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The end result: My house will 4 close/auction on 4/11/07. Im getting alot of mail/calls about people helping me. Is there REALLY a way out? The background: Made 50k/yr w/comp. who wanted me to cheat/lie, (see Forbes mag 12/06 or 1/07) "dirty laundry"article (its true btw, dont b fooled) Last paragraph? moi). i knew had 2 quit 2 save my soul, in prep I attempted to refi. Seems i was scammed $ also upside dwn by $25k by rent2own progrm (Colorado State Business Group, Chris Steibler) 0 equity cant refi. Had to go w/ gut & still quit. Had some money saved to live on, but still fell behind. WaMu said would work w/ me but that was a joke. I want to keep my house, not sell. Have new job, (comm sales) will be making $$ but takes awhile. (From 02/26 - now, have made 3k. but payday is 3/24). Have only $1,800 left in savings. WaMu is f'ng around, losing paperwork etc., "law & Assoc llc" seems best to help, but I ? neg comments on posts. I pay $1,980 - they save my house. Am I screwd?
I usually answer questions in my own words but feel in your case these articles may assist you as they say exactly what I have known for decades. I just don't have the credentials the following authors have. Also avoid filing bankruptcy unless absolutely necessary. I have only seen it cost the majority of people their home anyway and then they have a major double negative on their credit report. Don't hand your house to a thief Mortgage scams are like Baskin-Robbins offerings -- they come in 31 flavors. Here are three top choices of con artists and how to avoid them. By Christopher Solomon If owning a home is the great American dream, then swindling people out of their prized possession is one of the great, lucrative American scams. Mortgage fraud is on the rise, thanks to the tremendous value that's locked up in real estate today and to the increasing number of people who are struggling to pay their mortgages. "It's kind of become the new get-rich-quick scheme out there," says attorney Rachel Dollar, publisher of Mortgage Fraud Blog. More than 323,000 properties entered some state of foreclosure in the first quarter of 2006, a 72% increase over the same period a year ago, according to RealtyTrac. And things could get worse: Nationwide, more than one in three outstanding mortgages has an adjustable rate and interest rates have been rising. "Nobody really knows what's going to happen," says RealtyTrac's Rick Sharga, vice president of marketing. But scammers know that people in trouble make easy victims. They're swooping in and offering to "help" beleaguered borrowers -- and ending up with their house keys. Victims sometimes spend years fighting to get their homes back and some never succeed. Meet Carol and Anthony Carol and Anthony Calvagno of Deer Park, N.Y., on Long Island are in a hell like this right now. In 2003, the Calvagnos were in trouble. Anthony Calvagno had health troubles and had lost his job. In order to pay their bills, the couple took out a home equity loan on the Cape Cod-style house that had been in the family for three generations. (At the time, the couple had a $125,000 mortgage on a house worth about $290,000 -- a high-equity target.) But even the home equity loan wasn't enough. That's when Mitchell Sims swooped in, offering to help, says the couple's attorney, Arshad Majid. Sims told the couple that he would arrange a bailout, and that they should stop making mortgage payments while he worked out the details. When foreclosure notices started showing up, he told the couple to ignore them, saying he'd take care of it. Nearly eight weeks after Sims had entered their lives, and the day before their foreclosure was scheduled, Sims told the Calvagnos that the arrangement hadn't worked. Instead, he said they'd have to file for bankruptcy and enter a "special program" in which they'd sign over their house's title to one of Sims' employees and another of his business associates, who also happened to be Sims' brother. They'd be allowed to live in their home as tenants, Sims told them, and their rent payments would go toward buying their home back from him, says Majid. "They were put in the position where they didn't have any choice" but to sell their deed, Majid says. But Sims never made any mortgage payments. He kept the Calvagnos' rent money and about $50,000 of the couple's money that remained after their creditors were paid. The Calvagnos had fallen victim to a scam known as equity stripping -- just one of the many flavors of mortgage fraud. Their house was sold. Sims and another person have been put in prison for their crimes. The couple has successfully fought eviction -- so far -- but not everyone is so lucky. Here's a quick look at three of the main ways scammers can steal the roof over your head. Scam No. 1: The bailout, aka 'equity stripping' As the Calvagnos' case shows, this scam is particularly ingenious -- and humiliating for the victim. In theory, a person or company could help a homeowner keep his house via a process in which the homeowner sells the house very cheaply to them while the homeowner gets his finances in order. The new owner pays the mortgage, and the old homeowner pays to live