Shockingly good news; (IMO) It’s about time Green Tree was punished

As a real estate agent who has successfully negotiated many short sales, I eventually had my short list of horrible lenders to deal with. Green Tree Funding was on that list. Funny story; few years back, I was complaining over the phone to Green Tree about how horrible they were, the woman on the other end of the phone told me I was exaggerating, so I walked around my office with her on the phone and took an impromptu survey. Without explaining to my fellow agents who was on the phone, I asked several of them what they thought of negotiating short sales with Green Tree. As near as I can tell, most of them probably figured I was having a conversation with another Realtor, and they all in run either said that they had not dealt with Green Tree at all, or that they hated dealing with them. One agent, Paul, realized asked me (embarrassed) after he answered if that was Green Tree on the phone.

Well they were just formally punished by the CPFB (Consumer Finance Protection Bureau) for (allegedly) “mistreating borrowers attempting to avoid foreclosure on their homes.” The federal agencies announced last week that they will compel Green Tree to pay a total of $63 million – $48 million in “redress to victims” and an additional $15 million civil penalty – for (allegedly) refusing to honor loan modifications on mortgages transferred from other servicers, demanding payment for the provision of loss mitigation options, and charging borrowers “convenience fees” for pay-by-phone services while presenting those payment services as the only option. Later, Green Tree also (allegedly) withdrew from those same accounts for more payments even though the original payment had been presented as a one-time withdrawal. Green Tree also (allegedly) harassed delinquent borrowers with “anywhere from seven to 20 phone calls per day” when they fell as few as two weeks behind in their payments; these calls included threats of wage garnishment and arrest.

The feds have opted to allow Green Tree to refuse to admit wrongdoing in return for paying through the nose. Richard Cordray, CFPB director, clearly believes that this is the right option in light of the huge payday for the government and the victims. “We are holding Green Tree accountable for its unlawful conduct,” he said in a public statement about the settlement. In the meantime, all entities other than Cordray must continue to refer to the alleged misdeeds as just that, alleged, because Green Tree has not admitted or been convicted of bad behavior.

FTC blogger Lesley Fair recently wrote a column praising the settlement, pointing out that the move will encourage other loan servicers to actually service loans rather than “making misleading statements about what people owe, [causing] deceptive delays, and [making] unauthorized withdrawals from [borrowers] accounts.” Since many customer complaints hinge on Green Tree’s refusal to correct “iffy information” in new loan portfolios, the company also has promised to institute a “comprehensive data integrity program” designed to make sure customer accounts hold the right information and are being handled appropriately. I am not as optimistic as Lesley.

If you don’t beleive in Christmas miracles, read this

‘Twas the night before Christmas and down at the bank, Santa’s elves were dipping a negotiator in a tank (yes waterboarding) until we got what we needed. That would be short sale approval after only 14 days!  Seriously, it was delivered to me today, December 24th!  Merry Christmas to my clients, the buyer and the bank . . . and to all a good night!

Great news for those who have completed a short sale in 2014

“The Debt Forgiveness Act” has been extended to the end of 2014 by the House and Senate and is now headed to the Presidents Desk (He is expected to sign it).  This is great news for Short Sales that have closed (or will close) this year.

Do you owe more than your house is worth? We have helped dozens of families successfully short sale their house, and we can help you. Read some of the testimonials here; http://www.HowardTeam.com/Testimonials

High Rise condos on the Las Vegas Strip have made a comeback

At the height of the Las Vegas Real Estate market in 2006, high rises were sought after from people from all walks of life who wanted to own a piece of that luxury lifestyle, and when the market began to fall, our high rises may have suffered the most. The plans for a second Trump Tower were scrapped and the 3rd Panorama Tower fell into bankruptcy. That 3rd tower was later purchased and renamed “The Martin”.

Well I just attended a closeout event at “The Martin” and they only have 5 original brand new residences left to sell. That’s quite a turnaround, considering where we were. There are several brand new units available in buildings with at least 5 stories, and of course there are hundreds available in the resale market . . . ranging from under $70,000 up to $38,000,000 currently.

Take a look;
http://goo.gl/44z1nJ

To short sale, or not to short sale? That is the question.

First – What is a short sale? Many people know, but not everyone.

When a person owes more on a property than it is worth, and they ask the bank to accept less than is owed on the property so that they can sell it, this is known as a short sale. Like when you owed your friend $50, but you only had $30 of it and you said, “sorry Mike, I’m a little short” and Mike said, “don’t worry about it”.

Why not buy short sales?

There are a variety of reasons why short sales do not go through. Here are 4;

1. The process of dealing with the banks on a short sale requires skill, effort and knowledge on the part of the listing agent (the person the seller hired to sell the house). Many do not possess this trifecta of assets.

2. There must be a hardship. Many sellers just want to sell short because their neighbor did, but their neighbor lost their job, or was never earning enough money to afford the home in the first place. Just because you want to, doesn’t mean you can.

