Recently I met with some clients who found themselves in a situation where they could no longer afford their home. A combination of salary reduction and an interest rate increase left them unable to pay their mortgage. Values had dropped on their home and they were underwater on their loan - meaning they owed the bank more than what their home was worth. Our first meeting was very difficult for them and I could see they were overwhelmed with the situation. They always had good credit and now they were facing foreclosure. They were unfamiliar with the process and did not really understand their options or that they even had options.
I was able to review their situation, develop a plan to put their home on the market as a "Short Sale" and avoid a possible job loss that foreclosure could have caused. Working closely with the lender I sold their home and they were able to make a fresh start.
The most interesting part of the process was settlement. It was actually a very positive experience and despite the difficult circumstances there was a lot of excitement at closing. After everything was over my clients took me aside and explained how happy they were to be free of the stress of the situation and how excited they were to start fresh with their credit undamaged by foreclosure. For them it was a very positive outcome.
I admit I was a little surprised. That day I learned firsthand how good people can feel once they have the opportunity to be free of oppressive debt.
I recently obtained my Certified Distressed Property Expert designation (CDPE) in order to more effectively understand the needs of distressed homeowners. If you know of anyone who is in a difficult situation with their home, let them know they do have options. I would be pleased to give them good information that will help them move forward in a positive way.
Thank you for helping me better serve our real estate community.