Paramilitary SWAT Teams Now Enforcing Eviction Orders

As local American police forces have become more and more militarized, with weapons grants from the Department of Defense and militarized Keynesianism popular in Washington, DC, it should come as no surprise that even foreclosures are turning into SWAT team-appropriate events.


© OregonDOT – flickr

The American Free Press has an article out today on a case in Idaho Sprints, Colorado, involing 22 SWAT officers loaded to the ears with military weaponry. What were they doing? Catching a serial killer? Taking down a mass murderer? Saving children from another of the TSA’s monsters?

No, they were enforcing a court ordered foreclosure seizure of a family residence. As the article states, “On October 30, the Clear Creek County, Colorado Sheriff’s Department dispatched 22 SWAT officers—decked out with military-green helmets and uniforms, fully automatic weapons and numerous other “bells and whistles”—to enforce a court order for a U.S. Bank foreclosure on the home of Sarah Donahue.”

The justification for the overwhelming show of force was, of course, to keep the officers “safe.” However, in the interest of total officer safety, the next logical step is for the local police to call in a drone strike to destroy the house completely, while fleecing the local taxpayers to cover the cost of the house.

After all, the taxpayers can pay the bank for the destroyed house, the officers can remain at a safe distance while never having to come into contact with those they “serve” and “protect,” and the federal government can hand out more defense contracts to drone agencies. And finally, with one more house destroyed, prices can only rise as a result of decreased supply, right? Everyone is a winner with militarized police agencies enforcing evictions.

Now, the homeowners who defaulted on their loans should have to face the consequences of such an action. That could involve having to pay back more, or negotiating with their lender for a loan modification of some sort, or simply leaving the property to foreclosure and dealing with the consequences of poor credit. However, they should not be forcibly evicted by a paramilitary organization within their local police force.

Options for Homeowners in Mortgage Distress

In the past couple of years, a lot of homeowners have found themselves in need of some foreclosure help. With high rates of unemployment and decreased wages, more people are finding making their payments harder every month. Priorities have to be set and the first one needs to be food for the family. And lenders don’t seem to be real sympathetic to the people in trouble. Let’s take a look at what kind of assistance is out there.

For the lucky ones that are not residing in the areas with property values falling like rocks, refinancing might be the answer to their troubles. If a homeowner bought their home when mortgage rates were high, then they might be able to refinance their loan at a smaller rate. This would bring the payments down and for some this is just what they need.

401(K) 2013

©401(K) 2013 – flickr

But banks are very squeamish to refinance anyone who has been unemployed in the recent past. Even with a new steady employment, their credit rating may have been affected by late payments. But there is one point of good news. The federal government has allocated billions of dollars in aid to help these banks get over their nerves and to give mortgage help to those that need it.

Then there are the unlucky ones. Millions of people live in homes that are located in areas where home values have plummeted like rocks off a cliff. In some areas prices have fallen over 20% in the last two years. For those people who bought when prices were at record levels, the luck ran out. Many of them owe more on their mortgage than what the home itself is now worth.

And then there is a pesky bit of business with mortgage lenders. They usually want to get all of their investment back with interest. If one of the unlucky homeowners falls behind in their payments, they have few options. Selling their property won’t bring in enough money to pay off the lender. For them, mortgage help needs to come in the way of mortgage modification. This is when the lender changes the terms of the loan to help the homeowners.

What other types of mortgage assistance are out there? Well, if the homeowners can find someone willing to buy their home, but not at a price that will pay the lender, they might be able to negotiate a short sale. A short sale is when a llender, agrees to forgive any amount of money still owed on a mortgage once a home sale is final. Most lenders, will not agree to this unless they have few other options. But the expenses of eviction and foreclosure can be a good way to argue for it. And there are consequences to the borrower. Taxes can be due to the IRS for the amount forgiven by the bank. Another choice might be to see if they can rent the property} out for an amount that will cover their mortgage and taxes.

