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Mortgage Modification: Avoiding the Traps

December 31st, 2008

The Washington Post recently ran a piece that warned of some of the pitfalls that await borrowers who wish to modify their mortgages. In particular, there are many unscrupulous operators who are willing to take substantial sums in upfront fees, but who then fail to deliver the most appropriate modification.

In fact, the worst for-profit modifiers often do not deliver anything at all. They just take hard-pressed borrowers’ money and run.

If you’re thinking of modifying your mortgage, you may find that a nonprofit advisor can help you for nothing. But–unsurprisingly in this climate–many nonprofits are overwhelmed by demand, and simply cannot respond quickly enough to urgent cases.

That’s when for-profit advisors may be the only alternative. By all means use one. But be very careful who you choose, watch them like hawks, and try to make sure that the bulk of their fees are paid only when a good deal is actually in place.

After rock bottom comes the bounce

December 15th, 2008

CNN is trailing yet another doom-and-gloom report. This one, which will be out later today, predicts that we’re less than three weeks away from yet another miserably depressing milestone. Read the rest of this entry »

Upside Down Sellers Remain Stuck According to Wharton Study

October 17th, 2008

Homeowners upside down on their mortgages are finding themselves unable to take advantage of professional opportunities elsewhere, move up to nicer neighborhoods, or get their children into better school districts. Mobility in this country, the study found, has decreased in the wake of the foreclosure boom–a surprise to many who assumed that those displaced by foreclosure would be free to move, increasing the overall mobility in America. That Wharton School study, Housing Busts and Household Mobility, found that households who would expect to be upwardly mobile have been stuck fast by the inability to retire their mortgage by selling their homes.

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