3. If they buyer does have a legitimate hardship, then, that buyer, who is already (typically) despondent over their current financial situation, is required by the bank to go through their finances with a fine tooth comb to prove that hardship. Many people just don’t have the stomach for it.

4. Patience (or lack thereof). Short sales often take a very long time to get accepted. I’ve seen them take more than 4 months just to get approved. Many buyers just aren’t that patient.

In the month of April, 2009 in Las Vegas, 36% of the properties listed for sale were short sales. Only 6% of the closings were. This shows that short sales can work, but often (1 in 6 times that month) they don’t.

The prices on Las Vegas bank owned homes are mind-boggling.  Don’t wait for the bottom.  You can’t predict it.  You won’t know where the bottom was until it’s gone.  Really.  What are you waiting for?  If you would like information about buying a home to live in or an investment property in Las Vegas, with no cost or obligation, please contact me.

702-369-6000
or toll free @
1-877-7RE-JEFF
(1-877-773-5333)

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FHA Loan Limit Back to $400,000 in Las Vegas

This has been confirmed! The FHA Loan Limit on Residential Real Estate in Las Vegas, NV among other areas has been moved back up to $400,000.

This is a game changer for our market! Since the loan limit was lowered at the beginning of the year, some have been very concerned about values in Las Vegas in the range between $417,000 (Conforming Loan Limit) and $287,500 (2009 Previous FHA Loan Limit). It was though that because of the difficult conforming loan guidelines and Mortgage Insurance (MI) policy guidelines, homes of that value would further deteriorate down to FHA limits. With limits raised back up, I think we averted this disaster. Couple this with continued low interest rates and we could see a market stabilization. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

If you would like to confirm for yourself, here is the link to the loan limit website for HUD:
https://entp.hud.gov/idapp/html/hicost1.cfm.

Also, now that the loan limit has been raised again. Those that have FHA loans in that range can now take advantage of the FHA Streamline feature and capture the lower rates.

If you would like help taking advantage of these new developments, please contact me.
www.CapeCodAREI.com/contact

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The truth is, I love to ‘toot my own horn’.

Now is the time to invest in Las Vegas real estate.

Alright, I’ll admit I have let this blog get ‘stale’, but no more. I have a new motivation! I love being right! Since August, I have been blasting my email list telling them that they should come and invest with me in Las Vegas real estate. Why? Well a number of reasons come to mind. First of all, Las Vegas had the 2nd highest foreclosure rate in the country, it’s true. And most people will run away from that.  DON’T.

  • For more than 15 years, between 5,000 and 8,000 people have moved to Las Vegas – and the trend shows no signs of slowing.
  • The median home price in Las Vegas as reported by the Las Vegas Review Journal on 9-10-08 is only $210,000.
  • Wal-Mart is building a distribution Center just outside of Las Vegas and they require that EVERY vendor have a warehouse within 50 miles.
  • McCarran Airport can no longer handle the volume of traffic, so the city is going to build a second airport.
  • Single family homes can produce positive cashflow as a rental for the first time since 1991 – if you can buy an investment property that will cash flow, then it truly doesn’t matter how long it takes to appreciate, as long as it does (and boy, will it ever!)

Despite the fact that Las Vegas real estate has dropped an additional 28% in the past year, sales are up 15% year over year! This is the part where I tell you how I was right. Forbes Magazine and Forbes.com just released a list of the top 10 cities that you should be buying real estate in. #1? You guessed it! Las Vegas! For the other 9 cities, go to Forbes.com and search for the writer Matt Woolsey. I’m not hear to talk about #2. After all, second place is just the first loser, right?

So, what qualifies me to help you navigate Las Vegas real estate for the best deals?

  • I have purchased over 30 investment properties – I have made money on most yet lost money on others – I have skinned my knees and learned a lot of valuable lessons.
  • I lived in Las Vegas from 1993 to 2003 and am very familiar with the city. In fact I still own and help run a successful Las Vegas business. I have just returned for the sole purpose of investing in real estate.
  • I know the hot areas, I know the war zones.
  • I have solid connections with REO Brokers, contractors, Title companies and more.
  • I have access to a woman whose sole job is to find FREE money for down payments for First Time Homebuyers through local and state programs (if you are looking to live here or flip property she is invaluable).
  • I own the phone number 702-SELL-NOW and run ads to buy houses year ’round in Las Vegas.
  • I also know a secret about WHY Las Vegas will be so profitable over the next 5 years, but I will only share that with serious investors.

Are you a serious investor? Do you want to buy in the real estate market that is poised for maximum long term profit? Whether you are a cash buyer or ready to finance, contact me, and we’ll discuss how I can help you find great investment property in Las Vegas. 

To contact me so I can help you make great decisions on Las Vegas Real Estate, visit www.MyFastEasySale.com, click the “Wholesale Buyers” link, and fill out the form so I can start helping you today!