It’s a Sign of the Times!

Most of us grew up thinking that if we planned well and played by the rules, we’d never have to stand by as our financial lives unraveled.

But upheaval on Wall Street, unacceptable rates of unemployment and plummeting real estate values have taken their toll.

Since 2007, 7.9 million homeowners have lost their homes to foreclosure. Current estimates are that one in four homeowners owe more on their mortgages than they could get from the sale of their home. Millions more homes will be lost to foreclosure before this real estate crisis runs its course.

The sad fact is that foreclosure is not an isolated event. For months leading up to the loss of a home, financially strapped homeowners live under a cloud of uncertainty. And then for many years afterwards, the blow to credit gets in the way of buying another home or buying anything on credit. Foreclosure even complicates employment prospects.

The impact of foreclosure is huge and the sad fact is that it’s often avoidable.

As a real estate professional who has earned the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation, my mission is to provide financially strapped homeowners with options to foreclosure, ensure that they steer clear of scams, and help navigate them through the solution that best meets their needs.

Among the most important facts to keep in mind: the sooner help is sought, the better the options.

These are tough times, but more help is available than ever before.

If you or someone you care about is ready to navigate away from the dark cloud of an unmanageable mortgage and realize that hope and blue skies are within reach, contact me today and let’s get started.

Perhaps you may want to consider selling your farm, ranch, or midtown Tulsa home now while there are many buyers out in force taking advantage of record-breaking low mortgage rates.

Call Debbie Solano today at 918-724-8201 to list your midtown Tulsa home.

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Copyright© 2013 by Debbie Solano — ALL RIGHTS RESERVED — Tulsa Short Sale Agents — It’s a Sign of the Times

10 Options to rescue you from the brink of foreclosure.

On the edge of losing your Tulsa home to Foreclosure? Here are 10 Options to rescue you from the brink of foreclosure.

On the Edge of Losing Your Home to Foreclosure?

Click here to download a flyer and read about 10 options to rescue you (or someone you know) from the brink of foreclosure.

Homeowners having financial difficulties typically struggle to make their mortgage payments. Often they mistakenly believe they have no options other than to allow the bank to foreclose on their home. Nothing could be further from the truth.

There are at least ten different alternatives to foreclosure. Here is a list of options for homeowners:

  • Short Sale
  • Reinstatement
  • Forbearance or Repayment Plan
  • Mortgage Modification
  • Rent the Property
  • Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure
  • Bankruptcy
  • Refinance
  • Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) (for military personnel only)
  • Sell the Property

Slipping toward foreclosure can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and loss of self-esteem. Don’t give up.

There are options available to help millions of homeowners rescue themselves from the brink.

Since it is crucial to act before a foreclosure takes place, now is the most important time for you to review the following options and solutions.

As a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE), I am trained in assessing all foreclosure alternatives and pursuing the best solution for your own financial situation.

  1. Short Sale

    A short sale allows the homeowner to avoid foreclosure, minimize financial damage and move on from a burdensome, unaffordable mortgage.

    In many cases, a short sale allows the borrower to qualify for a new mortgage in just 24 months, as opposed to five years or more after a foreclosure.

    A trained real estate agent can negotiate a short sale with your lender if you have three qualifications.

    • First, you must show some type of financial hardship.
    • Second, you must have a monthly shortfall, meaning your monthly expenses are greater than your monthly income.
    • Finally, you need to prove that your debts are greater than the value of your assets (certain investments, property, etc.).
  2. Reinstatement

    A reinstatement is the simplest solution for a foreclosure, however it is often the most difficult for homeowners to achieve. The homeowner simply pays the total amount past due (including late fees) to the lender.

    This solution does not require the lender’s approval and will “reinstate” a mortgage up to the day before the foreclosure sale.

  3. Forbearance or Repayment Plan

    A forbearance or repayment plan involves negotiating with the mortgage company to allow the homeowner to repay back-payments over a period of time.

    The homeowner typically makes current mortgage payments in addition to a portion of the back-payments owed. This option requires lender approval.

  4. Mortgage Modification

    A mortgage modification involves the reduction of one of the following: the interest rate on the loan, the principal balance of the loan, the term of the loan, or any combination of these.

    These changes require lender approval and typically result in a lower payment for the homeowner and a more affordable mortgage.

  5. Rent the Property

    This option does not require lender approval, but does require the homeowner’s ability to rent the house for enough money to cover the monthly mortgage payment.

    It is important to remember that there may be unexpected costs associated with the maintenance of a rental property in addition to the monthly mortgage payments. Homeowners should take this into consideration when deciding whether this option will work for them.

  6. Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure

    Also known as a “friendly foreclosure,” a deed in lieu allows the homeowner to return the property to the lender rather than go through the foreclosure process.

