Another Big Lender Stops Foreclosures

JPMorgan Chase, has stopped foreclosures so it can review loan documents for errors.  It is the second major mortgage lender to do so.  Read more.

Foreclosure, REO Home Prices Rise

Average sale prices for homes in foreclosure and those owned by banks rose 1.6 percent in the second quarter compared to the first quarter and 6.1 percent year over year, according to RealtyTrac, a foreclosure marketing service.

The average price of these homes in the second quarter was $174,198 nationwide, but was significantly higher in California where the average price, according to RealtyTrac, was $256,833. These prices reflected homes sold by lenders or by homeowners who had received at least one notice of default.

About 24 percent of all properties sold in the second quarter were REOs and foreclosures. Their prices were on average 26 percent lower than those of homes not in foreclosure, RealtyTrac reported.

RealtyTrac Senior Vice President Rick Sharga projected that it would be the end of 2013 before the housing marked works its way through the foreclosure inventory.

Source: Los Angeles Times, Alejandro Lazo and Daily Finance, Hugh Collins (09/30/2010)

Poll: Nine in 10 U.S. Homeowners Concerned About Home Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is highly valued by most homeowners.  According to a recent national survey 89% of the respondents said that making their home energy efficient is personally important to them.

Key findings from the September 2010 national survey include:
* Less than one in three homeowners believe their homes are “very” energy efficient
* While the majority reported knowing “a lot” about how to make their homes energy efficient, they mistakenly identified “older windows” as the top energy-loss culprit
* 90% said it is important to have a professional energy auditor who is “certified by an independent national organization”

While upgrading to new dual pane windows is obvious and visible, it may also be expensive.  There are less costly repairs the homeowner can do themselves that can save considerable energy. 
* Sealing cracks around doors and windows.
* Sealing and insulating heating and air conditioning duct-work
* Cleaning heating and A/C filters regularly

This morning RISMedia reported that “D.C.-based Clarus Research Group, a Qorvis company, conducted a market survey of 800 U.S. homeowners on behalf of RESNET, an industry leader in the energy efficiency marketplace. The sample was defined as adults over 21 years of age who currently own a home or plan to purchase one within the next year. The survey was conducted by Ron Faucheux, Ph.D., president of Clarus and a nationally recognized research and polling expert.

Key among other survey findings:
* 86% of homeowners would trust an energy audit performed by someone who was “certified by an independent national organization” over someone who was not
* 80% of those surveyed said that if they were in the market to buy a home, an energy audit conducted by an “unbiased professional” would be important to them.”

For your FREE list of qualified professionals to help with your home needs contact Yuba Sutter Homes and Loans today.  Email or call 530 315-2808 for more great ideas.

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Unemployed Homeowners Cannot Count on Loan Modifications

One hard hit group of homeowners in these economically challenging times is the unemployed; those who have lose their income through job loss.  While many programs have done much to help keep homeowners in their homes if possible, Fannie Mae will no longer consider “jobless benefits as income when applying for mortgage modifications”.  To see if you qualify contact Yuba Sutter Homes and Loans.

 In July, the agency stopped allowing unemployment insurance to be considered income when applying for the administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program, known as HAMP.  Previously, borrowers had been allowed to do so.  “We don’t want to set up borrowers to fail, said Amy Bonitatibus, Fannie Mae spokeswoman.

Because the jobless benefits can’t be considered permanent income, now, the unemployed who apply for HAMP are evaluated for forbearance plans, which can reduce or suspend their payments for at least three months. 

The new guidelines, released Tuesday, will take effect Nov. 

There are other programs available for those that qualify.  The recent economic downturn has caused hardships for many of us.  Because of this, the federal, state and local governments have stepped up to help.  Private industry has chimed in also.  If you or someone you know is struggling with your mortgage payment contact us to see what programs you may qualify for.  Email  or call (530 315-2808) us NOW.  Or you may contact the Home Rescue Group ( for more information.

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Fannie Mae Announces New Incentives

Fannie Mae announced a seller assistance incentive on properties owned by Fannie Mae and listed on the company’s REO website (click HERE for your free list).  Qualified home-buyers who will be owner-occupants can receive up to 3.5 percent of the final sales price to use towards closing costs.  Eligible offers must be submitted on or after September 23, 2010, and must close by December 31, 2010. The sale must close within 60 days of the offer being accepted.  At Yuba Sutter Homes and Loans we will include the Home Warranty also at no charge to you.

According to a recent announcement published by RISMedia “More than eighty-seven thousand families have purchased HomePath® properties in the first half of 2010—nearly double the number of Fannie Mae foreclosed properties sold in the first half of 2009,” said Terry Edwards, Executive Vice President of Fannie Mae’s Credit Portfolio Management. “We continue to look for ways to stabilize neighborhoods and offer incentives to qualified buyers who will occupy these properties over the long-term and help support their communities.”