in the home in the meantime, buying back the home (with interest) in a fixed amount of time. If the financial setbacks are temporary, and the company is above-board, everybody can win: The homeowner keeps the house and the company earns a profit for its role as rescuer. But "reconveyance," as it's sometimes known, is ripe for abuse. Attorney Leah Weaver, who focuses on fighting the scams as an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis, explains how scammers work this fraud: Suppose you've got a $200,000 home, with $100,000 of equity in it. A divorce and medical bills have you facing foreclosure. Suddenly, the phone rings with a bailout proposal. So you sell your home, for $120,000 -- not much more than what's owed on the mortgage. Why sell for so little? "Because it's never intended to be a true sale," Weaver explains; remember, you don't think you're selling the house permanently, but buying it back in a short period, right? The new purchaser, meanwhile, takes out a $120,000 loan, wipes out any liens on your property and even gets you a little cash back; and you get a two-year lease with a purchase option at the end. But soon you realize you're in trouble. Why? Because scammers aren't about to let you get your home back. Often, the lease terms desperate homeowners agree to turn out to be as onerous as their previous mortgage payments that helped get them into trouble. Con artists also manipulate victims when facing crucial deadlines. "One of my clients was told that payments were going be to under $1,000 a month," Weaver recalls. But the criminals dragged out the process until the foreclosure was imminent and she was backed into a corner. "When she got to the closing … they were like, 'Oh, no, the payments are going to be $1,150.' "Inevitably," she says, "you're going to default." And default isn't pretty. The new purchaser evicts you as soon as possible, sells your $200,000 house, pays off the $120,000 loan and pockets about $80,000 -- all for a few months' work, says Weaver. Some people don't even fight back because they don't know they have options -- such as calling a lawyer, says attorney Dollar. Do's and don'ts: • Don't fall for promises like "We'll save your credit"; "We'll buy your house 'as is'"; or "We'll get you a new mortgage with low monthly payments." • Don't sign away ownership of your property (sometimes called a "quit claim deed") to anyone without the advice of lawyer you trust. "When people get behind on their loan payments, they get a bit desperate, but the answer is not putting someone else on your title," says Oakland real-estate attorney James Hand. • Beware of any home sale contract where you aren't formally released from liability for your mortgage. Also, make sure you know what rights you're giving up and that you agree to giving them up. Scam No. 2: Phantom help This scheme is fairly simple: Let's say you're way behind on your home payments and facing foreclosure. An individual or group approaches and offers to help -- then charges you thousands of dollars for various administrative duties like filing forms and phone calls, or else keeps simply promising a big rescue later. You can probably guess what's really going on: The "helper" isn't really doing anything at all to stop your foreclosure despite collecting thousands from you. By the time you figure out you've been hoodwinked, it's often too late to stop the loss of your house. How did the scammer know to target you, anyway? That's easy: When a lender schedules the home for public auction, the matter becomes public record. In just more than half of the states, a lawsuit must be filed in order to spur a sale. Anyone can check the court documents to find the list of lawsuits, says Elizabeth Renuart, an attorney with the National Consumer Law Center and co-author of a major report last year on mortgage fraud called "Dreams Foreclosed." Soon, a letter or phone call comes like something from a guardian angel -- only it's a vulture. In the other states (including California and Massachusetts, for example), the process doesn't go through the courts; foreclosure sales simply must be advertised publicly, as in the local newspaper. This latter process usually moves faster -- and makes an already-stressed homeowner even more vulnerable to a scam, says Renuart. Do's and don'ts: • Do call your mortgage company or lender if you're in trouble. Ask for the loss mitigation department. Contrary to popular perception, lenders don't want to steal your house, says attorney Dollar. They want to work with you. Why? "Lenders always lose money on foreclosures, even in a rising market," Dollar says. Scammers, on the other hand, will try to keep you from communicating with your lender. • Don't call for assistance from one of those ubiquitous signs on telephone poles that advertise help. Chances are, that's not where help lies. • Do proceed with caution, if a company or person: o Describes itself as a "mortgage consultant," "foreclosure service," or something similar; o Collects a fee before giving any services; o Advertises to people whose homes are listed for foreclosure, including anyone who sends flyers or solicits door-to-door; and o Says you should make home mortgage