Monday, December 30, 2013

Get your home ready to sell

Maximizing exterior and curb appeal
Before putting your house on the market, take as much time as necessary (and as little money as possible) to maximize its exterior and interior appeal. Tips to enhance your home’s exterior and curb appeal:
·        Keep the lawn edged, cut and watered regularly.
·        Trim hedges, weed lawns and flowerbeds, and prune trees regularly.
·        Check the foundation, steps, walkways, walls and patios for cracks and crumbling.
·        Inspect doors and windows for peeling paint.
·        Clean and align gutters.
·        Inspect and clean the chimney.
·        Repair and replace loose or damaged roof shingles.
·        Repair and repaint loose siding and caulking.
·        In Northern winters, keep walks neatly cleared of snow and ice.
·        During spring and summer months consider adding a few showy annuals, perhaps in pots, near your front entrance.
·        Re-seal an asphalt driveway.
·        Keep your garage door closed.
·        Store RVs or old and beaten up cars elsewhere while the house is on the market.
·        Apply a fresh coat of paint to the front door.
Maximizing interior appeal
Enhance your home’s interior by:
·        Giving every room in the house a thorough cleaning, as well as removing all clutter. This alone will make your house appear bigger and brighter. Some homeowners with crowded rooms have actually rented storage garages and moved half their furniture out, creating a sleeker, more spacious look.
·        Hiring a professional cleaning service, once every few weeks while the house is on the market. This may be a good investment for owners who are busy elsewhere.
·        Removing the less frequently used, even daily used items from kitchen counters, closets, and attics, making these areas much more inviting. Since you're anticipating a move anyhow, holding a garage sale at this point is a great idea.
·        If necessary, repainting dingy, soiled or strongly colored walls with a neutral shade of paint, such as off-white or beige. The same neutral scheme can be applied to carpets and linoleum.
·        Checking for cracks, leaks and signs of dampness in the attic and basement.
·        Repairing cracks, holes or damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint, and tiles.
·        Replacing broken or cracked windowpanes, moldings, and other woodwork.
·        Inspecting and repairing the plumbing, heating , cooling, and alarm systems.
·        Repairing dripping faucets and showerheads. Buying showy new towels for the bathroom, to be brought out only when prospective buyers are on the way.

·        Sprucing up a kitchen in need of more major remodeling by investing in new cabinet knobs, new curtains, or a coat of neutral paint.

Friday, December 27, 2013


    Incandescent bulb's days are numbered; on Jan. 1, 2014, most will have been phased out. We sure won't miss their influence on our utility bill though, the typical 60-watt bulb costs more than three times as much per year to run as a similar LED bulb.

The Best LED Bulbs for Different Fixtures

Don't assume the most expensive LED bulb is the best. Consumer Reports says these less expensive, LED options shined brightly compared to the competition:

For lamps and ceiling fixtures: For 60-watt replacements, Wal-Mart's Great Value Soft White LED ($10) the least expensive of the new bulbs in Consumer Reports' preliminary tests gives off a warm yellow light similar to an incandescent bulb. They also liked Cree's 9.5-Watt (60W) Warm White ($13) and the Philips 11W 60W Soft White 424382 ($14). The fully-tested, top-rated Samsung 60-Watt Warm White LED ($30) provides a bright, warm yellow light. For light that's warm but brighter, and is meant to replace 75-watt bulbs, the EcoSmart 14-Watt (75W) Soft White 726558 ($35) is an alternate choice. Personally I prefer a Daylight bulb, it’s natural light and brightens up everything like the sun is right in the room with you.

For recessed and track lights: In preliminary tests, Wal-Mart's Great Value Soft White BR30 is bright and dimmable, and is the least expensive replaces a 65-watt bulb and casts a warm yellow light.

For outdoor lights: The MaxLite 20Watt PAR38 100W ($40) offers bright white light in Consumer Reports' preliminary tests and can be used with some electronic timers, photocells and motion sensors. The fully-tested TCP 17W PAR38 Flood LED ($40) claims to last about 46 years when used 3 hours a day. I also use the Daylight bulbs in my carriage lights outside. When I come home at night I can see my house right away, it stands out from the other dull yellow lights on the street. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

FLORIDA has highest insurance rates in nation

The report breaks out homeowners insurance by various types of policies, but found the average premium of $1,933 for the main kind of multi-peril homeowner policy that is the most commonly purchased in Florida. That same report found that the average premium for insurance purchased by condominium owners in Florida was $804 – or nearly twice the national average.