HomePath properties are properties owned by Fannie Mae and include a wide selection of homes, including single-family homes, condominiums, and town houses. To get a list of these properties click this LINK.  HomePath properties may also be eligible for special HomePath Mortgage and HomePath Renovation Mortgage financing.  For information or to see if you qualify click HERE.

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Cash for Keys

While most of us agree that that walking away from a home just because the balance on the loan is higher than the current value is wrong, there are those that simply can not make their payments.  This may be the result of factors out of the borrower’s control (things like job or other income loss, the inability to sell after a relocation, etc) or because the loan has rolled over into its high interest rate.

 For these families being forced from their home is often a traumatic experience, sometimes leaving them with no place to live.  For these folks the Cash-for-Keys programs were developed.  Basically, if they agree to leave the home in good condition and in a timely fashion the bank hands them some money to help with move-in deposits, moving costs, etc.

This makes economic sense for the bank also.  They save on the costs of eviction and the monies lost during the process.  They know the condition of the home and are assured that the vacating occupant will not remove appliances or otherwise vandalize the home.  It also puts them in charge of the time line of events, decreasing the chances of vandalism after the home is vacated.

Like so many things, the unsavory have found a way to use this, taking advantage of unwitting people desperate for help.  The problem has now been addressed by the California Department of Real Estate (DRE).  They have released an advisory for both the public as well as agents on this topic.  To read that complete article click HERE.

If you or someone you know would like to know more contact us via email or phone at 530 315-2808.  At Yuba Sutter Homes and Loans we have the people with the experience and compassion to help others through this tough time AND protect their rights.

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Short Sale Fraud Alert

A few months ago the state of California banned the practice of charging up front fees for Loan Modifications, and federal laws soon followed.   This law was intended to stop the fraudulent practice of taking advantage of desperate homeowners by charging for a service of questionable value.  In fact, some who actually did anything (some did not) did nothing more than the home owner could have done on their own.

Crooks, being what they are, have found a way around the law (not legally of course).  It seems that they have turned to the potential buyer to get their dishonest money.  They are insisting that a buyer pay a short sale negotiating fee in order to have their offer submitted!  While we at Yuba Sutter Homes and Loans do understand the extra work involved in pushing short sales through in a timely fashion, we would never dream of charging extra for it.  In fact, we are in the process of partnering with a company (stay tuned for more on this) who’s expertise is negotiating with the banks for loan modifications and short sales.  This is another service available to our clients AT NO EXTRA COST!

The Short Sale Negotiator (SSN) addendum is one method being used by the unscrupulous the make these charges.  While we do use the addendum, it is solely for informational purposes.  We believe you have the right to know who will be involved with and have access to your information throughout the process.  We are proud of the effort we put into providing our clients with the very best services available.

The questionable (if not outright illegal) practice of charging for the service and trying to hide this charge from the lenders et al has come to the attention of the Department of Real Estate (DRE).  In their effort to protect the public they has issued an alert.  To read that alert click HERE.

If you or someone you know is thinking about or in need of a loan modification give us a call at 530 315-2808, or sent an email.

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Most Oppose Walking Away from Mortgage

According to an article in the San Diego News a recent poll showed that 59% felt it is ‘unacceptable’ to walk away from a mortgage.  This was the findings of the Pew Research Center poll.

2,967 adults were surveyed during the second half of May.   59% said they believed it was wrong for a homeowner to stop making their mortgage payments and surrender their home to a lender.  19 percent said it was OK to walk away and 17 percent said it depended on the homeowner’s circumstances.

Acceptable reasons for walking away were:

  1. Not enough money to meet expenses (22 percent)
  2. Just enough to meet basic expenses (25 percent)
  3. Meeting expenses with a little left over (19 percent)
  4. Or live comfortably (14 percent).

Of those surveyed, 21 percent said their mortgages were more than the value of the house, while 48 percent said their home had lost some of its value. To read the full article click HERE.

To comment on this or other articles you may use the comment box below.

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Get Paid to Make Your Mortgage Payment!

Sound to good to be true?  Well, it appears to be happening as you read this.  A new start-up called Loan Value Group is doing just that.  And it appears to be working and gaining interest.  According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal 3 hedge funds have not only participated but have (or are in the process of) increased their level of participation.

How does it work?  Does it work?  Basically, an underwater (where the value is less than the loan amount) homeowner will receive a bonus to keep making their payments rather than walking away from the home.  While this bonus will not cure the negative equity, it will soften the impact while time increases the home’s value.  As to does it work: time will tell.  Apparently some banks think so, and more ar looking at the program.  We think it can.  We think that many of these “walk aways” might stay if the economics were a little less negative.

