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Real Estate News: Attorney
General Urges Extension
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATTORNEY GENERAL MASTO JOINS NATIONAL
EFFORT TO EXTEND TAX RELIEF FOR DISTRESSED HOMEOWNERS
Exclusion Estimated to Save $1.3 Billion
Over Two Years
Las Vegas, NV – Nevada Attorney General
Catherine Cortez Masto urged Congress to extend tax
relief for consumers who have mortgage debt canceled
or forgiven because of financial hardship or a decline
in housing values. Masto joined 41 attorneys general
to sign on to a letter to U.S. House and Senate leaders
today, urging them to extend the exclusion, which has
been in effect since 2007 and which will otherwise expire
on Dec. 31, 2012.
The expiration comes at a time when many
homeowners nationwide are benefitting from the $25 billion
national settlement agreement with the nation’s five
largest loan servicing companies, which provides $17
billion in debt reduction and other relief to homeowners.
The progress report on the national settlement released
yesterday shows Nevada homeowners have received $907.9
million in relief, or $100,089 per borrower, so far.
Many other banks across the country also offer mortgage
modification and debt relief programs. "I urge Congress
to extend this critical tax exclusion so that families
in need are not stuck with an unexpected tax bill or
deterred from participating in this historic settlement,"
said Masto. "Mortgage modification and debt relief programs
provide real relief to Nevada homeowners fighting to
keep their homes or trying to get back on their feet.
Unless Congress acts, any debt relief to be provided
in 2013 under the National Mortgage Settlement, as well
as other mortgage debt relief programs, will likely
be considered taxable income." Under the federal Mortgage
Debt Relief Act, in effect since 2007, mortgage debt
that is forgiven after a foreclosure or short sale or
through a loan modification provided to a homeowner
in financial hardship may be excluded from a taxpayer’s
calculation of taxable income. This exclusion only applies
to mortgage debt forgiven on primary residences, not
second homes. An extension is included in the Family
and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012 (S. 3521),
which recently passed out of the Senate Finance Committee
with bipartisan support. Connecticut Attorney General
George Jepsen and Florida Attorney General Pamela Bondi
led this effort for the attorneys general.
Real Estate News: Attorney
General Urges Nevadans To Apply For Free Foreclosure Review
CARSON CITY – The deadline for a free,
federal independent foreclosure review for Nevadans
whose homes were in foreclosure in 2009 or 2010 has
been extended to Sept. 30, 2012, Attorney General Catherine
Cortez Masto said today. The previous deadline was July
Reprinted with Permission from Nevada
News Bureau via Creative Commons.
Ordered by the Office of the Comptroller
of the Currency (OCC) and the Board of Governors of
the Federal Reserve, the independent foreclosure review
will determine whether individuals suffered financial
injury and should receive compensation or other remedy
because of errors or other problems which occurred during
the foreclosure process.
“Do not wait until the extended Sept.
30 deadline to submit your application for a free and
independent foreclosure review,” Masto said.
According to the OCC’s recent report,
as of May 31, 108,687 Nevadans who are eligible for
the review received a mailing and 4,267 Nevadans submitted
requests for review.
Information about Independent Foreclosure
Review may appear in this format in advertisements and
postcard notices that eligible borrowers recently received
More information, including edibility
and online applications is available at www.independentforeclosurereview.com
or 888-952-9105 (between 8 am and 10 pm (Eastern), Monday
through Friday, and between 8 am and 5 pm Saturday).
All requests for Review Forms must be submitted online
or postmarked no later than September 30, 2012. Not
every finding will result in compensation or other remedy.
In first announcing the program on May
31, Masto said: “I encourage Nevadans hurt by foreclosure
errors and who are eligible, to apply for a free review
before the July 31 (now Sept. 30) deadline. In doing
so, beware of anyone who asks you to pay a fee for any
foreclosure review service and immediately report those
persons or companies to my office.”
To be eligible, the foreclosure process
must have been active between Jan. 1, 2009 and Dec.
