Recently in Mortgages Category

Self Employed and Denied a MHA HAMP Loan?

iStock_000015861187XSmall.jpgAs most of us know by now, while it may appear easy to apply for a loan modification under the Making Home Affordable (MHA) Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), it's not so easy to get approved for an MHA HAMP loan--especially if you are self-employed. From my experience, at the Law Office of Linda C. Garrett, California a HAMP mortgage, bankruptcy and family-law practice, I have spoken with many self-employed person who was denied a MHA HAMP loan modification. While tempting to blame the lender/servicer, many times, the problem lies also with the borrower for failing to submit proper documentation for his/her business. The documentation needed for self-employed individuals is not the same as the documentation needed for wage earners. Additional documents are required.

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Top 11 Most Common Mistakes Homeowners Make When Applying for a MHA HAMP Loan Modification

iStock.loandenial.jpgEven now, three years after the Obama Administration introduced the Making Home Affordable Program (MHA) in February 2009 and the first program under the MHA intended to prevent foreclosure, the Home Affordable Modification Program (MHA HAMP) still continues to be plagued with problems, resulting in lenders and loan servicers continuing to deny loan modifications to otherwise eligible borrowers. To make matters worse, the conduct of the distressed homeowner (or lack thereof) significantly increases the chances that their MHA HAMP loan application will be denied.

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"Why Won't My Lender Give Me A Principal Reduction For My Underwater House?"

imagesCAS7XN4N.jpgAt the Law Office of Linda C. Garrett, an virtual online law office, providing full-scope and limited-scope legal services in the practice areas of consumer law, mortages (HAMP), bankruptcy and family law (to include unbundled legal services), I receive many calls from frustrated homeowners sharing with me that their "lender" refused to extend a principal reduction to them at the time their lender approved their loan modification. No doubt, this is frustrating, especially for California homeowners, since a majority of California homeowner's homes are severely underwater. So what is a California homeowner to do when their lender has denied them a principal reduction?

Before I go further, let me discuss some basics about the Principal Reduction Alternative Program ("PRA"):

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"What Exactly Is A Deed In Lieu of Foreclosure And Is It Right For Me?"

iStock_000007577163XSmall.jpgWhether a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure is right for your California-based distressed residential property depends on many factors. Don't listen to anyone who tells you "you should do I deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, because I did" As with anything, it is important that you carefully weigh the pros and cons of your situation, based on your unique set of facts and circumstances, before deciding on any one option as it relates to your distressed mortgage. For many, a strategic foreclosure is their best option, for others, a short-sale, and for others a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure . . . assuming it is available by the borrower's lender. How can you determine if a deed in lieu of foreclosure ("DIL") is right for you?

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"Is Short-Selling My California Home Right For Me?

iStock_000020073288XSmall.jpgDue to the recession and its consequential adverse effects on mortgaged properties, many state laws and federal programs have been enacted and created to provide much-needed relief to homeowners with distressed mortgages. The problem, however, is that it is difficult for any one person to keep up with the changes in laws and government-sponsored programs--as they seem to be changing almost monthly! Even attorneys are finding it challenging these days to keep current on the quickly-changing and constantly-evolving laws and programs relating to distressed mortgages. For example, does a California homeowner need assistance from the federal government to short-sale their home? And, asking the bigger question, does a California homeowner need to short-sale their home to begin with?

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau


What is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and why it may be important to you if you have a mortgage, credit card and/or student loans.

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"What Does The $25 Billion Mortgage Settlement Mean To Me?"

The $25 Billion Foreclosure Settlement

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What does it mean to you; and, are you included in the settlement?

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Denied a MHA HAMP Loan Because of the NPV Test? The "Fat Lady" Hasn't Finished Singing!

Thumbnail image for iStock_000015861187XSmall.jpgAt the Law Office of Linda C. Garrett, an online, Solano County, California-based Consumer, Bankruptcy and Family law practice, I receive several calls per month from distressed homeowners informing me that their home is in foreclosure (or they are considering short-sale) because they do not, per their loan servicer, qualify for a loan modification through the Making Home Affordable Home Affordability Modification Program ("HAMP"). Many times, the letter they receive from their servicer does not give an explanation for the denial. If their loan servicer does give a reason, many times it is to state that their loan modification application failed the "NPV" test.

