Friday, October 22, 2010


We've been working daily in our office, over the last two years, to try and understand what keeps happening in the real estate/mortgage market. It seems as if weekly there's some new crisis, issue or program that we have to unpack and try and understand for the benefit of our clients.

The most recent bomb came in the form of assertions that there were "robo-signers" signing literally hundreds of foreclosure documents without benefit of review. Oh that that was the real problem. Having a little inside information on what the real issue was, I watched with interest as the BIG mainstream media outlets played this story.

And then to my delight, my local news publisher asked if he and I and Shel Perrigan, a Loan Examiner, could sit down and discuss what was going on in the mortgage market now. Could we ever!

The results of that meeting led our publisher, Lydon Zaitz to do an OpEd piece that actually captures exactly what the problem is. I've included the link so you can read his very direct and clear piece on the foreclosure mess.

As this story has been breaking, I keep hearing over and over, "well they didn't make their payments anyway, so who's really concerned about a robo-signer, or whether they fully reviewed the documents or not." Hmmmmmm.......

Once you really know the in's and out's of what has been happening, there's reason to be concerned. Each of us are just one administrative mistake away from a potential foreclosure (although admittedly that is not the bulk of the problem). But more than that, why have any rules? Why have any contracts (which is what a mortgage is), if any violation by one party means the other party can violate terms of the contract at will.

This is a serious issue. So far, Oregon's Attorney General has taken a "wait and see" position. I hope after reading Lydon's OpEd you might be compelled to contact your State Representative or the Attorney General's office and see what they might do now to protect the rights of Oregonians.

Beyond that, we will get through these times. I'm reminded of the stock we all come from everytime I look at the Pioneer on top of our Capital. We're tougher than all this! Now here's the piece:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Avoid Foreclosure in Salem, OR

Short sales provide better solution for families and communities

HAFA is a government-sponsored initiative overseen by the U.S. Treasury Department and administered by Fannie Mae. It assists all Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)-eligible homeowners in avoiding foreclosure, specifically through short sales or deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure.

“This is the first government program that gives incentives for short sales and lays down the process for short sales,” Charfen said. “More importantly, HAFA has brought more attention to short sales and that means banks, REALTORS® and the government are paying attention to short sales.”

REALTORS® should see the benefits of HAFA. “Many times REALTORS® spent time educating the consumer with little or no support. With the government stepping forward on this issue, it puts short sales in the forefront,” he said. “We’re already seeing banks that have added staff to process short sales and they’re stepping up the process so it doesn’t take as long.

“Short sales are so much more beneficial than a foreclosure. Previously we saw seven out of 10 properties in foreclosure were never listed,” Charfen added. “With a short sale, it offers a dignified solution to a family in financial crisis. You see less deterioration in the homes, less property values falling and it helps the overall community. With every foreclosure in a community, we can see property values for surrounding properties decline as much as nine percent.”

“HAFA has been a long time in coming,” he continued. “It’s been a huge collaborative effort with the government and many other organizations. There is no silver bullet to solving the foreclosure crisis and there’s no question that we’re going to continue to see increases in defaults. HAFA offers the real estate market a chance to move forward and stop the decline in property values.”

-Originally published on PAR's Just Listed