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Sue's Clues

Info on Minneapolis Cities Homes, Condos, Townhomes and more!

By Susan Hofflander | Agent in Minneapolis, MN

Real Estate = Real People

So much that's happened in the real estate/mortgage industry in the last few years has been downright dehumanizing.  The very idea of being displaced from one's home is upsetting at best.  And, it's bad enough when these circumstances occur because of legitimate reasons.  When a home owner defaults their payments and proper protocol is followed by the lender, it's understandable.  That home owner has agreed to pay money in a certain way, because the lender has allowed them to purchase this home, if the home owner adheres to the terms set out in the mortgage agreement.  So, when the homeowner does not abide by these terms, they can expect to be held to the letter of the contract and, being in default, have their home foreclosed upon by the lender.  This means the homeowner relinquishes their rights to the property and must move out.

I'm not saying this is easy.  It's still traumatic on the homeowner and their family.  Frequently, they are in this position because of some downturn in their financial situation, like a long term illness or loss of a job.  So, having to leave their home makes that already difficult situation all the more devastating.  It's a major change, and not for the better.

However, more and more frequently we're seeing situations where the lender is in error!  They're sending out foreclosure notices to people who are clearly the owner of the property, forcing these unwitting homeowners to have to spend time, energy and money to dispute these erroneous charges!!  Other situations involve homeowners whose title paper work was not properly filed, initiating the foreclosure process.  Again, NOT the fault of the homeowner, but they're the ones that suffer the consequences.

And, still more frightening is the scenario that happened to this Wisconsin family, the Kings.  They had fallen on hard times with a salary downturn at the same time their mortgage interest rate adjusted up to 10%!!  They appealed to Bank of America (their lender) and were approved for one of the new, government programs to assist home owners called HAMP, Home Affordable Modification Program.  They were true to their word and held to the terms of this new program, making all of their payments.  BUT, Bank of America didn't keep to THEIR word, and, because of a mistake on their part, began the foreclosure process on this family.  Long story short, they left their home to rent another and by the time it got straightened out so they could move back in, their house had been destroyed by a flood, causing mold to grow throughout the entire structure.  So sad!!!

All this to say that what the banks need to remember is that these are REAL people!  People with lives, who have to buy groceries and clothes and put gas in their cars and detergent in their washers.  It's deplorable that this human factor is getting lost in the morass of paper work and computerization.  If we are not all responsible for each other, then we can expect nothing less when it's our turn in the barrel.  I've always been an agent who cares about the human connection of a real estate transaction as much as the "business".  In reality, that's what keeps me going in this industry.  The business itself has become abysmal, but the people are still there!!!  That's what we have to remember, these are REAL people in real estate!

Please come to me with your questions, concerns, ideas, thoughts.  It's the real connection that keeps me going!!  :)

Susan Hofflander is a seasoned real estate professional, providing real estate consultations for home buyers and sellers in the Twin Cities since 1994. Susan specializes in homes for sale in Lake Calhoun/Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, Plymouth, MN, Minneapolis Western Suburban Cities and Downtown Minneapolis Lofts.

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