The report also lists the 10 costliest catastrophes in U.S. history, which include five hurricanes that struck Florida – Andrew, Charley, Wilma, Ivan and Hurricane Katrina.

Katrina hit Florida before it slammed into Louisiana and Mississippi and was the most expensive catastrophe.

Some in the industry have contended that there are legitimate reasons for the current rates in Florida.

Joseph Petrelli, president of the ratings agency Demotech, wrote Atwater last month and said some insurers have purchased more reinsurance protection as the cost has gone down. He also said that overall repair costs continue to mount.

“Upward pressure on premiums from the underlying costs of repairs and the ongoing annual purchase of a substantive, conservative reinsurance program does not lend itself to across the board rate decreases,” Petrelli wrote.

Sean Shaw, the former insurance consumer advocate for the state who is now running for the Legislature, said it was time for “politicians in Tallahassee” to “get this under control.”

“Insurance companies haven’t let the lack of major hurricanes hitting Florida get in the way of jacking up rates on policyholders,” said Shaw, an attorney and founder of Policyholders for Florida. “Move to Florida for no income taxes, leave because you can’t afford property insurance, isn’t the way to have a stable, healthy economy.”

Thursday, December 5, 2013

FLORIDA IS #1 AGAIN! Florida leads nation in luxury home foreclosures

Florida’s foreclosure rate for all housing units is the highest in the nation for October, but it is also home to the most high-end foreclosures in the country, according to a report released Wednesday by RealtyTrac.
Dubbed “ultra high-end homes” and defined as those valued at $5 million or more, the report shows Florida had 67 such properties in some stage of foreclosure through the first 10 months of the year -- nearly quadruple the 17 luxury homes in foreclosure all of last year.
Nationwide, there were just 192 high-end foreclosures total through October, an increase of 61 percent over all of 2012.
Most of the multimillion dollar homes in foreclosure are located in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale and Orlando-Kissimmee metro areas. Miami’s 47 high-end homes in foreclosure are the most among all metro areas, and the 12 luxury home foreclosures in the Orlando area rank it fourth among cities.  
The news of troubled expensive homes, however, isn’t necessarily all bad. The report suggests the spate of luxury foreclosures indicates banks can withstand the bigger losses brought by defaults on larger loans.
“This trend may indicate lenders are now financially stable enough to more comfortably weather the big-ticket losses that these properties potentially represent. In addition, animproving housing market means more prospective buyers, even for these ultra high-end homes. A bigger buyer pool translates into higher sales prices on these properties, allowing lenders to recoup more of their losses on these jumbo loans gone bad,” the report states.
But the owners of high-end homes are also more likely to have more resources to hold out against foreclosure than the owners of down-market properties, so the jump in luxury foreclosure activity may not be completely driven by lenders. Florida’s high-end foreclosures are the highest since 2009, after three straight years of declines.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Things That UnEthical Agents Do That Will Cost You $$$$$

