Sunday, December 16, 2012

Paul Antonelli The Year In Review

Paul Antonelli The Year In Review

15 Questions to Ask Before Selecting a Home Builder Paul Antonelli

As new home construction ramps up in Orlando, Kissimmee, Lake Nona, Saint Cloud, Altamonte Springs, Avalon Park or throughout Orange and Osceola counties, more people are looking towards upsizing or downsizing to a new home.
Experts agree -- these 15 questions are a great way to select the right builder for your new home.
Selecting the right builder for your new home is a key step in the journey that leads to your dream home.
Asking builders the 15 questions below will help you choose the right builder to create your new home and give you confidence in your choice.
These questions will also help you better understand key steps in the building process and the decisions you'll make, in partnership with the builder, to bring your new home to life.
  • How many years have you been in business? How many homes have you built?
  • Are you licensed (where required) and insured?
  • How do you compare yourself to other builders? What are the most important benefits of the homes you build?
  • What type of warranty do you offer?
  • Can you give me references from prior home buyers? Do you build model homes I can tour? If not, can you help me make an appointment to see a home you built for another customer?
  • What are the major energy-saving features of homes you build?
  • Do you build only from home plans you supply? Or can I provide my own set of plans?
  • What standard features do your homes include? What options and upgrades can I select?
  • Who will oversee the construction of my home? Who should I contact with any questions I may have?
  • How and when can I make changes or upgrades before and during construction?
  • How and when will the final price for my home be determined?
  • How often (and when) will I have access to the home during the building process?
  • How long will my home take to complete?
  • Does the community have a Home Owners Association and/or an Architectural Review Committee? If so, may I get a copy of their rules and the amount of any fees?
  • What's your process for inspection at key points of construction, at final walk-through, and to address any matters that need to be corrected or finalized?
There are certainly other important questions you may wish to ask, so feel free to add them. However, experts agree the list above is a great starting point to select the firm to build your new home.

Congratulations, you've embarked on an exciting journey that will lead to your dream home. As you progress it is important to have an experienced Realtor by your side in the negotiating process. As a new home buyers agent in the Orlando, Kissimmee, Lake Nona, Saint Cloud, Altamonte Springs, Avalon Park or throughout Orange and Osceola counties.  I have negotiated for more appliances, by down rates, upgrades and more, and I can do it for you too. Paul Antonelli 321-443-4028

Foreclosure Starts at 71-Month Low - Paul Antonelli | 321-443-4028

A significant drop in foreclosure starts brought down foreclosure activity in November, according to a foreclosure report from RealtyTrac.
Foreclosure starts were filed on 77,494 U.S. properties in November, a 71-month low and the lowest level since December 2006, RealtyTrac reported Thursday.
The decrease represents a 13 percent drop from October and a 28 percent decline from November 2011. Twenty-eight states experienced annual declines in foreclosure starts, with Oregon (-84 percent), Pennsylvania (-67 percent), and California (-63 percent) registering the significant decreases.
Eighteen states posted annual increases in foreclosure starts, with substantial upsurges seen in New Jersey (+538 percent), Arkansas (+455 percent), and New York (+209 percent).
The drop eased the number of foreclosure filings overall, which include default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions. Foreclosure filings were reported on 180,817 U.S. properties in November and fell 3 percent from October and 19 percent from a year ago. The yearly decline is the 26th straight month of annual decreases in foreclosure filings.
While the worst may be over, foreclosures may still make a comeback.
“Foreclosures are continuing to hobble the U.S. housing market as lenders finally seize properties that started the process a year or two ago — and much longer in some cases,” said Daren Blomquist, VP at RealtyTrac.
“We’re likely not completely out of the woods when it comes to foreclosure starts, either, as lenders are still adjusting to new foreclosure ground rules set forth in the National Mortgage Settlement along with various state laws and court rulings,” he added.
While foreclosure filings and starts fell, bank repossessions rose annually for the first time in 25 months.
RealtyTrac explained bank repossessions have been trending downward since October 2010 when news began to surface of “robo-signing” practices from banks, causing some major servicers to delay foreclosures while their processes were being reviewed.
In November, 59,134 properties became bank repossessions, or REOs, an increase of 11 percent from October and 5 percent from a year ago.
Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia saw yearly increases in REO activity, with significant increases seen in Indiana (+96 percent), Arkansas (+88 percent), and Missouri (+87 percent).
States where REO activity saw a significant drop were Nevada (-64 percent), Oregon (-58 percent), and Massachusetts (-49 percent).
In Florida, one in every 304 housing units received a foreclosure filing, the highest foreclosure rate among any other state. The national average shows one in every 728 housing units received a foreclosure filing in November, according to data from RealtyTrac.
Even though Nevada saw its foreclosure activity decrease 54 percent from last year, the state had the second highest foreclosure rate (one in every 390 housing units). Illinois was a close third, where one in every 392 housing units received a foreclosure filing.
Among the metros with the highest foreclosure rates, seven of the top 10 metros were in Florida and the remaining three were in California.
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville had the highest foreclosure rate (one in every 158 housing units) and was followed by Ocala (one in 210 housing units).
Other Florida metros in the top 10 included Jacksonville, which ranked No. 4, along with Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach ( No. 5), Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice (No. 8), Port St. Lucie (No. 9), and Gainesville (No. 10).
The California metros were Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario (No. 3), Stockton (No. 6), Modesto (No. 7).

