South Orange County Blog from Bob Phillips

HARP and HAMP Receive Probable Final Annual Extension


( An article from Colin Robertson of dated May 11, 2015 )

Since being introduced back in 2009, both and the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) have helped millions either avoid foreclosure and/or save money on monthly mortgage payments.

Both programs have been deemed pretty successful, though the numbers did fall short of original projections (as everyone probably expected) despite several annual extensions. I think the original estimate was nine million.

HAMP Is Finished at the End of 2016


Since HAMP was launched in the spring of 2009, a total of about 1.5 million homeowners have received permanent loan modifications through the fourth quarter of 2014.

Nearly 2.3 million trial modifications were started but fewer than one million are permanent and still active either because of a positive outcome such as loan payoff or alternative modification, or because of something negative like a short sale or foreclosure.

This has resulted in aggregate savings of approximately $32.7 billion compared with prior unmodified mortgage obligations.

The goal of HAMP is to get the borrower’s front-end DTI ratio down to 31% by reducing the interest rate, extending the loan term, and potentially forgiving principal.

About 95% of HAMP loans received an interest rate reduction, though those are temporary and subject to rise.

Just over 60% of HAMP borrowers received a term extension and less than a third (30.3%) received principal forbearance.

[HAMP participants are now eligible for $5,000 more in principal forgiveness.]

HARP Probably Done After 2016

The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) is a program that allows underwater borrowers with Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-backed mortgages to refinance to take advantage of lower interest rates.

It originally allowed borrowers to refinance with LTVs as high as 105%, but that number was later increased to 125% and eventually the cap was removed entirely for most types of loans.

Over the years there were pleas to expand the program and open it up to borrowers with non-agency mortgages (remember HARP 3), but those demands fell on deaf ears.

To date, roughly 3.3 million borrowers have taken advantage of the program, though the numbers have been waning lately. Around 10,000 borrowers are refinancing monthly via HARP nowadays.

This is not unexpected given the fact that most have already applied for assistance under the program or no longer need it thanks to rising home prices.

During FHFA director Mel Watt’s speech at the Greenlining Institute 22nd Annual Economic Summit last Friday, he spoke about both programs and revealed that HAMP would be finished after one final extension through the end of 2016.

Since March 2013, Fannie and Freddie have also offered a proprietary Streamlined Modification that requires less paperwork than HAMP, and this could serve as an ongoing loss mitigation solution for borrowers.

As far as HARP goes, he said “we anticipate that this will also be the final extension for HARP.”

Apparently some 600,000 plus borrowers could still benefit from HARP though they’ve yet to come forward for one reason or another.

Watt said the FHFA will use the next year and a half “to explore possible streamlined refinance solutions for future Enterprise loans,” so there might be some kind of permanent HARP solution for Fannie and Freddie loans that “might apply in a non-crisis environment.” ( End of Colin’s article.)

From Bob Phillips:  Over the past couple of years, local house prices have risen substantially, which may help in two different ways.  First, former underwater homeowners may now actually have some equity, hopefully allowing a little breathing room.

Second, owners having difficulty making their payments on a loan that has a high interest rate, may, in fact, be able to refinance now, where they couldn’t before, staying in their home with a lower payment, OR, they may now be able to sell their home without going through a short sale, getting themselves out from under a terrible loan that they’ve been living with, for years.

Even if the home is STILL underwater, solutions have become easier to accomplish, if you’re dealing with an agent who has both training and experience, in dealing with distressed loan situations.  I, Bob Phillips, have both the training, and the experience, to help you sort out the many options you might have.

If you – or someone you know – is still having difficulty making their house payments, please consider calling me at (949) 887-5305, or shoot me an email to

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CoreLogic: Nearly 1 million houses return to positive equity


An article by Brena Swanson, of, dated 9/25/2014:

Nearly 1 million properties returned to positive equity in the second quarter of 2014, bringing the total number of mortgaged residential properties with equity in the U.S. to more than 44 million.

The latest CoreLogic report revealed that 946,000 residential properties regained equity, and nationwide, borrower equity increased year over year by approximately $1 trillion in second quarter 2014.