While filing an ethics complaint on a Realtor I wanted to see just how much of a problem this was and if it was everywhere. I was amazed at what I found, the issue is everywhere and just as bad. So then I asked myself, why are there not more ethics complaints filed so we can get rid of these agents. Fear of repercussion, hopeing they will get caught by someone else, turn the other cheek or a combination of all? 
  These unethical agents not only give our profession a bad name, it hurts the consumers on both sides of the transaction. These deceitful practices cost the seller money because the property will sell for far less than what it is actually worth.  The home usually takes a longer time to sell, sometimes months. Their goal, these unethical agents, is to submit the deal that has them with all the home’s buying and selling commission by dissuading other agent’s buyer's from making offers on your home.  .  
I found this info on the net that I thought may also help the public to identify these habits;
Only One Photo
These agents will often use just one photo on the multiple listing website.  Often, the photo will be of extremely low quality – a low quality view of the exterior or unappealing shot of a messy interior.   Disreputable agents do this so that when other agents or prospective buyers see the property on the internet, it looks so bad they have no desire to see it.  
The listing agent will then go on to hold several open houses, hoping to find a buyer without agent representation.  This way, he or she will find her own buyer for the home.  Some agents go so far as to have beautiful photos of the property on their own website, but they won’t be posted anywhere else on the web.
 Making Your Home Uneasy To Show
These shady listing agents won’t respond to showing requests.  They ignore calls and e-mails from other real estate agents.  They will never be available at the time requested.  The agent may cancel or try to reschedule the appointment at the last minute, often just within an hour of the scheduled time. 
First, this keeps buyers represented by other agents out.  Second, it can cause the frustrated buyer to think their agent is not on the ball.  The buyer will then contact the listing agent directly.  In real estate parlance, this is known as “going direct”.   As the buyer simply wants to see the property, out of frustration he lines up appointments directly with listing agents, not realizing he’s giving up adequate representation on his part.
This two-pronged attack enables the listing agent to double their commission, while reducing other neighborhood agents market share.  The unethical agent then becomes the so-called “neighborhood expert”.  The agent’s signs and ads will appear everywhere, and often seems to represent all the buyers and sellers in the area.  The agent becomes the “go-to” guy or gal.  The truth is, they’re flattening home values out of their greed.
The Bait & Switch
The listing agent tells potential buyer's agents and their clients that the property has no offers.  They say to make “any” offer.  This is a hint that there is little interest on the property.  They want the other agents to think that even a low-ball offer might be accepted. 
The buyer is more than happy to offer a low amount of money.  After all, they will save thousands and get a great deal on the home.  Meanwhile, the listing agent may have their own prospect with a higher offer.  The unethical agent then uses the low offer to convince the seller that their offer is the best they will get. 
By comparing their offer to an even lower offer, they has made thier low offer look attractive.  All the while, the buyer would have actually offered more but didn’t because he was led to believe that they could have gotten the home at a low-ball price.  It’s classic, don’t be duped.
No Other Offers   This happened to me just over a month ago
This is one of the most deceitful techniques they use. This occurs when the listing agent simply does not show all the offers submitted to the seller. So despite offering more money than other buyers, filling out all the paperwork, writing a letter saying how much you love the property, putting up an earnest money deposit, the buyer doesn’t have a chance.  Your offer never makes it into the hands of the seller.  The seller has no idea you were interested in the property.  He or she doesn’t know that you would have paid more than the offer he accepts.  This is, of course, a breach of the fiduciary responsibility that an agent holds to his seller.  It is also a breach of the realtor’s code of ethics.  
When interviewing agents, ask them what percentage of their sales are from when they represented both the buyer and seller.  For ethical agents, the percentage will be fairly low, as they’re interested in selling homes and not by doubling their commission.
There are many good, ethical agents who are willing to work hard to sell your home.  The majority of REALTORS are honest.  Do your home work and find someone you can trust. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

How Do You Feel The Market Is Doing?

When people ask me is the market getting better, what do you hear happening out there, is it true that the R.E. industry will slow down from Nov 1st through Feb etc etc etc. I always tell people to listen to the financial news and the see what the “Pros” are saying. But then I always tell them you can listen to 10 different “So Called” experts and get 7 different answers, so you will have to make your own assumptions.

So I ask you, looking at these 3 stories that came out today, How Would You Say The Market Is Doing?
Go ahead, make your own assumption.

Pending Home Sales Plummet Fourth Month In A Row, on declining home affordability

The number of real estate contracts signed and recorded declined 5.6% from August to September, as home affordability receded under the influence of higher mortgage rate. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, says this is the first time in 29 months that pending home sales weren't above year-ago levels and that we should anticipate lower home sales in the fourth quarter - with a plateau into next year. "This tells us to expect lower home sales for the fourth quarter, with a flat trend going into 2014," he said. "Even so, ongoing inventory shortages will continue to lift home prices, though at a slower single-digit growth rate next year."

This is the lowest index level reached since December of last year, and NAR is blaming the influence of declining home affordability, lower consumer confidence and a government shutdown that shook up both construction activity and home sales.

NAR says the Pending Home Sales fell 5.6% to 101.6 in September - from a downwardly revised 107.6 in August - and is 1.2% below September 2012 when it was 102.8. This is the lowest level since December 2012 when it was 101.3; the data reflect contracts but not closings, says NAR.

Fannie Mae Raises Its Lending Requirements

It just got a little harder to buy a home. Fannie Mae recently announced that it would reduce the maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio for loans it purchases from 97 percent to 95 percent -- meaning that borrowers now have to contribute a minimum 5 percent down payment, instead of 3 percent. This change places yet another barrier in front of low- and moderate-income families, who are already facing a tightening credit box.

Effective November 1, 2013, Fannie Mae's new policy will apply to both standard mortgages and affordability products (such as My Community mortgages). Freddie Mac made the same move several years ago.

 There are three things worth noting, Ninety-five to 97 percent LTV mortgages are a small fraction of recent mortgage originations purchased by Fannie Mae.  Borrowers can still take out loans with LTVs above 95 percent through the FHA, VA, or USDA, so future loans will essentially shift from one set of taxpayer-backed institutions to another.  If the intent was to reduce risk, this was a crude way to accomplish it. The default rate for 95 to 97 percent LTV mortgages is only slightly higher than for 90 to 95 LTV mortgages, and the default rate for high FICO loans with 95 to 97 LTV ratios is lower than the default rate for low FICO loans with 90 to 95 percent LTV ratios.

