Eliminating Your Second Lien -- Do Some Checking First

Freedom from Mortgage Worries
Under a new program by offered by Bank of America for home mortgage second liens, about 150,000 of its borrowers are being contacted to apply for full forgiveness.  Based on the total dollar amount forgiven so far for the number of borrowers, the average is about $69,000. 

If you're currently in a short sale, this could potentially cause a delay, or worse, if you're already on track for closing on the first and time is running as you approach your closing date.  The release time required for completion of the second loan is running about 90 days, so accepting that release will result in a delay of your short sale, or even worse, a loss of that transaction if the investor/servicer on the first will no extend time to close.

Make sure you're really going to get freedom from a difficult mortgage burden.  Say you're not in a short sale, and you receive the offer from Bank of America or one of the other major banks, make sure you get a proper estimate of your home's value from a professional.   If your first loan balance is about $465,000, and your second balance is still around $45,000-$50,000 because you got an 80/10/10 loan (you had 10% down payment, and got a 10% second mortgage) getting your second loan released won't do you any good right now because it will not put you into an equity position--I forgot to mention, you just found out that at best your house is currently worth $450,000 from your neighborhood REALTOR who has checked all the sales within the last 4-6 months in your neighborhood.  If releasing that lien puts you into an equity position, and you're not under a short sale timeline that cannot be extended, then the second lien forgiveness program could be for you.  But make sure you read the entire letter, because if your first is currently in default and on a foreclosure track, getting the second forgiven will not prevent the first's foreclosure. That will still require separate action to stop the foreclosure (there can be different banks and/or different investors on each loan).  Bank of America also makes is very clear that they are choosing who gets invited to this event, you as the borrower cannot pursue it without being invited. (It's not personal, it's just that there are many conditions affecting second mortgage liens.) The fact is, Bank of America took over Countrywide's loans, and Countrywide did a lot of "piggyback" loans, which are probably some of the seconds that are part of this offer. 

It's also wise to review beforehand any possible impact to your credit score (debt cancellation may actually impact your score), reporting to the IRS, and any bankruptcy issues you may have.

If you need an estimate of value on your Long Beach, Cerritos, Lakewood, Seal Beach home, or somewhere near these cities, please contact me.  If you would like more information about a short sale and you're in Long Beach, Cerritos, Lakewood, or in Los Angeles County or Orange County, please contact me.

Julia Huntsman.REALTOR®, CDPE, e-PRO®, SFR, Broker
and don't forget to "like" us at www.facebook.com/longbeachhomesandcondos

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