007, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation Act, homeowners can exclude debt forgiveness on their federal tax returns from income for loans discharged in calendar years 2007 through 2012 if it is their primary residence and they used the funds they borrowed to purchase or renovate the property.  Be sure to consult your real estate attorney and your accountant to see whether you qualify.

      If you need help with a Short Sale or have any questions I am always available to help.


       (718) 775-5344

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