BEFORE YOU THROW THE HOUSE KEYS BACK AT THE BANK…Options to Think About When Faced With a Housing Crisis.

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The world of real estate has always held a fascination for folks like me.  But things have a way of getting really strange when people who don’t spend their waking, working moments around the mayhem and milieu of the brokerage world start telling astounding tales about their recent ‘encounters’ in real estate country.

Over the past month, I’ve had several conversations which would have been considered ‘beyond bizzare’ just a few short years ago.  Folks talking about people they know walking out the door of their homes and just giving the home back to the bank as casually as they might refer to a decision to perhaps purchase a car.

I know you might be thinking at a cursory reading that this reckless attitude is just symptomatic of the chaos that has been the hallmark of so much recent madness, but often during these exchanges, I actually sensed something else.  As I listen intently, the story involves so much more than initially stated. There’s an underlying, increasingly recognizable sad thread.

The bundle of trial includes years of struggle, trying to find jobs, being laid off, piling up debt to survive,stop signravaging investment accounts, pulling home equity out to last just a little longer, and then the straw that breaks the camel’s back occurs…one more thing that could not be anticipated which tips the scales.

Absolute & total weariness…and with resources strained beyond measure, it seems that the only thing to do is …WALK AWAY.  But before you do…


Before your feet set in motion a chain of events which will potentially impact your life for the NEXT DECADE, please consider ALL your options.  TALK to someone.  I’m astounded by the number of people who go through the ENTIRE Foreclosure process without talking to ANYONE about their options.

That’s right…

You do have OPTIONS. Before making a decision to simply stop attending to your obligations, ASK someone for help.  Speak to an Attorney, contact a Real Estate Broker or your Mortgage Lender.  Preferably, engage with all three sources or more…  Information is power when it comes to a decision which can handicap not just your ability to get a new home, but your ability to have a measure of control over your financial life for the foreseeable future.

Just for Starters, Ask about the following:

Will your bank accept a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure AND forgive your debt in it’s entirety?

Can you pursue a Short Sale?

What are your options for Loan Modification?

What are your legal options and obligations?

An old African Proverb reminds us that “No Condition is Permanent in this world.”  Remember this truth…especially when things are tough.  This too shall pass…eventually.

picture courtesy of hoyasmeg on flickr





Grand Rapids, MI Social Media Boot Camp concludes with Blogging Basic/Ethics Classes! June 16, 2010

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Within the past month, real estate professionals within the greater Grand Rapids, MI area have  had the opportunity to learn about Social Media Marketing through a unique program designed by the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors.

Social Media Boot Camp, a three part program,  kicked off on May 12th with  an excellent presentation by Jeff Turner of Zeek Interactive on Social Media and Social Values.  This was followed by a ReBar Camp, the first of it’s kind for real estate professionals in the area on the 26th of May.  The last installment in the series will take place on the 16th of June at the association headquarters on 660 Kenmoor.

The training session will feature Lola Audu of  Audu Real Estate & Blogging Seminars.   Lola will be teaching about Blogging and Ethics.  Read excerpts from the association website below:

Get some Con Ed under your belt from one of GRAR’s top experts in the field with our third and final installment of Social Media Summer Camp!

Lola Audu - Continuing Education Instructor - Blogging and Social Media

Lola Audu, a renown blogger in the real estate world, will lead this 4-hour/4-credit course on Blogging Basics & Blogging Ethics for Real Estate Professionals at GRAR. Learn how to blog and market your skills in a Web 2.0 World and effectively engage today’s “connected” consumer, all while writing responsibly, protecting your online content and avoiding legal landmines.

Wednesday, June 16, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Good for 4 standard Con Ed credits

GRAR Members $50 (Click here to register)
Non-Members $65 (Click here to register)