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Non-delinquent borrowers NOW eligible for short sales

Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have issued new rules that went into effect Nov. 1 that will allow short sales for underwater borrowers who have never missed a mortgage payment. Previously, Fannie and Freddie allowed only homeowners who had missed payments to qualify for a short sale.

However, eligible short-sale owners will need to show a hardship to qualify for a short sale under the new rules. Hardships may include unemployment or the death of a spouse.

The new rules won’t help credit scores, however. The non-delinquent short sellers will likely take just as big a hit to their credit score as delinquent homeowners who have missed loan payments and gone into foreclosure, according to Kenneth Harney, writing in Inman News.

“Under current national credit reporting practices, those non-delinquent borrowers are likely to be treated the same for credit scoring purposes as severely delinquent owners who go to foreclosure after months of nonpayment, or who simply toss back the house keys and walk away in strategic defaults,” says Harney.

Credit agencies have no special coding that indicates a short sale occurred without an accompanying delinquency. Therefore, homeowners could see their credit scores drop 150 points or more after a short sale.

However, officials at the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, say they are “in discussions with the credit industry” to explore ways to fix the credit score problem for people who haven’t missed a payment before undergoing a short sale.
Paul Antonelli
That Short Sale Guy
La Rosa Realty

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Neighbors worry as banks take longer to sell foreclosed homes

ORLANDO, Fla. – Oct. 22, 2012 – A neighborhood’s chances of recovering quickly from the hung-over U.S. housing market depend not only on how many foreclosed homes it has but also, it seems, on which banks own the properties.

Bank of America, for instance, takes almost two months longer on average to sell a foreclosed property than EverBank Financial does, according to new, nationwide data from the research company RealtyTrac Inc. And BofA, the lending giant that inherited many of its troubled mortgages when it bought Countrywide Financial in 2008, has been taking longer this year to sell its foreclosure properties than it took last year.

A lot of things can happen when long-abandoned houses sit on the market for additional months. By slowly releasing their foreclosed properties, for instance, some lenders have benefited from rising home prices this year; in the core Orlando market, prices are up 16 percent since the start of 2012.

But those long-held properties also rack up more unpaid association fees, overdue property taxes, repair costs, neighborhood complaints and even code-enforcement fines as the months wear on.

At Cranes Roost Villas in Altamonte Springs, the first thing residents and visitors see as they enter the gated community is a leaky corner unit draped in blue tarp so long that the plastic sheeting has started to disintegrate.

“Bank of America put a bright-blue tarp on top of roof rather than repair it,” said longtime resident Richard Campanaro. “Half of it has blown off. It would make a wonderful haunted house if you wanted to do something for Halloween. It’s terrible – I wouldn’t even want to enter the property.”

Last year, it took Bank of America an average of 5.3 months to sell a foreclosure, according to RealtyTrac. So far this year, it has averaged 6.7 months. Deutsche Bank, Wells Fargo & Co., Ocwen Financial and Citigroup have also fallen further behind in selling their foreclosed properties. Through September, all of them were taking at least 20 percent longer than they took in 2011, based on RealtyTrac’s nationwide data.

Smaller banks appear to be more nimble when dealing with foreclosures, perhaps because they aren’t faced with nearly the same volume of properties, said Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac vice president. And mortgage servicers with portfolios of higher-end properties are better able to sell those homes than are companies saddled with less-desirable houses.

But the longer a bank-owned house sits idle during the foreclosure process, the deeper it falls into disrepair.

“Banks are not typically too willing to repair these homes, particularly if there are property flippers ready, willing and able to buy the more scratch-and-dent variety of homes and fix them up,” Blomquist said. According to RealtyTrac, the number of flippers is up 25 percent nationally and 34 percent in the Orlando area compared with a year ago.

Two nonprofit housing organizations recently filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, accusing Bank of America of failing to maintain foreclosed houses in 10 cities’ minority communities, including Orlando’s. The groups included photos of houses with unlocked doors, mold, interior walls spray-painted with graffiti, and piles of trash heaped outside.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based lending giant denied any wrongdoing and said it stands behind its property-maintenance-and-marketing practices. “Bank of America is committed to stabilizing and revitalizing communities that have been impacted by the economic downturn, foreclosures and property abandonment,” spokeswoman Jumana Bauwens said.

Orlando Code Enforcement Officer Mike Rhodes said he sees repeated problems in low-income areas and elsewhere with houses owned by various lenders. A review of code violations within the city found that Wells Fargo had the greatest number of code infractions among the nation’s top five lenders.

A year ago, for instance, Orlando cited Wells Fargo for failing to secure a swimming pool at a foreclosed house in downtown Orlando. At the same house last month, Orlando cited Wells Fargo for overgrown landscaping and debris in the backyard. And just two weeks ago, Wells Fargo got a notice for broken front windows and black water in the pool.

Repeated safety violations at the same bank-owned houses have become such a recurrent theme for local governments that some of them, such as the city of Tampa, have considered establishing foreclosure registries, which require lenders pay $125 to register a property within 10 days of filing a foreclosure notice.

In registering a property, banks have to provide contact information for a property manager in case the house falls into disrepair and the local government – or the neighborhood’s community association – wants some action taken.

Rhodes said there has been some discussion about creating a registry in Orlando, but getting the properties “signed up” does not ensure the houses will be maintained. He said his staff already knows whom to call at most of the mortgage companies with foreclosures in the city, so he questions whether such a registration is necessary.