Bank Of America To Lay Off 4,000 Mortgage Workers

Bank of America is reportedly cutting up to 4,000 mortgage jobs, both on the servicing and origination side of the business. The cuts are due mainly to falling application volume in light of rising interest rates, according to a Reuters report.  About 1,200 of the 4,000 Bank of America employees to be laid off have already been notified, according to the report. Most of those employees work on new loans. Another 2,800 job cuts, mostly on the default servicing side, will come later this year.

Earlier this week, a federal jury in Manhattan found Bank of America liable for fraud in connection with faulty mortgages that Countrywide Financial Corp. - acquired by Bank of America in 2008 - sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac just prior to the housing meltdown.
In that case, Countrywide executive Rebecca Mairone was found liable for one count of fraud. Mairone, now a managing director at JPMorgan, is accused of overseeing a process called the "High Speed Swim Lane," "HSSL" or "Hustle" that was allegedly used by Countrywide in 2007 to speed mortgage originations by side-stepping certain aspects of the application review process. Federal prosecutors allege that this program, in part, is what led to the shoddy loans that were passed onto Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.    Penalties are yet to be determined.

Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup have also recently downsized their mortgage operations - however, a majority of those cuts have been on the servicing side. Looming Basel III regulations that will require banks told hold more money in reserves based on loans outstanding - as well as the increased risk of enforcement action or litigation as a result of these rules - is causing the larger U.S. financial institutions to divest themselves of their mortgage servicing rights.

Thank You
Paul Antonelli
Buying, Selling, New Construction or Avoiding Foreclosure 
We can help you like we've helped hundreds of our other Happy Clients.
14129 Town Loop Blvd., Suite 200, Orlando, FL 32837
Cell: 321-443-4028          Fax: 866-674-9761

Friday, October 18, 2013

5 Reasons Why You Should Sell Your House Today

1. Demand Is High
The most recent Existing Home Sales Reports by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) show a double digit percent increase in sales year-over year; sales have remained above last year’s levels for over 25 months.  There are buyers out there right now and they are serious about purchasing.
2. Supply Is Beginning to Increase
Total housing inventory is again approaching historic norms of a 5 month supply compared with 4.3 months in January.  Many expect inventory to continue to rise as 3.2 million homeowners escaped the shackles of negative equity in the last 12 months and an additional 1.9 million are expected to enter positive equity in the next 12 months.  Selling now while demand is high and before supply increases may garner you your best price.
3. New Construction Is Coming Back
Over the last several years, most homeowners selling their home did not have to compete with a new construction project around the block.  As the market is recovering, more and more builders are jumping back in.  These ‘shiny’ new homes will again become competition as they are an attractive alternative for many purchasers.
4. Interest Rates Will Again Rise
Although Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have softened recently, most experts predict that they will begin to rise later this year.  The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison projecting that rates will be up almost a full percentage point by this time next year.
Whether you are moving up or moving down, your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.
5. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life
Look at the reason you are thinking about selling and decide whether it is worth waiting.  Is the possibility of a few extra dollars more important than being with family; more important than your health; more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Yeah, Florida’s On The Road To Recovery

Even as everyone is stating over and over again that Florida’s housing market is showing a strong recovery with above average gains in prices and sales, Florida

Once again led the nation in foreclosures completed in the 3rd quarter; no other state was even close, according to Core Logic reports.

Out of the 658,463 foreclosures completed nationwide in the last 12-months, 111,000 of them, (17%),  were in the Sun Shine state, according to data reports.

Michigan ranked as the No. 2 state, with the completion of 60,000 foreclosures, and in the 3rd position is California, they  totaled 58,000 proceedings during the same period.

The top five foreclosure states –included No. 4 Texas, with 43,000 foreclosures finalized, and No. 5 Georgia, where 40,000 were finished. These five states accounted for approximately half of all foreclosures completed nationwide.
Even though Florida cleaned out more foreclosures than any other state, they still have the highest inventory of the foreclosures, Otherwise known as the Shadow inventory or now called the Zombie Inventory, looks like everyone is jumping on the new Zombie craze.  In August Florida is still showing 8% of the mortgaged homes are in pre-foreclosure status.  New Jersey ranked second with 6.2 % of all its mortgaged residences in foreclosure. New York has 4.9 %, Maine has 4.0 % and Connecticut with 3.9 %.