Negative equity means that borrowers owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

“The increase in borrower equity of $1 trillion from a year earlier is evidence that things are moving solidly in the right direction,” said Sam Khater, deputy chief economist for CoreLogic. “Borrower equity is important because home equity constitutes borrowers’ largest investment segment and, as a result, is driving forward the rise in wealth for the typical homeowner.”

However, there are still approximately 5.3 million homes, or 10.7% of all residential properties with a mortgage, that are still in negative equity as of second quarter 2014. This is compared to 6.3 million homes, or 12.7%, for first quarter 2014, and a negative equity share of 14.9%, or 7.2 million homes, in second quarter 2013, representing a year-over-year decrease in the number of homes underwater by almost 2 million, or 4.2%.

“Many homeowners across the country are seeing the equity value in their homes grow, which lifts the economy as a whole,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic.

“With more and more borrowers regaining equity, we expect homeownership to become an increasingly attractive option for many who have remained on the sidelines in the aftermath of the great recession. This should provide more opportunities for people to sell their homes, purchase a different home or refinance an existing mortgage,” Nallathambi added.

For the homes in negative equity status, the national aggregate value of negative equity was $345.1 billion at the end of second quarter 2014, down $38.1 billion from approximately $383.2 billion in the first quarter 2014. Year-over-year, the value of negative equity declined from $432.9 billion in second quarter 2013, representing a decrease of 20.3% in 12 months.

In addition, of the 44 million residential properties with positive equity, approximately 9 million, or 19%, have less than 20-percent equity (referred to as “under-equitied”) and 1.3 million of those have less than 5%(referred to as near-negative equity). ( End of Brena’s article.)

From Bob Phillips, CDPE, Realty One Group, South Orange County, CA

The initials after my name, above, CDPE, stand for Certified Distressed Properties Expert, and reflect some unique training I’ve received, over the past several years.  They also validate that I have both training and experience, in guiding homeowners who are having difficulties with their mortgages, to solutions, either in continuing to keep their homes, or in assisting them to get out from under an unmanageable mortgage, and on with their lives, as painlessly as possible.

If you, or someone you know, is STILL having difficulty with making your mortgage payments, I am prepared to offer solutions – most of which have ZERO costs associated with them.  Give me a call or text today.  Bob Phillips, CDPE, Realty One Group, Cell: (949) 887-5305 or email me at

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Default Rate Falls to Historically Low Levels in Large Metros

An article by Derek Templeton, of, July 15th, 2014

As the unemployment rate and other economic measures continue to improve, American consumers appear to be gaining a greater ability to meet their credit obligations.

foreclosure notice

As the unemployment rate and other economic measures continue to improve, American consumers appear  to be gaining a greater ability to meet their credit obligations.

A report released Tuesday by S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian showed a decline in default rates among five of the largest cities in the nation to historically low levels.

The national composite for all types of credit default posted 1.02% in June, its lowest reading since the organization began collecting the data ten years ago.

Consistent with recent reports that payment priorities may be shifting among Americans back to pre- downturn norms, mortgages lead the way with first mortgages clocking in at just 0.89 percent default. The default rate at second mortgages was even lower at 0.57 percent.

“Consumer credit default rates continue to drift lower and have reached a historical low,” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices.

“Recent economic reports are encouraging with the unemployment rate now at a six year low and strong job creation in recent months. The continued declines in consumer default rates confirm other indicators of an improving economy. Credit standards for mortgage loans continue to be somewhat restrictive and may be contributing to low first mortgage default rates”.

Of the large metropolitan areas surveyed, Dallas, Texas was the only city to actually see a rise in default levels. However, the slight increase comes on the heels of the city’s lowest rate of default recorded in the history of the survey the previous month.

Concerns about the direction of the economy and the effect that is has on the credit market are not unfounded but even as the housing recovery slows, the lack of significant default in the market can only be seen as a positive indicator.