“You call a company in Texas that manages the assets of Wells Fargo, and they contact someone here,” Rhodes said. Calls, though, don’t always resolve the problems.

“We’ve got a situation in Parramore, the property is owned by Wells Fargo,” Rhodes said. “There are squatters, drugs being dealt and you name it.”

A spokeswoman for Wells Fargo said the company inspects foreclosures monthly, registers foreclosures as required, maintains abandoned houses and secures them.

“We occasionally receive code violations or concerns regarding the condition and maintenance of homes in our servicing portfolio that are not foreclosed,” the bank said in a written statement. “If the property in our servicing portfolio is delinquent and vacant, but has not yet gone to foreclosure sale, we will maintain and secure it.”

The time JP Morgan Chase takes to sell its foreclosed properties has held steady from last year to this year. Lisa Shepherd, vice president of Chase’s REO and Preservation unit, said the company has not changed its sales strategies in the past year but has been able to move more properties as it winnows its inventory.

“When there is less distress inventory in the market, we find there are more interested buyers,” Shepherd said. She added that Chase works with local real-estate agents and makes necessary repairs, taking into consideration the neighborhood overall.

Prospects for banks generally to work through their foreclosure inventory in Florida do not look promising. RealtyTrac projects that foreclosure filings in the state will continue to increase for the next six to 12 months, and that will likely increase the average time to sell for many of these lenders during the next year.

“However, because buyers and investors finally appear to be flocking to the market, pulled by low prices and interest rates, I don’t expect the influx in bank-owned inventory to cause a major dip in average prices,” said Blomquist, the RealtyTrac vice president.

Back in Altamonte Springs, Campanaro said it’s sad that he has grown accustomed to the shredded blue tarp that creates an eyesore at the entrance to his neighborhood.

What’s even sadder, he said, is what that does to the property values for residents trying to rebuild some equity in their homes.

Copyright © 2012 The Orlando Sentinel

Monday, October 22, 2012

FLORIDA's housing market shows upswing in Sept. 2012

ORLANDO, Fla. – Oct. 19, 2012 – Florida’s housing market had higher pending sales, higher median prices and a reduced inventory of homes for sale in September, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

“Florida’s real estate market is no longer in recovery mode – stability and growth gain solid footing,” said 2012 Florida Realtors President Summer Greene, regional manager of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Florida 1st in Fort Lauderdale. “Realtors across the state are reporting consistent increases in home sales and median prices, and multiple offers from buyers isn’t unusual. In fact, increasing buyer demand in many local markets is creating inventory shortages – and that’s putting pressure on prices. For sellers who may have been reluctant to enter the market, it’s now time to reconsider. Conditions are turning to a sellers’ market.”

Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 15,643 in September, up 2 percent compared to the year-ago figure, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department and vendor partner 10K Research and Marketing. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

Meanwhile, pending sales – contracts that are signed by not yet completed or closed – of existing single-family homes last month rose 40.1 percent over the previous September. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in September was $145,000, up 7.4 percent from a year ago.

According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in August 2012 was $188,700, up 10.2 percent from the previous year. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in August was $343,820; in Massachusetts, it was $317,750; in Maryland, it was $255,498; and in New York, it was $225,000.

The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less. Housing industry analysts note that sales of foreclosures and other distressed properties continue to downwardly distort the median price because they generally sell at a discount relative to traditional homes.

Looking at Florida’s year-to-year comparison for sales of townhomes-condos, a total of 7,329 units sold statewide last month, down slightly (-2.9 percent) from those sold in September 2011. Meanwhile, pending sales for townhome-condos in September increased 30.6 percent compared to the year-ago figure. The statewide median for townhome-condo properties was $105,736, up 18.8 percent over the previous year. NAR reported that the national median existing condo price in August 2012 was $176,700.

Last month, the inventory for single-family homes stood at a 5.2-months’ supply; inventory for townhome-condo properties was also at a 5.2-months’ supply, according to Florida Realtors. Industry analysts note that a 5.5-months’ supply symbolically represents a market balanced between buyers and sellers.

“The onward march of Florida's housing market continues,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. “Inventories have now tilted to the point where we truly have a sellers’ market forming. Prices are up smartly and have been for quite a while. It’s getting to the point where Florida is the place to buy, but it may soon move out of reach for many households.”

The interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.47 percent in September 2012, lower than the 4.11 percent averaged during the same month a year earlier, according to Freddie Mac.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Take a look the future of Florida's real estate market.