Florida also had the highest rate of severely delinquent mortgages, past due for 90 days or more,  in August with 12.4 % of all mortgaged properties. That’s more than twice the national average delinquency rate of 5.3 % of loans.

Buying, Selling, New Construction or Avoiding Foreclosure
We can help you like we've helped hundreds of our other Happy Clients.
14129 Town Loop Blvd., Suite 200, Orlando, FL 32837
Cell: 321-443-4028          Fax: 866-674-9761

Saturday, October 5, 2013

HUD Announces New Short Sale Requirements

Effective October 1, 2013, HUD has announced the following changes to their Federal Housing Administration (FHA) short sale requirements.
To be eligible, one must successfully complete a short sale under the FHA short sale program. The borrowers must meet the following requirements:

1) They cannot list the property with or sell it to anyone with whom they are related or have a close personal or business relationship. In legal terms, it must be an “arm’s-length” transaction.

2) Any knowing violation of the arm’s-length requirement may be a violation of federal law.

3) Your mortgage must be in default, on the date the short sale transaction closes.

4) Before closing, any additional liens against the property must be released. A lien holder who demands a payment to release its lien must submit a written statement, and an agreement to release the lien if that amount is paid.

5) For a standard pre-foreclosure sale, servicers must use a Deficit Income Test (DIT) to determine a homeowner’s financial hardship. The IRS Collection Financial Standards is used to verify homeowners expenses not reflected in their credit report. Only owner-occupied properties are eligible for the standard pre-foreclosure sale.

6) Homeowners eligible for a streamlined short sale may not be required to submit financial information or have a financial hardship. Principal residences, second homes, investment properties, and service members who have received Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Orders are potentially eligible.

7) The appraisal of one’s property should be completed within approximately ten business days. After the appraisal, the short sale file will be updated and prepared for review. In some cases, approval may be required by the investor and/or FHA, which may take more time.

8) As a new condition, one might be required to make a final payment (sometimes called a cash contribution) before closing. This payment will reduce the deficiency balance.

If one is an owner-occupant, acting in good faith, and successfully selling one’s property, one may be eligible for an incentive of up to $3,000.

The revised FHA short sale addendum must be signed and dated by all parties. Under this addendum, all parties agree that the subject property must be sold through an arm’s-length transaction. An arm’s-length transaction is defined as a short sale between two unrelated parties that is characterized by a selling price and other conditions that would prevail in an open market environment. Also, no hidden terms or special understandings can exist between any of the parties (e.g., buyer, seller, appraiser, sales agent, closing agent, and mortgagee) involved in the transaction.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Only one year wait period for bankruptcy, foreclosure, short sale

Starting October 1, only one year wait period for bankruptcy, foreclosure, short sale or deed in lieu.
FHA Throws Lifeline to Those With Damaged Credit During Recession
The financial crisis took its toll on Wall Street and Main Street alike.  Mistakes were made and bills went unpaid on both sides of the fence, but Main Street sees Wall Street bailouts and asks "where's my bailout?"  Specifically with respect to the housing market, borrowers who have had bankruptcies, foreclosures, deeds-in-lieu, short-sales, or other adverse credit have heretofore been unable to quickly reestablish themselves as worthy borrowers.  That's changing.
Late last week, The Department of Housing and Urban Development on Thursday unveiled a new set of guidelines under the FHA program specifically geared toward homeowners and prospective homeowners adversely impacted by the Great Recession.  The "Back to Work" program, as it's called,doesn't constitute a free pass for those who would otherwise be unable to qualify for financing, but it does reopen the housing market to a great many borrowers who would otherwise have been waiting for 3-7 years to tick off the clock--depending on their initial credit issue--before being able to qualify for a mortgage.  In FHA's words:
"As a result of the recent recession many borrowers who experienced unemployment or other severe reductions in income, were unable to make their monthly mortgage payments, and ultimately lost their homes to a pre-foreclosure sale, deed-in-lieu, or foreclosure. Some borrowers were forced to file for bankruptcy to discharge or restructure their debts. Because of these recent recession-related periods of financial difficulty, borrowers’ credit has been negatively affected. FHA recognizes the hardships faced by these borrowers, and realizes that their credit histories may not fully reflect their true ability or propensity to repay a mortgage

Friday, August 16, 2013

Florida remains national foreclosure leader in July, but initial proceedings down

Florida’s rate of foreclosure filings remained the highest in the country last month, with one in every 328 housing units receiving a filing, according to a report released Thursday byRealtyTrac, a California-based property tracking company.