31, 2010. The property securing the loan must have been
a primary residence, and the mortgage must have been
serviced by: America’s Servicing Co., Aurora Loan Services,
BAC Home Loans Servicing, Bank of America, Beneficial,
Chase, Citibank, CitiFinancial, CitiMortgage, Countrywide,
EMC, EverBank/EverHome Mortgage Company, Financial Freedom,
GMAC Mortgage, HFC, HSBC, IndyMac Mortgage Services,
MetLife Bank, National City Mortgage, PNC Mortgage,
Sovereign Bank, SunTrust Mortgage, U.S. Bank, Wachovia,
Washington Mutual, Wells Fargo, or Wilshire Credit Corporation.
More than 4.3 million forms and letters
explaining the process were sent to eligible homeowners
in 2011. Nevada residents who received a letter should
be aware it is a legitimate program.
Anyone who wants to report an independent
foreclosure review scam can contact the Attorney General’s
Bureau of Consumer Protection Hotline at 702-486-3132
or visit http://bit.ly/NVAGComplaintForms.
Real Estate News: $25B
settlement reached over foreclosure abuses
Feb. 2012 - A big national $25 billion
settlement with the nation’s top mortgage lenders is
promised to give relief for victims of foreclosure abuses.
But consumer advocates say that actually very few homeowners
Proponents say that the real estate
settlement deal promises to reduce loans for underwater
mortgagees who owe more than their homes are worth.
The settlement is also supposed to send checks to others
who were improperly foreclosed upon. But how much? The
amounts are pretty modest.
Will the mortgage settlement and foreclosure
settlement deal help struggling homeowners keep their
homes or benefit those who have already lost theirs?
About 11 million households are "underwater,"
which means these mortgagees owe more than their homes
can be sold for. The settlement proponents say it will
help 1 million of them.-- Find
out more. Read the entire article here...
Real Estate News: Nevada
Home Prices Expected to Keep Falling
2011 - A survey of Nevada real estate
agents shows that high numbers expect home prices will
keep declining. 82 percent think so, according to HomeGain.
The survey shows an increase from the prior number of
29 percent thought prices would decline, when they were
asked during the first quarter of the year. That's quite
HomeGain also reported that their survey
of Nevada homeowners found 63 percent said prices would
fall during the next six months (only 3 percent expected
Most also thought homes were not fairly
priced. Among home sellers, only about one in 3 (actually
37 percent) thought homes were fairly priced.
Nevada real estate agents were also
critical of the performance of President Barack Obama,
with only 18 percent approving of his performance. This
number is really down a lot from the first quarter,
when 44 percent said they approved of Obama's performance.
So, what did Nevada homeowners think? 60 percent disapproved
and 43 percent said strongly so.
Real Estate News: Buying
2011 News from
RealtyTrac’s News and Trends Center. Here you
will find the latest foreclosure trends and news, along
with video, blogging, feature and opinion articles,
and contacts for ordering custom foreclosure data.
Bank-Owned Buyer Survival Skills:
Outwit, Outlast, Underbid
By Joel Cone, Staff Writer
Experienced Investors Share Secrets to
Buying Unlisted & Listed REOs
As a real estate investor specializing
in low-end condominiums in Orange County, Calif., Lin
He knows the value of doing his homework and relationship
building. They are the two key factors that have given
him a jump on his competition when it comes to buying
bank-owned properties — either before or right
after they are listed on the local multiple listing
“Buying pre-listing REOs definitely
is a viable strategy. In fact, it's my major property
acquisition strategy for me,” said He. “It
takes time to develop a relationship with the REO agents.
They need to be able to trust that you’ll perform.”
The relationship strategy has worked
many times for him. So well in fact, that sometimes
he’s able to submit an offer immediately when
the property hits the MLS, and other times he’s
been in the situation where he doesn’t even have
to make an offer up front. The agent just sends him
the paperwork on the deal and he decides whether he
wants to take it or not.
His focus has been not only on getting
to know the key REO agents in the areas he buys, but
also on building good relationships with the local homeowners
associations, the property management companies that
represent the HOAs, and even the neighbors surrounding
the condos he owns. These relationships translate into
a better chance that he’ll know early on about
units headed into the foreclosure process.
