Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011
There is a white elephant in the room that no one seems to be talking about. The push for short sales on the part of the lender and in some cases the government is at epic proportions. I agree that in some cases short sale may be the only option, but in most cases, it is not the only option. How on earth will our values stablize any time soon in this environment of a massive short sale campaign and foreclosures that should not happen. Doesn't anybody see that if these continue, our property values will continue to erode, and more foreclosures will ultimately follow, but if more modifications take place our values can begin to stabilize.
From my experience talking to thousands of homeowners there are huge mistakes being made in the processing of their HAMP loan modification or in house loan modification applications. The second that the loan modification is denied, even it was done in error, which most of them are, a letter is sent to the homeowner telling them that a short sale is now one of their only options, other than the foreclosure that is now imminent or a deed in lieu, all options leave them without a home.
The banks are now resorting to offering homeowners money to short sell their home, that is of course if they get the bank's approved price, or better yet if they ever get through the short sale process nightmare. I guess it would be a happy time if people did not care about staying in their homes. Newsflash, it is not a happy time, people do want to stay in their homes. Most can make a reasonable payment with modified terms. People are going through tough times, small businesses are, large corporations are, and even banks are as we have seen the biggest amount bank failures in history.
A question that most homeowners have is why the lender prefers to take a short sale vs helping the homeowner remain in the home, and the answer is obviously about money. Chase and Wells Fargo are even giving away free houses to non-profits, well how nice of them! What about the ghost of the family that lost their home, the ones that were trying for months to get help, why couldn't they help keep them in their homes instead of giving it away for free or at huge discounts to non-profits, the answer again is about money. It always is. Have our values and integrity gone so far down in this country that this all seems acceptable?
What a great PR campaign the big banks have showing that they are providing revitalization to the community by giving away free houses, is this for real? Does anyone see through this? How does this make absolutely any sense that they give houses away and sell them at bargain prices but refuse to work to help homeowners? When you have seen the countless errors that I have seen in a sampling of loan modification processing stories, you would very well see that this is not a happy story, it is an injustice and it is without logic.
With out real controls put in place to monitor and audit the constant inaccuracies that happen on a daily basis to thousands of homeowners, these mistakes will continue to be made and homeowners that could have stayed in their homes will think that short sale was the only option.
People trust their bank is giving them the right answers. Homeowners believe that their lenders have their best interest at heart. I have to think that bank's executive levels are clearly not getting this information, otherwise, I too would have no choice but to strongly believe that they don't have the homeowner's best interest in mind. The lenders do and will continue to make mistakes, big, life changing, costly mistakes for the American homeowners that are losing their homes, some even on Christmas Eve.
For most homeowners that venture into fighting back, it can sometimes take a year or more to get a reasonable person to listen and understand the mistakes, and to get them to finally correct them, however, that is if the homeowner ever reaches that person, and many homeowners do give up long before that happens.
The sad reality is that most homeowners never reach that reasonable person that can fix the mistakes, and they are told, "sorry you are denied, your only option is to short sale your house". The American dream that our forefathers set up for this country is vaporizing right before our very eyes. This epidemic has a domino effect that is very detrimental to the American dream of homeownership.
There are solutions, if someone will listen. Just like hillsides collapse in a mudslide from continuous erosion to the soil as heavy rains undermine the integrity of the hillside, short sales and foreclosures continue to erode the property values of our neighborhoods, and the lack of proper assistance to the backbone of our country, the American homeowners, undermines the integrity of our economy and the collapses will continue.
Until then, to think for yourself you MUST question authority. Fight for your dreams by being your own best advocate. Get empowered with the right information. Be more knowledgeable then them. When you know your numbers the way the bank sees them, then you can be confident about your loan modification application, and you can fight with determination and resolve to Save Your Home!
Anna Cuevas, HUFFINGTON POST