That’s more than triple the national rate for July, but initial default notices in the state are down 28 percent in the year-over-year comparison. RealtyTrac’s report tracks foreclosure activity – default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions. Florida’s filings were driven by a 74 percent increase in scheduled foreclosure auctions and a 13 percent jump in bank repossessions.

Still, Florida’s foreclosure rate is 6.8 percent higher than July 2012. The Sunshine State also has nine of the top 10 metro area foreclosure rates.

Jacksonville ranks highest with 230 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, a 24 percent year-over-year increase. Next is the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metro area (one filing per 250 housing units), Port St. Lucie (one filing per 256 housing units), Ocala (one filing per 294 housing units), the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville area (one filing per 296 housing units), the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area (one filing per 334 housing units), Orlando (one filing per 344 housing units), Pensacola (one filing per 345 housing units) and Sarasota (one in 394 housing units).

Albuquerque, N.M., slipped in between Palm Bay and Tampa to claim the sixth-highest foreclosure rate, with one filing per 331 housing units.

Thank You
Paul Antonelli
Buying, Selling, New Construction or Avoiding Foreclosure
We can help you like we've helped hundreds of our other Happy Clients.
14129 Town Loop Blvd., Suite 200, Orlando, FL 32837
Cell: 321-443-4028          Fax: 866-674-9761           

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Almost 30% of HAMP are back in default, But, It’s getting worse

The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) has not helped as many borrowers as it may seem, Oh really you may say, according to the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

HAMP, a government loan modification program created to prevent foreclosures, has provided about 1.2 million modifications to distressed borrowers since its inception in 2009. Of those borrowers, 306,538 fell behind on their payments by three months, which means in actuality, 865,100 are still actively in the program, the taxpayer watchdog agency revealed. Borrowers who miss three consecutive payments become disqualified from the program.

The percentage of modified homeowners who end up as re-defaulters has steadily increased over time. At the end of 2009, the share stood at 1 percent and has since risen to 26 percent as of April 2013 with 22 percent of those have entered into the foreclosure process.

Among the oldest HAMP modifications, the re-default rate was 46 percent. For loans modified in 2010, the re-default rate averaged 38 percent.

According to the report, modified homeowners most likely to fall behind on payments received the smallest monthly payment reductions; are underwater on their mortgage; had subprime credit scores when modified; and have high debt burdens.

HAMP re-defaults not only impact homeowners and affected communities, but they also cost taxpayers. Taxpayers have lost a total of $815 million in TARP funds that were used to pay incentives for 163,811 modifications that re-defaulted.

“Homeowners who receive a HAMP permanent modification but end up losing their home to foreclosure or fall out of the TARP program are not being helped to keep their homes as TARP intended, and taxpayers lose the positive impact these funds were to provide for the individual family and the community at large,” the report explained.

From the Making Home Affordable website. HAMP is;

Home Affordable Modification Program
If you are not unemployed, but you’re still struggling to make your mortgage payments, you may be eligible for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP®). HAMP may lower your monthly mortgage payments in order to make them more affordable and sustainable for the long-term.
If you currently occupy your home as your primary residence, we encourage you to contact your mortgage servicer as soon as possible to begin the HAMP evaluation process.
In an effort to continue to provide meaningful solutions to the housing crisis, effective June 1, 2012, the Obama Administration expanded the population of homeowners that may be eligible for the Home Affordable Modification Program to include:
  • Homeowners who are applying for a modification on a home that is not their primary residence, but the property is currently rented or the homeowner intends to rent it.
  • Homeowners who previously did not qualify for HAMP because their debt-to-income ratio was 31% or lower.
  • Homeowners who previously received a HAMP trial period plan, but defaulted in their trial payments.
  • Homeowners who previously received a HAMP permanent modification, but defaulted in their payments, therefore losing good standing.
If you are a homeowner who falls into any of these criteria, you may be eligible for a modification under the expanded criteria. Please check with your Home Affordable Modification Program
If you are not unemployed, but you’re still struggling to make your mortgage payments, you may be eligible for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP®). HAMP may lower your monthly mortgage payments in order to make them more affordable and sustainable for the long-term.
If you currently occupy your home as your primary residence, we encourage you to contact your mortgage servicer as soon as possible to begin the HAMP evaluation process.
In an effort to continue to provide meaningful solutions to the housing crisis, effective June 1, 2012, the Obama Administration expanded the population of homeowners that may be eligible for the Home Affordable Modification Program to include:
  • Homeowners who are applying for a modification on a home that is not their primary residence, but the property is currently rented or the homeowner intends to rent it.
  • Homeowners who previously did not qualify for HAMP because their debt-to-income ratio was 31% or lower.
  • Homeowners who previously received a HAMP trial period plan, but defaulted in their trial payments.
  • Homeowners who previously received a HAMP permanent modification, but defaulted in their payments, therefore losing good standing.
If you are a homeowner who falls into any of these criteria, you may be eligible for a modification under the expanded criteria. Please check with your mortgage company to see if you are eligible to begin the HAMP evaluation process.

