This morning, for about the 1,500th time, I just heard another pundit on CNBC speaking to mortgage issues. When asked what people should do if they feel they are sinking into a financial abyss, his response was: “The first thing you should do is call your lender and try to work things out.” Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? Well, here’s a reality check. We have met with several clients who meet the criteria of having mortgage problems (to varying degrees) and we have also advised them to contact their lender and get a reading on their willingness to work things out.
Our admittedly small sample result was…zilch. First problem: Try breaking through the speak-to-a-live-person security barrier lenders have on their phone systems. If Microsoft had this technology they would never need another security patch – ever. One of my clients asked that I try to get through to speak to their lender. Forget it. That doesn’t work either.
Another client, who has known for months they were in financial trouble has repeatedly tried to “work things out” with their lender. In each case they were rejected and instead advised to put their property on the market and bring them an offer, knowing all the while that it is a short sale. Only then will they discuss a workout.
Excuse me? The lender is rejecting their client’s plea for help and instead saying just go for a short sale and THEN they will talk to them. I fail to get this logic. Not only is this putting their borrower at risk, but as an agent, I am now put in a position of risking my time, effort and resources with no guaranty of the outcome.
There has got to be a better way! I would be interested in hearing from any other agents, mortgage brokers, investors and/or consumers to determine if my experiences are the exception or the rule.