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10 Best Ways To Stop Foreclosure From Marshall Carrasco, #1 Short Sale …

There are several options to stop foreclosure, but which is the best for your situation? Marshall Carrasco # 1 Short Sale Expert and Owner of Marshall Realty explains 10 different solutions to stopping a foreclosure. We can then assess your situation and find out what will be the best option for you.

1. Refinance Option:
With this option, you receive a completely new mortgage with new terms, interest rates and monthly payments. The new loan completely replaces your current mortgage and may lower your payment, which may be helpful to improve your financial hardship.

2. Modification Option:
This is an option that may allow you to reach an agreement with your mortgage lender to change some or all original terms and conditions of your mortgage, such as reducing your monthly payment to a more affordable amount, length of loan term, interest rate and in some cases your lender may reduce your principal balance.

3. Forbearance Option:
This option temporarily suspends or reduces you monthly mortgage payments for a determined period of time. This is an agreement made between you and your lender. “Forbearance” allows you to deal with your short-term financial difficulties, it provides you with some time to get back on your feet and bring your payments up to date.

4. Don’t Run Out Of Time, Know Your Dead Loans:
If you default on your loan and don’t work out a plan of resolution with your lender, the lender will take the necessary steps to schedule a public foreclosure auction of your property. In some cases countdown to the auction is less than 30 days. It is critical that you understand exactly how much time you have before you loose your home.

5. Short Sale Option:
Doing a SHORT SALE is simply the most economical solution for a homeowner who cannot afford the mortgage payment anymore. It is much more beneficial to do a SHORT SALE versus just letting a property go into FORECLOSURE (which is likely to have very serious and negative consequences).

For more information please call Marshall Carrasco at (775) 787-7400 .  You can also visit our Slidehsare channel to learn more  http://www.slideshare.net/MarshallRealtyRenoNV

Why choose Marshall Realty?
Marshall Realty provides Short Sale, Foreclosure and Real Estate Services in Reno, NV.

  • By working with Marshall Realty you will benefit from the experience of over 4 years in successful short sales. Longer than any other agent in the Washoe Valley.
  • We are familiar with the short sale requirements of each lender.
  • Your calls will be answered! You will be kept up to date every step of the way.
  • Your property is listed in MLS and available to all interested buyers.
  • You will not have a sign advertising it as a “Short Sale” or “Pre-foreclosure”.
  • You never pay a fee. Lenders pay the commission from the proceeds of the sale.

About Us:
Marshall Carrasco is a short sale expert and owner of Marshall Realty. Marshall Realty provides Short Sale, Foreclosure and Real Estate Services in Reno, NV. A top producer in the Washoe area, Marshall has been successfully helping his clients to purchase and sell homes for over 14 years.

What separates Marshall Realty from the rest is our resources and contacts. We have developed relationships with Consumer Credit Affiliates, The Bank of America Reno help center, Wells Fargo Executive Offices for Loss Mitigation, Senator Reid’s Foreclosure Prevention Taskforce, among others. We have direct contacts with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and HUD. Our goal has been to become a total resource for homeowner’s in the entire Washoe Valley.

Contact Us:
Marshall Carrasco
Marshall Realty
9740 S. McCarran Blvd #103
Reno, NV 89523
Phone: (775) 787-7400
Email: solutions@marshallrealty.net
Website URL : http://marshallrealty.net/

Article source: http://www.prsafe.com/new_press_releases/view/9395

Woman loses Golden Gate Estates home to foreclosure at auction

Scott McIntyre/Staff  Cindy Balterman stands for a portrait in front a sign that she made in hopes to stop foreclosure on her home in Golden Gate.

Photo by SCOTT MCINTYRE // Buy this photo

Scott McIntyre/Staff
Cindy Balterman stands for a portrait in front a sign that she made in hopes to stop foreclosure on her home in Golden Gate.



Cynthia Balterman has a new start but it’s not the start she wanted.

On Wednesday, she lost her two-story home in Golden Gate Estates at a foreclosure auction, held at the Collier County courthouse off U.S. 41 East.

The sale came after a last-ditch effort to convince Wells Fargo Bank to modify her mortgage. Her pleas to save her home, made through emails to bank executives, a YouTube video and a 6-by-12-foot sign in her driveway didn’t change the lender’s mind.