What are NPV tests; Are they Important; and, Can They be Challenged?

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The California Short-Sale--A Better Alternative to Foreclosure, or a Percolating Nightmare!

Thumbnail image for iStock_000006824774XSmall.jpgAt the Law Office of Linda C. Garrett, an online, Solano County, California-based consumer, bankruptcy and family-law practice, I receive a consistent stream of calls from homeowners, calling because they are worried about their distressed property. Some homeowners are solely looking for options in the event of imminent default, while others are looking for options because they are in active foreclosure in connection with their distressed property. One option that frequently comes up is the California short-sale.

The purpose of this blog post is to provide the reader with a realistic look at the short-sale--looking at the benefits of a short-sale, inherent risks involved in the California Short-Sale, and the enactment of recent legislation affecting California short-sales. Let's proceed with understanding what a California short-sale means to a homeowner.

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At Risk or Facing Foreclosure?

ForeclosureProblemsXSmall.jpgAt the Law Office of Linda C. Garrett, Solano County, California-based consumer, bankruptcy and family- law practice , I receive numerous calls from distressed homeowners facing foreclosure. No doubt, the thought of foreclosure is a scary thought, promptly hard-working homeowners to slap down thousands of dollars to anyone offering to save their home. Because most people don't know all their legal options and/or their legal rights, they are willing to trust almost anyone willing to offer help. If this is you--stop! Don't panic and, please, don't do anything else until you have read this Blog post.

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Beware! Scammers Pretending to be Homeowners and Getting Away With It--A New Scam

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for iStock_000016119220XSmall.jpg In my Solano County, California-based, online Consumer, Bankruptcy and Family-Law Practice, I receive countless calls on a weekly basis regarding anything and everything related to what I call the "mortgage meltdown." Inquiries include asking me questions about loan modifications, short-sales, California anti-deficiency statutes, foreclosures, and so on. These types of calls I expected to receive when I expanded my legal practice to include bankruptcy and mortgage-related issues back in 2006. I did not, expect, however, to receive calls inquiring about illegal behavior . . . from banks, from lawyers, from . . . scammers.

This blog entry deal with a scam that I fondly like to refer to as "Little Red Riding Hood and the Greedy Big Bad Wolf." This new scam is very similar to this beloved child's tale. Everyone knows the story of Little Red Riding Hood--how she innocently goes to Grandma's house, innocently skipping alone down the road, carrying a bag of goodies for Grandma, and only later, to her surprise, discovers the Big Bad Wolf at Grandma's house--pretending to be Grandma! Remember what happens to little Red Riding hood at the end of the story? She gets eaten up by the Big Bad Wolf!

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"Is Bankruptcy Right For Me and Will It Solve My Financial Problems?"

iStock_000005152409XSmall.jpgIn today's market, anyone contemplating bankruptcy should first determine if bankruptcy is right for them and whether it truly is the solution to their financial woes. While it might seem as though this is a simple answer, it's not! Keep reading if you or someone you know is considering bankruptcy.

The purpose of this blog post is to help the reader take pause before calling a bankruptcy attorney to file their bankruptcy petition. As this blog post explains, there are situations where bankruptcy can cause more harm than good and/or situations where other options are preferred and more practical to filing bankruptcy.

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Should You Foreclose (Walk Away) From Your Home?

iStock_000005781193XSmall.jpgBefore taking the step to foreclose on your home, you should make an informed decision. This means knowing not only the pros and cons of foreclosing on your home, but also, the pros and cons of other possible options--such as a short-sale, a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, loan-modification, loan forbearance, etc.

At the Law Office of Linda C. Garrett, a Solano County, California-based, online virtual consumer, bankruptcy and family-law practice, I receive numerous inquiries from callers regarding foreclosure issues. This blog post is designed to help the reader make a preliminary determination whether foreclosure is an option for them.

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