    Lender approval is required for this option, and the homeowner must also vacate the property.

    A Deed in lieu can potentially lessen the damage to a credit score and future loan eligibility, and sometimes the lender will forgo their right to pursue a deficiency judgment, meaning the homeowner will not be responsible for further payments.

  7. Bankruptcy

    Many have considered and marketed bankruptcy as a “foreclosure solution,” but this is only true in some states and situations.

    This does not require lender approval, but you must have non-mortgage debts that you claim as a hardship.

    Entering bankruptcy can be a risky and costly process. Be sure to seek the advice of a qualified bankruptcy attorney when pursuing this as an option.

  8. Refinance

    As opposed to mortgage modification, refinancing means you will be acquiring a new loan based on your current credit standing.

    If you have already missed mortgage payments, your credit score may make it difficult to find a loan with cheaper payments.

  9. Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)

    (for Military personnel only)
    If a member of the military is experiencing financial distress due to deployment—and that person can show that the debt was entered into prior to deployment—he or she may qualify for relief under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

    The American Bar Association has a network of attorneys that will work with servicemembers to help qualify them for this relief.

  10. Sell the Property

    Homeowners with sufficient equity can list their property with a qualified agent who understands the foreclosure process in their area.

    Unfortunately, many homeowners in today’s market have experienced a decline in home value and may owe more than what the home is worth.

Pull Yourself Back From the Brink

If you are on the edge, you have no time to waste. Call me today; I’m here to lend a hand.

Place Your Confidence in CDPE

With the right assistance, the stress of facing foreclosure becomes manageable. CDPE- designated agents have received the knowledge and training necessary to assess all possible foreclosure alternatives and pursue homeowners’ best options.

A CDPE- designated agent attends several days of intensive, thorough training on foreclosure avoidance and how to negotiate short sales efficiently and ethically. The highly regarded CDPE logo means you are working with the most informed, up-to- date resource available.

Perhaps you may want to consider selling your farm, ranch, or midtown Tulsa home now while there are many buyers out in force taking advantage of record-breaking low mortgage rates.

Call Debbie Solano today at 918-724-8201 to list your midtown Tulsa home.

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Copyright© 2013 by Debbie Solano — ALL RIGHTS RESERVED — Tulsa Short Sale Agents — On the Edge of Losing Your Home to Foreclosure?


Oklahoma is a Judicial Foreclosure State.

If you are behind on your mortgage payments
, you probably already are aware that you might lose your house because of non-payment of your debt to your lender.

Have no fear. Oklahoma is a judicial foreclosure state. The chances are good that you will have the opportunity to go through the judicial foreclosure process, which allows homeowners to have due process.

Having said that, there is a possibility that there is a “right of sale” clause in your mortgage.

Oklahoma allows both judicial and non-judicial foreclosure of real property.

In non-judicial foreclosures, the mortgage gives the lender a “right of sale” and the lender can sell the house without having to sue the homeowner who is behind on mortgage payments. However, if there is no “right of sale” clause, then the lender must file a lawsuit against the delinquent homeowner in order to take back the house.

— Dan Nunley, What happens during the “judicial foreclosure” process in Oklahoma?

Don’t Move Out

You are better off staying in the house until you are thrown out. Nobody can throw you out without due process.

  1. If you are a homeowner living in a house that might be foreclosed on, stay there until the sheriff comes and tells you to leave. That would be a few days before the confirmation hearing, which is usually two to three weeks after the sheriff’s sale.
  2. If you are a tenant living in a house in danger of being foreclosed on, stay there. Laws in Oklahoma will protect you through the foreclosure process. You will pay the homeowner until he loses the house; after the confirmation hearing you will pay the mortgagee or the new owner of the home — whoever purchased the house at the sheriff’s sale (usually the bank or the guarantor).

Not every state is a judicial foreclosure state. Oklahoma is one only a handful of states that are considered foreclosure states.

That means that in Oklahoma, nobody can take your house away without going through a legal process of foreclosure. That’s due process.

File for a Homestead Exemption

If you have a homestead exemption, only the mortgagee can take away your house. The mortgagee is the one who owns the note. Think of Monopoly when you turn over the cards.

  1. The bank is the mortgagee.
  2. The homeowner is the mortgagor.

Note to self: file for your homestead exemption at the Tulsa County Tax Assessor’s Office or at the tax assessor’s office in whatever county you happen to live.