Don’t Count on Credit Cards to Help You Stop Foreclosure

One of the greatest mistakes homeowners can make when they get into a financial bind is relying on credit cards or other short-term loans to see them through the difficulty. They think that they can borrow money at high rates of interest and then pay it back once their income has recovered. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case.

Far too often, what transpires instead is that the financial hardship lasts longer than was originally proposed. A few month layoff turns into six or ten months of unemployment. And while it can sometimes help to go into debt for a month or two to keep above water, a longer period of time without an income to pay the mortgage and other bills can quickly become a nightmare.

The main problem with using credit cards is that the interest rate can increase so quickly and so dramatically if the borrowers ever fall behind. And if they are relying on credit cards so that they do not fall behind on their other bills, at some point, they will undoubtedly fail to make the minimum payment on their cards. When this transpires, financial catastrophe can follow.


©largeprime -flickr

In fact, it is almost better to ask any and every other individual and business to provide a short-term loan to help through a temporary financial difficulty. Many neighbors, friend’s families, and local businesses all keep their money with the exact same financial institutions that issue the credit cards to the borrowers in the first place.

With the creation of new government programs to help borrowers, there are a number of ways to cease the foreclosure process, as well. Borrowers do not just have to go further into debt on personal loans or credit cards, as they can have their home loans restructured or lowered in some instances.

Borrowing more money to stay out of debt is almost never a good idea, unless the difficulty will last only a month or two. But financial drawbacks commonly last far longer than originally expected. Thus, borrowers should look to alternative options to avoid losing their houses, and even give up their credit cards when they no longer have the chance to pay for all of their bills.

How a Forensic Loan Audit can Help Foreclosure Victims

With all of the current programs and ideas that the housing industry and government are creating

©SalFalko -flickr

©SalFalko -flickr

out to help homeowners save their properties from foreclosure, it seems new terms and acronyms are being invented everyday. One of the most bewildering that has come into common acceptance is a “forensic loan audit,” which is being sold to many homeowners.

But what is a forensic loan audit, exactly? Banks will not just allow one of these as a solution to foreclosure, so why are homeowners being sold more and more of them? These are the questions that any company selling such services must answer when meeting with foreclosure victims who are trying to use their scarce monetary assets in the most effective manner.

A forensic loan audit is a detailed review of the original mortgage documents, from the closing of the real estate transaction to any refinances, second mortgages, and transfers of servicing rights or ownership of the note between lenders. The goal is to find enough mistakes or evidence to show a possible predatory lending case against the bank.

The main reason to obtain a forensic loan audit is to show the lender that it would make much more sense just to change the mortgage than to foreclose on the household and risk a lengthy defense. If the borrowers can show enough mistakes were made on their loan, it will become very difficult for the bank to get a default judgment and move quickly towards the sheriff sale of the home.

Thus, a forensic loan audit is more like an insurance policy than anything else. For a few hundred dollars, homeowners can go to their bank, show them how difficult it would be to attempt a foreclosure lawsuit, and then negotiate for a loan modification, short sale, or other alternative to foreclosure instead.

Forensic loan audits are most recommended for homeowners who are dealing with a particularly difficult bank. When they are unable to move forward in negotiations and the lender is not complying, the process may need to be pushed forward. A list of mistakes and evidence of lender misconduct may be just the jolt the bank needs to keep working on a solution.

A loan audit would also be recommended for borrowers who are dealing with the bank on their own. Those represented by an attorney or third party may not have to worry as much about this service, but those homeowners dealing with the lenders themselves may need an extra bargaining chip. In some cases, such an audit can be highly helpful.

Combine a Loan Modification and Debt Settlement to Lower Bills

As credit card companies continue to increase rates and violate their customers, debt settlement or debt management is becoming more popular. Debt settlement is the procedure of eliminating a portion of the debt and entering into a repayment plan that will get you out of debt in just a matter of months or years. Most credit card debt could take nearly a lifetime to pay off, so seeing relief in just a few months or years is a huge relief for most people.