Here is the latest from FAR.
1. Great prices. Statewide, home prices have fallen about 20 percent in the past year. Florida Association of Realtors® statistics show the existing-home median sales price was $185,400 in the third quarter of 2008, compared with $233,200 in third quarter 2007. By the way, those numbers are still significantly higher than in the early years of the decade. In 2003, the third-quarter sales price was $163,700, which reflects an increase of about 13.3 percent over the five-year period. (The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half for less.)
2. The time is right. Home sales volumes are rising again -- a signal that the market recovery may be underway. In third quarter 2008, statewide sales of existing single-family homes were up 5 percent compared to the same period last year, according to FAR statistics.
3. High inventory levels. Conditions are ideal for buyers to find their dream home. Inventory is plentiful in all price ranges. But as sales volumes increase, inventory levels are likely to shrink. That reality translates into this advice for buyers: Don't wait too long.
4. Low mortgage rates. Mortgage rates are still at the lowest levels since the 1960s. Lower rates multiply a buyer's financial power. Even half a percent can make a sizeable difference. For example, on a $200,000 home, half of 1 percent could save the homeowner about $815 a year. Buyers can get more home for the money, which is a perfect scenario for families looking to upsize.
5. Incentives to buy. Federal, state and local housing programs can help buyers make that big purchase. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has increased the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit from $7,500 to $8,000 for purchases on or after Jan. 1, 2009, and before Dec. 1, 2009. Talk to a local mortgage lender about state and federal incentive programs.
6. A long-term-growth state. Long-term economic and demographic trends continue to favor Florida. By 2010, economists forecast that Florida will be the third-most-populated state in the country. Florida has been one of the 10-fastest-growing states in the U.S. for each of the past seven decades, and often the state has been in the top four, according to Census data. Population growth will continue to provide a foundation for other economic development, such as new jobs and growing incomes. All of these trends are positive indicators for real estate growth.
7. A migration magnet. Even with a slowdown in economic growth nationally, projections call for Florida's population to return to more normal growth levels of about 317,000 a year between 2010 and 2020, similar to the 1980s and 1990s, said Stan Smith, director of the University of Florida's Bureau of Economic and Business Research. That's a lot of new buyers coming into the market.
8. A favored retirement destination. Over the long term, Florida stands to benefit from the migration of the aging Baby Boomer generation, roughly 80 million strong. Demographic studies show that the Sunshine State's mild climate and outdoor amenities continue to make Florida a favorite retirement destination.
9. A diverse economy. Florida's economy, like the rest of the nation, is impacted by the recession. Some business sectors, though, appear promising for the Florida economy. The healthcare and technology sectors are quickly becoming an important economic force in South and Central Florida. The Milken Institute/Greenstreet Real Estate Partners ranked five Florida communities on its "Best Performing Cities Index 2008," which ranks U.S. metropolitan areas by how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth. Florida's business climate ranked fourth among executives and sixth overall on Site Selection magazine's 2008 Top State Business Climate rankings.
10. Investment outlook. Every quarter, the University of Florida's Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies conducts a survey of industry executives, market research economists, real estate scholars and other experts. In the fourth quarter 2008 survey, the investment outlook for various types of Florida properties declined from the third quarter of 2008, although it is noted that the investment outlook remains higher than it was at times in 2006 and 2007. "We have 40 pages of comments from our respondents, and although the dominant theme is the disruption of financing, perhaps the second theme, as one person put it, is people being on the sidelines with full pads and helmets just waiting to jump back in," says Director Dr. Wayne Archer, when referencing the 2008 third quarter results.
11. Homeownership has value. Realtors® believe -- and research supports the belief -- that homeownership provides a variety of tangible and intangible benefits to the community and homeowners. Studies show that home equity is still the largest single source of household wealth.
12. Greater sense of well-being. Owning a home leads to increased personal well-being. Research shows that people who own their own homes tend to show higher levels of personal self-esteem and life satisfaction, which in turn helps to make homeowners and their children more productive members of society.
13. Beneficial for kids. Studies show that children raised in homes owned by their families are more likely to stay in school and graduate high school. They're also shown to have a higher lifetime annual income.
14. Community involvement. People who own homes have a strong financial stake in what happens to their community and tend to become more involved in community and civic affairs. Studies show that homeowners also interact more with their neighbors and communities. Compared to renters, homeowners join up to 41 percent more civic and/or nonprofessional organizations, such as the PTA or Scouts; vote in local elections 15 percent more often; enhance their neighborhoods with gardens 12 percent more often; attend church about 10 percent more often; and have a 3 percent greater chance of being interested in public affairs.
15. An unsurpassed lifestyle. Finally, let's not forget the things that brought people to Florida in the first place, and will continue to attract them -- beautiful beaches, fabulous weather and a friendly business climate, with no state income tax. It's no wonder that Florida's combination of temperate climate, outstanding recreational amenities and economic opportunity has consistently put the Sunshine State in the top three of Harris Poll's "Most Desirable Places to Live" survey.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Behind on payments and don't know what your options are?

There are options for Central Florida families in foreclosure that do not want to stay in their home because they want to scale down, move, or maybe need a larger home. Short sales involve hiring a local Realtor, knowledgeable with the process, and listing the home on the market for its current value. Because the mortgage balance exceeds the sales price, the homeowner will not have enough money at closing to pay the bank; hence, the sale is “short.”
     Once the house is under contract with a viable buyer the bank will have to agree to the short sale, which does not always happen. In order to complete a short sale, families in risk of foreclosure need a realtor that is experienced in short sales and that has successfully closed at least 10 short sales in the past few months. This should be a good indicator that the agent is familiar with the latest changes.
    Paul Antonelli has a history of success and integrity in real estate that you can depend on. Paul Antonelli is very experienced in Florida real estate transactions, including short sales. Having completed hundreds of Short Sales throughout Central Florida, Kissimmee, Orlando, St. Cloud,  Apopka, Altamonte Springs, Dr. Phillips, Lake Mary, Longwood, Sanford, Windermere, Winter Park, Winter Garden, Celebration, Lake Nona, all over Orange and Osceola counties. Through dealing with numerous banks over the years, Paul Antonelli will sort through the factors that the bank will consider including: the homeowner’s hardship and income, appraised value of the home, the equity the bank would obtain at a foreclosure sale, in addition to the cost they would incur if they have to “carry the property” after the sale.
The important thing to note for any short sale not just in the state of Florida is that if the homeowner cannot show true hardship, the bank will expect the homeowner to bring or have available an amount of cash to closing. However, the benefit of a short sale is that as long as the short sales approval comes with a full waiver, once the house is sold, it’s sold. The homeowner is done with the bank, and the bank is done with the homeowner.
Contact Paul Antonelli today for your FREE consultation 321-443-4028 .