Is this a good thing?  Should someone receive a financial incentive to do the “right thing”?  We don’t want to get into an ethical discussion here.  That is something that must be decided on an individual basis according to that individual’s circumstances.  It can however be a very good thing for the real estate market in general.  And, of course, what helps the market helps EVERY homeowner, neighborhood, township or city, etc.  Investment situation will get a boost, the general economy will be improved.  Is it a magic pill?  No, but it can help.

How does this effect the real estate market in general?  We believe it will help the market on multiple fronts:

  1. It will reduce the number of foreclosures being forced upon the market.
    1. The value of neighboring homes can market driven rather than be dictated by foreclosures.
    2. The value of neighboring homes is not decreased by unkempt foreclosures.
  2. The value of neighborhoods increase as neighbors stay neighbors and relationships are established.
  3. It will increase investor confidence, bringing capital back into the market.
  4. Over-all the market will become driven by a balanced supply & demand once again.

All of this helps the general economy, which in turn helps the real estate market, which helps the economy, which helps…

For information on how this might apply to you contact us today.  For more information click the links above, or visit us at

Whether you are thinking of buying, selling, financing or re-financing, or investing in real estate someone at the McFarlane Real Estate Group can help you.  Call us today at 530 315-2808, or send us an email.  I personally am at your disposal at

Mortgage applications fall last week

According to reports by the Associated Press applications for mortgage loans declined by 1.5% last week.  This may be in part due to the interest rates climbing slightly from the fantastic lows of recent times.

The Mortgage Brokers Association reported a 3.1% decline in refinance applications.  The good news is that the same period saw a 6.3% increase in applications.  Since the mortgage business is about 82% refinance over purchase loans, their overall net is a decline.  Applications to refinance loans made up about 82 percent of all home loan activity, down from nearly 83 percent a week earlier.  The numbers are adjusted for seasonal factors.

Rates have been at or near the lowest level in decades since spring as investors have shifted money into safer Treasury bonds.  That has lowered their yields, which mortgage rates tend to track.  The average rate for a 30-year fixed loan rose to 4.5 percent from 4.43 percent a week earlier. Rates on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, a common refinancing option, increased to 4 percent from 3.88 percent.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s survey covers more than 50 percent of all applications nationwide.

I believe this is a good sign for our industry as a whole however.  While investors may be looking at other streams for income, the buyer’s confidence is increasing.  As the confidence level increases, our market will stabilize, correcting itself.  As the market corrects itself, more confidence is gained, refinances are again considered, and the investor’s attention is returned to real estate backed loans.

Are you considering a refinance?  Maybe you owe more than the current market says your home is worth?  There is help right now!  Email or call us at 530 315-2808 to find out how.

FREE home warranty; FREE move-in assistance; FREE home security system; MORE!  To learn more visit Yuba Sutter Homes and Loans.  Call 530 315-2808 or email us now to get started on getting the most value for and from your investment.

New CalFHA Loan to Help First Time Buyers

The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) announced this week the launch of a new fixed-rate, 30-year, FHA-insured mortgage program for low- and moderate-income home buyers.

  • CalHFA provides financing and programs for low- and moderate-income Californians.  The program announced this week enables qualified, first-time home buyers in California to receive a 30-year mortgage with a fixed interest of approximately 4 percent.
  • The CalHFA program includes upfront mortgage insurance, which is required for most FHA- insured home loans.  Borrowers are eligible to use the California Homebuyer’s Downpayment Assistance Program, which can provide up to 3 percent of the purchase price of the home for down payment or closing costs.
  • In addition to being a first-time home buyer – defined under federal law as not having owned and occupied a home for the past three years – borrowers also must meet income limits, which vary by county and family size.
  • Borrowers also must purchase homes within FHA’s loan limit and CalHFA’s sales price limits.  Mortgage loans are limited to $417,000 under FHA guidelines, while CalHFA’s sales price limits vary by county.
  • Additionally, borrowers must meet the minimum credit score requirements and maximum debt-to-income ratios and complete a HUD-approved home buyer education program.

For more information click on over to Yuba Sutter Homes and Loans and look under the [Finance] tab. There you will also find calculators to help your planning and other resources.  For the fastest answers drop us an email or call 530 315-2808.

For more current news about real estate in the Yuba-Sutter area visit Yuba Sutter Home Buys and click the [Discussions and News] tab.

To read this month’s Yuba Sutter Real Estate click HERE.  To get your own copy delivered directly to your in box drop an email to  And don’t forget you can always search for listings in privacy from Yuba Sutter Homes and Loans site.  Just click the [Buyer’s Menu] tab to get started.  To have us do the grunt work for you, email or call 530 315-2808 today.