payments directly to them or to their company instead of your mortgage lender. • Don't panic. Get full information on the foreclosure process in your state. Make sure you know ALL deadlines -- for court, for document filings, etc. States usually have associations that can offer free advice. Minnesota, for example, has the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency as well as the Minnesota Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Association, which has federal Housing and Urban Development counselors available. For who to turn to for advice, click on your state here. Scam No. 3: The bait-and-switch In this scam, which NCLC calls the "bait-and-switch," con artists actually trick a homeowner into signing over the deed to a home -- without his knowledge. How could somebody fall for this? Attorney Hand gives an example. Hand is dealing with 10 cases involving the same real estate loan broker, Kaseem Mohammadi of Union City, Calif., who has been charged with 13 counts of real estate fraud. One of Mohammadi’s strategies, Hand says, was to visit his alleged victims armed with a load of documents on a clipboard and places marked with Post-It notes indicating where to sign. His victims -- some of whom were elderly, or didn't speak English well -- were usually overwhelmed by the documents and also couldn't exactly see what they were signing thanks to the clipboard. And one of the things Mohammadi allegedly got them to sign was a "grant deed" that passed their home's title to a third party. You don't have to be old or a non-English speaker to be stymied by the legalese. Attorney Renuart says she has seen shysters get their victims to sign incredibly complicated legal documents that resulted in their property being transferred to entities such as trusts. "These trust agreements, I can't understand them -- and I'm a lawyer." And if a criminal can't get the signature? Forgery goes a long way in real estate these days, experts say. Do's and don'ts • Don't sign anything that has any blank spaces. Information could be added later that you didn’t agree to. (Yes, it happens.) • Never sign a contract under pressure. Always know exactly what you're signing. Take your time to review the paperwork thoroughly -- ideally with a lawyer who only represents your interests. • Never make a verbal agreement. Get all promises in writing and get full copies. • Cast a jaundiced eye at deals that sound too good to be true. Lately, some scam artists promise they'll wipe out or pay off your home's debt for you (so-called "debt elimination"). Some flustered homeowners bite. Just remember the free lunch rule: There isn't one. A final thought: Remember, if you can't fix your finances, selling your house (on the normal market, that is) may not be the end of the world. Sure, you'll be a renter again. But given how much homes around the country have appreciated in the last several years, chances are you've made some money, which you can use to get back on your feet. Source of tips: National Consumer Law Center; U.S. Department of Justice's U.S. Trustee Program; attorney Rachel Dollar Heres a few more items you might consider, Facing foreclosure? 9 options Check your options, get help, be realistic -- and most of all, don't dawdle. By Liz Pulliam Weston Real estate markets are slowing. Interest rates are ticking up. And the phones are ringing at ByDesign, a Los Angeles-based credit counselor, as homeowners start to panic about not being able to make their mortgage payments. "The number of people asking for appointments to talk about foreclosure is definitely up," said Susan Ulaga, the nonprofit service's senior vice president of counseling. Rising rates "are really putting a crunch" on homeowners with adjustable-rate loans. Nearly a quarter of the nation's mortgages have rates scheduled to reset this year or next, which means higher payments for millions of homeowners. How many will default isn't known, but the Mortgage Bankers Association, which tracks delinquencies and foreclosures, expects a "modest" uptick in both by the end of the year. If you're in danger of falling behind on your mortgage, or if you're already delinquent, it's important to know what's ahead and what your options are. Usually, the faster you move, the more choices you'll have about your financial future. The timeline 30 days: Your troubles actually start as soon as you miss a single payment. Lenders may not contact you until you've skipped a second payment, but most will report the first late payment and every subsequent delinquency to the credit bureaus. Even a single late payment can devastate your credit score, the three-digit number that lenders use to help gauge your creditworthiness. Each subsequent "late" further decreases your score, making it more difficult and expensive to get a loan or a refinance that might help your situation. In addition, lenders typically tack on late fees of 5% or so for each missed payment. 