When the wall..comes tumbling down!


So, yesterday, I get a call from one of my Sellers. I had written about this particular Seller, in one of my earlier posts Three blind mice, three blind mice…blah, blah, blah!” First, let me say I really like these folks. As you can see, this is a public post, as all of mine are, my Sellers read my Blog and know that I am going to use their situations as teaching tools. Maybe, if they read this it will reiterate what I told them yesterday and finally reality will sink in. I just hate it when folks dig their hole deeper by trying to solve serious problems, by putting a bandage on them, when the situation calls for an amputation.

These folks owe $195,000 on a house worth, maybe, $185,000. The property is currently listed with me, with the intent of finding a Buyer, and then being able to negotiate a “short sale”. The combined payment is $1,400 a month and is way more than they can afford. Anyway, I got a call yesterday wanting to know if they were able to take the home off the market. Of course, I have no problem with this, as all of my listing agreements can be canceled at any time. In fact, I was kind of excited, hoping that they had decided to take measures to keep the house. I never wanted to list their house to begin with and had suggested they do whatever it takes to continue making payments. Like get a job!!

The reality is, that a rental will cost them $1,100 to $1,200 a month, anyway. So really, by losing the house, they are only saving a couple of hundred dollars a month. It doesn’t make financial sense.

Well, I guess the stress has become too much and they have cracked under the pressure. Their new game plan is to refinance the house again. Supposedly, the Mortgage Broker who has offered to “help” them, said he can reduce their payment by $40 per month!!! Of course, this will cost them another $6,000 to $7,000, in equity, that doesn’t exist to begin with. And there are no proceeds to the Seller. Thanks for your “help”, buddy.

When I asked the Seller about this, their response was, that by refinancing, they would be able to skip March’s payment and then they could use their tax return to make the payment for April. I asked them if they would then be able to continue to make more payments and they said “No, but we can’t worry about that now, we just want to buy some time.” So, there you have it, their well thought out plan. Quite the doozie!!!

Of course, we all know, that this plan, doesn’t have a chance in hell of working. The payment will, more than likely, go up once the deal is structured. The Sellers by this time will be sold on their “solution” and will move forward with the refinancing, regardless of the payment. The “tax refund” will be spent on something else way before it is received. They will never make a payment on the new loan. A “short sale” will probably be out of reach by the time more “artificial equity” is taken from the house and placed in the Mortgage Broker and Lender’s pocket. The Seller will be left facing an inevitable foreclosure again. And the “mind numbing” cycle of stress will begin all over again.

Well, I’ve done my best to get these folks to see reality. It ain’t going to happen. The only thing left for me to do is pick up my sign and move on to the next “blind mouse” and try once again to help folks that are not willing to be helped. Such is the life of a REALTOR® in a declining market.

This is the fault of ALL Mortgage Brokers, Loan Officers and Lenders out there who prey on the stressed out uninformed consumer. OK, OK just kidding. But I do love getting the financial guys riled up!!!

Unfortunately, we can educate and counsel the consumer, until we are blue in the face, but they will still do what they want, in the end. I feel like I have been banging my head up against a wall. The wall of irresponsibility. Well folks, I’m here to tell you, that if attitudes don’t change, this wall is going to come tumbling down. And the innocent will be crushed.

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