©Images_of_Money - flickr

©Images_of_Money – flickr

But debt settlement is usually only for unsecured accounts. Other debts, such as {car loans or first mortgages are not included. This is because these types of loans have collateral to back them up. If you do not pay, the bank will simply take away the collateral with a repossession, or the home, with a foreclosure. One choice to eliminate these debts or to pay them back on a more affordable schedule is bankruptcy. The main problem with bankruptcy is the amount of time it remaindstays on your credit. In most cases, debt settlement combined with a mortgage modification would be considered more appropriate than bankruptcy.

A mortgage modification is comparable to debt settlement in that a portion of the mortgage debt may be eliminated and new repayment terms are structured to make the payment more affordable. This can be done by lengthening the term of the loan or decreasing the interest rate. A mortgage modification is considered one of the best alternatives to foreclosure if you want to remain in possession of your home. It will make your property affordable again and has very little effect on your credit. In fact, it should begin to build your credit, assuming you have not done anything else to lower your score.

To qualify for a mortgage modification, you will need to prove that you have experienced a hardship and that a modification would make your mortgage payments affordable for the remaining life of the loan. Many lenders will want you to be behind on payments before allowing a loan modification, but that is not required. Even if you are current, if you can show that the payment is not affordable, an effective negotiator should be able to get you qualified.

A mortgage modification should be requested for at the same time as debt settlement. Ideally you want to show all your creditors improving your payment terms. Asking all your creditors to improve a small amount, is easier than asking one of them to reduce their payment a large amount.

In any situation, your credit will be effected to some degree, but when you are no longer able to make your payments, or if you have already missed payments, then you wont be approved for new credit anyway. Most people only use their credit once every 4 years, so this will give you plenty of time to improve your credit and become debt free. This is much better than a bankruptcy that can stay on your credit for 10 years.

Can You Use a Cash Advance Loan Responsibly?

©Merchant Cash 4 Advance - flickr

©Merchant Cash 4 Advance – flickr

Payday loans can cause a lot of financial trouble when not used responsibly. In general, these types of loans are designed to be a short term loan that can be paid back in full on your next pay period. In this type of scenario, they can be very useful and potentially save a lot of money when you avoid late fees or other charges that could result from not paying other bills on time.

The problem with a payday loan is when you take out a loan that can not be quickly repaid. When the loan is not paid back immediately, most contracts allow the lender to charge huge interest rates and additional fees on a weekly or daily basis. If you fall into a situation where the loan can not be paid back, you will quickly find yourself in a load of trouble.

Payday loans can be used for just about anything you want. Many people use these loans to make payments that would be delayed otherwise. In these cases, it is important to weigh the late fees versus the cost of the payday loan.

Many people do not realize this, but if you are late on one of your credit cards, just once, the card companies can immediately jack your rate up to almost 30% on all your cards, not just the one you were late on. This is such a problem that laws are being created to prevent this practice. In this type of scenario, missing a single payment could cost you (literally) thousands of dollars, so paying a small sum to borrow money now would make perfect sense.

Another occasion is when you are going to miss a home payment and cause your property to go into foreclosure. When this occurs, usually on the third missed payment, your lender can make the entire loan due immediately. This is another case, where a small loan fee may be a required evil to avoid a huge disaster. With the new government foreclosure bailout package, you can not miss any mortgage payments if you want to qualify. Keeping your payments on time in order to get a lower payment with a loan modification is a excellent good idea.

The key is using a payday loan when required and finding another answer when it is not. In my opinion, buying groceries to feed your family might be okay, but getting a loan for pleasure spending and a movie, or a case of beer is not. Be smart about your purchases and only spend borrowed money when it is a necessity.

In any scenario where you will be borrowing money, make sure you completely understand the terms of the loan and read all the documentation that goes along with it. Never agree to anything you do not understand and never agree to borrow money when you do not know how you will be able to pay it back

Foreclosure Rates – They’re High and Don’t Expect Them to Come Down

The question on many homeowners’ minds is born in regards to foreclosure rates. Are they still rising? Where does the United States currently stand in this foreclosure problem? Most people asking these questions understand that the government has its hand in attempting to solve the problem, prop up} home values, and improve statistics.