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Black Knight: 1 in 10 Borrowers Underwater

An article by Colin Robins of, May 5th, 2014:

next-exit“In Black Knight Financial Services’ latest Mortgage Monitor Report, the company found that only one in ten Americans are still underwater, down from one in three in 2010. Overall, the company’s look at March data reflected a shifting landscape. As home prices have risen over the past two years, many distressed loans have worked their way through the system and the percentage of Americans with negative equity has declined considerably.

“Two years of relatively consecutive home price increases and a general decline in the number of distressed loans have contributed to a decreasing number of underwater borrowers,” said Kostya Gradushy, Black Knight’s manager of Loan Data and Customer Analytics.

“Looking at current combined loan-to-value (CLTV), we see that while four years ago 34 percent of borrowers were in negative equity positions, today that number has dropped to just about 10 percent of active mortgage loans,” Gradushy said.

Gradushy references the 10.1 percent negative equity average, but what states homeowners reside in paint a clearer picture of negative equity across the spectrum. Judicial states have a higher negative equity rate at 13.4 percent, compared to the 7.9 percent rate experienced in non-judicial states. ( California is usually a non-judicial state.)

Regardless, Gradushy notes that both judicial and non-judicial states have experienced declines. “Overall, nearly half of all borrowers today are both in positive equity positions and of strong credit quality—credit scores of 700 or above. Four years ago, that category of borrowers represented over a third of active mortgages,” Gradushy said.

The total delinquency rate is 5.37 percent, the lowest since October 2007 according to Black Knight. Month-over-month, delinquency rates have declined to 7.57 percent and are down yearly 16.29 percent in March.

The total U.S. foreclosure pre-sale inventory stands at 2.07 percent, the lowest figure since October 2008. Inventory rates are down 36.69 percent year-over-year.

Black Knight had more positive news in its Mortage Monitor Report: leading indicators, such as foreclosure starts, new problem loan percentage, 90-day defaults count, and 30 to 60 roll count are all down heading into the second quarter.

The company offered that the 2013 population of loans was “the best vintage on record,” but the statement belies the fact that higher credit restrictions severely hampered new originations for lower credit borrowers.

The top five states with the highest total non-current loans were Mississippi (13.4 percent), New Jersey (12.9 percent), Florida (12.1 percent), New York (11.1 percent), and Maine (10.6 percent).

Excluding Mississippi, the remaining four states are judicial states, suggesting the longer timelines required to resolve foreclosures are impacting non-current loan rates, depressing the market’s ability to quickly clear the remaining backlog in foreclosure pipeline.” ( End of Colin’s article.)

From Bob Phillips:   While foreclosure activity in South Orange County is WAY down, there are still a small number of home owners still struggling with their monthly payments, while not having enough equity in their homes to sell, under normal circumstances.  If you, or someone you know, is still struggling with their mortgage payments, with a loan that is higher than the value of their home, there are alternatives available.

You might be able to refinance to a lower rate and payment, or may be able to modify the loan to a lower amount, while also lowering your payments, or you might be able to do a short sale, to get out from under the weight of such a mortgage.  I am trained and experienced in helping find such solutions, and provide such assistance at NO cost to you.  If you are seeking a solution, drop me a line, or give me a call.  Chances are excellent that I can help.

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When rising homes prices are not enough

An article by Brena Swanson, of, January 28, 2014

next-exitWhen rising homes prices are not enough. Positive equity is not necessarily a barrier to foreclosure

Although rising home prices have pushed many homeowners out of negative equity, escalating values are not a panacea    for all distressed borrowers.

A growing percentage of borrowers are now entering foreclosure with positive equity in their homes, a new report from Fitch Ratings claims.

According to the study, the percentage of borrowers entering this process with equity has roughly doubled in the last two years.

While equity continues to play a significant role in borrower payment behavior, income and the ability-to-pay also remain key factors.

In September 2013, RealtyTrac discovered that 24% of all homeowners who are in some stage of foreclosure have at least some positive equity built up. By December 2013, that number continued to rise and 31% of people in the foreclosure process were struggling despite the presence of positive equity.