Good Luck!
Don't Let The Banks Wind! Fight Back! Call Me!
Thank You
Paul Antonelli
Buying, Selling, New Construction or Avoiding Foreclosure
We can help you like we've helped hundreds of our other Happy Clients.
14129 Town Loop Blvd., Suite 200, Orlando, FL 32837
Cell: 321-443-4028          Fax: 866-674-9761           

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Foreclosures continue to block housing recovery

Analysts claim that even though the housing market is on the mend, with progress even in the hardest-hit states, the backlog of homes in foreclosure and real-estate owned (those already foreclosed on) properties is still clogging the pipeline.

The volume of distressed properties continues to impact housing momentum, and consequently, there is a compelling need for improved public policy on the local and national levels to minimize losses and externalities resulting from foreclosures and REO inventory, explained Diego Aragon, Richard Peach and Joseph Tracy of the NY Fed.

As of March 2013, nearly 3% of all first-lien loans secured by one-to-four-unit residential properties were 90-plus days delinquent, essentially unchanged from the June 2012.

In contrast, the percentage of loans in foreclosure, which leveled off around 4% from 2011 through 2012, declined to 3.5% by early 2013, the report noted.

Underlying these national trends is a large disparity in performance between states that have a judicial foreclosure process and those that have a non-judicial foreclosure process.

The average number of days that a mortgage is 90-plus days delinquent at the time the foreclosure process is started is roughly comparable in judicial and non-judicial states.
A foreclosure in Florida begins when a lender files court action and records a notice of a pending lawsuit (Lis Pendens) against the borrower. The lender notifies the borrower and any other affected parties in person or in some cases by mail or publication. If the borrower does not respond to the court action within a specified amount of time, the county clerk can find the borrower in default and the lender can ask the court to make a final ruling. If the court rules against the borrower, the ruling will include the total amount owed to the lender and the foreclosure sale date.

The lender is not required by state law to notify the borrower before initiating the foreclosure process, but individual mortgages or deeds of trust might call for this. The borrower can stop the foreclosure up until the date of the sale by paying the total amount owed to the lender.

Notice of Sale / Auction
The sale date is typically 20-35 days after the court ruling, but this may vary depending on the individual court. The clerk of court issues a notice of sale containing the location, date, and time of the sale.  The notice is published once a week for two weeks, with the second notice appearing at least five days before the sale.

The clerk usually oversees the sale, which ordinarily occurs at the county courthouse at 11:00 a.m. on the sale date. The winning bidder must provide a 5-percent deposit and pay the remaining balance by the end of the day or a new sale is scheduled a minimum of 20 days later. After a successful sale, the clerk gives a certificate of sale to the winning bidder

Within 10 days of the sale, the clerk transfers ownership to the winning bidder if no one disputes the sale.  In most instances, a borrower has no right of redemption after the certificate of sale is issued.

Judicial states maintained higher foreclosure rates in early 2013, indicating the length of a loan remains in the foreclosure process in the judicial states is significantly longer than in the non-judicial states.

For instance, Florida, New Jersey and New York stand out as the most extreme examples of this occurrence, the report stated.

As a result, the large volume of loans in the foreclosure process in the judicial states appears to be impeding a home price recovery in those states.

The judicial foreclosure states have seen a more modest improvement in home prices since the trough for a given peak-to-trough decline in home prices.

"One potential explanation for this relationship is that potential homebuyers in the judicial states recognize that a large number of distressed sales have yet to occur, and this consideration has influenced the prices they are willing to offer for homes currently on the market," the NY Fed analysts concluded.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Florida still the top foreclosure state for first half of 2013

Florida once again led the nation in its foreclosure rate for the first six months the year, according to a report released Thursday by RealtyTrac, a California-based company that tracks foreclosed properties.
The Sunshine State had one foreclosure filing -- a default notice, scheduled auction or bank repossession -- for every 58 housing units in the first half of 2013. That’s an 11.5 percent increase over the same period last year and more than double the national rate.
The average foreclosure takes 907 days, the third-longest in the nation. But a new law designed to speed up foreclosures, HB 87, took effect this month. Now a Lender or an HOA can Foreclose in 45 days from notice of default.