She was turned down for a loan modification for a third time Tuesday after her persistent cries for help got the attention of the media and Wells Fargo.

At the auction, her 2,556-square foot, four-bedroom home off Fifth Avenue Southwest didn’t go quickly, with several investors competing for it. They bid up the price until it ultimately sold for $241,900.

Wells Fargo was owed almost $257,000, so the lender got most of its money back. The home’s assessed value is nearly $231,000, according to Collier County property records.

At times, the bids rose by as little as $50, dragging out the inevitable sale at the auction. Balterman and her 18-year-old daughter, who have lived in the home for more than a decade, cried through it.

After the sale, one of the losing bidders, Alexander Oppliger with AXOP Industries Inc., tried to comfort them.

“You’re free and clear now,” he said. “You did what you could. It’s a new start.”

Balterman, 54, tried to stay calm. “I’m beside myself,” she said. “I thought I was going to have a new start with a loan modification.”

The winning bidder was Tarp Properties LLC. After making the final bid, Ric Bonasera, a general manager at Frey Son Homes in Naples, a related company, walked up to Balterman and consoled her. “Sorry about your misfortunes,” he said.

He said it was rare to see a homeowner still living in the home at this stage and still fighting to keep it.

Asked if Balterman might be able to get her home back, Bonasera said, “That’s always a possibility.”

But it seems an unlikely possibility as Balterman would have to find new financing, which will be tough after just going through a foreclosure. She said she doubts the financing will come through, “unless a philanthropist adopts me.”

She has offered to pay rent for a few months to stay in the home, which would give her more time to pack and find a new place to stay.

Bonasera said he’d work with Balterman in any way he could to smooth the transition.

“Nobody likes to see this happen to anybody,” he said. “It’s a business for us and there’s a personal side that sheds a different light.”

Connect with Laura Layden at www.naplesnews.com/staff/laura_layden

Article source: http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2012/jun/28/woman-loses-golden-gate-estates-home-to-at/

Brooklyn’s prospective new Congressman vows to explore tax breaks for Jewish …

A day after a huge primary victory, Hakeem Jeffries, Brooklyn’s prospective new Congressman, laid out his broad agenda from securing tax breaks for parents who send their children to religious schools to easing the deep foreclosure problem to federal police oversight.

The Assemblyman vowed to help his new cash-strapped base of Jewish support by exploring ways to change the byzantine tax code following the November general election for the 8th Congressional District, where he’s expected to dominate the overwhelmingly Democratic area.

“During the campaign I promised parents that this was an issue I’d seriously consider,” a bleary-eyed Jeffries, 41, said after shaking hands with scores of seniors in Clinton Hill.

Jeffries also noted that the newly-redrawn district has three neighborhoods with among the highest foreclosure rates in the city — Canarsie, Bedford-Stuyvesant and East New York.

“We’ve got to deal with the foreclosure crisis that’s sweeping all across the neighborhoods,” he said.

The feds and the New York State Attorney General are pressing banks busted for shoddy and forged foreclosure documents to allow homeowners to modify those faulty deals and supply them with free legal assistance.

“We’ve got to make sure that we download that…into the homes and the living rooms of individuals who are in distress,” he said, adding, “I’m not going to wait until January to deal with that issue.”

As for police oversight, Jeffries wants to work with the Department of Justice to pressure the NYPD to reform its controversial stop-and-frisk policy.

Jeffries outlined general aspects of his plans during a break on his “Thank You Tour” inside a senior center a block away from his campaign headquarters, following his decisive 72% to 28% win over controversial City Councilman Charles Barron, 61.

The state lawmaker won the majority of the sprawling district’s 120 voting enclaves, and even narrowly beat Barron in his own East New York backyard, in a small electoral district political pundits predicted the Councilman would easily control.

That may pose a problem for the Barron family’s future political prospects, with his wife Assemblywoman Inez Barron, facing a primary challenge from Chris Banks in September.

“It’s going to be difficult,” said one political insider familiar with the area.

As expected, Jeffries captured his largest margin of victory in Brighton Beach, a community mainly filled with white Russian voters, where he grabbed 98% of the votes, or 796 to 17.