Find Out What Legal Options Are Available

  1. Pick up the rock and look underneath it.
  2. Face your fear and discover what is there and what your options are.
    1. Call a Tulsa, Oklahoma lawyer who can advise you with regard to consumer issues, bankruptcy, and foreclosures
    2. Call your lender (the bank, mortgage company, or lender) or guarantor. Lenders and guarantors encourage homeowners to reach out early to their lender or servicer if they face any hardship affecting their ability to pay their mortgage.
    3. Call the Help for Homeowners Hotline: 888-995-HOPE

Perhaps you may want to consider selling your midtown Tulsa home now while there are many buyers out in force taking advantage of record-breaking low mortgage rates.

Call Debbie Solano today at 918-724-8201 to list your midtown Tulsa home.

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Copyright© 2012 by Debbie Solano — ALL RIGHTS RESERVED — Tulsa Short Sale Agents — Oklahoma is a Judicial Foreclosure State


Are you Going through a Divorce or Other Significant Hardship and Need to Do a Short Sale? Do you have a conventional loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac? If so, then read on. These new guidelines will significantly help you through the important task of property division during your divorce.

New Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Guidelines for short sales will go into effect on November 1st allowing people going through a divorce or other significant hardship to seek a short sale even though they are not behind on their mortgage payments.

This is a huge change in the guidelines that will significantly help couples going through a divorce or other significant hardship to sell their homes.

Here is the announcement as it appeared online yesterday on the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® website Opening Doors:

New Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Short Sale Guidelines Announced
August 21, 2012

Washington, DC – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are issuing new, clear guidelines to their mortgage servicers that will align and consolidate existing short sales programs into one standard short sale program. The streamlined program rules will enable lenders and servicers to quickly and easily qualify eligible borrowers for a short sale.

The new guidelines, which go into effect Nov. 1, 2012, will permit a homeowner with a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage to sell their home in a short sale even if they are current on their mortgage if they have an eligible hardship. Servicers will be able to expedite processing a short sale for borrowers with hardships such as death of a borrower or co-borrower, divorce, disability, or relocation for a job without any additional approval from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

“These new guidelines demonstrate FHFA’s and Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s commitment to enhancing and streamlining processes to avoid foreclosure and stabilize communities,” said FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco. “The new standard short sale program will also provide relief to those underwater borrowers who need to relocate more than 50 miles for a job.”

The new guidelines:

  • Offer a streamlined short sale approach for borrowers most in need: To move short sales forward expeditiously for those borrowers who have missed several mortgage payments, have low credit scores, and serious financial hardships the documentation required to demonstrate need has been reduced or eliminated.
  • Enable servicers to quickly and easily qualify certain borrowers who are current on their mortgages for short sales: Common reasons for borrower hardship are death, divorce, disability, and distant employment transfer or relocation. With the program changes, servicers will be permitted to process short sales for borrowers with these hardships without any additional approval from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, even if the borrowers are current on their mortgage payments. Borrowers will now qualify for a short sale if they need to relocate more than 50 miles from their home for a job transfer or new employment opportunity.
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will waive the right to pursue deficiency judgments in exchange for a financial contribution when a borrower has sufficient income or assets to make cash contributions or sign promissory notes: Servicers will evaluate borrowers for additional capacity to cover the shortfall between the outstanding loan balance and the property sales price as part of approving the short sale.
  • Offer special treatment for military personnel with Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders: Service members who are being relocated will be automatically eligible for short sales, even if they are current on their existing mortgages, and will be under no obligation to contribute funds to cover the shortfall between the outstanding loan balance and the sales price on their homes.
  • Consolidate existing short sales programs into a single uniform program: Servicers will have more clear and consistent guidelines making it easier to process and execute short sales.
  • Provide servicers and borrowers clarity on processing a short sale when a foreclosure sale is pending: The new guidance will clarify when a borrower must submit their application and a sales offer to be considered for a short sale, so that last-minute communications and negotiations are handled in a uniform and fair manner.
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will offer up to $6,000 to second lien holders to expedite a short sale. Previously, second lien holders could slow down the short sale process by negotiating for higher amounts.

This alignment comes as part of a broader FHFA effort, the Servicing Alignment Initiative, to streamline Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac programs for short sales and other foreclosure alternatives to assist struggling homeowners. FHFA announced guidelines in June that establish strict timelines for servicers considering short sales. Servicers are required to review and respond to short sales within 30 days of receipt of a short sale offer; they must provide weekly status updates to the borrower if the offer is still under review after 30 days, and they must make and communicate final decisions to the borrower within 60 days of receipt of the offer and complete borrower response package. These borrowers will not be eligible for a new mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac for at least two years after a short sale.

FHFA encourages homeowners to reach out early to their lender or servicer if they face any hardship affecting their ability to pay their mortgage.

Link to Fannie Mae guidance available Aug. 22 (
Link to Freddie Mac guidance

Perhaps you may want to consider selling your midtown Tulsa home now while there are many buyers out in force taking advantage of record-breaking low mortgage rates.

