Solving the Knoxville Foreclosure Crisis
One Homeowner at a Time

Rick Smenner

865-675-8326
RE/MAX Preferred Properties
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Don’t Fall For A Scam When Refinancing Your Underwater Knoxville Home

Home-Affordable-Refinance-Program-How-To-QualifyFor any Knoxville homeowner that owes more on their home than it is worth, the Home Affordable Refinance Program [HARP] allows homeowners who are current on their mortgage to refinance into more affordable payments. If you're planning on refinancing with HARP this year, here is how to avoid falling for a scam. To avoid a scam when refinancing your Knoxville home, it is important to be wary of anything that seems to be good to be true. Unfortunately, these scammers take advantage of the existence of programs like HARP and prey on those homeowners that are in need of help. Be wary of third party that contacts you to pursue a HARP refinance, particularly if they are wanting personal information about your Knoxville home or a fee for their services. Be sure to investigate anyone that seems too good to be true. Another thing that can be helpful in avoiding a HARP scam is to educate yourself. HARP is a free government program to help Knoxville homeowners refinancing underwater mortgages. No one should ever ask you for money, since the program is free. There should be no pressure to sign paperwork or give away personal information. Never make your mortgage payment to anyone other than your lender. Read the rest of this entry »

Knoxville Short Sale Question: How It Will Influence My Ability To Buy?

mortgage-cash.ju.topIn our Ask the Expert Section, we recently received a question from Jack, he asks, "I just finished a short sale on my Knoxville home last year. I've been working really hard to rebuild my credit and save up some money. My family and I are sick of living in a rental place and would like to be able to buy another house as soon as possible. How long after completing a short sale will we be able to buy another Knoxville home?" It is possible to buy a Knoxville home after completing a short sale. How long it takes to buy another home depends on a few different things: Credit Score. One large thing that will influence your ability to buy another Knoxville home is your credit score. How much damage was done to your credit depends on how long you missed payments, if you had other delinquent accounts, and how your short sale was reported to the credit bureaus. After going through a short sale, it is important to see where your credit ended up. To help rebuild your credit, it is important to pay down debt, use your credit limits responsibly, and make payments on time. Your credit score will need to rebound in order to buy another Knoxville home. Wait Time Associated With The Loan Program. Every loan program is a little different, which is why their wait times after completing a short sale are a little different. It is generally anywhere from 3 to 5 years depending on the situation, but can be as early as 1 year with the help of the "FHA Back To Work Program," where homeowners can buy with as little as 3.5% down. Be sure to check with a loan professional to see what programs you may qualify for to buy another Knoxville home after a short sale. Read the rest of this entry »

Knoxville Short Sale Question: Do I Need Approval To List My Home?

Knoxville Home Saver Ask The ExpertIn our Ask the Expert Section, we recently received a question from Charlotte, she asks, “I've been in a difficult situation for a little over a year. One of my kids got really sick and I had to take some time off of work. On top of the medical bills, it has been very difficult to continue making payments on my Knoxville home. I've tried to modify my loan, but my lender has been no help. In order to do a Knoxville short sale on my home, do I need to have an approved short sale?" Charlotte, you are not required to have lender approval prior to putting your home on the market as a Knoxville short sale. An experienced Knoxville short sale agent should be able to help determine if a Knoxville short sale is an option for you. Once you've decided to do a short sale on your home, your agent will collect the necessary paperwork and submit it to your lender. Some lenders require it to be done with an offer on the home, while others are willing to review it prior to getting an offer. It just kind of depends. Generally, a lender will not even want to discuss a short sale until an offer has been received and all of the necessary paperwork has been submitted. Read the rest of this entry »

Knoxville Short Sale Question: Can I Short Sale If I Have Good Income?

knoxvilleshortsalehelpIn our Ask the Expert Section, we recently received a question from Kim, she asks, “My husband and I were transferred a few years ago. We kept our Knoxville home as an investment property. Unfortunately, our renters stopped paying rent and did their fair share of damage to our home. We couldn't sell the home for what we still owe on the property. We have enough income and savings to keep paying the mortgage, it just is very painful every month knowing we're throwing away money. Can we still do a short sale if we have the income to keep making payments on our Knoxville home?" With a Knoxville short sale, there is no definitive formula for short sale approval. There can be differences between what one lender will approve and what another will not approve. There is no rhyme or reason why some get approved and others don't. With that being said, I have seen a few situations very similar to yours. In some cases, the lender will approve the short sale with no missed payments. Yet, in others a lender will not consider the short sale since the owner is still able to make payments. So, it is really hard to say what your lender will do. Read the rest of this entry »

Knoxville Short Sales – Is There Hope For The Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act?