“One of the things that stood out is that the percentage of homeowners in foreclosure who have positive equity is increasing,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president atRealtyTrac. “That was even more surprising because that equity is a lifeline that homeowners can use to avoid foreclosure.”

Many of the borrowers with equity are unable to sell their properties because the proceeds of the sale would not be enough to cover the mortgage amount, the closing costs and the backlog of missed payments.

“Loans entering foreclosure today have missed roughly two years of payments on average, more than double the pre-crisis, long term average,” Fitch Ratings said.

Another factor is that the composition of borrowers entering foreclosure is changing. The percentage of loans entering foreclosure, which had been cash-out refinance at origination increased steadily since 2008, and now account for 50% of the total.

Due to today’s tighter loan underwriting and origination guidelines, borrowers are unable to tap the equity in their homes to cover expenses.

“Also, the loan-to-value and cash-out dollar limits are significantly lower than what was available during peak-vintage years and, despite the improved equity situation, few of these delinquent borrowers could materially benefit from further cash-out refinancings,” Fitch Ratings said.

Approximately half of all loans that recently entered foreclosure have been unsuccessful in at least one prior loan modification. In addition, the percentage of loans entering foreclosure that had been underwritten to subprime guidelines is increasing.  

Fitch Ratings did emphasize that there is a chance some portion of borrowers currently in the foreclosure process obtained additional and/or secondary financing subsequent to the origination of their first liens, which could be factoring into their ability to pay.

“I think it is hard to know if this is a glass half full or glass half empty type thing. These are homeowners who now have a lifeline to avoid foreclosure. But the other side of the coin is just that equity is not enough to prevent foreclosure,” Blomquist said.

“I think the real question is are these homeowners that just do not know or are they homeowners that are in such a tough situation even equity is not going to help them avoid it,” he explained.”  ( End of Brena’s article.)

From Bob Phillips:  Looking for solutions?  I am completely trained, and experienced, with distressed property situations, whether helping find a lender who might be able to refinance you, help you with a possible loan modification, or to get your property sold, in a way that satisfies all the lenders, and affords you some dignity of not having to go through a foreclosure.  I have been able to stop foreclosures sales with as little as a week to spare.  In many cases, my clients have been able to emerge from such scenarios with some cash incentives to move, and/or an ability to buy another home in as little as one year.

If you are having difficulty with your mortgage, there may be options you’re not aware of.  Give me a call, and let’s see if we can solve your dilemma.

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The 10 Best Quotes From Obama’s Housing Speech

The 10 Best Quotes From Obama’s Housing Speech

From Colin Robertson, of   August 7, 2013 

The 10 Best Quotes From Obama’s Housing Speech

Yesterday, President Obama gave a speech on homeownership at Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, Arizona, one of the hardest hit cities in the nation.

While it was mostly fluff many of us have heard before, there were some nice little takeaways. I’ve listed what I feel are the top 10 quotes, based on their impact, candor, and humor, in the order in which they were said.

1. I think about my grandparents’ generation…in that earlier generation, houses weren’t for flipping around, they weren’t for speculation — houses were to live in, and to build a life with.

Housing needs to be perceived as shelter again, not solely as an investment, according to the President.

2. We cracked down on the bad practices that led to the crisis in the first place.  I mean, you had some loans back there in the bubble that were called “liar’s loan.”  Now, something that’s called a liar’s loan is probably a bad idea.

Obama knows stated income loans are bad news, though it’s unclear if he knows they’ve already begun to resurface.

3. Congress should pass a good, bipartisan idea to allow every homeowner the chance to save thousands of dollars a year by refinancing their mortgage at today’s rates.  We need to get that done.  We’ve been talking about it for a year and a half, two years, three years.  There’s no reason not to do it.

He continues to push for HARP3 or MyRefi, though such a program looks dead in the water because he’s asking Congress to get it done.

