Do you know how to spot a SCAM?

To steer clear of loan modification scam artists, homeowners must know the signs of a loan modification scam, which include:

  1. A company/person that asks for a fee in advance to work with your lender to modify, refinance or reinstate your mortgage. They may pocket your money and do little or nothing to help you save your home from foreclosure.

  2. A company/person that guarantees they can stop a foreclosure or get your loan modified. Nobody can make this guarantee to stop foreclosure or modify your loan. Legitimate, trustworthy HUD-approved counseling agencies will only promise they will try their very best to help you.
  3. A company/person that advises you to stop paying your mortgage company and pay them instead. Despite what a scammer will tell you, you should never send a mortgage payment to anyone other than your mortgage lender. The minute you have trouble making your monthly payment, contact your mortgage lender.

These and other signs can be found on the Loan Modification Scam Alert campaign web site – www.LoanScamAlert.org – along with information on how to report a loan modification scam activity and where homeowners can find real help, free of charge, from HUD-approved nonprofit housing counseling agencies.  

About the Campaign
NeighborWorks America is coordinating the “Loan Modification Scam Alert” campaign nationwide through its 235 community-based affiliates and other local, state and national partner organizations, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. For more information about the campaign, visit www.LoanScamAlert.org.   

All national campaign materials urge homeowners who are contacted or deceived by a scam artist to report it immediately by calling 1-888-995-HOPE(4673) or visiting www.LoanScamAlert.org. The hotline and Web site also connect homeowners to free guidance from a HUD-approved counseling agency.

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Is Now A Good Time To Buy A Home…?

I was asked this question recently by a friend who had commented on some of the recent trends in foreclosure homes and distressed properties that have come on the market.  She wanted to know, “is it better to act now or wait until later to find and buy a home?”

 I am passionate about educating buyers and sharing with them the inside information I receive from working with banks that quickly want to find owners for foreclosure homes. 

Home Sales Are Increasing

The National Association of Realtors reported the highest increase in home sales in more than 2 years during the month of September when home sales jumped by more than 9%. They reported another big increase in home sales in October 2009 when sales grew more than 10% compared to September 2009.  If you compare October 2009 versus October 2008, home sales grew more than 20% in the western region of the country including California

Extended And New Government Finance Programs

The $8,000 tax credit for first time home buyers has just been extended past November 2009.  The government is incentivizing and encouraging people to buy homes and is offering financial savings.  On top of this the government has just added a new $6,500 credit even if you are not a first time home buyer.

Mortgage Rates Are Lower Than Ever Before But Won’t Last

The U.S. Federal Reserve Bank has helped push home loan costs down, boosting the affordability of housing.  30 year fixed mortgage rates are around 5.0% and adjustable rate mortgages can go as low as 4.6%.  Of course this is based on a person’s credit ratings.

Home Prices May Soon Start To Rise

Occurrences of several different people trying to buy the same house are happening more and more often.  This is called “Multiple Offers.”  I’ve heard this a lot from other brokers and agents at recent conferences that I’ve attended.  I’m also seeing this in the homes that I am selling for my clients.  When this occurs, buyers begin to attempt to “outbid” each other what they are offering to pay for a house, causing the price to rise.

Many people know that it can take at least several weeks to locate the right house for a client, manage the process of taking care of the paperwork required to purchase the home and finalize the transaction.  Houses that appear to be available today may not actually be available tomorrow.

I shared these observations and a few others with my friend and asked her the same question that she asked of me….Is Now A Good Time To Buy A Home?  She chuckled and said that based on these factors there are a lot of advantages to starting her search now. 

I agreed with her and pointed out that if she started now, it could very well be Feburary before everything is wrapped up and she is able move into her new home.  By then there could be many more people also looking to take advantage of the current state of the real estate market. 

 If any one has any questions similar to my friend, feel free to contact me at 510.684.5129.  I specialize in distressed home sales.

Happy Holidays, Belinda Buchanan, Realty World Complete Services

(author Derrick M Holt)

The Right Real Estate Agent

People don’t talk about it a lot, but finding the right real estate agent can be the difference between a happy, stress-free home buying or selling experience and an unhappy, stressful experience.

First, you’ll want an agent ready and able to make a ful-time commitment to you. I can and will do that.

Second, you’ll want an agent with experience to know the local neighborhoods, schools, market conditions and ordinances. My expertise in the local market comprises years of experience and a track record of success.

Third, you’ll want an agent who embraces the convenience of technology without losing the personal touch. You’ll love the resources available on my website and the e-mail alerts that I send, but these will never replace the time I spend with you, serving as your personal guide through this exciting process.

Let’s get together and talk about your home buying and/or selling plans. Call me at the office (925) 895-5632 or on my cell phone (510) 684-5129, or send me an e-mail (info@belindabuchanan.com). We’ll set up a time that is easy and convenient to meet.

P.S. If you’re not ready to meet in person, please tour through my website. I’m sure you’ll find the resources here useful and helpful. Enjoy! 

Realty World Complete Services

6950 Village Parkway, Dublin CA 94568

Belinda Buchanan DRE# 01445484

Certified REO Listing Broker

Office: (925) 895-5632  Fax: (800) 869-0615  Cell: (510) 684-5129

E-mail: info@belindabuchanan.com

Website: www.belindabuchanan.com