Outwit Other Buyers
An investor in REO properties for 20 years and a well-known
coach to real estate investors nationwide, Andy Heller
believes working the unlisted bank-owned market is good
for as much as a 25 percent to 30 percent discount before
the property hits the MLS.
Utilizing a foreclosure listing service
such as RealtyTrac, Heller teaches his students how
to scan the lists of pre-foreclosure properties looking
at location, amount and loan type as key criteria for
sorting through properties. Next, the investor should
identify 15 to 25 potential properties that are expected
to go REO based on location.
While the larger banks don’t have
to talk with you, and the chance of an investor getting
in with the bank directly are slim and none, that strategy
might be feasible with smaller, more local or regional
banks. The key is timing, Heller noted.
“What you want to accomplish is
to have the bank view you as an alternative to their
normal structure of how they do things,” he said.
He suggests a three-step approach:
* Call in the days following the foreclosure
sale but before the bank begins its normal process to
market the property.
* Make a specific property inquiry for a single property
based on your identified property list. Tell them you’d
like to make a quick sale offer which will separate
you from other investors.
* Say the right things. After telling them you’d
like to make a quick sale offer, ask them for nothing
more than access to the property and tell them you should
have an offer on their desk in two to three days after
Heller said he calls 15 to 20 banks and
expects that two or three will give him the time of
day and grant him access to the properties. He ends
up buying one or two properties a month that way.
Nevada is in the Real
2011 This Just Came
to us from RealtyTrac
Trulia and RealtyTrac
Survey Reveals 54 Percent of American Adults Now Believe
Housing Recovery Remains Unlikely Until 2014 or Later
In Wake of Congressional
Efforts to Repeal Obama Administration’s Making
Home Affordable Program, 45 Percent of U.S. Adults Say
Government Not Doing Enough to Prevent Foreclosures
SAN FRANCISCO 2011
– Trulia, a top resource for homebuyers, sellers
and renters, and RealtyTrac, the leading online marketplace
for foreclosure properties, today released the latest
results of an ongoing survey that has tracked American
attitudes toward foreclosed homes since 2008. Harris
Interactive® conducted this online survey on their
behalf from April 15 to 19, 2011, among 2,018 U.S. adults
aged 18 and over.
KEY FINDINGS -
for Housing Market Recovery Falters
As more cities across the nation experience double dips
in home prices , more than half (54 percent) of U.S.
adults believe recovery in the housing market will not
happen until 2014 or later, according to the survey
released today. In a previous survey conducted six months
ago , 42 percent of American adults said they thought
the market would turn around by 2012 or had already
turned around. Now, only 23 percent continue to think
this will happen.
as our latest survey revealed, overestimated how quickly
the housing market would bounce back, but when it does,
it will likely be a long and gradual process. Looking
at the recent double dips in home prices, I expect the
rest of 2011 to be volatile for real estate,”
said Pete Flint, co-founder and CEO, Trulia. “On
the flip side, mortgage rates won’t stay low forever
and even if home prices continue to fall for a bit,
now is still a good time to enter the housing market.
In my eyes, we have another 18 months until we start
to see signs of price stability in the housing market.”
reflects a growing perception among potential homebuyers
that the housing recovery is still a long way off,"
said Rick Sharga, senior vice president of RealtyTrac.
"Demand remains weak, loans are increasingly difficult
to qualify for, and the shadow inventory of several
million distressed properties is weighing down the market.
All of these things need to improve before housing can
Foreclosure Prevention Programs Not Enough - With recent
reports criticizing the underperformance of the Obama
administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program
(HAMP) and the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives
Program (HAFA), Republicans are increasingly adamant about
repealing these initiatives entirely. This debate appears
to run contrary to what Americans ask of their government
as the housing market struggles to recover. According
to the survey released today, 45 percent of American adults
say the government is not doing enough to prevent foreclosures.
Only 17 percent say too much is being done while 16 percent
say they are doing the right amount and 22 percent say
they are not sure.
