Do you owe more on your home than it is worth? Have you started hearing the term “upside down mortgage” or “underwater mortgage” looming around?
If you’re not sure what upside down in your mortgage means, simply put, it means that you owe more on your home than it is worth. This is also known as having negative equity.
The term alone can make you feel like your world has been turned upside down, but it hasn’t. First things first, determine if you actually are upside down in your mortgage.
How to Determine if You’re Upside Down in Your Mortgage
- Refer to your mortgage statement to determine how much is still owed on your mortgage loan. If you don’t have a statement available, reach out to the loan originator for a copy of your most recent statement.
- Hire an appraiser for a home valuation or refer to a licensed Realtor to obtain the current market value of your home. An appraiser will charge a fee to do a full assessment whereas a Realtor can give you market value for free. In other words, they will compare your home to homes in your area that have sold.
- Once you’ve received those numbers, determine if the amount you owe is less than the home appraisal or valuation amount. If the amount you owe is higher than the value of your home, you are upside-down in your mortgage.
What Are Your Options in an Upside Down Mortgage?
If you are facing an upside-down mortgage situation, you are not alone. Millions of Americans have faced the same situation and made it out alive.
Are you thinking about walking away?
Will selling your property be to your advantage?
Is refinancing a viable avenue to explore?
Are you able to stay put?
There’s one thing about real estate. It is an ever-changing market that could eventually turn around in your favor. It’s unpredictable to say the least but there are so many variables to consider when deciding what is best for your situation. A professional can go over your options and help devise a plan of action. Again, you’re not alone.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and looking for solutions to your upside down mortgage, Keller Home Solutions can help. We will help you determine the best course of action for your specific situation. If you choose to walk away, we can help with that too.
You won’t have to worry about making repairs, showings are not required, and there are no hefty agent commissions. Just CASH, in your hand in as little as seven days or whatever time frame you prefer. No one has to know what you are going through but you and your agent.
Finding an upside-down mortgage solution is what we do. When it comes time to answer those hard questions, we’re here to help.
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Have you received a Notice of Default on your Central Texas home and aren’t sure where to turn? At Keller Home Solutions, we work to provide insight and assistance to Texas homeowners who are facing financial challenges, including those related to foreclosure: Notice of Default, Notice of Sale, and Foreclosure Sale.
When can a lender start foreclosure?
In most cases, you must be 120 days delinquent before any foreclosure activity begins. While it’s uncommon, smaller lenders and community banks can start foreclosure even if you are only one day past due. It’s important to note that the lender is only required to send you two notices before a foreclosure sale.
In most cases, foreclosure in Texas involves three steps, and the Notice of Default is the first in that process.
What is the Notice of Default?
The Notice of Default is a demand letter from your mortgage lender or servicer that is required by law. It notifies you that you have 20 days to “cure” your defaulted mortgage loan (pay the amount owed in full). Occasionally, this timeframe is increased to 30 days, and this is found mostly with FHA, VA, and home equity loans).
How can I prevent a foreclosure from happening to me and my family?
Believe it or not, you do have options. If you want to remain in your home, talk with your mortgage lender about a structured repayment plan, a temporary forbearance, or a loan modification. However, those aren’t your only options.
If you’d rather not go through the fuss and frustration of haggling with your mortgage lender, we’ve helped many homeowners avoid the foreclosure process completely. At Keller Home Solutions, we specialize in helping individuals get “back on their feet” by making a fair all-cash offer on their home.
A fair, all-cash offer from Keller Home Solutions empowers you to move on to your next chapter in life–to start fresh, and it takes the hassle and uncertainty out of selling your home. There are NO fees associated with our fair cash offer, and you can also avoid hefty REALTOR® commissions, costly property updates and repairs, and inconvenient showings that accompany a traditional home sale.
If you’re ready to receive an equitable, all-cash offer on your home today, click here to get started. Or, if you need immediate assistance, call us at (512) 518-1923.
*Resource used: https://texaslawhelp.org/article/foreclosure-fact-sheet-0.
