Frequently Asked Questions
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These are some frequently asked questions we get from our clients. If you have any other questions, please reach out.
How is Elite Homeowner Advisor different from an attorney?
A homeowner advisor provides free advice and resources to help homeowners make informed decisions and will guide you through the process to a resolution regarding your property, while an attorney provides legal advice and representation at substantial fees.
I applied for a loan modification. How can you help me?
We can help you by providing you with information about loan modification options and helping you to understand the process. Hidden clauses often accompany loan modifications. Knowing what you are getting into is vital to making better decisions throughout the process. We can help you determine what you owe, your payment, and how long you will be paying.
I am going to my Foreclosure Settlement Conference. How can you help?
We can provide you with information about the foreclosure process, including what to expect at your settlement conference. We can also provide resources to help you understand your rights and options.
My property is going for an auction. How can you help?
If your property has an auction date, you may still have a few options to help you avoid foreclosure. We can advise you on whichever option may suit you best.
How much is your fee for your services?
We offer free consultation and guidance. We do not charge homeowners for our services.
I filed for bankruptcy. How can you help?
If you have already filed for bankruptcy, this does not mean you are no longer the owner of the property. Your mortgage was discharged, so you no longer have a personal financial liability to the mortgage holder. However, there may still be liabilities related to the property, and we can advise you.
I modified my loan and defaulted it too. How can you help?
Many homeowners modify their loans and default due to pressing financial constraints. There may be available options depending on your current financial situation or servicer. We can assess your situation during a consultation and guide you.
My house was sold at auction. How long can I stay here?
The length of time you can stay in your house after it is sold at auction depends on the terms of the sale. Generally, you will be given a certain amount of time to vacate the premises, usually 30 days or less. A consultation is highly recommended in this case, as each situation is unique.
If you inherited a house without equity, you might have a few options. Sometimes monetary options are available. We can guide you on your choices through a homeowner consultation.
Your mortgage holder may not have recorded the transfer of your deed for many reasons. Title encumbrances, such as a second mortgage, judgments, or other liens, can make it hard for a mortgage servicer to do a deed in lieu of foreclosure. If you agreed to a deed in lieu of foreclosure with your mortgage servicer but the deed hasn't been recorded, many servicers will recommend a short sale so that all liens can be released. Most of the time, a short sale gives both the homeowner and the mortgage servicer a monetary incentive and helps them get out of debt. This is good for both sides. Even if you signed a deed in lieu of foreclosure with your mortgage servicer, you can still speak with a Homeowner Advisor about how a short sale could benefit you.
Yes, if the initial assessment and action plan show that the homeowner may qualify for a loan modification, Elite Homeowner Advisor will prepare and send a loan modification package to the homeowner's mortgage lender on their behalf. In this step, the homeowner needs to send Elite Homeowner Advisor detailed information and supporting documents, such as mortgage documents, bank statements, tax returns, pay stubs, and more. Once the loan modification is sent to the mortgage lender, it could take a few months before it is processed and finished.
It varies. When in foreclosure, one cannot answer this question with certainty. Servicer, lender, location, jurisdiction, court status, and more can influence you. Talk to a Homeowner Advisor about where you are in the foreclosure process and your best options.
This is a question we get asked a lot. There are a few ways to postpone an auction. Each situation is unique and must be addressed differently. It is recommended that you speak with a lawyer. If you don't have a lawyer, we can give you a list of lawyers we know or give you the name of the local bar association.
You've made a significant first step toward progress if you are already working with a real estate expert. We always work with people who work in real estate. A real estate professional is very important if you want to sell your home and keep it from being foreclosed on. When you add a Homeowner Advisor to your team, you get access to valuable tools, help, and financial options that have nothing to do with the process your real estate professional is handling.
In the real estate industry, this is a common occurrence. The best outcomes can be achieved by utilizing the expertise of a knowledgeable team of specialists, such as real estate agents and attorneys, who are familiar with the details of a short sale. No warranty can be given that reapplying would result in a different outcome. . In addition, your Servicer may have changed, and the new one may provide you with a more favorable short sale option. Talking to your Homeowner Advisor is the best way to figure out what choices you have.
The condition of your property will not impact your ability to sell it; rather, it will have an impact on the type of sale and the price that it will sell for.
I attempted to do a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure [cash for keys], but the bank denied it.