He also won the hotly-contested Bed-Stuy neighborhood, 3,679 to 2,083. The swing neighborhood, which neither pol currently represents, has long been seen as a must-win for any black candidate, despite a 600% rise in the white population since 2000.

“He has proven himself to be an outspoken champion on issues of economic and social justice that are critically important to working people,” said Bob Master, a leader of the Working Families Party, which endorsed Jeffries.

rblau@nydailynews.com

Article source: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/brooklyn-prospective-new-congressman-vows-explore-tax-breaks-jewish-parents-ease-foreclosure-woes-monitor-stop-and-frisk-article-1.1103516

Increase in Foreclosures Termed ‘Sobering’

 

Editor’s note: Please see the bottom of the story for information from Madison Youth Family Services and the federal government for people threatened with or undergoing foreclosure.

The number of foreclosures in the south central Connecticut region jumped dramatically from 2011 to 2012, according to a presentation Wednesday at a meeting of the South Central Connecticut Regional Council of Governments (SCRCOG) on Washington Avenue in North Haven.

At the regional council meeting, First Selectman Fillmore McPherson of Madison termed the numbers “sobering.

In Madison, the number of lis pending filings, which indicates a pending legal action against a property owner, in the first quarter of the year was 21, according to a report from the Warren Group. There were five in January, seven in February and nine in March. The total of 21 compares with 69 in Branford, 15 in Clinton, nine in Durham, 17 in Guilford, five in Killingworth, 209 in New Haven, 15 in Old Saybrook, and three in Westbrook. 

Foreclosure deed filings in Madison include one in January and five in March

The total for the state in the first quarter was 4,502, including 1,157 in January, 1,652 in February, and 1,693 in March, according to the Warren Group report. 

The number of foreclosure deed filings, which are recorded when deeds transfer title to the lender after a mortgage foreclosure and include both strict foreclosures and committee deeds, in Madison for the first quarter of 2012 was six, including one in January, none in February, and five in March.

The number of foreclosure filings in the south central region of Connecticut rose from 481 in the first quarter of 2011 to 851 in the first quarter of 2012 for an increase of 75 percent, said Carla Weil, executive director of a loan fund that serves as administrative partner of The Real Options, Overcoming Foreclosures (ROOF).

Regional increase of 75 percent significantly outpaces statewide increase of 38 percent

This outpaced the statewide increase of 38 percent.

Weil, whose loan fund is officially the Greater New Haven Community Loan Fund, termed the data “heartbreaking.”

Coming so long after the housing crisis began, the increase, she said, was in part the result of the judicial system by which the Connecticut foreclosure process operates, and also of the negotiations that concluded earlier this year between the federal and 49 state governments and five major U.S. banks over alleged foreclosure abuses. 

Connecticut expected to receive $190 million from alleged foreclosure abuse settlement

Of the $25 billion sum the settlement produced, Connecticut is expected to receive more than $190 million, Weil said.

For people who have already lost their homes through explicit abusive practices, Weil said the settlement provides up to $2,000 for those who apply before Sept. 30.

Weil presented foreclosure filings in the 15 municipalities that comprise SCROCG.  In Hamden, the foreclosure filings jumped from 33 to 91.  In Milford, foreclosure filings went from 19 to 70.  In North Haven, the number increased from 10 to 17, and in Bethany—the sole SCROCG member that saw a decrease—the filings dropped from 6 to 4.

ROOF efforts helping to prevent some foreclosures

ROOF efforts, which the council embraced regionally last September, has had considerable success in preventing foreclosures through its outreach and mediation efforts, Weil said. 

She noted that only 47 percent of persons who are eligible for the state’s mediation efforts participated in the state mediation process for the last year for which data is available.  Of those, however, 63 percent were able to stay in their homes.

“Every single homeowner who is in foreclosure has the option of going through a mediation program that involves a third party mediator from the state,” Weil said.  “The best thing is to have a mediator and a counselor.

Free resources available to those in need

“The goal with ROOF all along is to get people to take advantage of the free resources that are out there,” she said. 

Also at the regional council meeting on Wednesday, Mayor Ben Blake of Milford noted the difficulty he and his staff have had in reaching attorneys from the plaintiffs’ law firms.  “Don’t they have a professional responsibility to get back to you?” the mayor asked.