Florida also has the top five metro area foreclosure rates in the country, and 12 out of the top 20. Miami is first with 2.35 percent of housing units with a foreclosure filing. Next is Orlando with 1.94 percent, Jacksonville with 1.91 percent, Ocala with 1.85 percent and Tampa with 1.74 percent.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mortgage applications decline and the interest rates skyrocket

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Florida leads nation in vacated foreclosures, again

Florida has more vacant homes in foreclosure than any other state in the nation, easily beating out other large states with troubled housing markets, according to a report released Thursday by RealtyTrac, a California company that tracks distressed properties.
There are 55,503 housing units in foreclosure in Florida that are vacant. That’s 33 percent of the 167,680 vacated foreclosures in the country. Florida’s vacated foreclosures are more than the next five highest states combined -- Illinois, California, Ohio, New York and New Jersey.
The vacated properties are a drag on property values because many are left neglected, although some cities in Florida have passed ordinances requiring banks to pay for the upkeep of foreclosed homes.
Combined with Florida’s lengthy foreclosure process, the vacated properties add to the state’s “shadow inventory” of homes that have yet to hit the market. Since foreclosed homes typically sell for much lower than market value, new foreclosed properties steadily being dumped on the market will dampen home values.
The average foreclosure takes 893 days in Florida -- nearly two and a half years, according to a report released Wednesday by state economists. There are also 22 percent of mortgages in Florida that are either delinquent or behind on payments as of April, in addition to the 10.5 percent in foreclosure.
The potential for more distressed properties to enter into foreclosure and the lag time for them to re-enter the market has led state economists to temper their projections for the housing recovery, which has been steadily improving in recent months. Numbers released Thursday byFlorida Realtors show existing single family home sales jumped 18.7 percent last month in the year-over-year comparison, and the median sales price rose 15.9 percent to $171,000. The housing market is being heavily boosted by cash sales, however, an indicator of investor participation. Cash sales made up 46 percent of all completed sales of single family homes in May and 73 percent of all completed condo sales.
RealtyTrac’s report shows three Florida metro areas in the top five cities in the country for vacant foreclosures: Miami, second with 13,901; Tampa, fourth with 9,998; Orlando, fifth with 5,569. Florida also has 85 of the top 100 zip codes for total vacant foreclosed housing units.
“Somewhat ironically, efforts to slow the slide of the housing market in previous years are now hampering a smooth recovery by holding back inventory of homes that almost certainly must sell in the future but are not yet listed for sale,” said Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac vice president.
But Blomquist also noted Florida and other states are passing new laws to speed up the foreclosure process. Gov. Rick Scott signed HB 87 into law this month, which reduces the time for a show cause hearing. Consumer advocates and foreclosure defense attorneys have decried the new law, but supporters of the law point to its consumer protections requiring more proof of ownership of a mortgage before beginning the foreclosure process and reducing the amount of time for a deficiency judgment.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

BofA Lied To Homeowners and Gets Sued, Again.

Six former Bank of America Corp. employees have reportedly filed a lawsuit in Massachusetts federal court alleging that Bank of America deliberately denied loan modifications to eligible homeowners in order to force them into foreclosure.

The now former employees, who worked at different bank offices across the U.S. up until last year, claim they were told by upper management to lie to homeowners about the status of their mortgage payments and documents for the purpose of forcing them into foreclosure or getting them to sign modified "in-house" loans at rates of up to 5%, according to a CNBC report.

The ex-employees say they were rewarded with gift cards to stores like Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond by management for denying modifications requested under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). They say managements practice was to forward distressed homeowners into foreclosure, or get them to agree to high rate in-house loan modifications because the bank stood to make more profits on those deals than it could from referring homeowners to HAMP.

The lawsuit also alleges that Bank of America inflated the number of HAMP loans it reported to the government, basically by "double-counting" the number of loans as they went through different stages of the approval process.

According to the lawsuit, Bank of America routinely denied loan modification requests by telling homeowners that their paperwork was never received. It also alleges that the bank engaged in an operation called "blitz," where it purged loan modification requests that were more than 60 days old from its databases, upon which bank representatives would tell homeowners that the paperwork was never received.

The case is one of several that have been brought against Bank of America and other top U.S. banks in recent years over the alleged mishandling of mortgage modifications. Since 2010, Bank of America has paid more than $42 billion to settle credit crisis and mortgage-related litigation, according to the CNBC report.

Last year, Bank of America and four other Wall Street banks reached a $25 billion landmark settlement with regulators after an investigation revealed that employees "robo signed" documents without verifying them.
Paul Antonelli