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Wells Fargo denies telling homeowner to skip payments, offers $2 loan modification

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Should homeowners skip payments?

When the economy slowed, so did Ohio homeowner Mike Elewski’s family owned business. Seeing the problem coming, he called his mortgage holder, Wells Fargo to ask for a loan modification to avoid oncoming problems and was informed they could only help if he was behind on his mortgage and Elewski claims they told him to miss payments so he could receive help.

Wells Fargo denies the claims, but most of us in the real estate industry have heard first hand this same advice coming from various banks- don’t pay and we can help.

Will $2 fix this? Huh, buddy?

Now, Elewski’s home is in foreclosure and in a judge ordered mediation session at which time he was offered a loan modification of $2 off his monthly mortgage payment leaving foreclosure eminent.

How homeowners are seeking resolve

Responsible homeowners being advised by banks to skip payments is akin to the welfare system advising someone to sell their car before they can qualify because their assets are too great. It creates a system of ridiculous demands on people who are trying to avoid destitution.

Homeowners file complaints with their attorneys general to no avail. Wells Fargo seems impervious to bad public relations as more homeowners tell their stories to news outlets as often their only recourse. One shouldn’t have to go to any of those lengths, nor should they have to go on a hunger strike to get Wells Fargo to discuss a reasonable modification or find loopholes to foreclose on Wells Fargo branches.

How to fix this problem

It’s not a government program that will prop this situation up, it’s only banks that can fix their problems and for years, that problem has been refusal to communicate effectively or at all. If the government is thirsty to regulate something or put a program into place, let it be regulation of effective bank communication.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. I’ve had Wells Fargo tell a home owner to stop paying if he wanted his short sale approved. Actually told him that he must be 61+ days late….?!?!

    Anyone else out there?

    • Lani Rosales

      March 25, 2011 at 6:00 pm

      Brad, I’m not a Realtor, but I hear of this happening a lot in conversation with Realtors and most are exasperated by it. Homeowners are even MORE exasperated by it. And when they listen, this is where they end up. When they don’t, this is where they end up.

      • John Perkins

        March 27, 2011 at 12:39 pm

        My clients had Wells Fargo staff tell her to stop making payments for 61 days too. What a bunch of liars and that makes me angry that they would say they don’t suggest this as a method. Why would my clients tell me this exact phrase before I put their home on the market to sell it pre-forclosure. Wells Fargo said after all this that they weren’t approved. So not only did they follow the suggestion but were hit with lowering their credit score.

  2. Sig

    March 26, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Banks deny doing this but REALTORS see it every day. Why deliberately hurt someone’s otherwise good credit by advising them to skip some payments? Because if your credit score sinks, banks and other lending institutions can use this as an excuse to charge higher rates on everything else you buy on credit. They can use this as an excuse to raise your credit card rates on amounts you owe. I don’t know what argument anyone could use to convince me and many other REALTORS that all of the lending institutions are in this together. It’s a scam that makes Bernie Madoff look like a rookie.

  3. Julie Emery

    March 26, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    I don’t think there’s a Realtor out there doing short sales on a regular basis who hasn’t come across this tactic by banks. It’s one thing if you’re dealing with a reputable partner and they tell you to take this kind of risks. Unfortunately, there’s nothing the least bit reputable about most banks these days and sellers would be well advised to be very careful about following this advice. And they wonder why so many folks end up in foreclosure! Duh!

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Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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