James Zeoli, first selectman of Orange, noted that, by law, banks must register foreclosed properties with the Town Clerk, but that he has found that this is simply not always the case in Orange.

ROOF conducting foreclosure clinics

The decision by the council, which is charged with coordinating land use and transportation planning, to extend ROOF to the 15 municipalities under SCROCG’s jurisdiction last September came with an allocation of $25,000 for this fiscal year.

Volunteer representatives from the municipalities, which extend from Milford in the southwest to Madison on the east to Meriden on the north, participate in a Regional Housing Committee to oversee the ROOF’s regional foreclosure prevention efforts.

Since the council’s decision to take action, ROOF has conducted foreclosure clinics on a monthly basis in subregions within southcentral Connecticut in addition to outreach efforts such as sending letters about counseling and mediation resources directly to homeowners just entering foreclosure and training town staffs on available foreclosure resources, among the organization’s other activities.

HUD-certified counselors work with homeowners at risk

Through the program, HUD-certified counselors also work with homeowners at risk of foreclosure.

For additional information on the foreclosure prevention program, residents can access theroofproject.org.

The website includes information about the foreclosure mediation; legal, mortgage and job assistance, clinics, and homeowner legislation in Connecticut.

Help available from Madison Youth Family Services, and federal government

Madison Youth Family Services has a brochure of information for people threatened with or undergoing foreclosure. It is posted with this story. The Madison Youth Family services webpage has additional information about resources for families in need. The office is located at 10 School Street in
Madison, near the old Academy School, and the phone number is (203) 245-5645

Other resources include: 

Additional resources from HUD include:

Article source: http://madison-ct.patch.com/articles/increase-in-foreclosures-termed-sobering

Victorious Congressional candidate Jeffries thanks Brooklyn voters

A day after a huge primary victory, Hakeem Jeffries, Brooklyn’s prospective new Congressman, laid out his broad agenda from securing tax breaks for parents who send their children to religious schools to easing the deep foreclosure problem to federal police oversight.

The Assemblyman vowed to help his new cash-strapped base of Jewish support by exploring ways to change the byzantine tax code following the November general election for the 8th Congressional District, where he’s expected to dominate the overwhelmingly Democratic area.

“During the campaign I promised parents that this was an issue I’d seriously consider,” a bleary-eyed Jeffries, 41, said after shaking hands with scores of seniors in Clinton Hill.

Jeffries also noted that the newly-redrawn district has three neighborhoods with among the highest foreclosure rates in the city — Canarsie, Bedford-Stuyvesant and East New York.

“We’ve got to deal with the foreclosure crisis that’s sweeping all across the neighborhoods,” he said.

The feds and the New York State Attorney General are pressing banks busted for shoddy and forged foreclosure documents to allow homeowners to modify those faulty deals and supply them with free legal assistance.

“We’ve got to make sure that we download that…into the homes and the living rooms of individuals who are in distress,” he said, adding, “I’m not going to wait until January to deal with that issue.”

As for police oversight, Jeffries wants to work with the Department of Justice to pressure the NYPD to reform its controversial stop-and-frisk policy.

Jeffries outlined general aspects of his plans during a break on his “Thank You Tour” inside a senior center a block away from his campaign headquarters, following his decisive 72% to 28% win over controversial City Councilman Charles Barron, 61.

The state lawmaker won the majority of the sprawling district’s 120 voting enclaves, and even narrowly beat Barron in his own East New York backyard, in a small electoral district political pundits predicted the Councilman would easily control.

That may pose a problem for the Barron family’s future political prospects, with his wife Assemblywoman Inez Barron, facing a primary challenge from Chris Banks in September.

“It’s going to be difficult,” said one political insider familiar with the area.

As expected, Jeffries captured his largest margin of victory in Brighton Beach, a community mainly filled with white Russian voters, where he grabbed 98% of the votes, or 796 to 17.

He also won the hotly-contested Bed-Stuy neighborhood, 3,679 to 2,083. The swing neighborhood, which neither pol currently represents, has long been seen as a must-win for any black candidate, despite a 600% rise in the white population since 2000.

