You Need Free Legal Advice When Dealing With Your Mortgage Lender!
My name is Ted Greene. I am an Attorney experienced in Real Estate, Foreclosure and Bankruptcy. I am also a Real Estate Broker. When mortgages started going upside down sometime in 2007 I realized something very profound. I was in the right place at the right time to help people who were caught up in this housing nightmare.
It really hit me when I was talking to a nice couple that wanted to file bankruptcy. During the intake process I asked them if they owned a house and they said yes. The lawyer they talked to prior to coming to me told them to let the house go in foreclosure and then file bankruptcy. I asked them if they had thought of a short sale. They said no. We ended up doing a short sale for them and while the short sale was taking place they used the money they were NOT paying the mortgage company to pay down their debt at a reduced settlement and they did NOT have to file a bankruptcy. I felt an incredible sense of satisfaction because I had really helped them. They avoided having a foreclosure and a bankruptcy on their record and will be in the position to buy a house in 2 years should they desire.
I thought long and hard about why the bankruptcy attorney mentioned above gave them that advice. Bankruptcy attorneys only make money when they do a bankruptcy for someone. They also do not know very much about short sales. That is when I realized that I should focus on short sales. I was also hearing from clients about real estate agents trying to explain the law to them and making the whole thing very confusing.
I then started focusing completely on how the law applies to short sales, foreclosure and bankruptcy. It has been a very difficult road but I persevered and now consider myself an expert in this very confusing area. Part of the difficulty most people face when trying to educate themselves is the fact that with the internet there is TOO much information out there. Using Google to searche on the internet is a tremendously valuable resource. However it can be very confusing too. In the specific area of upside down mortgages you have to be very careful of where you are getting your information. There is a lot of bad information out there. You MUST make sure to get information that is current and applies to California law. Otherwise it’s a waste of time reading. The law changes all the time too. I spend at least my first hour every day reading from a host of sources about what happened yesterday in this complex and confusing area. It’s difficult but you must stay current to be relevant.
I have heard from clients that were given advice from a “Real Estate” agent that was frankly shocking. Real Estate agents are not allowed to practice law which means they CANNOT and should not give legal advice. When the legal advice they give is BAD legal advice then it becomes shocking. One poor lady called me for a bankruptcy consultation and told me that a real estate agent told her to sign a note payable for $20,000 so her short sale could conclude and then she should file bankruptcy. She only had one loan on her home. I told her to NOT sign anything. In California a first mortgage holder cannot make someone sign a promissory note when agreeing to a short sale. SB931 was passed into law and became the law on January 1, 2011. This agent was giving this legal advice in February 2011. Fortunately I saved that nice lady from having a bankruptcy on her record. The agent was only concerned about the commission. This is only one example of many reasons why it’s critical to have an attorney review and oversee your specific situation.
We have it all under one roof. The benefits to our clients doing short sales is that it costs them NOTHING. I give them legal advice, handle their short and we get paid from the bank. Our clients seek us out for legal answers and when they find out we handle it all in one office they truly appreciate how easy we make it for them. And of course they love getting free legal advice.
The process is simple… clients call me for a consultation – I analyze their unique situation and explain the options available to them. Most importantly I explain the legal consequences of the options. If the client wants to move forward with a short sale we start the process with a listing agreement. We then list the property for sale. While the property is on the market we gather the documents needed for submission (we only need a few documents). Once we get an offer to purchase we submit the final piece and then there usually is a 2 month waiting period for the bank to approve the short sale. The process usually takes 4-6 months total but can sometimes go longer. The most important thing is for us to make sure the bank follows the law. That is what sometimes can add to the process but it is also why it is very important to have an attorney overseeing the process.
Again this is FREE to our clients. I just recently met with a prospective client who had recently met with a real estate agent wanting to get their short sale listing. The agent said that they should get legal advice and when the client talked to the recommended attorneys office they were quoted $3,000.00 to oversee the process! I suppose that attorney has to make money somehow. With us it’s FREE because we ALSO handle the real estate and make our money from your bank.
I would be happy to talk to you about your unique situation and give you a free analysis. You can call me at 916.442.6400 or go to my website for more information… www.upsidedownca.com.