90 days to one year: Eventually, if the payments aren't made, the lender will file a "notice of default" with a local courthouse and send you a letter saying that the foreclosure process will start unless you make good the missing payments. How quickly the notice is filed depends on the individual lender. Some hold off if you contact them to work out a payment plan or otherwise explain your situation. Others are more aggressive and start the process as soon as possible to try to protect their investment. "They may do it as early as 90 days, or as late as a year," explained Anthony Hsieh, president of LendingTree.com. "It really depends on the lender's temperament." Usually, this notice means that the amount you owe has shot up as well, since the lender typically adds substantial fees to cover its legal costs. The notice of default "is a big threshold," Hsieh said. "Once you get into that state, it's a whole different world. Your options are fewer." The notice of default is generally picked up by the credit bureaus, further depressing your credit score and making refinancing the loan extremely difficult. (In addition, the notice tips off scam artists that you're in trouble and may be vulnerable to various "equity skimming" schemes. One common ploy: The scam artist promises to take over your payments, but instead rents out your house and keeps the rent payments as pure profit. The home goes into foreclosure, your credit is trashed and you've lost any equity you had in the home.) 90 days more: Borrowers typically have 90 days from the notice of default to make up the deficit before the lender sends out a "notice of sale," which sets a sale date for the house (typically within the next 15 to 30 days). Some lenders will allow you to keep your original loan if you can make up the missing payments plus any late fees and legal charges. Others will insist you refinance with another lender. You can also halt the foreclosure, at least temporarily, by filing a lawsuit or filing for bankruptcy. For either legal option to work, you'll have to be able to come up with a payment plan to fix the deficit. Your options Lenders today typically offer a variety of solutions for people who have fallen behind on their mortgages. Among them: • Temporarily reducing or waiving payments. • Setting up short-term repayment plans to help you make up the deficit. • Adding the unpaid balance to the principal of your loan and increasing your payments slightly to cover the extra amount. If you have certain types of loans, you may have even more options. If you have a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration, for example, you may qualify for an interest-free (and payment-free) loan to get your mortgage current. The money doesn't need to be paid back until you pay off the mortgage or sell the house. If you can work out a solution with the lender quickly enough, you can contain or even avoid serious damage to your credit. That's among the reasons housing experts typically urge you to call your lender as soon as you know you'll have trouble making a payment. This is good advice, but trickier than it may seem at first, for two reasons: Lenders can make it tough to get to the right people. The folks you want to talk to are in the "loss mitigation" department. But many lenders don't routinely route borrowers to that department until they've missed several payments. Until then, you might be dealing with the lender's collections department, which typically offers one option: Pay up now. If you're serious about keeping your home, you may have to really push to get to right people. "The loss mitigation department (is) where the options are really going to open up," ByDesign's Ulaga said. You have to be able to make the payments. If you agree to a lender's "workout" or "loan modification" solution and then fail to make the agreed-upon payments, you'll be in a world of hurt. At best, you'll have "a lot fewer options the second time around," Ulaga said. More likely, Hsieh said, the lender will simply accelerate the foreclosure process. This can be a big problem if the financial crisis that caused you to fall behind isn't over. If you don't know where you're going to get the money to make the payments, trying to work out a solution with your lender will be tough. "If you're honest like that, (lenders) are not going to want to work with you," said New Jersey bankruptcy attorney John Amorison. "If you're dishonest, you breach the agreement." That's no reason to hide from your lender or ignore its letters, Hsieh said. Even if you can't work out an agreement, keeping in contact is usually the right choice: "At least you know where you stand." Filing a lawsuit or bankruptcy carries similar risk: If you don't have the money to make the payments, the foreclosure can proceed, and you may have further damaged your credit score. 