Call Debbie Solano today at 918-724-8201 to list your midtown Tulsa home.

Get Shortlink:


Copyright© 2012 by Debbie Solano — ALL RIGHTS RESERVED — Tulsa Short Sale Agents — Are you Going through a Divorce or Other Significant Hardship and Need to Do a Short Sale?


What is a Short Sale?

A short sale is one among many strategies to avoid foreclosure.  For many homeowners it is a last ditch effort to sell a house at market value before it goes to sheriff sale.  It helps the seller stay out of foreclosure while the buyer gets a home that is priced by a motivated seller at a price point at or below market value. 

Usually a short sale cannot be negotiated until there is a contract to purchase the home.  Banks usually will not negotiate a short sale unless the seller has missed a payment or two.

A short sale is often seen

  1. in situations where the seller has not lived in the home long enough to have built up much equity,
  2. or in situations where the seller financed the home without a large down payment,
  3.  or in situations where the seller has taken out a second mortgage and the “drive-by appraisal” may have been somewhat inflated.  

Whatever the cause, in a short sale the homeowner owes more on the house than he can hope to sell the house for, especially after paying closing costs.  In lieu of a short sale, a seller can opt to take a check to closing or work out some kind of a payment plan with his lender in order to be able to sell the house and avoid foreclosure. 

In a short sale situation the buyer shops for a home and gets loan approval just as when purchasing any other house.  The seller negotiates the best deal possible.  Usually the seller has already given up and doesn’t care how much the house is sold for, as long as it is enough for the bank to approve the deal.  The buyer and seller both sign an addendum which amends the contract so that the bank will have a bit of time to approve the purchase contract.  Then everybody waits and waits and waits.

 There is great disparity between the spirit, philosophy, theory, and intent of a short sale on the one hand, and the reality and practice of short sales, on the other hand.  The reality is that the banks can make more money if they let HUD, Fannie, and Freddie take the house back, and so the banks have been reluctant to help out the homeowners by negotiating with the realtors.  It’s just too much trouble for the banks, and so they take their sweet time and frustrate everyone.  

While the banks are dawdling, the buyers get squirrelly and start looking at other houses.  In the end, 85% of buyers back out before the bank finally approves the deal.    

Most realtors have been there and done that, but have refused to buy the tee shirt.  Many have sworn never to get involved in another short sale again.  Why?  Short sales are a lot of work and provide little satisfaction or profit.  Most of us doing short sales feel like we are throwing the proverbial star fish back into the sea.  When we are successful in closing a short sale, all parties involved can feel joy at having helped a family avoid foreclosure and can truthfully say, “It made a difference for that one family.” 

 Unfortunately the now famous October bailout by the federal government has only accelerated the foreclosure of many homes in Tulsa County.  I could give you many ugly examples to illustrate this statement.

The bailout has assured that the banks were taken care of, but unfortunaely home owners already in the foreclosure process have been shown no mercy.  The banks have had no motivation to help homeowners because the loans had been guaranteed or insured by the government. 

In my experience the banks that held their own paper without government involvement have been much easier to negotiate with and seem to be a bit more responsive to realtors’ efforts to negotiate a short sale.

 So my suggestion is that if you are considering the purchase of a short sale, please only make an offer on a house that you really like.  It is unfair to the seller to keep the house off the market only to back out two months down the road.  For you see, the foreclosure clock keeps on ticking while the banks are sitting doing nothing or pretending that they are doing something.

 Sometimes the reason a short sale fails is because of the presence of a third party lien.  These seem to shut down all possibility of negotiation.  These liens do not show up in the county court records, but are attached to the house in the property records in the county clerk’s office.  Usually the homeowner is unaware that such a paper exists in their records at the county clerk’s office.  An extra run to the court house to the clerk’s office can help everyone involved.  A seller can get around these liens by consulting a good bankruptcy attorney and getting a stay of bankruptcy prior to the sheriff sale.  

 In short, a short sale is a good opportunity to get a great deal on a house and help a family stay out of foreclosure.  I just beg you to be sure you love the house, because it is devastating for a family facing foreclosure to have a buyer back out.  I barely stop short at saying that a buyer has a moral obligation to buy a house they have contracted for, but I really can get up on my soap box on this one.  

Buyers:  Shop carefully, deal carefully, and know that you want the house.  Then go for it  – and stay with it.  Good luck and happy house hunting.

Sellers:  Find someone who has some knowledge and experience in dealing with foreclosures who can help navigate you through the short sale process.

 I hope this helps.


This article is reblogged with full permission of the author, Debbie Solano, from a blog post with the same article which appeared on four years ago. All of the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone.

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Copyright© 2008-2012 by Debbie Solano — ALL RIGHTS RESERVED — — What is a Short Sale?