“He has proven himself to be an outspoken champion on issues of economic and social justice that are critically important to working people,” said Bob Master, a leader of the Working Families Party, which endorsed Jeffries.

rblau@nydailynews.com

Article source: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/brooklyn-prospective-congressman-vows-explore-tax-breaks-jewish-parents-ease-foreclosure-woes-monitor-stop-and-frisk-article-1.1103516?localLinksEnabled=false

Staggering Increase in Regional Foreclosures Termed ‘Sobering’

The number of foreclosures in the south central Connecticut region jumped dramatically from 2011 to 2012, according to a presentation Wednesday at a meeting of the South Central Connecticut Regional Council of Governments (SCRCOG) on Washington Avenue in North Haven.

The number of foreclosure filings in the south central region of Connecticut rose from 481 in the first quarter of 2011 to 851 in the first quarter of 2012 for an increase of 75 percent, said Carla Weil, executive director of a loan fund that serves as administrative partner of The Real Options, Overcoming Foreclosures (ROOF).

This outpaced the statewide increase of 38 percent.

At the regional council meeting, First Selectman Fillmore McPherson of Madison termed the numbers “sobering.”

Weil, whose loan fund is officially the Greater New Haven Community Loan Fund, termed the data “heartbreaking.”

Coming so long after the housing crisis began, the increase, she said, was in part the result of the judicial system by which the Connecticut foreclosure process operates, and also of the negotiations that concluded earlier this year between the federal and 49 state governments and five major U.S. banks over alleged foreclosure abuses. 

Of the $25 billion sum the settlement produced, Connecticut is expected to receive more than $190 million, Weil said.

For people who have already lost their homes through explicit abusive practices, Weil said the settlement provides up to $2,000 for those who apply before Sept. 30.

Weil presented foreclosure filings in the 15 municipalities that comprise SCROCG. In Hamden, the foreclosure filings jumped from 33 to 91. In Milford, foreclosure filings went from 19 to 70. In North Haven, the number increased from 10 to 17, and in Bethany — the sole SCROCG member that saw a decrease — the filings dropped from 6 to 4. Orange had four foreclosures in each of the first three months of 2012, bringing the total in town to 12 in Q1 of this year.

ROOF efforts, which the council embraced regionally last September, has had considerable success in preventing foreclosures through its outreach and mediation efforts, Weil said. 

She noted that only 47 percent of persons who are eligible for the state’s mediation efforts participated in the state mediation process for the last year for which data is available. Of those, however, 63 percent were able to stay in their homes.

“Every single homeowner who is in foreclosure has the option of going through a mediation program that involves a third party mediator from the state,” Weil said. “The best thing is to have a mediator and a counselor.

“The goal with ROOT all along is to get people to take advantage of the free resources that are out there,” she said. 

Also at the regional council meeting on Wednesday, Mayor Ben Blake of Milford noted the difficulty he and his staff have had in reaching attorneys from the plaintiffs’ law firms. “Don’t they have a professional responsibility to get back to you?” the mayor asked.

James Zeoli, first selectman of Orange, noted that, by law, banks must register foreclosed properties with the Town Clerk, but that he has found that this is simply not always the case in Orange.

The decision by the council, which is charged with coordinating land use and transportation planning, to extend ROOF to the 15 municipalities under SCROCG’s jurisdiction last September came with an allocation of $25,000 for this fiscal year.

Volunteer representatives from the municipalities, which extend from Milford in the southwest to Madison on the east to Meriden on the north, participate in a Regional Housing Committee to oversee the ROOT’s regional foreclosure prevention efforts.

Since the council’s decision to take action, ROOF has conducted foreclosure clinics on a monthly basis in subregions within southcentral Connecticut in addition to outreach efforts such as sending letters about counseling and mediation resources directly to homeowners just entering foreclosure and training town staffs on available foreclosure resources, among the organization’s other activities.

Through the program, HUD-certified counselors also work with homeowners at risk of foreclosure.

For additional information on the foreclosure prevention program, residents can access theroofproject.org.

Article source: http://orange.patch.com/articles/staggering-increase-in-regional-foreclosures-termed-sobering-bcb98e09

California foreclosure-prevention measure nears final passage

SACRAMENTO — A historic, first-in-the-nation foreclosure-prevention measure is one step away from final passage in the California Legislature.