9 steps to getting out of this mess So what to do? First, you'll need to take a hard, clear-eyed look at your financial situation. To that end: Make a budget. Sketch out a spending plan for the next several months, including expected income and expenses. See what costs you can trim to free up as much money as possible for home payments. You may need to pay the minimums, or even less, on other debts. In certain very limited circumstances -- such as when you are absolutely sure your financial hardship will be short-lived -- it may make sense to skip payments on some bills so you can pay your mortgage. Read "How to not pay your bills" to learn about the consequences that may follow. Another option: borrowing money from friends or family, or tapping retirement funds. Do the latter only if you're convinced you can make future payments; you don't want to drain your retirement funds if you're only going to end up losing the house. Consider getting help. Legitimate credit counseling services, those associated with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling or the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies, typically have housing counselors that can help you evaluate your options. Or you can find a housing counseling agency approved by the Housing and Urban Development Department by calling (800) 569-4287. If you have a Veterans Administration loan, you can call (800) 827-1000 to get a referral to a financial counselor. Check your refinance options. If you have equity in your home, your credit rating is relatively intact and your lender hasn't yet filed a notice of default, you may be able to get another loan with more affordable payments. An experienced mortgage broker, preferably one affiliated with the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, can let you know your options. Be cautious about jumping into another risky loan, though: adjustable, interest-only or "option" mortgages might just put off the day of reckoning and you could find yourself facing even higher payments down the road. Be realistic. Many times, Amorison said, people struggle to hang on to a house that they simply can't afford when they'd be far better off without it. "People are just too tied to their homes," Amorison said. "It's just property." That may seem harsh, but it's far better to sell a home while you still have equity and some semblance of a credit score than to have it taken away in foreclosure. Get organized. If you are going to try for a loan modification, you'll need to prepare a small mound of documentation. The lender will specify what it wants, but typically you'll need to supply the details of your financial situation, a budget, documentation of your hardship (a letter from your doctor explaining an income-reducing illness, for example, or your layoff notice from your employer) and a "hardship letter" that outlines, in heart-rending detail, the circumstances that led you to fall behind and the improved prospects that will allow you to get your financial life back on track. You may also want (or be required) to provide a market analysis of your house, Ulaga said, to document how much equity you have in your home. A real estate agent can typically prepare this for free in exchange for the chance of winning your business should you decide to sell. Leaving home If a loan modification or refinance isn't possible or feasible, your options come down to these: Sell the house. If you have enough equity in your home to allow you to pay off your mortgage in full, after deducting any real estate agent commissions, then a quick sale is usually your best option. You'll preserve what's left of your credit score and your equity, leaving you in a much better position should you want to buy another home in the future.Offer a deed in lieu of foreclosure. If you can't sell the house for what you owe, but you're not deeply "upside down" on your mortgage, this may be an option: you propose handing over the deed to your home and your lender agrees to release you from your mortgage. This usually keeps you from having to pay any deficit that might be owed on the property, while the lender avoids further legal costs related to a foreclosure. Lenders can't be forced to accept a deed, however. Typically, lenders require that the borrower make "a really good effort" to sell the home first, Ulaga said, and show that their delinquency was due to "unavoidable hardship" before they'll agree to a deed in lieu of foreclosure. Negotiate a short sale. If you owe substantially more on your home than it's worth, you may be able to get the lender to accept less than it is owed by negotiating a "short sale." You essentially sell the house for whatever you can get, and the lender agrees to accept the proceeds and not go after you for the deficit. A short sale can further damage your credit scores, often showing up as a "settlement" that indicates you paid less than you owed. You may also face an IRS bill on the unpaid debt, which is generally considered income to you. A skilled negotiator may be able to avoid these consequences or at least minimize them, so you may want to consider getting an experienced attorney's help. Allow the foreclosure to proceed. This is generally the worst choice. In some states and in some circumstances, the lender can even go after you in court for any deficit between what the house eventually sells for and what you owe. An attorney or housing counselor can let you know if that's a possibility. Even if the worst happens, though, the damage to your financial life needn't be permanent. If your situation improves, you may be able to get another mortgage, at a reasonable interest rate, within a few years. For more details, check out "Bounce back fast after bankruptcy" for suggestions on how to rebuild your credit after financial disaster.