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Are you on the brink of foreclosure, and trying to decide what to do? You can stop foreclosure by selling your home. Here are a few reasons why a cash sale is a good decision.
It protects your credit
This is the most important reason to avoid foreclosure. Going into foreclosure puts a black mark on your credit, and it will stay there for seven years. This will severely impact your ability to get a loan, or even rent an apartment. And, when you are finally eligible to qualify for a loan again, you will find that you’ll be put under much stricter requirements.
As long as you don’t have late mortgage payments (60 days or longer) on your credit report, if you sell your home, according to Fannie Mae guidelines, you should be eligible secure a loan to buy another home immediately.
You’ll save money
The average legal cost to go through a foreclosure is around $7,500, according to the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee.
If you go into foreclosure and the bank sells your home, it might not be enough to cover the balance you owe. The bank could come back to you with a deficiency judgment, which means you are still responsible for the remaining balance on your mortgage, even though you no longer own the house.
Let’s not forget taxes. After foreclosure, you’ll still owe income taxes on any forgiven mortgage loan balance.
Ideally, when you sell your home for cash, you’ll be able to cover the full balance of what you owe on your mortgage and move on without fear of any further legal backlash.
At Keller Home Solutions, we buy homes “as is”. This means you won’t have to worry about spending any funds on repairs or upgrades for your home, as you might have to do with a traditional listed sale.
Foreclosure proceedings can be stressful. The worries about the serious hit to your credit, the demand letters piling up in your mailbox and the confusing legal process, as well as the negative stain of foreclosure can be a lot to endure. Sadly, you might also become a target of scams from opportunists trying to take advantage of your situation.
When you sell your home with Keller Home Solutions, we’ll buy your home for cash. This means that there will be no need to secure financing with banks, which involves lots of time and uncertainty. When a buyer applies for a loan, they are on the bank’s timeline, not yours. It can take weeks to close, rather than just days with a cash sale.
There is also more potential for road blocks with a sale involving financing. You might receive a low appraisal, or the sale could fall through if the buyer is not approved for a loan.
When you do a cash sale, you also avoid contingencies. These clauses allow the buyer back out of the sale if the contingencies are not met.
Opting for a cash sale with Keller Home Solutions is the swift, hassle-free way to sell your home and avoid foreclosure.
Control your own destiny
Selling your home on your own terms versus being at the mercy of the bank is empowering. The feelings of shame and failure during a foreclosure can be demoralizing to you and your family. When you decide to sell your home yourself, you are taking control of your situation and moving on with your life — this is no small thing.
Take the opportunity to get closure and move on from this chapter and make a fresh, positive change in your life.
Benefits for your neighbors
When neighborhoods are full of vacant, foreclosed homes, the property values drop. Selling your home can help to preserve the property values of your neighborhood, to keep the area desirable for prospective buyers.
Ready to move forward with selling your home? Contact us at Keller Home Solutions. We’re an Austin-based investor with local experience. We can offer you a fair market price on your home, all in cash and with a quick turnaround time.
Have you missed a few mortgage payments, and now you’re worried about what will happen next? Here’s a breakdown of the foreclosure process in Texas.
How quickly does foreclosure happen?
Texas has one of the fastest foreclosure processes in the country. It can be as quick as 60 days, whereas the US average is 720 days.
In Texas, both judicial and non-judicial foreclosures are allowed.
A judicial foreclosure entails filing a lawsuit to get a court order to foreclose.
However, most foreclosures in Texas are non-judicial, which are much quicker since they do not require court approval.
Foreclosure does not automatically start after one missed mortgage payment. Texas law states that lenders must wait until you are 120 days delinquent before sending an official written Notice of Default. The notice will allow you 20 days (some loans allow 30 days) to “reinstate” your loan, meaning you can catch up on your missed payments and prevent foreclosure.