4. Housing prices generally don’t just keep on going up forever at the kind of pace it was going up.  It was crazy.  So what we want to do is something stable and steady. And that’s why I want to lay a rock-solid foundation to make sure the kind of crisis we went through never happens again.  We’ve got to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Here comes major housing reform…

5. …one of the key things to make sure it doesn’t happen again is to wind down these companies that are not really government, but not really private sector — they’re known as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.  For too long, these companies were allowed to make huge profits buying mortgages, knowing that if their bets went bad, taxpayers would be left holding the bag.  It was “heads we win, tails you lose.”  And it was wrong.

Yes, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were responsible for the housing crisis, though many other organizations were as well.  To be frank, the entire system is broken.

6. …private capital should take a bigger role in the mortgage market.  I know that sounds confusing to folks who call me a socialist — I think I saw some posters there on the way in.

A little bit of humor mixed in with a very serious point about the housing market being far too reliant on the government, with pretty much every loan backed by Fannie, Freddie, or the FHA these days.

7. …we should preserve access to safe and simple mortgage products like the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage.  That’s something families should be able to rely on when they’re making the most important purchase of their lives.

The good news is the 30-year mortgage isn’t going anywhere, regardless of the reform that takes place, or is it?

8. They’re designing a new, simple mortgage form that will be in plain English, so you can actually read it without a lawyer — although, you may still want a lawyer obviously. I’m not saying you don’t. I’m just saying you’ll be able to read it.  There won’t be a lot of fine print.

This pretty much sums up the ongoing cluster that is the mortgage industry. Perhaps the concept of mortgage reform is more elusive than we think.

9. So I want to be honest with you.  No program or policy is going to solve all the problems in a multi-trillion dollar housing market.  The housing bubble went up so high, the heights it reached before it burst were so unsustainable, that we knew it was going to take some time for us to fully recover.

It’s going to take a while folks…be patient.

10. More Americans will know the joy of scratching the child’s height on the door of their new home — with pencil, of course.

Translation: The American Dream is still alive and well.

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Important Tips To Do When Behind On Your Mortgage Payments

What Should I Do If I Am Behind On My Mortgage Payments?What happens if you go through a tough financial period and you find yourself behind on your mortgage payments for your home?

If you are missing mortgage payments and are having difficulty paying, this can become a serious problem. Even just one missed payment can be difficult to catch up on, and if you are in this situation it is important to get help right away.

Contact Your Lender

The first step in this circumstance should be to get in touch with your mortgage lender to explain the situation. Simply leaving things alone and not explaining why you have missed a payment will just make things worse.

When people are struggling financially, they avoid calling their creditors for as long as they can. This is usually the wrong strategy to have if you want to make sure that you keep your home.

When you speak to the lender, you can explain why your payment is overdue. For example, perhaps you were laid off from your job or you have been sick and unable to work. If you have a good payment history and you are the one to initiate contact, the lender may be more likely to consider options for you to repay the mortgage.

Consider All Of Your Options

Is there a relative or a friend who could lend you enough money to pay off your missed mortgage payment? Could borrow from your insurance policy? Is there a way you can sell something that you are not using or cut back on other expenses?

Perhaps you could work a part time job on the side to earn more money. There are a number of ways that you could come up with the extra cash and make the mortgage payment.

However, be careful with payday loan companies or other short term lenders, as they may charge extremely high interest that can make it even more difficult to get out of debt later.

Loan Modification

In some circumstances, you might be able to arrange with your loan servicer to permanently change one or more of the terms of your mortgage contract so that your mortgage payments will be more manageable for you.

This could include reducing your interest rate, adding the missed payments to the loan balance or extending the term of the loan. A loan modification can be a good idea if you are facing a reduction in your income that will last for an extended period.

If you are struggling financially and you have missed a mortgage payment, don’t panic. Instead, follow these steps to make sure that you deal with the situation well and get back on track.

The Last Resort

If all else has failed, you might have to consider selling the property to get out from under the obligation of the mortgage – even if you owe more than the house is worth.

A short sale – selling the house for less than the mortgage owed – is a last resort, but in most circumstances would be a better alternative than going through a foreclosure – both for you, and for the lender.  If you feel that you’re getting to the end of the rope, mortgage payment wise, there are still ways to find solutions, and I, as both a CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert.) and an SFR (Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource.) am trained and well experienced to advise you though the maze of alternatives.

