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Militaryfami…, Other/Just Looking in Phoenix, AZ

We are a military family and were forced to move. The house is down 60% from when we bought. We have a fixed

Asked by Militaryfamily, Phoenix, AZ Sun Jan 10, 2010

rate loan. Renters broke lease and trashed the house, it will cost usthousands to fix. We live out of state now. We need help getting repayment from previous renters for damage/breaking lease too. We were losing $600-$800 a month when rented. We can't afford to pay the loan with no renters. We are out of cash to fix. Payments are all current. Any suggestions? If we walk it will kill my husband's top security clearance.

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I am sorry to hear of your plight, Mil, but there is a program from the Department of Defense that might provide some relief, particularly if this is due to a relocation. Military homeowners who must sell their homes for a loss after receiving transfer orders are eligible for aid that could mean thousands of dollars in reimbursements from the federal government. Recently, the DOD has published guidelines for a $500+ million program to help military families that have had to relocate. Members of the Armed Forces permanently reassigned during the mortgage crisis can receive aid if they meet the following guidelines:

1. Permanent reassignment requires a move of greater than 50 miles.

2. Reassignment was ordered between February 1, 2006 and December 31, 2009.

3. Property purchased (or contract to purchase signed) before July 1, 2006.

4. Property sold by owner between July 1, 2006 and May 1, 2010.

5. Property was the primary residence of the owner

6. Owner has not previously received these benefit payments.

To find out more, peruse the DOD HAP site by following the web references link below.

Even if you do not directly qualify for this program, there are more options under the Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA). It is important to remember that lenders are working hard to help homeowners prevent foreclosures, especially for our military. Foreclosure alternatives include forbearance, reinstatement, short sale, mortgage modification and Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure. Lastly, remember it is in the lender’s best interest to attempt and work with you.

Good Luck!

Michael Hammond
Web Reference:
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 11, 2010
I'm really sorry to hear that. No chance that the renters were military, were they? I'm sure you already know this, but contacting their commanding officer is a quick way to get this resolved. If not, for future reference, it's often worth renting for less to other military families for that reason.

Two thoughts. First, most matters like this are handled better when mentioned upfront. If his work relies on his credit for his security clearance and you're put in financial hardship, the military will do what they can to help sometimes. They may even assist in trying to get money from your old renters. They do not want these kind of troubles. If they're not a help with getting the money back, they may consider some not holding this against your husband due to the circumstances.

Second, your lender may be willing to work with you. This would be categorized as a loan modification. Tell them how important it is to you to keep your husband's credit in tact but how thrashed the house is and the money you need to fix it. Depending on how much work is needed, they'll sometimes move some of your payments to the end of the loan. This will give you time to try and fix the house and get a renter back in.

I hope it works out for you. Keep us updated.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 10, 2010
Thanks for the responses. I'm going to check out the links...To answer first person's response. We used ADRE Lease. I've spoken to a lawyer and he suggested sending a letter stating they are in breach with a partiel list of damages- bill for the duration of the lease (Dec.-July10). We can't sue uni il their lease is done (July 2010) or we sell/rent it again. These folks are scum bags (non military) and most likely will never pay us back. If I could I'd post their names!!! Even if we took them to court they'd get out somehow. I have tons of photos of the precondition and a signed (by them) move in inspection form (12 pages long!) We have their security deposits (max allowed) but it does cover loss of income and the damages. The house is secure- we are now getting repair costs. I've contacted the AF and have no answer on the Security Clearance issue if we do a short sale. I've called the lender and they won't work with us at all because we are current on payments. We tried for HAP but were declined. I've been told by several agents that an approved Short Sale would be tough because we have assests (in theory) that we could sell to fund the house. At this point it's just a huge gaping hole that shows no signs of ever being back in the black. Lots of agents claim they do Short Sales...what% actually get completed/approved by banks?

Final qustion- does anyone know any GOOD/Honest property management companies?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 14, 2010
Miitary family. I am sorry this has happened to you. What part of the valley is the property located and what type of damage was done to it? What happened to the renters earnest money? Do you have contact information for them? I undesrtand that money is an issue but it sounds to me like you need an attorney and the military might be able to provide one at a low or no cost to you. Sometimes just a letter from them to the renters will work wonders. You might have to file a lawsuit against them for damages but if they don't have any money themselves it is not going to help you a whole lot right now. Talk to the attorney first. The information provided in this blog by Mr Hammond regarding help for military familes is really worth looking into. I will continue to do some research and see if I can find out any more information. The following link takes you to the Arizona Landlord and tennant act website. You should read this if you have not done so aleady. It will help you become familiar with your rights as well as the tenants and maybe help you find out about other resources.
Has the property been secured? You need to make sure no further damage is done to it. . Change keeys, garage door code etc. Make sure you have photos and document all the damage done. Check with the military regarding doing a short sale. Property will be sold As-is with no repairs.
Please let me know if I can be of service. I work the East Valley .…

Norma Riggs
Keller Williams Sonoran Living
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 14, 2010
Thanks for the feedback, Keane. I may blog this for other Trulia readers. Good Luck in 2010!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 12, 2010
Contact any attorney specializing in real estate--he/she will be your best source for advice regarding the broken lease and the trashing of your property--then take it from there. Good luck.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 11, 2010
@ Michael Hammond,

That is some great info! I'm saving your response for future reference. Thumbs up!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 11, 2010
There is a lot of good info here. I would direct you to an agent I know who specializes in working with Military families. He is a real pro. I've put his contact info below. As has been noted, the Government may have some help for you and this agent would likely know.

I'd love to help you myself, but I'd rather put you in touch with someone who has great skills for military families.

Below is his contact info:

Gii Varrato
Military Specialist
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Office Phone: (623)344-4000
Cell Phone: (602)796-5674
Toll Free Phone: (800)736-2610
Voice Mail: (602)796-5674
Pager: (623)344-4000
Fax: (602)296-0124
Wireless Email:
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 11, 2010
I would talk to a lawyer and maybe a real estate agent as well. Get ideas from both people. Do not wait
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 11, 2010
Your question was about getting repayment from the previous renters for damage, lost rent and breach of contract. The only sure way I know of doing is, is to take these renters to court or hire a lawyer to pursue this matter for you.

Exclusive Buyer's Agent
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 11, 2010
Would he loose his clearance if he did a short sale? Have you asked the Military if there was help out there for you under these conditions? What about calling USAA and see if they know a finacial solution for you?

I wish you the best and I hope it gets better!

Kindest Regards,
Dianne Hicks
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 10, 2010
Dear Militaryfami...:
This is a tough situation. You are not the only family going through this situation.

A good site for the options that are available to you can be found on my website link under Financial Distress..."Hope Now". Click:

A option is a short sale. The shows on your credit record as a payment agreement instead of a foreclosure. You will have marks against you. You may wish to discuss the short sale option with your commanding officer. I am sure that many other military families are going through the same thing you are.

To get an excellent education on the short sale process that will answer most questions that you will have see the webinar on my website at: Arizona is a non-deficiency state which prevents a lender in a normal situation from pursuing the debt remaining when a home is sold "short" of the mortgage loan balance.

A Realtor such as me can get the whole process started with the bank and the escrow company. I would use a negotiator that represents you and is experienced in bringing the settlement with the bank to an orderly conclusion.

If I can help in any way just ask.

Regards, Jeff

Jeff Masich, Realtor®
Arizona Homes and Land
HomeSmart Real Estate
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 10, 2010
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