Distressed homesWhen the Lenders had ample funds to loan and money was burning holes in their pockets, they were creative finding ways to qualify everyone for a mortgage.  The Lenders had their marketing teams work on creating new and effective ways of qualifying people; it seemed to be the goal of getting everyone over their head in debt.  If someone dared to say something negative about their way of doing business, the response was: You’re old fashioned, he is negative, and you’re pessimistic or something even worse.  In their race to top each others marketing they created other loans like: No income, verified assets (NIVA) loans, no income, no assets (NINA) loans and no income, no assets, no job (NINJA) loans among other.  These are what the industry calls LIAR LOANS, but the loan officer also told the buyer that the equity in the home would go up and they would be able to sell with profit in few years.

Let’s look at where we are now!

According to Housingwire.com we here in Florida surpassed California and now rank number two in the Nation with every 165 homes in danger of being bank owned, California has 180 in danger of being bank owned.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, third quarter National Delinquency Survey: The non-seasonally adjusted delinquency rate increased from 8.86 percent in the second quarter of 2009 to 9.94 percent this quarter.  Also they state that percent of loans in foreclosure was 4.47, this means that total14.41 percent of all loans are 30+ days late or in foreclosure, which is the highest ever recorded in the MBA survey.

Then according to CNN Money 1 in 4 mortgages are underwater or up side down (negative equity) or within 5% of being there, a total of 13 million mortgages.

As we can see from the above there are a huge number of distressed homes out there.

What about all these rescue programs out there?

There has been a lot of effort from our government to save our homes, some of these programs are geared to help the public while others like the Neighborhood Stabilization Program are geared towards helping the lenders. Also some lenders have created their own programs to assist their borrowers, the sad things about all these programs is they have not worked as well as their designers were hoping.  The fact that only 1,700 homeowners had pass through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) in September, tells the whole story. It looks like that some homeowners who got these stated loans (liar loans) are afraid to follow up on the modification and for the first time bring in all their finance documents, like tax returns, all bank statements and so on. Then the government has programs for VA loan borrowers, FHA borrowers, some states have programs in place; there are even some Local Initiatives to assist homeowners that are having problems with their mortgages. In addition to all these programs, the courts have implemented mandatory mediation between the lenders and the borrowers when the lenders are trying to foreclose on a home. The courts are doing this due to the fact that many homeowners have complained to the Court about difficulties with communication with their Lenders. 

What can be done to remove the HAMPering out of the HAMP and other programs?

Well I am a Realtor who has spent a lot of time learning about all these programs and how to communicate with homeowners and lenders, among other things that I have done is to study the most in depth class out there, The Certified Distressed Property Expert class and get the CDPE designation. In addition to this I read a lot about these issues. If you go on my main website http://www.thevikingteam.com/ and click on “Links” you will see that I have gathered a lot of links to the websites of all of these programs. The problem is that when you see all of these links you don’t know where to start, the system needs to be made more streamlined and easier to navigate for the homeowner.  I and many of my fellow Realtors have set up websites for homeowners to look for and learn about what is available of assistance.  My website is called: http://www.avoidforeclosureincentralflorida.com/By setting up websites the Realtor is just showing that he cares and is trying to do his best for the homeowner, but this is not enough, more needs to be done and this is what I would like to see:

  1. Service centers in every county where a homeowner who is in trouble or foreseeing problems could go to and talk to a person face to face that would explain to him/her, their situation and guide them on the right path to recovery.
  2. Lenders streamline their phone system and make it more customer friendly, so that a homeowner in trouble who calls in does not have to be on hold for up to an hour or more, and then when they forward the homeowners call it is sent to someone who can help the homeowner (not to a debt collector) and guide him to a real solution. If this would happen then the banks might be able to collect more of the debt and reduce their losses.
  3. I would like to see the media spend more of their time pointing out solutions and guide the homeowner in the right directions. We have all heard several times about scammers and illegal companies that are making money on other people’s problems, not that I am saying that they don’t need to be exposed.  But I would like to see more time spent in getting homeowners to start saving their homes. Unfortunately there are too many homeowners out there that for some reason do not start the process of saving their homes.


After reading this article of mine, you might be asking yourself; why is he writing this?  Well the answer is; I am fed up with seeing all this waste of time, funds and family well being that I see in the system today and I am not the kind of guy that sits in the corner and mumbles.  I will try my best to change things to the better.

Contact Erna and Petur Sigurdsson, Realtors at The Viking Team, Realty at 321-263-5096 for help buying or selling a home in Longwood, Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Seminole and Orange County and the surrounding areas of Central Florida. To Search For Homes For Sale in Central Florida Click Here.