If you, or someone you know, is having difficulty with making your mortgage payments, please give me a call – 949-887-5305 – or shoot me an email.  I’m here to help.

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For Veterans: Avoiding Foreclosure: VA Has the Tools to Help ( And so do I.)

July 9, 2013,  by Andrew Trevayne, from VAntage Point, the blog from the Veteran’s Administration

“A home is your most important and largest long-term investment.  VA currently guarantees more than 1.8 million home loans for Veterans, their families and survivors.  Many Veterans with a VA loan sometimes experience difficulties making payments, whether from unexpected medical bills, divorce, expensive repairs, etc.  We understand, and we are here to help you find a solution so you can keep your home.  Over the past few years, we have helped almost 300,000 Veterans who became delinquent in their mortgage find a way to avoid foreclosure.  On our website, you can see real stories of real Veterans who were in trouble with their homes find solutions. There are many ways we can help you too.


At VA’s Home Loan Guaranty Service, we have more than 150 VA loan technicians across the country whose job is to help Veterans understand how to retain their homes and/or avoid foreclosure.  For the past five years, VA guaranteed home loans have had only a 2% foreclosure rate – the lowest and best in the industry.  If you, a friend or a family member is experiencing financial challenges that are affecting your ability to maintain home ownership, please give VA a call at (877) 827-3702.  Whether your home loan is a VA guaranteed loan or not – we are available to discuss your situation and help you decide on your best options.

When a VA guaranteed home loan is 61 days past due, our electronic reporting application automatically assigns a VA loan technician to follow up on the Veteran’s situation – offering financial counseling, advice and support, help in dealing with the loan servicer when needed, information and additional tools on avoiding foreclosure.  Sometimes the most helpful service we can provide is a sounding board – someone to bounce ideas off of and discuss options for how to avoid further delinquency. More information on VA’s delinquency guidance services can be found here [PDF].

Here are just a few tips for borrowers experiencing financial challenges:

When speaking with your loan servicer about your delinquency, give him or her accurate information about your financial situation. If you over or under estimate your income and expenses, you may be setting yourself up for failure by agreeing to a payment plan you can’t afford.

Do not stop paying your home loan because you are “under water.” Foreclosure should not be used as a negotiating tool and there are other options that will have a much better impact on your financial future.  Ask instead about a repayment plan, special forbearance, loan modification, or additional time if you determine you can no longer afford the property and you need to consider a private sale.

A home loan is a business contract that you have entered into for up to 30 years. Think of it as a car loan X 6! Any changes to your loan represent risk and you should ensure that you understand the effects of any change, even if it seems small.  Give VA a call and let us help you review any changes before you “sign on the dotted line.”

If paying your home loan bill each month is becoming more difficult – take the time to track all of your expenses over a month.  Figure out which expenses are “obligated” – meaning you must pay them every month (home loan, bills, child care); and which are “unobligated” (eating out, entertainment).  Creating and sticking to a monthly budget calls for hard choices, but you may be surprised to see just how much you are spending in different areas, and how cutting back in a few can make a positive impact.

When you begin to experience financial difficulty or when you believe you may have difficulty making your mortgage payment, contact your loan servicer right away.  The sooner you contact them, the quicker you and the servicer may be able to find a resolution.  Remember, VA technicians are also available to assist you.” ( End of Andrew’s article.)

 Andrew Trevayne  is the Assistant Director for Loan and Property Management, Loan Guaranty Service. He has worked for VA for 15 years, beginning his career at the Houston Regional Loan Center. He previously served in the 82nd Airborne at Ft Bragg.

Note from Bob Phillips:  As a Veteran myself, I am trained to assist fellow Veterans, in either initially purchasing a home, or, in dealing with a distressed loan situation. ( As a Certified Distressed Property Expert – CDPE.)  I’m here to help you – in good times, or bad.

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Faster Short Sales? It’s Possible!

Former Wachovia & World Savings Loans Faster Short Sale Program!!