A two-house conference committee Wednesday, on a partisan 4-1 vote, sent identical measures to the floors of the state Assembly and Senate. Final votes are scheduled for Monday.

The conference committee vote came at a particularly poignant time: the same day that the Central Valley city of Stockton became the largest municipality in the nation to declare bankruptcy, said Assemblyman Mike Eng (D-Monterey Park). Part of Stockton’s financial woes could be directly linked to a housing bust that made the city the foreclosure capital of America, he said.

Bankers, the state Chamber of Commerce and the securities industry oppose the bills, saying they are overly complicated, lack legal clarity and could spur many unnecessary lawsuits.

The bills would take effect on Jan. 1 if approved, as expected, by Democratic majorities in both houses. Gov. Jerry Brown has not indicated whether he would sign the measures, though sponsors have said they don’t expect a veto.

The bills, SB 900 and AB 278, are the most controversial elements of a Homeowner Bill of Rights legislative package sponsored by California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris. The bills are needed, Harris argued, to extend the benefits of a national foreclosure lawsuit settlement with five large banks to all owner-occupied mortgage holders.

“The bill in its final form is truly a document that’s going to give transparency and fairness to California homeowners in a way they never had before,” Harris said.

The bills protect homeowners in two ways:

–They ban so-called dual tracking, when mortgage loan servicers allow borrowers to open an application for loan modification to lower their payments while at the same time the foreclosure process is moving forward. Servicers would be required to provide homeowners with “a single point of contact” so they won’t suffer from bureaucratic runarounds.

–They give owner-occupier, first-mortgage holders a right to sue financial institutions, under limited conditions, if the lenders have willfully, intentionally or recklessly violated the law.

The conference committee approval and likely final legislative passage next week would end four years of efforts to provide significant relief to California borrowers, who have been hard hit by the effects of the 2007-09 recession.

“Our hearts tell us that this is the right thing to do,” Eng said.

RELATED:

Home price index rises in April

Stockton to file for bankruptcy protection

California foreclosure-prevention bill is likely to advance

Article source: http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-foreclosure-bill-20120627,0,5975376.story

RBI asks urban coop banks to stop levying pre-payment penalty

Moneylife Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation with a mission is to spread financial literacy and be the voice of Indian savers. Membership is

Article source: http://www.moneylife.in/article/rbi-asks-urban-coop-banks-to-stop-levying-pre-payment-penalty/26580.html

Paying the cost of foreclosed/vacant properties

A Twin Cities-based organization and some Coon Rapids residents have called on the Coon Rapids City Council to take steps to stop paying the cost of vacant/foreclosed homes in Coon Rapids.

Logo on the website for Our Future Minnesota, which, together with some Coon Rapids residents, wants the Coon Rapids City Council to enact an ordinance requiring banks to pay for the cost of their foreclosed/vacant properties in the city. Source: Our Future Minnesota

Logo on the website for Our Future Minnesota, which, together with some Coon Rapids residents, wants the Coon Rapids City Council to enact an ordinance requiring banks to pay for the cost of their foreclosed/vacant properties in the city. Source: Our Future Minnesota

Four residents spoke at the June 5 open mik portion of the Coon Rapids City Council and presented a petition with 164 signatures from residents supporting a model ordinance that was presented to the council by Our Future Minnesota.

Under the proposed ordinance, banks would be required to register their foreclosed properties with the city, including contact information on who would be maintaining the property and the registration process would also include a fee to cover the maintenance costs of monitoring the property.

Our Future Minnesota, whose website states that “it is engaging parents, families and students across Minnesota to work for a better state – one with excellent schools, quality care for our seniors and safe roads and bridges” – has launched a “Big Banks Make Bad Neighbors” program.

According to Emily Bisek, communications director, Our Future Minnesota, Coon Rapids was chosen by the organization for the model ordinance because it has been hit hard by foreclosures and has a lot of vacant homes.

“Coon Rapids has taken some good first steps in dealing with the vacant homes issue, but we want it go all the way and make a real difference,” Bisek said.

Specifically, the model ordinance would require big banks to pay for the maintenance of foreclosed properties, instead of taxpayer dollars picking up the tab, she said in a press release.