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Follow Up to; Is Bank of America really doing away with second liens

     I posted this original "report" a few days ago and I basically said, Yea right I'll believe it when I see it.  We'll I ready to say that so far it looks like they are actually going to do something that they said they were going to do. Bank of America and the other major bank players were all talking about doing Loan Mods the "Right Way" (You know reducing the principle balance) and cutting out the second mortgages. Pipe dreams right? It was always them saying the right things but never following through with them. It wasn't until the beginning of this year when all the major players (the Mega-banks) were slapped with fees by every states Attorney General, for the Robo signing scandal of years past.
   Last month Bank of America sent out thousands and thousands of these letters, not just in Kissimmee or Greater Orlando area, but all over Florida and the country offering people to forgive the second mortgage. Everyone's thought was Yea right, what's the catch? My fear was that the owners would have to divulge all their financials, pay history, living status, etc. and probably a pint of blood and urine sample to boot. So then they would have all your information and could really determine your financial status. They could have come back to these people and stated that "Oh you have plenty in your 401K so you don't qualify" or "We see that you just financed a new car so you don't qualify" or something like this " We see you have about $7000 in your bank accounts so you won't qualify for this program". The big issues or what I call the Scary part of all this was that with this info that they now had they could also say the "You won't qualify for any of our programs including a Short Sale". That would mean that Foreclosure would be your only out or a Deed in Lieu, which is the same thing.
     Yesterday I get a call from one of our sellers in Kissimmee, that we are short selling the property. They got this letter last month I said don't bother everyone is getting it. Just like all those Loan Mod letters. They said that Bank of America called them again and said that they only had 10 days to file for this or they are out. I asked if they had to send any financials, and they said NO, They wanted Nothing, they were already qualified. Then they told them that they see there was an active Short Sale and that this program would take a minimum of 3 months to complete and once started they could not stop or they would not finish the program and would Always Owe The Balance To Them. This means No Chance for a Full Waiver of Deficiency! That is Big and Important to know. My words to them “Go For It, You Have To". I then got on the phone and cancelled the Short Sale until they completed the process. The agent on the other side was in full agreement.
     So, to all my Kissimmee, Saint Cloud and Greater Orlando clients and friends, if you got one of these letters, CALL THEM NOW before time runs out. Or maybe your one of those people that are still in denial and just threw the letter in the trash like all the others from the banks. If that's the case and you or someone you know, has a second mortgage with Bank of America, call them today to see if you qualify for this program.
I will post a copy of this letter on my website soon,
Thank you
Paul Antonelli
La Rosa Realtor and Short Sale Trainer and Property Owner Advocate

Monday, October 1, 2012

Is Bank of America really doing away with second liens??

Borrowers with second liens owned and serviced by Bank of America ($9.08 0.25%) may qualify to get their subordinate debt extinguished entirely.

The banking giant mailed 150,000 letters to pre-qualified homeowners who are eligible to have their Bank of America second-lien mortgages eliminated.

The program was designed to ease the pains of struggling borrowers who are also dealing with issues on first mortgages and to help more individuals create equity in their properties.

Borrowers receiving the letter will have second liens on collateral property completely removed unless the customer decides to opt out of the automatic relief by sending a response within 30 days of receiving the letter.

The offer takes care of the entire unpaid principal balance on second liens. Only second liens owned and serviced by BofA that meet certain delinquency and property value guidelines are qualified for the program.

Second lien mortgages associated with a severly delinquent first lien mortgage also qualify as long as the second-lien is serviced or fully owned by BofA. Ownership of the first lien mortgage does not matter as long as BofA has control of the subordinate lien.

Mailings to eligible customers began in July. Only customers who receive pre-qualified letters will be able to use the program today.

The bank points out that eliminating a second lien does not resolve issues with the first. If a first lien mortgage is delinquent or in foreclosure, the borrower still has to work with the servicer to resolve those issues. The extinguishment of the second debt is an attempt to limit other financial concerns, but it cannot resolve issues with the first lien.

"The elimination of the second lien mortgage is completely separate from any actions being taken regarding the first mortgage," BofA said in a statement. "If the first mortgage is in foreclosure, those foreclosure activities may continue."

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

No Surprise Here on the Decline

    The huge decline in completed foreclosures is a positive signal that the housing market is on a positive path of recovery and stabilization. These five states accounted for approximately half (48.1 percent) of all foreclosures completed over a one year period ending in July 2012. Those states were California (118,000), Florida (92,000), Michigan (61,000), Texas (57,000), and Georgia (54,000). No surprise here but these two Florida metro areas had the highest percentage of homes in foreclosure: Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (11.5 percent) and Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (11.3 percent).

