Illegal Eviction? Why the Robo Signing Fiasco Is Causing Some Homeowners to Move Back In.

lockWithin the past few weeks, the Wild Wild West saga of the on-going Mortgage/Foreclosure Mess has taken another dramatic dark twist into the nightmare scenario of a twilight saga.

It started with an announcement by several of the nations’ largest lenders to halt foreclosure proceedings temporarily in 23 States. Things, quickly escalated with the discovery of irregularities which included Robo signing foreclosure specialists who were foreclosing on homes at a rate of thousands per month.  This sort of revelation caused Bank of America to cease foreclosure filings in all 50 Stateswhile the lending institution reviewed it’s paperwork process.

Meanwhile, the legal machine started up as State Attorney Generals in all 50 States filed suit against the nation’s leading lenders and the White House launched it’s own investigation.  Investors who had been propping up the market have also begun to file suit to protect their investment as the issue of who actually owns the home has come into play due to the fact that there may have been illegal transfers of title because due process was not observed.

But even as Bank of America announced that is was re-starting the mortgage process yesterday after it had reviewed it’s process, reports are emerging of homeowners re-entering their foreclosed homes with claims that the home was seized illegally and they did not have the right to be evicted.

In one case, the homeowner took possession of their home in Simi Valley, California with the assistance of their lawyer who claimed that he needed to help the clients get back into their former home before the Real Estate Broker and Investor defrauded a new family by having them move in because there seemed to be some discrepancies in the transfer of title.  You can view a slideshow of another similar situation in which the real estate agent is pictured outside a home which he was hired by the bank to sell.

It seems to me that this new phase which is unraveling has even more significant implications than the initial crisis.  For buyers who are considering the purchase of a foreclosure, this may provide additional pause about making an investment. It’s also not difficult to imagine a scenario in which the legal system becomes inundated with claims by evicted homeowners and the market grinds to a standstill.  Do you also find it challenging to make any sense of the cavalier attitude on so many fronts which has created a situation in which the truth grows stranger than fiction on a daily basis and one in which the harsh reality is impacting so many millions of individuals?

photo credit courtesy of Subterranean Tourist Board on Flickr

A Few Simple Tips to Improve Your Odds in Selling Your West Michigan Home!

Probably the biggest source of angst that home owners in Grand Rapids, Michigan have about selling their home is knowing IF their home has a chance for a Sale.  Quiet turmoil mounts with the following irksome thoughts. 

 Potential Sellers silently question, “Will this Home Sell?”  or “Will anyone even want to look at my home?” 

I’ve been hearing many reports of homes now sporting 12 month listing contracts instead of the traditional 6. The fact is that many homes in West Michigan are not having ANY showings at all!

To improve your odds of selling, it is important to understand that having a good Pricing Strategy is crucial to your success.  Last month, approximately 680 homes Closed successfully in Grand Rapids.  This was 25% below the number of successful property closing during the same 30 day period in 2009. However, there is good news; the good news is that there were homes that Sold and to be successful, it’s important to focus on what successful home sellers did correctly.

Researching you area…

The days of simply guessing about the price at which to list your home, or asking your neighbor what they Sold their home for are over.  The former is a dangerous strategy and the latter often provides inaccurate data.  It’s best to get the facts.

This can be done by requesting a Market Analysis from a good local Realtor® or obtaining an appraisal. One of the most valuable tools available through our Grand Rapids Association of Realtors® MLS system is the ability to obtain a quick analysis of your immediate area by utilizing a proprietary mapping function which details accurate records of homes Sold within a variety of radius options and also gives us access to trends data.

Utilizing mapping and trends data can provide insights which can be easily missed when using the broad ranges which generally divide areas on on popular sites like Zillow or Trulia for property search purposes.  In addition to mapping tools and trends data, pricing strategy is enhanced by understanding how property has traditionally appreciated or depreciated in a local area.  This is where the experience of a good real estate agent can be invaluable.

In today’s market where less than 10% of homes listed for Sale are Closing in any given month, it’s important to improve your odds by understanding the issues and specific dynamics in your neighborhood. If you’d like to know more about creating a pricing strategy for today’s challenging marketplace and you live in the Grand Rapids, MI area, please contact us. 616-791-0511 or

OPEN: 12/11/10 from 1:30 PM ~ 3:30 PM – Charming Reminder of a Bygone Era…615 Leonard St. NE, Grand Rapids MI 49503

I’m inviting you to step into a period when craftsmen took their time to create masterpieces and fashioned art out of wood. This home really takes you back to a time of solid wood beamed pillars, six inch molding and beamed ceilings, parlor parties and gracious entertaining!

The expansive front porch is big enough to throw a front yard barbecue party or simply hang out and say hello to the neighbors! The home features higher than average ceilings on the main floor and spacious living, dining and entertaining areas.

The kitchen is a chef’s delight.  It’s been totally remodeled and updated. There is tons of cupboards and counter-space with modern granite-like counter-top coverings against warm Burgundy walls. This is a great place to call home! No Short Sale Hassles here…see and purchase today!

To preview, click on the picture and watch the real estate video.  Contact Audu Real Estate at 616-791-0511 for a home showing.

615 Leonard St. NE, Grand Rapids MI 49503