A city of Minneapolis ordinance was cited as an example by Our Future Minnesota; it charges the owner of a foreclosed property $6,000 up front, regardless if there are any issues with the property that the city has to deal with.

As is normal with an open mik request, the council referred it to staff for a report to be provided at the next council meeting which is Tuesday, July 17 because the Tuesday, July 3 meeting has been canceled by the council because of its proximity to the Fourth of July holiday.

According to a report issued by Our Future Minnesota, between 2008 and 2011 the number of unsecured homes jumped near 350 percent and the number of complaints for unkempt properties “skyrocketed” from 172 in 2005 to a high of 1,244 in 2009, while during the same period, the number of times the city had to send out a crew to clean up those properties went from 11 to 374.

One of the open mik speakers, Jeanie Johnston told the council that she and her husband now live in 425 square feet in Columbia Heights after formerly owning a 3,500 square-foot home in Coon Rapids.

The bank foreclosed on the home after refusing to negotiate their mortgage after she lost her job and she and her husband, the longtime pastor at Crossroads Church on Foley Boulevard, had difficulty meeting their payments, she said.

“Foreclosed properties rip apart the fabric of the community,” Johnston said.

“Taxpayers should not be footing the bill to clean up neglected properties.”

Resident Kristina Clark and her husband are currently going through foreclosure on their Coon Rapids home and the bank won’t modify the loan so they can keep their home, she said.

“We want to put pressure on the big banks to work with homeowners in the city,” Clark said.

Jefferson Fietek is a lifelong resident of Coon Rapids and has seen the detrimental impact of foreclosures on the neighborhood where his parents still live and the area of the city where he currently resides, he said.

“I am saddened by the unwillingness of big banks to work with homeowners and I don’t think the city should be footing the bill for foreclosed homes,” Fietek said.

Carol Nieters, executive director of SEIU Local 284, which represents support staff in several school districts, including Anoka-Hennepin School District 11, described the proposed ordinance as a “simple solution” for the city to cover the costs of “troublesome properties.”

Banks caused the foreclosure crisis and “should not be let off the hook,” according to Nieters.

Current city action to deal with vacant properties does not go far enough, Nieters said.

Mayor Tim Howe said he appreciated the “professionalism” shown in the presentation and asked if Our Future Minnesota plans to go to other cities.

According to Nieters, the organization has worked with the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as some school districts, and plans to “try to broaden its reach.”

Howe said the council is always willing to listen to ideas, but it does have to follow a legal process and did tighten up its regulations in response to the increase in foreclosed/vacant properties.

Minneapolis’ $6,000 charge up front was “very interesting,” he said.

According to Kristin DeGrande, the figures provided by Our Future Minnesota in its report were “not entirely accurate” and the organization underestimated the steps the city takes to deal with foreclosed/vacant properties.

When city crews respond to code or other issues with vacant properties, the cost of city staff time and abatement, if necessary, is assessed back to the properties via property taxes, DeGrande said in an interview following the council meeting.

In cases of code violations, an administrative citation is issued by the city if compliance does not occur within a specified time period, she said.

Under state law, those citations can be appealed to the city’s Board of Adjustment and Appeals, but if they are denied, then the cost has to be paid either within a certain time or it becomes an assessment against the property, DeGrande said.

The council has also put in place a vacant property monitoring fee, according to DeGrande.

That fee of $600 a year for residential and $1,000 for commercial properties is charged if the city is called out to a vacant property three of four times a year and once imposed, the fee is charged each year until the property is sold, DeGrande said.

Before any citations or fees can be imposed against a property, vacant or not, the city is required by law to send a letter to the property owner, who has 30 days to fix the violation before any fine or fee can be charged, she said.

“We want properties to be in compliance, look good and be well maintained,” DeGrande said.

“But we have certain protocols that we have to follow.”

The city continues to come up with new tools to address foreclosed/vacant property issues, for example water shut-offs to prevent potential problems, DeGrande said.

Under this policy, the city shuts off water to properties that are either unoccupied or without utilities and to get water restored to the property, the owner has to file an application along with a $75 inspection fee because the water won’t be turned back on until the property is inspected.