Paul Antonelli 
That Short Sale Guy 
LaRosa Realty

Monday, August 27, 2012

Supreme Court finally ruled on MERS

Washington Supreme Court finally ruled on Thursday that the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) can't foreclose on any properties through the state's non-judicial process unless they hold the promissory note.
In the court opinion, Justice Tom Chambers wrote, "Simply put, if MERS does not hold the note, so it is not a lawful beneficiary."
Since the company is not recognized as a beneficiary without the promissory note, MERS could not, in the two cases the court examined, appoint trustees to initiate non-judicial foreclosures.
The opinion stated that only the "actual holder of the promissory note or other instrument evidencing the obligation" could act as a beneficiary and appoint a trustee to foreclose on a property.
The two plaintiffs named in the cases were foreclosed on by trustees appointed by MERS.
The Mortgage Electronic Recording System was created back in the 1990's as a way to record and track the transfer of mortgages electronically. The ease of the system allowed those who bought and sold mortgage-backed securities to avoid the cost of recording fees and the inconvenience going to a county court to record ownership.
Aside from tracking ownership, MERS in certain states was also named as a beneficiary of the deeds of trust.
In its statement, MERS said it had ceased commencing foreclosures in its name over a year ago, so this opinion does not impact its current operations. The opinion will, however, create confusion for Washington homeowners while the trial courts consider its effect on pending cases. We remain confident that MERS' role in the U.S. housing finance system is valid and will withstand legal challenges.
 What a bombshell! This is something that could have ramifications around the country. MERS understands that they don't have the right to foreclose on homeowners, and that is why they are not foreclosing on any new ones.
Now lets see if any one actually prosecutes them for this.  There has been so much fraud in foreclosure cases, no wonder the housing market has been struggling to find its feet!
Paul Antonelli
That Short Sale Guy
LaRosa Realty
Celebration, FL 

Friday, August 24, 2012

FHFA New GSE Short Sale Guidelines

FHFA New GSE Short Sale Guidelines

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced that the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) are issuing new mortgage servicing guidelines designed to align and consolidate existing short sales programs into one standard short sale program.
The new guidelines, which go into effect Nov. 1, will permit homeowners with a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgages to sell their home in a short sale if they are current on their mortgage or if they have an eligible hardship. Servicers will be able to expedite processing a short sale for borrowers with hardships such as death of a borrower or co-borrower, divorce, disability, or relocation for a job without any additional approval from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
According to the FHFA, the new guidelines will allow servicers to accomplish the following tasks:
Offer a streamlined short sale approach for borrowers considered to be most in need of assistance;
Quickly and easily qualify certain borrowers who are current on their mortgages for short sales;
Offer special treatment for military personnel with permanent change of station orders; and
Consolidate existing short sales programs into a single uniform program.
Furthermore, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will waive the right to pursue deficiency judgments in exchange for a financial contribution when a borrower has sufficient income or assets to make cash contributions or sign promissory notes. The GSEs will also offer up to $6,000 to second lien holders to expedite a short sale.
"These new guidelines demonstrate FHFA's and Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's commitment to enhancing and streamlining processes to avoid foreclosure and stabilize communities," says FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco. "The new standard short sale program will also provide relief to those underwater borrowers who need to relocate more than 50 miles for a job."

Are they going to kill the housing market

The Republican Party's presidential platform will not include a proposal to preserve the mortgage interest tax deduction.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, the omission of the deduction is seen as a victory for conservative activists who are seeking to create a simplified tax code that eliminates many current deductions. The committee drafting the Republican platform reportedly raised a great deal of debate, and the vote on its omission was decided in a show of hands after both sides felt they had won the voice vote.
The amendment failed on a show of hands after committee leaders couldn’t decide which side had won a voice vote.
Kevin Erickson, a Minnesota delegate opposed to the deduction, cheered the decision. "Comprehensive tax reform that we're talking about means the entire thing gets redone from the ground up," he says.
"The deduction shows the Republican Party's policy of supporting the middle class and supporting those who want to enter the middle class," Sigler says.
However, Delaware delegate John Sigler warns that the omission of the deduction will agitate voters.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Want Your Ticket to Freedom from Mortgage Frustration Central Florida

In the news, there is talk of a housing recovery. Experts feel more optimistic about the state of the housing industry in America. However, if you or someone you know is one of the millions of homeowners who is stuck with a home on which you owe more than the property is worth, however, the feeling of helplessness can be overwhelming and frustrating.
 As a Multi-Certified Distressed Property Expert, I make it my business to know all of the ins-and-outs of the options that are available for people who are in danger of losing their homes and help the challenges head-on. I have helped hundreds of people in this situation.
 Take a look at the information on this site and then Contact me today to schedule a free, confidential consultation. 
Thank You
Paul Antonelli
Multi-Certified Short Sale Pro, Trainer & Sponsor of
the August 10th Agent Short Sale Bootcamp.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Time is Running Out, as the Mortgage Debt Relief Act expires.

May 22, 2012, Distressed homeowners in Central Florida will soon no longer be able to take advantage Mortgage Debt Relief Act. The law, enacted in 2007, helps distressed homeowners by relieving them of additional tax responsibility that often accompanies cancelled or forgiven debt.

“For many homeowners, even if the bank agreed to cancel or lessen their debt, they were unable to afford the extra taxes that they owed” says Realtor and Distressed Property Expert Paul Antonelli in a recent Bloomberg interview. “In many cases, the additional taxes would equal tens of thousands of dollars. It was like trading one unmanageable debt for another,” Antonelli added.  

The Mortgage Debt Relief Act has provided the opportunity for millions of distressed homeowners in the marketplace to take advantage of short sales without worrying how these actions will affect their future finances. The law is set to expire and time is running short for homeowners with unaffordable mortgage to take advantage of its benefits.