knoxvilleloanmodificationOver the past 7 years, the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act has played a critical role in the lives of Knoxville homeowners who have gone through foreclosure or short sale. Since debt that is associated with a foreclosure or short sale is considered to be income, homeowners would have been required to pay income taxes on the forgiven debt. Luckily, with the help of the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act, those that had gone through a foreclosure or short sale had not been required to pay income taxes on that forgiven income. Unfortunately, for those who will go through foreclosure or do a short sale this year, the act ended on January 31st, 2013. So, what does the future hold for those Knoxville homeowners that had not yet completed a short sale or gone through foreclosure? Luckily, there is still a little bit of hope that the act will be renewed sometime this year. The head of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Ron Wyden, of Oregon, is supposed to make tax reform a large priority as he takes over this year. One of those areas he is expected to address is the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act. If the act is renewed sometime this year, Congress can put them back in the tax code retroactively, so that anyone that goes through foreclosure or short sale sale this year will not be required to pay income taxes on the forgiven debt. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Knoxville Short Sales Aren’t Always Short

tortoiseThere is nothing short about Knoxville short sales. They can take anywhere from 4 to 6 months or more to complete.  Despite many policy and program changes, short sales haven't gotten much quicker. So, why is it that Knoxville short sales aren't always so short? First, it is important to understand what exactly Knoxville short sales entail. A short sale occurs when a homeowners owes more on their Knoxville home than it is worth. When that is the case, a homeowner asks a lender to accept less than the amount owed on a home. Since lenders are taking a loss with a Knoxville short sale, it can take time to get them approved and they must examine every situation. Knoxville short sales can be slowed for a number of reasons. One large reason short sales can stall is an inexperienced agent. If an agent doesn't have experience in negotiating Knoxville short sales, a short sale can be doomed from the beginning. Lack of follow up, incomplete short sale packages, among other things can slow down the process. Read the rest of this entry »

Knoxville Short Sale Question: Can I Sell To My Tenant?

mortgage-cash.ju.topIn our Ask the Expert Section, we recently received a question from Marc, he asks, “I'm in a very difficult situation when my Knoxville home. I owe $170K on a home I bought back in 2007, and in its current condition it would sell for roughly $140K. I haven't missed any payments and I was able to find a decent renter to cover the mortgage, but this isn't a long term solution for my Knoxville home. It needs some work and I know I won't keep the renter forever. My renter has expressed interest in buying my Knoxville home. Can I do a short sale and sell my Knoxville home to my tenant?" Marc, as far as doing a short sale on your Knoxville home, it is definitely a possibility your lender will consider your situation. Unfortunately, for Knoxville short sales, lenders like to see that every transaction is done at "arms length." This means that neither the buyer or seller had any relationship to one another prior to the transaction. While I can't say that your lender will deny this transaction, it is highly likely that your lender wouldn't like this. When lenders approve short sales, they like to see that a short sale is the last ditch effort and that the seller is not benefiting anyway from the sale. If the buyer or seller previously knew each other, that can raise some red flags to the lender. In addition, keeping this information from the lender could result in legal action against both parties, since most lenders require both parties to sign an affidavit acknowledging that the transaction is truly at "arms length." Read the rest of this entry »

Knoxville Short Sales – Why Lenders Will Consider Short Sales

Stop ForeclosureFor many Knoxville homeowners facing foreclosure, it can be hard to imagine why a lender would consider approving a short sale. In recent years, more and more lenders have been embracing Knoxville short sales, and here is why. Knoxville Foreclosures Take Time One big reason that lenders will consider doing a Knoxville short sale is due to the fact that foreclosures take time. The foreclosure process itself can take a great deal of time and there is a great deal of paperwork involved. Even once the home goes into foreclosure, it can take months before the home finally hits the market. Knoxville Short Sales Allow Lenders To Get Paid Quicker Knoxville short sales allow lenders to get paid quicker. Lenders receive payment for the home once the sale has closed. In comparison, there is no saying how quickly a lender will get paid when a home goes into foreclosure. Read the rest of this entry »

Knoxville Short Sale Question: Am I Eligible To Do A Short Sale?

knoxvilleshortsaleversusforeclosureIn our Ask the Expert Section, we recently received a question from Nick, he asks, "I owe much more on my Knoxville home than it is worth. I've experienced some financial difficulties over the past year, which has made it difficult for me to continue paying my mortgage. I owe much more on my Knoxville home than it will be able to sell for. How do I know if I'm eligible to do a short sale on my Knoxville home?" Knoxville short sales are ever evolving. The exact short sale eligibility requirements can very from lender to lender. Here are a few general qualifications that any seller must have to qualify for a Knoxville short sale. Hardship. One big thing that lenders will look at to determine if you are eligible for a short sale is financial hardship. They will want to see that you are in a difficult situation which makes paying your mortgage payment difficult. There can be many reasons for financial hardship including: job loss, relocation, death in the family, decrease in income, medical bills, military service, among many other things. Underwater Home. Another thing that your lender will want to see is that you owe more on your home than it is worth, which is why you are being forced to sell you home for less than it is worth. Read the rest of this entry »

3 Other Ways To Avoid Foreclosure On Your Knoxville Home

harpKnoxville homeowners facing foreclosure have a few different ways to avoid foreclosure. While short sales and loan modifications are often two of the more common ways to avoid foreclosure, homeowners do have a few other lesser known options. If you're facing foreclosure and don't like the idea of a short sale or loan mod, read on to find out more about these three alternatives to avoid foreclosure. Forbearance Agreement A forbearance agreement involves negotiating with your lender to come up with a repayment plan to become current on your Knoxville home again. With a forbearance agreement, the lender agrees to set up a payment plan with the homeowner. Over a certain period of time determined by the lender (usually 6 to 12 months), the homeowner agrees to make increased payments on their home to become current on their mortgage again.  A forbearance agreement can be helpful to Knoxville homeowners who experienced temporary hardship and now have sufficient funds to become current on their loan. Read the rest of this entry »

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