The water restoration policy lists issues that would prevent water from being turned back on – no heat, no gas or electric service, no exposes wiring, no broken or damaged water pipes, severe mold issues, weather tight building, severe structural problems or unsuitable for habitation.

According to DeGrande, the number of vacant properties in Coon Rapids dipped below 500 for the first time in four years last fall.

“The housing market is stabilizing and home values are going up,” DeGrande said. “These are all positive signs.”

But the city is always willing to listen to ways to improve its policies, she said.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

Article source: http://abcnewspapers.com/2012/06/27/paying-the-cost-of-foreclosedvacant-properties/

Sign of the times: Estates woman expects to lose her home to …


In a last-ditch attempt to save her Golden Gate Estates home, Cynthia Balterman erected a big, red-lettered golden sign that stands 6 feet tall and spans 12 feet wide. It’s to Wells Fargo Bank, her lender.

In all capital letters, it screams, “I want to keep my home! Please stop the foreclosure sale and work with me!”

But it all may for nothing: Balterman’s home is headed for a foreclosure sale today at the Collier County courthouse. She plans to be there to see who buys it.

“Then, I’m going to have to start packing,” she said, sadly.

She took other last-minute steps to save her home off Fifth Avenue Southwest, including producing a YouTube video that asks Wells Fargo to have a change of heart. She emailed the bank’s executives, pleading her case, and she set up a Twitter account on Sunday to send out tweets she hoped would catch the eye of her lender and the media.

Balterman was successful in getting the attention of Wells Fargo. But she didn’t get the answer she hoped for, as her lender for a third time denied her attempts to get a loan modification that would have allowed her to stay in her home.

“The bank just called and I was turned down,” she said Tuesday afternoon. “They were worried about affordability and I had other debts. They said they were sorry, there was nothing they could do.”

She was also told there was no way the lender could stop the sale because it would have required a 20-day notice to the judge.

On Monday, after getting the attention of Wells Fargo through a barrage of emails to executives, a customer service agent was assigned to her. Balterman had hoped to get the foreclosure sale delayed. She was told the lender would review her case again and she was asked to fax her updated financial information, including recent check stubs and her last three months of bank statements. But that wasn’t enough to change the lender’s mind.

“We have been working with Ms. Balterman since 2010 to try and find options that might help her remain in her home. Unfortunately in this case we were unable to find any options that would allow her to maintain homeownership,” said Veronica Clemons, a spokeswoman for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

“Even when foreclosure is inevitable, we will continue to work with our customers to help them as easily as possible transition from the home.”

With a monthly income of nearly $3,300, Balterman said she thought she’d be able to work out a compromise with the lender.

“I’m showing consistent employment,” she said minutes after getting the final word from Wells Fargo. “I’m trying to reason this out in my head, as my daughter is crying in the other room.”

Her custom-built 2,556-square foot home, with four bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms, was her dream home. Balterman, 54, has lived in the home with her daughter, who recently graduated from Gulf Coast High School, for more than a decade.

Over the weekend, she built the sign in her driveway out of plywood in the rain, which asks Wells Fargo to give her another chance. As she was putting it up on Saturday afternoon, a prospective buyer drove up because he’d heard her two-story home would be auctioned off this week, she said. She asked him to leave immediately, trying to control her emotions.

Before she put up the sign, she produced the YouTube video – her first one.

Her financial problems started in the spring of 2009. She was going through a difficult divorce and the electrical contracting business she owned with her now ex-husband went out of business, leaving her with no income for many months, she said.

She now works at a Walmart pharmacy, she’s receiving child support and she’s searching for a second job. She said she’s paying down other debts, including the money she owes to the IRS.

Her final judgment is for nearly $257,000. Her mortgage was $2,275 a month, with an interest rate of 6.875 percent.

At this stage, she is three years behind on her payments.

Balterman is also losing a condo in East Naples to foreclosure. She bought it for her father, who helped pay the mortgage until he recently died, she said.

“That’s going back to the bank,” Balterman said.

__ Connect with Laura Layden at www.naplesnews.com/staff/laura_layden

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2a3lECRA1s

Article source: http://www.marconews.com/news/2012/jun/27/sign-of-the-times-estates-woman-expects-to-lose/