The widespread prevalence of distressed
homeowners facing foreclosures in today’s market
is one reason why negative sentiment toward the government
may be so high. Almost one-third (30 percent) of homeowners
self-reported that they have or know someone who has
applied for or received a loan modification, stopped
paying their mortgage, foreclosed, walked away or short
sold their home.
Buying a Foreclosure - More than half of U.S. renters
(56 percent) and 47 percent of current homeowners are
at least somewhat likely to purchase a foreclosed home.
Along with having some concerns about hidden costs,
a risky buying process and loss in home value, many
potential buyers expect to save money if they buy a
foreclosure versus a similar non-foreclosed home. In
fact, American adults expect to pay 38 percent less
for a foreclosed home than a similar home that was not
in foreclosure – not too far above the average
discount of 36 percent on sales of bank-owned homes
(REO) compared to sales of homes not in foreclosure
reported in the RealtyTrac 2010 Foreclosure Sales Report.
- This 2011 survey was conducted online within the United
States by Harris Interactive via its QuickQuery(SM)
online omnibus service on behalf of Trulia between April
15-19, 2011 among 2,018 U.S. adults aged 18 years and
older. The sample included 1,257 homeowners, 906 of
whom currently have a mortgage, and 704 renters. Figures
for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and
household income were weighted where necessary to bring
them into line with their actual proportions in the
population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust
for respondents’ propensity to be online. This
online survey is not based on a probability sample and
therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error
can be calculated.
Real Estate Resources: Selling and Saying Goodbye to
By Lois A. Vitt,
Selling your home and saying goodbye
can be a difficult experience, especially when it's
combined with upheaval, which is often the case these
days. The formalities and procedures can be frustrating
Like many sellers, you might also be
wrestling with bittersweet memories and assorted goodbyes.
In fact, your feelings can range from eagerness to become
unburdened and move on, to anger and regret because
you must leave your home. Yet, despite the iffy market
or maybe because of it you've made the decision to sell
your home and take on that other emotional
roller coaster ride.
Deciding to sell is only the first of
many decisions you'll need to make through a nerve-wracking
process that can last months, so hold on to your courage.
Whatever you may be feeling, or trying not to feel can
make the experience worse by:
Breaking Down Priorities
- Second guessing your reasons
- Having unreasonable expectations
about the value of your home.
- Being defensive and angry about
taking the steps needed for it to show well to prospective
- Keeping ideas, feelings, thoughts,
and anxieties inside instead of talking about them
with understanding people.
- Trying to sell your home on
your own without understanding the amount of work,
money, time, patience, and knowledge you need to handle
Whatever your reasons
for selling, there will be times during the process
you will want to remind yourself of exactly what you
are trying to accomplish. Here are reasons people frequently
give for selling:
The upkeep of
this home is too much work.
The cost of carrying the mortgage is
The home is too far away from the people
and/or places where I want to live.
The neighborhood is going downhill
from all the foreclosures.
A move to another city to take/find
a new job.
Find a smaller/bigger home with different/better
Moving to a retirement community.
And last but not
least to make a profit.
Before proceeding with your selling
strategy, take plenty of time to think through your
reasons and next steps. Write them all down. Is speed
and urgency at the top of your list Or do you have the
time and patience to wait for that one perfect buyer
Consider your alternatives: Can you postpone your decision
to sell by making other lifestyle changes By changing
the structure itself Or by renting your home temporarily
You will benefit by being specific and
honest about your reasons and the feelings that might
accompany them. Once your thoughts and feelings begin
to flow — they will if you give them time and
quiet — rank them in order of importance. Clear
statements that capture your reasons for selling will
become the foundation of your selling strategy and the
basis for your relationship with your real estate agent,
buyer, lender, and/or lawyer; and your emotional steadiness
Sharing your thoughts and reasons beforehand
will spare you potential emotional turmoil later.
Lois A. Vitt is a housing expert and financial sociologist,
and is the author of "10 Secrets to Successful
Home Buying and Selling", the first book to demystify
the psychological forces behind our housing decisions.