Even if your lender allows a deed in lieu or cash for keys, that doesn't mean they can do it for you. Other things, such as a second mortgage, judgments, or other liens, can make it hard for a mortgage servicer to do a deed in lieu of foreclosure and force the lender to foreclose. Consulting with a Homeowner Advisor is the best thing to do.
Situations vary. To be in a position to purchase a home in the near or far future, you will need to make sound choices right now. The timing of your choice to buy a home will be impacted favorably or unfavorably by the choices you make right now.
It's possible that you reached out to us in the past, or that another person suggested that we get in touch with you. We also obtain the majority of our information from public records. When a foreclosure action is filed with the courts, it becomes a matter of public record and is available in numerous databases.
You are not alone in this. If the house is not vacant, we often negotiate access with renters or squatters; if the home is vacant, in many cases, we can gain access through the servicer or the town. As the servicer will need access to the property for an appraisal to complete the short sale. Your homeowner Advisor can help with this.
Monetary options refer to financial instruments that give the holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell a specified asset at a predetermined price within a specified period. Financial options, similarly, refer to contracts that give the holder the right to buy or sell a specified asset at a predetermined price on or before a specified date. In both cases, a property owner or heir is allowed to sell the rights to purchase the property through these options.
A reverse mortgage, also known as the home equity conversion mortgage (HECM), is a home financing option for homeowners 62 or older who have accumulated home equity and want to use this equity to supplement retirement income.
Unlike a conventional mortgage, there are no monthly mortgage payments. Instead of a borrower making monthly payments to a lender, as with a traditional mortgage, the reverse happens: the lender makes payments to the borrower.
Reverse mortgages are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). This guarantee ensures that the homeowner will receive all the payments they are entitled to and protects the borrower and their estate from ever owing more on the loan than the home is worth. In circumstances where the outstanding debt on the reverse mortgage exceeds the value of the home, the FHA covers the difference.
There are five (5) events of default. If a default is not cured or cannot be cured (i.e., death) the loan will be called Due and Payable:
The death of the last remaining borrower or eligible non-borrowing spouse* (*A Non-Borrowing Spouse is a spouse of a borrower but not a borrower themselves on the loan)
The permanent move-out of all borrowers or the sale of the property
Failure to pay property charges, including but not limited to taxes, insurance, HOA dues, etc.
Failure to maintain the condition of the property (i.e., if the property is condemned or in disrepair)
Transferring title to another party(ies) and removing all borrowers from the title/ownership of the property. Note: Borrowers can ADD people to title after closing if they wish, but at least one borrower must remain on title to the property.
There are several home retention options with a reverse mortgage, many of which are now publicly advertised and are very situation specific. Contact your Homeowner Advisor for additional details.
A "at-risk extension" or "health at-risk extension" only applies to reverse mortgage loans and will prevent or delay foreclosure proceedings. If you default on your loan, you may be able to rehabilitate it through a repayment plan or a "at-risk extension." To be eligible for an at-risk extension, you must be at least 80 years old and facing critical conditions, such as a long-term incapacity, terminal disease, or a compelling desire to remain in the property. You may renew the at-risk extension with proof of need every year.
The popular belief that the lender automatically takes possession of a home after the death of a reverse mortgage holder is untrue. You still own the house if you inherit it with a reverse mortgage. To acquire the property, the bank must go through the foreclosure process. If the bank initiates foreclosure proceedings, the legitimate heirs have the option to pay off the loan or sell the home before the foreclosure is completed. If the loan total is less than the home's worth, the heirs can repay the loan and pocket the difference in a sale or pay off the loan and keep the equity. If the loan amount exceeds the home's value, the heirs can keep the home or sell it for 95% of its current appraised value to pay off the loan.
The most important thing you can do if you are concerned about time is to be proactive. Knowing where you are in the foreclosure process, as well as your Servicer and other important information, is critical to formulating an overall strategy that meets your deadline needs. This is where your knowledgeable Homeowner Advisor can help. Schedule an appointment with a Homeowner Advisor to discuss your options and get guidance on what to do next.
Retaining an attorney who is knowledgeable and trustworthy is absolutely necessary if you want to comprehend and safeguard your legal rights and options. We work together with attorneys to ensure that homeowners receive the best possible outcome. Adding a Homeowner Adviser to your team gives you access to essential resources, help, and monetary choices that have nothing to do with the legal process that your attorney is handling.