Thinking of doing a short sale? Was your original mortgage with World Savings or Wachovia? ( Even if since changed to Wells Fargo.) Would you like to be on the fast track to a successful short sale?

If you are struggling making payments on your former Wachovia or World Savings loan and experiencing a hardship, you might be eligible for Wells Fargo’s Faster Track Short Sale Program, which features:

• Pre-Approved Short Sale- Better to market your property
• No Tax Returns
• No Paystubs even if employed
• Credit Report will be reported as “Settled for less than owed” the best for your credit in terms of doing a short sale, which can wreck havoc depending on how it is reported.
• Possibility of moving costs given – $3,000.00+. (Depends on loss severity/existing liens/credits to seller closing costs etc.) Many get this credit
• “All deficiencies are waived” You do not have to worry about them coming after you in the future.
• All loans originally from Wachovia, World Savings, Golden West Financial, World FSB are eligible.

My name is Bob Phillips, and I am a licensed agent, trained in both a CDPE “Certified Distressed Property Expert” and DRE certified SFR “Distressed Properties Specialist”. In addition, I have been trained by Wells Fargo in their “Fast Track” Short Sale program.

Former Wachovia and World Savings loans, make Wells Fargo one of the best lenders to work with if you have to do a short sale. What better time to take advantage of their program?

I service all of South Orange County, including:  Newport Beach, Corona del Mar, Newport Coast, Laguna Beach, Irvine, Portola Hills, Foothill Ranch, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point, Capistrano Beach, and San Clemente.

Please feel free to give me a call at 949-643-2100. I am both experienced and qualified to answer most questions you may have, regarding either a Loan Modification or a Short Sale of your property.

Bob Phillips, Realty ONE Group
Realtor/Short Sale Specialist- CDPE & SFR
South Orange County
Phone: 949-643-2100 Cell/Text: 949-887-5305


California DRE License #00581357

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28,000 Orange County Homeowners Are No Longer Underwater

28,000 Orange County Homeowners Are No Longer Underwater

By Jeff Collins of the Orange County Register, March 19th, 2013

Rising home values pushed nearly 28,000 Orange County homeowners “above water” last year, meaning their homes no longer are worth less than the amount owed on their mortgages, CoreLogic reported Tuesday.


The number of underwater homeowners fell to 15.3 percent of all homes with a mortgage versus 20.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. 

Overall, 84,524 Orange County homeowners owed more for their homes than they were worth in the fourth quarter of last year, the Irvine-based property-data firm said. That’s 27,756 fewer than in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Nationwide, 1.7 million U.S. homeowners moved out of negative equity during 2012. CoreLogic reported that 10.4 million – or 21.5 percent of borrowers – were underwater. That’s down from 10.6 million, or 22 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011.

“The scourge of negative equity continues to recede across the country,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “With fewer borrowers underwater, the fundamentals underpinning the housing market will continue to strengthen.”

Nallathamb predicted that the trend will continue throughout this year.

CoreLogic also reported:

  • 19,828 county homeowners, or 3.6 percent of borrowers, had zero to 5 percent equity in their home.
  • The total of negative equity and “near-negative equity” borrowers is now at 104,352, or 3.6 percent of all Orange County borrowers.
  • A significant chunk of homeowners likely remain unable to sell their homes without a loss after paying commissions and closing costs.
  • In California, 1.7 million homeowners, or 25.2 percent of California borrowers with a mortgage, were underwater during the fourth quarter of 2012.” ( End of article.)

As this year’s extreme seller’s market gains momentum, even more “underwater” home owners stand to be lifted into an equity position.  Because of the serious lack of housing inventory, this has become the best time in the past 6 years to be selling a house in Orange County – especially if you won’t be buying again, for a while, in this area.

As a CDPE ( Certified Distressed Property Expert.) I am both well trained and highly experienced, to assist you in considering your options, whether to try to stay in your home, modify your existing mortgage, sell your underwater home in a short sale, or sell it in a standard or equity sale.  Drop me an email or give me a call, and let’s discuss your options.

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