DennisBeaverDecember 18, 2010 (Original publish date) • By Dennis Beaver

“Getting the right kind of help when faced with foreclosure is like finding the right doctor for a complicated medical issue,” maintains Dick Jacques, president of the Kings County Board of Realtors.

“You need someone who is both experienced and current, with significant resources enabling quick answers to the most complex foreclosure or loan modification questions. Today, more than ever in the past, you want that real estate professional to reflect a real obligation to tell it like it is and put your interests ahead of their own financial considerations. Right now, with our worsening foreclosure crisis, who you ask for help can be the single most important factor in a positive outcome,” he believes.

“Real estate has been my life for over 32 years. I’ve never seen it as bad as it is now, and what really makes me so angry is to see what happens when people are given the wrong advice, lose critical time and would have saved their home had they only spoken with the right person.”

To Jacques, that “person” has earned the designation of Realtor.

There are, of course, competent real estate professionals who have not achieved that status, but especially now — where we are talking about foreclosure — You and the Law completely agrees with Jacques based upon reports from our readers over the past two years.

Headed for trouble?

There are basically two types of foreclosure situations:

1. The buyer has not made the payments, and the house is actually in foreclosure and at risk to be sold at auction, or

2. Buyers are just about to default on their payments.

“It’s where you are not yet in trouble where so much can very likely be done to help, if you’ve got people on your team who know who to contact,” he points out.

“This is the time to renegotiate — not just loan terms and interest rate — but even the purchase price itself if the value of your house has fallen considerably. A Realtor or experienced real estate attorney will contact the right people. Now you have someone speaking for you. It is simply crucial to reach high level management with the power and knowledge to change the loan.

“Before you’ve sunk deeply into the quicksand of default and foreclosure, while payments are still being made — but you know that trouble is right around the corner — this is the time to get a Realtor involved. Banks are much more willing to move significantly when a homeowner is proactive.”

I asked Jacques, “What about the situation where you are behind in payments and the property is either in foreclosure or about to be sold. You paid $300,000 and now it’s worth less than half of that?”

“Begin by contacting a Realtor and ask for a property valuation, which you will be given at no cost. Then you have a choice: Put the home on the market looking at a short sale, or contact the lender, and say, ‘Look, I owe you $300,000, but a local Realtor says it’s worth half. He is willing to list the property and contact you for a short sale, but I would like to buy it for $200,000.’ This would be an actual loan modification, and a Realtor can help with this entire process.”

“It can be a simple process, but extremely frustrating for an inexperienced homeowner if the lender is not cooperative. Today, banks want to deal. They don’t want to hold the property. This is all the more reason to take advantage of the resource which Realtors offer. We are equipped and well-qualified to assist people in this endeavor.”

Who should just walk away?

“There were millions of families who should have never been qualified for loans. Property values went up drastically in 2005 and 2006 due to cheap money, lack of oversight in loans, and lenders were sucking in people who should never have been allowed to buy such overvalued, expensive homes. If you had a pulse, you qualified,” Jacques commented.

“When adjustable rate mortgages kicked in, payments rose dramatically and buyers could not pay. That is what started the foreclosure explosion. Property values went down drastically, way below 2005 values.”

“So, if you paid $350,000 and now the home is worth around $200,000, it can make sense to walk away if the bank will not renegotiate everything. Realtors know that some people are best advised to simply give a deed in lieu of foreclosure, or just walk away. Realtors will level with you. We will tell you what you need to hear,” Jacques concluded.

Indeed, for anyone in this situation, don’t go looking to hear what you want to hear from that real estate professional. You’re in the right place if you find a nearly empty box of Kleenex on their desk.

Dennis Beaver practices law in Bakersfield and welcomes comments and questions from readers, you will find our contact form and information here.

“Getting the right kind of help when faced with foreclosure is like finding the right doctor for a complicated medical issue,” maintains Dick Jacques, president of the Kings County Board of Realtors.

“You need someone who is both experienced and current, with significant resources enabling quick answers to the most complex foreclosure or loan modification questions. Today, more than ever in the past, you want that real estate professional to reflect a real obligation to tell it like it is and put your interests ahead of their own financial considerations. Right now, with our worsening foreclosure crisis, who you ask for help can be the single most important factor in a positive outcome,” he believes.

“Real estate has been my life for over 32 years. I’ve never seen it as bad as it is now, and what really makes me so angry is to see what happens when people are given the wrong advice, lose critical time and would have saved their home had they only spoken with the right person.”

To Jacques, that “person” has earned the designation of Realtor.

There are, of course, competent real estate professionals who have not achieved that status, but especially now – where we are talking about foreclosure – You and the Law completely agrees with Jacques based upon reports from our readers over the past two years.

Headed for trouble?

There are basically two types of foreclosure situations:

1. The buyer has not made the payments, and the house is actually in foreclosure and at risk to be sold at auction, or

2. Buyers are just about to default on their payments.

“It’s where you are not yet in trouble where so much can very likely be done to help, if you’ve got people on your team who know who to contact,” he points out.

“This is the time to renegotiate – not just loan terms and interest rate – but even the purchase price itself if the value of your house has fallen considerably. A Realtor or experienced real estate attorney will contact the right people. Now you have someone speaking for you. It is simply crucial to reach high level management with the power and knowledge to change the loan.

“Before you’ve sunk deeply into the quicksand of default and foreclosure, while payments are still being made – but you know that trouble is right around the corner – this is the time to get a Realtor involved. Banks are much more willing to move significantly when a homeowner is proactive.”

I asked Jacques, “What about the situation where you are behind in payments and the property is either in foreclosure or about to be sold. You paid $300,000 and now it’s worth less than half of that?”

“Begin by contacting a Realtor and ask for a property valuation, which you will be given at no cost. Then you have a choice: Put the home on the market looking at a short sale, or contact the lender, and say, ‘Look, I owe you $300,000, but a local Realtor says it’s worth half. He is willing to list the property and contact you for a short sale, but I would like to buy it for $200,000.’ This would be an actual loan modification, and a Realtor can help with this entire process.”

“It can be a simple process, but extremely frustrating for an inexperienced homeowner if the lender is not cooperative. Today, banks want to deal. They don’t want to hold the property. This is all the more reason to take advantage of the resource which Realtors offer. We are equipped and well-qualified to assist people in this endeavor.”

Who should just walk away?

“There were millions of families who should have never been qualified for loans. Property values went up drastically in 2005 and 2006 due to cheap money, lack of oversight in loans, and lenders were sucking in people who should never have been allowed to buy such overvalued, expensive homes. If you had a pulse, you qualified,” Jacques commented.

“When adjustable rate mortgages kicked in, payments rose dramatically and buyers could not pay. That is what started the foreclosure explosion. Property values went down drastically, way below 2005 values.”

“So, if you paid $350,000 and now the home is worth around $200,000, it can make sense to walk away if the bank will not renegotiate everything. Realtors know that some people are best advised to simply give a deed in lieu of foreclosure, or just walk away. Realtors will level with you. We will tell you what you need to hear,” Jacques concluded.

Indeed, for anyone in this situation, don’t go looking to hear what you want to hear from that real estate professional. You’re in the right place if you find a nearly empty box of Kleenex on their desk.


Dennis Beaver practices law in Bakersfield and enjoys hearing from his readers. Contact Dennis Beaver.



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