Foreclosure notice and sale
If after the 30 days, you are unable to reinstate your loan or work out a plan with your lender, they will send a foreclosure notice, called a Notice of Trustee’s Sale. The lender must give you at least 21 days notice of the sale. The letter must include the date, time and location of the sale. This will give you an idea of how long you can stay in your home.
Foreclosure sales in Texas happen on the first Tuesday of each month between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm at the county courthouse.
After your home has been sold, it’s time for you to leave. It’s preferable to leave voluntarily — evictions will appear on your credit report. If you do not vacate the home, the owner will file an eviction notice, sometimes called a Notice to Quit, giving you three days to leave.
If you do not leave during this timeframe, the owner will serve you with an eviction lawsuit. Pursuing the lawsuit can extend the time you have in your home, however, it will compound the harm you’ve already done to your credit due to foreclosure. It will also impede your ability to rent or lease a home in the future.
Note that the state of Texas does not have a statutory right of redemption. Once your home is sold, you have no right to live there, nor do you have the right to attempt to redeem your home. Once your home is gone, it’s gone for good.
If the sale of your home was not enough to cover the full amount that you owed on your mortgage, your lender may come after you with a deficiency judgment. Some states have anti-deficiency laws, however, deficiency judgments are allowed in Texas. A deficiency judgment means that you must pay the lender the balance of what is still owed on your mortgage, even though you no longer own your home.
Another issue to consider is taxes. If your mortgage debt was forgiven in the foreclosure, you might actually owe taxes on the amount between how much the home sold for and what was still owed on your mortgage.
Finally, foreclosure is a nightmare for your credit. It puts a black mark on your credit report, which stays there for seven years. This means that it will be difficult, even impossible, to secure another loan for many years. Make an effort to slowly rebuild your credit with healthy financial habits.
Foreclosure is a stressful process that can be damaging to your finances and to your morale. Foreclosure should be seen as a last resort — there are ways to stop it.
If you are looking for options to stop foreclosure, consider selling your home for cash. Contact us at Keller Home Solutions today. We can help you to sell your home for a fresh start. We’re an Austin-based investor with local experience. We can offer you a fair market price on your home, all in cash and with a quick turnaround time.
If you are having trouble making ends meet, you might be able to ask your lender or credit card companies for assistance. Oftentimes, writing a hardship letter to explain the details of your situation can help your case.
What constitutes a hardship?
How do you know if you are experiencing financial hardship? The IRS defines “hardship” as when you are not able to pay for allowable living expenses.
“Allowable living expenses” are the day-to-day things you need to take care of your family. These expenses include:
- Housekeeping supplies
- Apparel and services
- Personal care products and services
Another way to look at it: If what you owe each month is more than what you earn, you are experiencing financial hardship.
There are many different situations that can lead to financial hardship —
Losing your job, work cutbacks, or reduction in pay
These are the most common reasons for financial hardship. If you or a contributing member of your household loses their job, your finances can take a big hit. If you work an hourly job and your hours have been significantly cut, this can also qualify. Or, perhaps you got a new job, but it pays far less than your previous job. Even though you are employed, this can be treated as hardship.
If you are a business owner or are self-employed, a decline in business and revenue is also considered financial hardship.
Divorce or separation
Besides the legal fees, taking over sole responsibility for mortgage payments and other household expenses can be overwhelming with only one income. Add shared debt and child support, and the expenses can stack up quickly.
Illness or injury
Medical bills associated with serious conditions such as cancer or a heart attack, or even the slower onset of symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or diabetes can take a significant toll on finances.
Funeral costs due to a death in the family can put a serious strain on finances.
Natural disasters and acts of God, as well as fires or car accidents can cause thousands of dollars of damage.
If you or a family member is involved in a costly litigation or is incarcerated, it can have a devastating effect on your finances.
If you have exhausted all other options to get out of hardship, you may look at selling your home and downsizing to a cheaper living situation to alleviate some of the financial stress. Keller Home Solutions is an Austin-based investor with local experience. We are willing to offer a fair market price on your home, all in cash and closing within days instead of weeks.
Contact us for a consultation today.