**West End/Ashview Heights Saturday July 9th Home tour**

Good day Community-Neighbors and Realtor Friends:

Please help us continue to revitalize one of NPU-T’s great communities. Ashview Heights Community Association has had a series of  “Committed to Community” weekends which have included neighborhood clean-ups, boarding vacant houses, mowing vacant lots, and working with the youths of MA Jones to paint street “greeting” signs throughout the neighborhood.

It is a great desire for me to have all neighborhoods with NPU-T thriving, safe and known for their unique character. We need your help to make this a success! Please donate any time you have and take an hour this weekend to walk through the neighborhood and see the difference.

In an effort to attract more visitors, this weekend, Ashview Heights is having an “Open House” tour Saturday 1-4PM. This event will feature both homes for sale and currently occupied by the many new residents committed to this process. The tour guides are Ashview Heights residents and Shaylah Hamilton of Keller Williams. This is a FREE event!

Have a snack, talk with the association president and learn more about the neighborhood/association plans.

Please see the attached flyer and spread the word.  Ashview Heights Open House Tour

This is a great opportunity for agents to explore another hidden gem in Atlanta –homes as low as $25K for your buyers!

 

 

Second Big Lender Stops Foreclosures

A second major mortgage lender, JPMorgan Chase, has stopped foreclosures so it can review loan documents for errors.

“It will probably slow things down for a couple of months while these documents are reviewed,” said Rick Sharga, senior vice president at foreclosure listing service RealtyTrac Inc. “It won’t stop things.”

But if Sharga is wrong and more problems surface, they are likely to slow the foreclosure crisis still more, making it drag on for several more years, other analysts say.

In any case, an increased number of lawsuits are likely. Christopher Immel, a Florida lawyer who represents foreclosed home owners, says many former home owners could sue their lenders, alleging errors in documents.

GMAC Mortgage was the first big lender to pause foreclosures while it reviews past files.

Source: The Associated Press, Janna Herron and Alan Zibel (09/29/2010)

Man Pleads Guilty for Rigging Auctions

A Sacramento, Calif., man pleaded guilty Friday to rigging bids at public real estate auctions.

Anthony B. Ghio admitted in U.S. District Court to being one of a group of speculators who agreed not to outbid each other at foreclosure actions. According to court documents, after the speculators’ designated bidder bought a property at the foreclosure auction, the speculators held a second, private auction. The speculator who offered the highest bid at that auction won the property. The difference between the price at the public auction and the winning bid in the private auction was divided among the speculators.

Ghio is charged with a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

More indictments are expected in the investigation.

Source: The U.S. Department of Justice (04/16/2010)

Low-Ball Appraisals Cause Problems

Real estate practitioners in Nevada, one of the areas hit hardest by foreclosures, say low-ball appraisals are slowing sales and preventing recovery.

Mark Stark, CEO of Prudential Americana Group in Las Vegas, says he thinks appraisers are too focused on projecting how much prices could fall rather than reflecting what values really are.

“The appraisers are being very conservative,” Stark says. “They are trying to cover themselves.”

Mark Madsen, communications director for Raintree Mortgage Services, says appraisers are just doing what they’ve been told. “I think appraisers are scared to get blacklisted,” he explains. “If the appraisals are too high, then banks may no longer accept appraisals from that person.”

Source: Brian Wargo, Las Vegas Sun

Buyers Say Foreclosure Deals Taking Too Long

Banks are quickly accepting bids and writing contracts for foreclosed homes, but buyers are complaining that settlements are taking too long.

Real estate pros say purchasing a bank-owned property is different than dealing with a regular home owner, considering that banks have to check claims on the property and problems can arise at closing. Plus, in some states, banks also need court approval of the foreclosure.

Although banks are swamped by the record number of foreclosures, the bank-owned homes will have to be sold to help stabilize residential prices and boost the housing market.

Source: Washington Post, Dina ElBoghdady (04/13/09)

© Copyright 2009 Information Inc.

Tread Carefully When Making a Low-Ball Offer

These days, it’s easier to make a low-ball offer than it used to be, but still it’s important to be smart. Here are some things that a real estate practitioner and would-be buyer should consider when contemplating such an offer:

Use foreclosures as comps carefully. Look realistically at the prices foreclosures in the neighborhood brought. Foreclosures aren’t good comps if the homes were stripped of appliances, pipes, HVAC, etc.
Examine details of short sales critically. How many liens were there against low-selling short sales? If there were no secondary liens, the lender had considerable flexibility.
Establish realistic time frames. Even in the best of circumstances, foreclosure takes a long time. Will the seller play the waiting game? How long have houses whose owners have equity stayed on the market? Is the buyer in a hurry?

If your buyer makes a low-ball offer, the bank probably won’t be in any rush to take it. They’ll likely just keep soliciting offers without coming back with a counter. Ultimately, the property is likely to sell for a higher price and, chances are, you and your buyer won’t know it until the deal is done.

Source: ThinkGlinck, Ilyce R. Glink (03/30/2009)

Antiquated Laws Make Foreclosures More Likely

Many states have laws on the books that make it difficult for home owners to avoid foreclosure, says a new report by the National Consumer Law Center.

The center identifies these state laws as some of the most antiquated and unfavorable to home owners.

  • Fast track foreclosure. In 30 states and the District of Columbia, mortgage holders who allege that home owners have fallen behind on the payments can bypass the courts and move directly to auction off homes. To defend against the action, home owners must get a judge to review the claims and stop foreclosure.
  • No direct notification of foreclosure proceedings. In 33 states and the District of Columbia, there is no requirement that home owners be personally served with a foreclosure notice.
  • No requirement to find solutions other than foreclosure. In every state but California and Connecticut, mortgage holders can move directly to foreclosure without discussing the issue and other potential solutions with the home owner.
  • Eleventh-hour payments can be ignored. In 29 states, a mortgage holder has no legal obligation to stop foreclosure even if the home owner comes up with enough money to bring the mortgage current, including paying penalties and fees.
  • Big penalties are legal. In every state but Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, a mortgage holder who claims a home owner has fallen behind in payments can immediately impose default fees and costs that reduce the chances that the homeowner can catch up by making the payments owed.

“The bottom line is that most state laws are not part of the foreclosure crisis solution today; they are a big part of the problem,” say John Rao, attorney and co-author of the report.

Source: National Consumer Law Center