Today I spoke with clients whose house is worth less than what they owe.

What a fix to be in… When you can no longer afford to own your house & yet you can’t afford to sell it. Right now, many people simply give and go into foreclosure.

Don’t give up. But what are the choices? What are the steps?

Don’t give up!

  • Get Help! Talk to your family. Financial Counselors are available – talk to one. Get a realistic idea of what your home can sell for.
  • Get Organized! Make a list of what you’re spending and prioritize it. Get your taxes for the last couple of years together. Make a list of your debts – include your home loans, credit cards and other loans such as school loans, car loans/leases, etc.
  • Write down the details of your personal situation. Why can’t you afford your loan anymore. Reasons can be an increased interest rate, reduced hours at work, health problems, change in marital status, new family members, and job loss. These or similar issues are often involved. Write down an explanation of your own situation.
  • Be Careful who you listen to. Well-meaning people make suggestions to be helpful but often don’t know all the facts. Be sure you talk to qualified people. There are financial counselors who charge fees who will give you unbiased advice. There are also volunteer organizations such as the Hope! an alliance which includes lenders, investors & counselors.
  • Talk to your lender. After you have taken these steps contact your lender. Your Realtor or other advisor can often do this on your behalf. Armed with all the facts you can start the negotiations with your lender

Unfortunately, foreclosures & short sales have become an unpleasant fact of life in La Crescenta, Sunland, Tujunga, Shadow Hills & portions of Glendale. We are also seeing a few foreclosures in La Canada. In a future post we’ll discuss why lenders say yes to “Short Sales” ; we’ll also go over the foreclosure process.

If you or someone you know is having a difficult time in these trying times, please, get help.