Monthly Archives: December 2009

Stop debt collectors from calling

One of the most common questions I get from clients that are behind on their mortgages is “What can I do to stop those annoying, embarassing collection calls?”

The best answer I have found is to ask the next person that calls from that company “Where do I need to send a written request for your company to stop calling?’ Then send a letter with a delivery confirmation (so someone has to sign for it) to the address given to you on the phone. In the letter tell the company that you do not want to be contacted by phone, and to communicate only by written correspondence. I do not recommend cutting off all communication because the company may have something important to tell you, and you do not want to give them an out for required notifications.

In some cases the person on the phone may tell you that they do not have to honor that request. If this happens you can refer them to the rules regarding the Colorado Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, referenced in the “Collection Agency Licensing Instructions & Application” pdf document found on the Colorado Attorney General’s website by clicking on this link (found

On page 5 of this document it states that a Consumer has the right to request in writing that a debt collector or collection agency cease further communication with the consumer. A written request to cease communication will not prohibit the debt collector or collection agency from taking any other action authorized by law to collect the debt.

Hope this is helpful.

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Posted by on December 11, 2009 in Helpful hints


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Short Sales Guideline issued by Treasury Department

The National Association of Realtors provided the following abreviated analysis of the recent update for the Making home Affordable HAMP & associated HAFA Programs.
These guidelines will not be mandatory until April, but this gives us a good idea of the direction the government is going with the Short Sale process offering incentives to make this option more attractive to all parties. Obviously they prefer to have Short Sales rather than bank and HUD owned foreclosures.
On November 30, 2009 the Treasury department released guidelines and forms for its new Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA). HAFA is part of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). HAFA provides incentives in connection with a short sale or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure (DIL) used to avoid foreclosure on a loan eligible for modification under the HAMP program. HAFA applies to loans not owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, which will issue their own versions of HAFA in coming weeks. HAFA is a complex program, with 43 pages of guidelines and forms, designed to simplify and streamline use of short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure.


Complements HAMP by providing a viable alternative for borrowers (the current homeowners) who are HAMP eligible but nevertheless unable to keep their home.

Uses borrower financial and hardship information already collected in connection with consideration of a loan modification.

Allows borrowers to receive pre-approved short sales terms before listing the property (including the minimum acceptable net proceeds).

Prohibits the servicers from requiring a reduction in the real estate commission agreed upon in the listing agreement (up to 6 percent).

Requires borrowers to be fully released from future liability for the first mortgage debt (no cash contribution, promissory note, or deficiency judgment is allowed).

Uses standard processes, documents, and timeframes/deadlines.

Provides financial incentives: $1,500 for borrower relocation assistance; $1,000 for servicers to cover administrative and processing costs; and up to $1,000 for investors for allowing a total of up to $3,000 in short sale proceeds to be distributed to subordinate lien holders (on a one-for-three matching basis).

The program does not take effect until April 5, 2010, but servicers may implement it before then if they meet certain requirements.

The program sunsets on December 31, 2012.

Press Release, HAMP Update-New Program Offers Borrowers Foreclosure Alternatives

Supplemental Directive 09-09, Introduction of Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives-Short Sale and Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure



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Posted by on December 3, 2009 in Short Sales


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3 Percent of Denver homes sold short

According to the the Metrolist data analysis done by a leading real estate brokerage firm interviewed by the Denver Post in July, only 3 percent of the homes that sold in Denver in the first half of the year were short sales. During that same period there was a record setting number of properties that went into foreclosure. I agree completely with the caption under the photo in this article stating “Many homeowners are unaware that short sales are an alternative to foreclosure.”

My biggest frustration in the 5 years I have been specializing in helping people who find themselves in default on their mortgages and under water in their properties is the difficulty in reaching the people that need my help. It is difficult for a person in this situation to know who they can trust, what their options are, and how to determine the best option for them in their particular circumstances. Certainly a short sale is not the best option for everyone. However for those people that are not in a position to take advantage of the options that might help them stay in their home, a short sale is a much better solution than letting the property go to foreclosure.

Because of all of the material that comes their way via US Postal service, phone calls, internet, etc., it is very confusing to most people at a highly stressful time in their lives to determine which route to take, and who they can trust to help them along the way.

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Posted by on December 2, 2009 in Short Sales


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