A Judgement of Foreclosure and Sale granted indicates that the court has ruled in favor of the bank, and your home is about to be foreclosed and sold at auction. In New York, a lender will publicize your property's foreclosure auction date in numerous local periodicals and hold the auction sale within 45 days. It is necessary to take action right away if you want to prevent the bank from foreclosing on your home. In order to go through your options, a Homeowner Advisor can conduct an EMERGENCY Homeowner consultation.
Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale is a key step in the final stages of the foreclosure process. By filing an application for a Judgement of Foreclosure and Sale, the lender (the “Plaintiff” in a foreclosure case) asks the court to issue an order authorizing the sale of your home at auction. A judge can make a ruling at any time, although in New York, decisions are usually made within 1 to 6 months of filing. Most of the time, these motions are decided in favor of the lender, which makes it possible to hold an auction. In most cases, a lender will publicize the date of your property's foreclosure auction in numerous local periodicals and hold the sale at the courthouse within 45 days. Before the courts give a Judgement of Foreclosure and Sale, homeowners who have gotten to this point are urged to look at all of their options to keep their homes from being sold.
The Order of Reference, also called the OOR or OREF, is a formal request to the court to appoint a Referee to figure out how much is owed on a mortgaged property. The Referee figures out how much the borrower owes the lender by adding up the principle, interest, late fees, and foreclosure fees. Once the Referee has completed their investigation and reported their findings to the judge, the banks' attorney will request to finalize the foreclosure process and enter a Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale.
Most of the time, the Order of Reference is filed with a request for a default judgment. Remember that your home is still in “pre-foreclosure” when the Order of Reference is filed, and you may still have options to stop the foreclosure.
In response to the foreclosure crisis, the state of New York set up a mediation program called the Foreclosure Settlement Conference. At the Settlement Conference, homeowners who are at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure can meet with the lender's lawyer. The court oversees the meeting. The goal of the Settlement Conference is to come to an agreement with the lender, usually to change the terms of the mortgage so that you don't have to go through foreclosure. While the Foreclosure Settlement Conference is going on, foreclosure proceedings are put on hold. The bank attorney you meet at the Settlement Conference has the power to act, so it makes sense to talk to a Homeowner Advisor first to find out what your options are. If you and the bank come to an agreement, the case is over.
A Lis Pendens (Latin for "pending lawsuit") is a legal document that is filed with a court to give notice that a lawsuit has been filed concerning the title to a piece of real estate. It is a public notice that alerts potential buyers that the title to the property is in dispute and that they may be taking on the risk of purchasing a property that could be subject to a lawsuit.
A “Lis pendency” is typically filed by the bank after a homeowner has missed 3 or more consecutive payments. If you get a notice that a Lis Pendens has been filed against your property, you need to act right away to keep your home from being taken away. In New York, a Lis Pendens is filed at the County Clerk's Office and must be given to the homeowner within 30 days of being filed.
From the time the Lis Pendens is filed until the day your home is sold at auction, it is in “pre-foreclosure”. At this point in the foreclosure process, you still own your home and can sell it or try to keep it in some other way.
A short sale is done when a homeowner is financially distressed and owes more to the mortgage than the property's current market value. The bank pays all fees associated with selling the property.
The lender may agree to let the borrower turn over the deed to the property in exchange for debt forgiveness. While this may seem like the simplest route to take, in most cases, the lender will not even consider it until the customer has tried to sell the home for fair market value for a predetermined number of days. If there are secondary liens on the property, this option may not be available.
This option provides funding to bring your mortgage up to date. A second lien is placed on your property in the amount of the advance. You will be required to sign a Promissory Note, which means that your delinquent payments are due upon the expiration of your original mortgage. As soon as the Partial Claim is approved, your account is brought up to date (also called Second Lien Advance)
A forbearance agreement will help the borrower through a temporary financial setback by addressing the reasons for the default and finding ways to bring the account up to date. The lender agrees to stop any foreclosures that are currently happening or are about to happen. They may also agree to lower or even stop mortgage payments for a short time to give the borrower enough time to pay off the past-due balance.
The mortgage lender may let the borrower start making monthly payments again, plus a portion of the amount that is past due, until the loan is paid off.
Payment Plans can be obtained directly from the servicer or through the courts via bankruptcy.
A short payoff occurs when a borrower cannot pay the mortgage on his or her property and is permitted to pay off the mortgage on the property for less than the total amount due, at a loss to the lender, investor and/or insurer. Unlike most short sales, an ARM's length transaction is not required, and the servicer does not cover the closing cost.