©saundraware - flickr

©saundraware – flickr

Government bailout plans have been in effect since October 2007 and another was released early in 2009, yet the national foreclosure rates have continued to increase in many places. Some cities and states are seeing decreases, but many experts are skeptical as to their effects. In fact, some pundits see an even more dismal housing market in the near future.

The problem lies in the vicious cycle associated with some people being in financial straits while others want to prevent it from occurring to them. You may be facing foreclosure, but your bank has many borrowers that may be in the same situation. If they make exceptions for everyone, they may end up putting themselves in the same dire straits. Thus, lenders have been somewhat unwilling to realize the huge losses they have sustained on their mortgage investments, and have been rejecting workout programs as a result.

Back at the end of 2007, the United States Treasury Department was already arranging together plans in an attempt to nip rising foreclosure rates in the bud. Unfortunately, there is obviously a flaw in the plans they have laid out as the number of homeowners who fall delinquent on their mortgage payments continues to increase. The reason is because no resources were made available in the assistance of the growing number of homeowners and the lag in aid led to even more foreclosures.

As the plans currently stand, there are at least five varying bailout programs to assist in lowering the rate of foreclosures nationwide. These include Hope Now, Project Lifeline, the Hope for Homeowners Act, the Home Affordable Modification Program, and the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives plan. So far, none has been as successful as initially expected and hoped for.

The argument made by many financial professionals is that the reason these programs have failed to have the impact wished for is because they are cheap-money policies. All they have really demonstrated is a greater downward pressure on the state of the economy. With localized improvements in foreclosure rates, many hope the limited number of improvements will rise throughout the country.

Information to Get You Started on Modifying Your Mortgage

When you are looking at a possible foreclosure, the last thing you want is another disingenuous plan of action that results in little to no monetary help for your situation. Luckily, loan modification options do not fall into this category. Before you delve too far into the process of altering your home mortgage, you surely want to grasp as much information about the concept as you can.

©cheesecurls62 - flickr

©cheesecurls62 – flickr

What a loan modification is exactly is a permanent alteration to a term or several terms in your home loan agreement. It allows a loan to be reinstated, resulting in a smaller monthly payment you might be able to afford. Obviously, with this basic definition, it is possible to use loan modification to save you from foreclosure in a number of different ways.

The United States government is very aware of all the financial hardships of the country (after all, it caused many of them via the use of the Federal Reserve system). For this reason, they have laid out plans for government programs to help you acquire a loan modification under certain circumstances. Seventy-five billion dollars have been set aside to disburse to subsidized lenders who are willing to Coordinate with borrowers to modify their loans.

This program was designed to give banks a financial incentive to help you stop foreclosure before the home is listed for auction. Also, if you pay your newly modified payments in a timely manner, you will be qualified to earn up to $5000 in credit toward the loan balance.

To find out if you are qualified for a mortgage modification, the first thing your bank will consider is your ability to make a modified payment currently as well as in the future. You must have proof of income and supply financial statements with details elaborating on your income to expense ratio, establishing your monetary incapability of making your current loan payments. A hardship statement explaining your financial hardship is also required.

This statement proves your need for a modification and hopefully your capacity for paying the modified sum should you be granted your request. You do not have to already be behind on your payments to qualify, as part of the purpose of the government plans is to help owners before they fall behind. Previously, most lenders would not negotiate with borrowers until they had fallen delinquent by several months.

Getting started and working out the details concerning your possible loan modification option is not always easy, but can be done by almost any owner. What you need is the correct important information to help you end foreclosure, and getting over a foreclosure without losing your home is a great start to get you down the road to financial liberty.

Will the Foreclosure Crisis Get Better in the Future?

When you examine at the current statistics of the country’s number of foreclosures when compared to a decade ago, you will understand why it is the topic of conversation between many homeowners, economists, and financial analysts. The numbers are scary. Highly populated states with critical housing markets like California, Michigan and Florida have hundreds of thousands of foreclosures every month, while home values continue to decline by the day.