Your message is a little unclear but there are so many scams out there. If you do not have a lot invested walk away. I know that seems bad but you seem to have been originally scammed by the seller/Mortage holder. It does ruin your credit but do you really own the homw? Do you have any equity in it. The other answer makes a valid point. People often call to take over the loan and buy you out. If you can get some money then do it but do it legally. You have such a short time to redeem. Ask yourself is the house worth saving or am I going to get deeper in debt? Is there anyone who could help you out? As we don't have all the facts It is harder to offer suggestions. I hope someone steps in to help.
Call the lender and ask to speak to someone in the borrower resolution department. Find out how much you will need to reinstate the loan. Offer them 30% to 40% upfront with the balance spread over 12 months (sell or pawn any thing you can including jewelry etc.) to come up with the minimum to get a forebearance agreement. no matter what they tell you do not give up or wait for them to do something. Stay on their case. Call everyday if you have to but get that agreement. read it carefully (check the numbers make sure they are correct and you understand what each charge is for, ASK if in doubt) and get a signed copy back to them (FAX IT) and send them the minimum payment in CERTIFIED FUNDS (Bank check, Kansas or Wire transfer) USE FEDEX or UPS Overnight so you can track it. Once you have faxed over the agreement and gotten them the money. Call them verify that they have everything they need. Insist on them Faxing a order to their attorney to suspend the foreclosure process that day. Call as many times as necessary to get it done. (be careful not to irritate them or they will bury the paperwork, be firm and serious but nice) Keep a note book with you. Log in every conversation, who you spoke to and what they said. Keep copies of every thing. Don't get upset at the person on the phone. Be nice and calm yet make sure that they know you are serious about keeping the house. Don't give your money to attorney's. Right now you need every $ to save your home. What ever you do, do not miss a payment on the agreement you made or they wont trust you any more and then you will really be S-----d. Once you have done that try to pay it off as soon as you can every month that you on the program they will be reporting you late and it will mess up your credit ever more.
Go to the rip off report (www.ripoffreport.com) and spend a few minutes looking around there with the names of the people wanting to 'help' you. while you are at it be sure to add Mr. Steibler and his crooked company in the appropriate categories..... why should you take the time to add him/ 1. It will make you feel better 2. It will assist others in making an informed decision regarding doing business with him and negatively impact his 'business' 3. (and most important) it will assist attorneys in finding you in case a class action lawsuit takes form. In the meantime see and talk with several attorneys...I believe you should file for bankruptcy. Once you get your case in, it will STOP your foreclosure and buy you some time until the money comes in. Bankruptcy was made for people JUST LIKE YOU and it WILL save your house. Do this yesterday (as soon as possible)! Congrats on having the courage to follow your morals. GOOD THINGS are coming your way.
It doesn't sound good. I am surpised the WAMU isn't being helpful. I think that is your best option is to try to work something out with them. There are a lot of predatory lenders who will offer to "save" you. Be very wary. There are investors out there who will make a loan to you, but don't expect to get a favorable rate. The people who would lend you money to bail you out of your situation are taking a lot of risk on, as they don't have any collateral. Consider getting an attorney to stave off the foreclosure - they may be able to buy you some time to get your finances in order. Good luck. (couple of links to helpful information)
Since you got a notice of default, how many people have called you to take over your loan? as long as they take over the loan they save ur credit and debt for you. as long as they take care of ur entire loan, then u have nothing to worry about.