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June 17, 2010 - Image 34

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2010-06-17

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HOME

ownership

Mortgage Dilemma?
Here Are Options

I:
: My home is so "under
ater" that I just want to
alk away. What should
I be doing to avoid any
possible problems later?
First, determine why you want to
leave. If the mortgage payments are
unaffordable for you, there are pro-
grams for which you may qualify that
the Jewish Housing Association of
Metropolitan Detroit (JHA) or any non-
profit housing counselor can assist
you with in determining your eligibil-
ity, which may give you the relief you
need and help you stay.
If you can afford the payments, but
just don't like paying when your home
is worth so much less than it was
before, that is another issue. There
can be serious repercussions for sim-
ply "walking away" from your home,
including possible tax consequences,
deficiency judgment issues or a law

suit by the mortgage company to
recover the amount of your mortgage.
Even allowing your home to go into
foreclosure will result in a significant
impact on your credit report and also
put you at risk for a deficiency judg-
ment for the difference between what
your home sold at auction and what
you actually owed on your mortgage.
We encourage you to discuss your
options with a disinterested third
party who can help you assess what
your home ownership and other finan-
cial goals are before you make any
decision. JHA is here to assist with
that process as well and offers free
consultations to review all of your
options.

0: I've been unemployed for over a
year and I'm told I don't qualify for
a loan modification. What options
do I have to stay in my home?

There is a program currently being
offered by Fannie Mae and a few
other mortgage servicers that allows
you to deed your home back to them
and, additionally, allows you to rent
your home with an option to purchase
later.
The program allows families to
avoid uprooting their children from
schools and the expense of relocat-
ing while at the same time giving the
family time to locate work or increase
income to possibly qualify for a mort-
gage a few years down the road.
Although this option is not the
same as continuing to own your
home, for many it is a good alter-
native to temporarily allow you to
re-establish a credit and payment
history and increase income. It also
reduces the negative impact on your
credit history.

0: I can't afford my home and can
no longer handle the upkeep due
to physical disabilities. I am over-
whelmed and don't know where to
start to leave my home.
Although it feels overwhelming,
the fact that you've made a decision
about what to do is really the first
step. There are options to exit grace-
fully from your home, leaving you with
no potential legal or financial liability
later.
New government guidelines are
being implemented, which help
streamline the short-sale process
and JHA or any housing counselor
will definitely be helpful in navigating
that process with you. In many cases,
if your home has not sold within 90
days of listing, the mortgage servicer
may allow a Deed In Lieu, which is
a deed giving the home back to the
servicer.
The mortgage servicer may include
language in the deed agreement that
removes all potential liability for any
future deficiency judgment so you
can feel secure that you can start
fresh without repercussions later.
Discussing your situation with JHA
can also help you come up with a .
specific plan of action for your situa-
tion and timetable to help you under-
stand when you would move, provide
you with ideas and resources on
where to move and assist in nego-
tiating with the mortgage servicer
to qualify you for "Cash For Keys"
which would provide some funds to
assist with your move.

VW*

A, Ft C:) I_ I_ 0 NI CO I_ E

The Jewish Housing Association
of Metropolitan Detroit Inc. is a
nonprofit Michigan corporation
whose purpose is to ensure that
no Jewish family goes without
affordable housing and to assist
the Jewish community during this
time of crisis.
For information, call (800)
458-0404 or apply online at
www.jhamd.org. All services are
confidential and provided at no
cost to the homeowner.

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34

June 17 2010

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