©Frederick Homes for Sale - flickr

©Frederick Homes for Sale – flickr

In the last year, 2.3 million homes in the United States went through or are still going through some potion of the foreclosure process. Seven million families altogether are defaulting on their mortgages or are facing foreclosure. Currently, there are indicators that suggest housing prices may be on the rise in the short term, but with foreclosure rates as large as they are, the future of real estate still looks bad in many areas of the country.

Four years ago, foreclosure rates were six times smaller than they are today. The system currently in place to manage foreclosures was not intended} to handle such outrageous quantities. Local government courts are falling behind in hearing cases and performing evictions, and it may take some lenders months to initiate the process of taking back a home. Also, servicers are taking advantage of the panic-stricken atmosphere to make a profit.

If the mortgage servicing companies see to it that borrowers are unable to qualify for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), then they gain money from your foreclosure. Neither you as the owner nor your lender have anything to gain from your home being reposessed, so many people are pointing the finger of blame on the servicers, which receive more in fees when a homeowner is late than when they are on time in payments.

Luckily, a great number of borrowers are still able to escape foreclosure by means of mortgage altering or short sales. While other methods such as selling outright or acquiring a foreclosure loan may not be as easy anymore, other answers have begun to present themselves in response to the dire housing market. If you are in a stressful situation and hoping to find a way out of your situation, you may not be out of solutions yet.

Speaking with a financial expert can be the best way to learn of your options and begin taking the steps toward securing your place in your home once again. The future of foreclosures may not be so great in your area, but they can be good for you personally if you act now to protect your property, your finances, and your family from any coming economic depression.

How To Fight Foreclosure if You Live in Florida

If you live in Florida and are facing the possibility of having your home repossessed, you are probably trying to find out as much about it as you can. Foreclosures are processed out through local court proceedings. The entire process commences when you fall at least thirty days behind on your mortgage payments, although you can usually go at least ninety days or longer without the courts becoming involved.

©Quint Cobb Foreclosure Relief - flickr

©Quint Cobb Foreclosure Relief – flickr

The bank from of your mortgage initially files a notification with the courts. If you are under the idea that your lender may have done so, you will know for sure when you receive a notification in the mail or delivered by a local sheriff’s deputy. Do not ignore this important warning as if it were junk mail or simply a threat against your home that you can not respond to. You must respond to it within the period of time indicated on the notice.

If you fail to reply to your foreclosure notice in the given time allowed, the court will rule against you and award the lender a default judgment. This means the court can assign a sale of your home to satisfy the judgment, which includes the total balance still owed to the mortgage holder in principal, interest, fees, and court costs. Under Florida foreclosure law, you can still save your home at this stage all the way up to the scheduled date for the sale of the home by acquiring enough funds to repay the lender everything you owe.

To give you an idea of how much time you have to get the necessary funds to pay your bank back, the scheduled date for the sale of a foreclosed home is usually between 20 and 35 days following the court’s decision. The originally set date is always subject to modification based on the court’s calendar, locality and conflicting schedule times of the auction itself. Homeowners and banks can also work together to postpone a sheriff sale if there is a possibility of another solution solving the problem.

Notices are kept up-to-date weekly for at least two weeks and the official date and time is announced five days prior to the auction. This way, even though times and dates may change throughout the proceedings, you have a clear knowledge of the exact date five days in advance. This is an especially important deadline to keep in mind when dealing with a lender for a loan modification, short sale, or other option to stop foreclosure.

If this is the stage you are at right now with your Florida foreclosure, it is not too late! You can still get your home back by making your account current once again. Remember, this will probably include the payment of late fees and other charges your account may have built up in the time you were behind in your payments. You may be able to pay up the account by borrowing money from friends and family, cashing in assets, refinancing, or even just selling the house.

No matter where you are in the legal proceedings of losing your property, you probably still have options. As long as ownership of the home has not been changed, there may be solutions available. You can learn exactly how to go about ceasing foreclosure even in these late stages by meeting with a financial and foreclosure expert. Be sure to choose a reliable source.