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Monday, August 1, 2011

Ask the Loan Man

Short Sales, Foreclosures & Mods, Oh My!
I am in the business of helping people get home loans to buy houses or refinance their current mortgage. Many of my clients who buy homes end up looking at short sales or foreclosed homes to buy and I am very familiar with the ins and outs of this type of financing and how to take care of my clients in these situations. That is the market we are in and there are definitely good and bad ways to approach this type of sale.

Many people have been calling and asking me to help them navigate loan modifications or give them advice on how foreclosures or short sales work and I try and listen and offer words of advice and support and send them on their way because this is not my area of expertise. Over the last year or so that has been changing and I realize that the knowledge that I have gathered over the years is kind of amazing and that I really can help people in this area with a brief consultation and some resources and steering in the right direction. Sometimes just words of encouragement and the knowledge they are on the right path is enough.

Foreclosures and short sales kind of fall into the same category and I tend to refer people to a good Realtor who really knows short sales. Short sales are a much softer hit on the credit report than a foreclosure and a quicker bounce back and so this has typically been the best course of action. These Realtors really earn their commissions on these types of transactions and they are able to give good advice and hopefully avoid foreclosure and get people to the next chapter of their lives. Sometimes speaking with an attorney is a good course of action here as well.

Loan Modification is a really strange animal. Years ago I helped three clients successfully negotiate loan modifications on their homes and it was a lot of work and it took a long time. I did not have a system for charging for this service so I just did it pro bono and after that I decided I would never do that again and I haven’t. What I do is listen to people and share some information that will be helpful so the person can help themselves through this process. There have been a lot of crooked opportunists jumping into this arena and my belief is that you can do it yourself. I have recently met an excellent bankruptcy attorney who has helped a couple clients of mine and he has an interesting and unique approach to helping people with a loan modification inside of a bankruptcy. This is the most exciting thing that has happened in this area in a long time and I am going to help bring this information to the public with this attorney in a series of informational seminars just to help get the word out.

The bottom line is that each scenario is completely unique and you need to work with the right professional to help you with each situation. If you need help in this area, make sure you are speaking with a trusted professional and not some company that was formed last week to take your money.

Please email or call me with any real estate and mortgage related questions. I am happy to answer you and it may become the topic of a future article.

Hans Bruhner is a branch manager for First Priority Financial. Hans is licensed by the CA DRE # 01085398 and NMLS #243484 and First priority is licensed by the CA DRE # 00652852 and NMLS #3257.  If you have a question, please contact him at (707) 887-1275 or