As a Multi-Certified Distressed Property Expert, Paul Antonelli is knowledgeable of the entire scope of foreclosure avoidance options and is distinctly qualified to negotiate with banks and help financially strapped homeowners regain peace of mind and a sense of stability for the future.

Paul Antonelli has developed a free report entitled “Time is Running Out: How the Mortgage Debt Relief Act can save your home” that is accessible from his website,

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

FREE Property Owner Seminar

Doors Open at 5:45pm til 8pm on Tuesday MAY 29th  2nd Fl. Hart Memorial Central Library, 211 East Dakin Ave, Downtown Kissimmee 
Today, more than half of all Florida home owners who have a mortgage on their home owe more than its current value. Chances are, you or someone you know is facing the threat of foreclosure. It could be here in Florida or anywhere in the USA, what you need to understand is that you are not alone. Today, 1 out of every 6 homeowners in America is behind on mortgage payments. These are tough and frustrating times. Now more than ever, it's important to identify your options. Paul Antonelli aka That Short Sale Guy working side by side with a leading Foreclosure Defense Attorney can help you avoid foreclosure, your credit can be saved, and your financial future can be salvaged. And usually there is No Out Of Pocket or Up Front cost from you, the homeowner. While a loan modification, if done correctly, can offer short term solutions, unfortunately nearly all of these property owners that apply are unable to qualify. Over 80% of those that do, are back in foreclosure within months.
   If you're considering ways to avoid foreclosure and save your financial future, a short sale might be your answer. Short Sales are decisions you should not make lightly. The process can prove difficult, especially in Central Florida, but it is not without its potential rewards. When you are successful with a short sale of your property, you will avoid massive damage to your credit and avoid foreclosure. In most instances you can wipe away the outstanding balance and future financial obligations.
   As the Central Florida Short Sale Expert, along with my Foreclosure defense attorney and CPA, we can answer just about all of your questions and provide the best short sale service in the industry. I can say that the team has helped hundreds of families avoid foreclosure and short sale their house. Our 98% short sale success rate is the highest in the county. We certainly can do the same for you.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Florida Still Haunted by Shadow Inventory

As one of the hardest hit states during the real estate downturn, Florida often pops up in market reports as having noticeably higher foreclosure rates and a greater number of underwater homes.
Even so, the state is also becoming recognized for the amount of investor interest it is drawing and how quickly some of its markets are climbing out of the housing slump.
For example, the National Association of Realtors recently cited data from Move Inc. showing the top 10 turnaround markets.
Miami was listed as number two and Orlando was number three. In addition, five more Florida areas made it to the 10 ten list due to their increases, with Naples listed as number five, and the last four on the list based in Florida.
Yet, a recent report from stated that while Florida is in a revival period, distressed properties will remain a big part of the real estate market for the state in the next 10 years.
In fact, Florida holds nearly a third of the total shadow inventory nationwide. Shadow inventory in the report is the number of distressed properties (90+ days delinquent, in the foreclosure process, or are REOs) not listed on the market.
“Part of this is due to what happened here during the housing recession. Part of it is due to the tie-up of potential foreclosures in the courts. In any case, the size of the inventory means that it will take years to work off,” the report stated.
And, as long as these distressed properties are so visible in the market, they will continue to be a drag on prices.
However, as realtors and lenders start to more effectively maneuver their way through the landscape of short sales, the less harmful foreclosure alternative is becoming more common in the industry.
“In essence, lenders have discovered that the loss associated with a short sale is less than the loss from taking a property into inventory and absorbing the cost of holding that property and then selling it later. Realtors, for their part, have learned how to market short sales in an efficient fashion,” according to the report.
The report further explained that for most of 2008, both lenders and realtors were confused about the short sale process in terms of the necessary paper work, lender policy toward short sales, and the timeframes for various lenders.
As investor interest, foreclosures and REOs have also lowered, pointing towards less properties entering into the shadow inventory.
According to the report, the flow of new seriously delinquent loans moving into the shadows seems to be offset by the roughly equal number of sales for distressed properties.
While the report projects another decade or so before the state trims off the excess supply of distressed homes, the number of years really “depends upon the revival of the economy and the real estate market, the decisions in the courts, and the shape of regulation that comes out of the current policy debates over the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”
Florida Realtor News
Paul Antonelli

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Is your Mortgage out of Balance with Your Budget

Today's homeowners have a lot to fear. Budgets are tight and it doesn't take much before "barely getting by" tips into avoiding collector's phone calls, sleepless nights and falling further behind.
Many homeowners don't think it's possible to tip the scales back in their favor so they simply give up.
You do not have to lose your home to foreclosure!
As a real estate professional and the areas only Multi-Certified Distressed Property Expert, I am uniquely qualified to help homeowners as they attempt to bring balance back to their budgets.
If you, or someone you care about feels like the scales are weighted against them and need help, contact me today for a confidential consultation!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

One in seven mortgages in this country is headed toward foreclosure.

If you or someone you care about is feeling burdened by a mortgage that is unaffordable, I can help.
As a real estate professional who has earned the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation and countless others, it is my mission to help homeowners avoid the financial devastation of foreclosing on their home. In the process, I help them move forward on a positive path. If you'd like to learn more, I invite you to access my free report: Is Your Mortgage Payment Dragging You Down?
As my report points out, there are currently 6.5 million mortgages in the country that are delinquent or in foreclosure. Stemming the tide of foreclosures has become a national priority because a foreclosure is nothing short of a disaster for all concerned – families, communities, the real estate market and the national economy as a whole.
As the Areas only Multi-Certified Short Sale Expert, I am tapped into the most up-to-date solutions for financially distressed homeowners, and am distinctly qualified to work with you to determine your best possible option.
Contact me today and let's get started!

You Can Change the Course!

If you feel like shifting economic winds have not been in your favor lately, you are in good company. More than 6 million homeowners nationwide are in some stage of foreclosure.

If this is the case with you or someone you care about, you are all too aware of the stress and uncertainty that accompanies notices of default, unwanted phone calls and offers of help that turn out to be no help at all.

The fact is, the last thing your bank wants is to foreclose on your home. Banks are willing to negotiate, and you need someone on your side who is adept at negotiating with banks.

As a real estate professional who has earned the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation, I am tapped into the best solutions for helping financially distressed homeowners to make a fresh start. If you'd like to learn more, I invite you to access my free report: "Change the Course! And Navigate Away from an Unmanageable Mortgage."

Contact me today and let's get started!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

How about a Fresh New Start to 2012, Now you can start here!

If you've spent way too much time in 2011 living under the dark cloud of an unaffordable house payment, you're in good company. Current estimates are that more than 25 percent of all homeowners in this country would net less on the sale of their home than the amount they owe on their mortgage, and 6.3 million homeowners are in some stage of foreclosure.

The good news is that you have options. Helping homeowners to avoid foreclosure has actually emerged into the spotlight of as a national priority, with major banks, the Federal government and many state and local agencies offering more assistance than ever before to financially strapped homeowners.

As a real estate professional who has earned the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation, I am tapped into the full scope of solutions for helping financially distressed homeowners to make a fresh start. If you'd like to learn more, I invite you to access my free web site

Contact me today and let's get started!

Fear of foreclosure is a national epidemic. Check out my Free Report

Millions of homeowners fell behind on their mortgage payments last year, and then proceeded to fall further behind every month.
These are tough times and there are no easy answers.
The fact is, major lenders, the federal government, and local agencies across the country have stepped up their efforts to stem the tide of foreclosures. More help is available than ever before.
As a real estate professional who has earned the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation, I am knowledgeable and adept at navigating among the full range of solutions for helping financially distressed homeowners to make a fresh start.
Looking to learn more? Check out my free report: "Tipping the Scales Toward Foreclosure? Resolve to Shed the Weight of an Unmanageable Mortgage in 2012."
And if you, or someone you care about is looking to tip the scales back into financial solvency, contact me today for a confidential consultation!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

3rd party fees ; to pay or not to pay, the great debate

  We still continue to hear stories from Realtors over and over, again and again regarding third party negotiation fees on short sales. They ask the Realtors to pay them off the Pre-Lim HUD, and sometimes they are pretty huge fees. But are these third party firms or people really that experienced? Can they really demand these fees in this way? Can they really demand that the sellers pay their fees? Can they sign up these sellers and make them pay fees that are so high that they finance them monthly till way past the closing date?

They say that “Technically” a buyer or seller cannot be made to pay these fees, by an agent or Realtor. Then the argument is that why would a buyer pay more money for a short sale home? They can just buy a different home with no extra fees for any third party middle-man added into the sales price? Does that make any sense at all? The other side is, why a seller would list the property with such a fee. By doing that they could price themselves out of the market. Last but not least we have the lenders that are slowly putting an end to paying any third party fees.
Will we ever get a ruling on this, I doubt it. Why don’t we just pass a Short Sale Tax and have that fee be paid to a “3rd Party Negotiator”.  If the new incoming Pres does get congress to work on the outstanding issues soon it looks like people may start paying sales tax on property sales next year. But, that’s another story.
Have a Great Day
Paul Antonelli

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Years Resolution #1

Here we are, a Sunday, a Holiday and the start of a new year. The office is closed, Most are off from work today and many are still prepping for the new year. Why not start by Backing Up your system. Ask yourself, When was the last time I did that?

Any data that's important requires a good backup. It’s the key to good computing practices.  It is critical to regularly back up the all data files that are stored on the hard drive(s) of your computer system. If your hard drive ever crashes or a situation develops that would prevent you from accessing your hard drive, the data files and your work will be lost if you don't have a good back up somewhere.

Backing up data regularly ensures that personal documents, photos, and all your other important files are safe and secure in the event of a tech-no-crash.  You could do a media back up such as on a CD/DVD, external hard drive, USB Flash drive or a Home Server.

ADVANTAGE – All the Backups and restores are fast and accessible. Your copies can be placed offsite like a safe deposit box or a fire box in your office for peace of mind.
DISADVANTAGE – The cost of the media or a home server can be expensive. Even if the media is very resilient, it is still susceptible to physical failure.

You could also store your backups online or what is called “the Cloud”. They can be accessed from anywhere and on any computer.  The data is password protected, by you, and safely stored at a secure online location.

ADVANTAGE – It is one of the most secure methods that can be accessed anytime, anywhere from any computer.  Your system can also be programmed to automatically back up at any time.
DISADVANTAGE - Usually requires a monthly or yearly cost and consistent online access. In my estimation it’s a small price to pay for piece of mind.  

You decide, but at least, Back up the system.