Archive for the ‘Foreclosure and Shortsale’ Category

In The Know – When Buying Bank Owned Or Forclosure Properties

March 1, 2012


A common question among Buyers in this Real Estate Market when purchasing Bank Owned or Foreclosure Properties is; “Why is a Special Warranty Deed and not a General Warranty Deed given on this property”?

Special Warranty Deed versus General Warranty Deed

Here is a great explanation given in simple terms by a Title Officer at Stewart Title.

“Special Warranty Deeds are becoming more common.  A General Warranty deed is a promise to the Buyer that the Seller will warranty any prior problems with Title, not just during the Seller’s ownership, but back along the chain of ownership.  

A Special Warranty deed, on the other hand, limits the Seller’s promise (warranty) to title problems that come up while the Seller owned the property, but gives no warranty for problems prior to that point.  For example, Builders often give Special Warranty deeds.  They only owned the property long enough to build the homes.  They aren’t sticking their necks out to warranty buyers against something that happened to cloud title when the subdivision was still a pig farm.  

Foreclosure property is another example where you often see Special Warranty deeds.  The Bank, like the Builder, has no close relationship to the property and won’t bend over backwards to promise anything about the condition of title before they acquired the property through foreclosure.”  

Jayne Boyle of Stewart Title explains, “These days, Title Insurance is the Buyer’s best friend.  Title Insurance insures the Buyer against past ownership problems, old liens, boundary issues, etc.” 

And now YOU are in THE KNOW! 


To contact Debbie – 425-750-4970


Condo at Belmon…

February 13, 2012

Condo at Belmonte
513 Pilchuck Path
Everett, WA 98201                                            $135,000.00

Beautiful 3 bedroom Condo with spectacular Cascade Mountain and valley views.  With approximately 1500 sq ft of living space, 2.5 baths, formal living and dining rooms and spacious kitchen with tile counters and stainless appliances.  All rooms are generous size.

Pilchuck Path

Pilchuck Path

Complete with 1 car garage (a truck can fit in this garage) and fenced backyard.

Pilchuck Path

Pilchuck Path

Enjoy the sunrise over the beautiful Cascade Mountains from your Master bedroom, Living room or cozy deck.  Low Low Maintenance fees are approximately $70/mo!

Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!

(425) 750-4970

Homeowners Fighting Homeowners

July 11, 2011

Homeowners Fighting Homeowners

Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!

I read an article today about Homeowners fighting Homeowner Associations because of Homeowner Dues not being paid. It is an interesting article.

In my area I have seen many Associations place liens on a property which have held up the sale of a property but I have not seen the HOA actually foreclose on the property as this article is talking about.

Although, I know it is possible for them to do this and is probably happening here locally but definitely not to the extent it is apparently happening in the areas noted in this article.

I have received phone calls from Homeowner Associations asking me how they could purchase a Condo Unit that was going to Auction.

I have also seen MANY properties for sale that are bank owned and have a very large assessment due either at the close of the sale or added to the HOA dues among all homeowners in a complex or neighborhood.

I have seen Condo’s for sale that are owned by a bank that have a disclosure noting there is an assessment due at closing in the amount of $30,000.00!   Under the remarks in the listing it states the purchase price does not reflect the HOA assessment due.  In other words – add another $30k to this asking price!  Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!

I have also run across bank owned units where the bank did not disclose a large assessment due.

When working with Sellers that are in a HOA and are attempting a short sale (which is where this problem comes up a lot) we discuss the problem of the Seller not keeping their Homeowner Association Dues  current and that the Seller runs a higher risk of the Association holding up the short sale until the Association is paid what is owed to them by the Seller or Buyer.

When working with Buyers that are looking at a property with a HOA we discuss the importance of checking into the HOA and it’s financial stability.  We can do this by checking for liens on the property and reading through the resale certificate package.  Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!

The article here is a good one for Sellers and Buyers to take note of.  Due diligence is a must anytime you are buying a property or selling a property and in today’s market there is even more reason to be a responsible Buyer and/or Seller.

Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!

(425) 750-4970

FICO Score Impact and Recovery

May 26, 2011

The question is asked frequently regarding how much impact will a short sale, foreclosure, deed in lieu or bankruptcy have on my FICO score?

I checked out the FICO Banking Analytics Blog and found some very interesting information. FICO conducted a study of delinquencies regarding mortgages. In their study they looked at three different consumer profiles. All three profiles consisted of consumers who were paying as agreed on their mortgages.

Consumers with a 680 score .

Consumers with a 720 score.

Consumers with a 780 score.

The study then showed the impact on the credit score after each “phase” of delinquency. For example:

After the very first 30 day late on the consumers mortgage –

Consumer with a 680 score moved to 600-620

Consumer with a 720 score moved to 630-650

Consumer with a 780 score moved to 670-690

After the 90 day late on mortgage –

Consumer with an original 680 score moved to 600-620

Consumer with an original 720 score moved to 610-630

Consumer with an original 780 score moved to 650-670

Interesting huh? I’m not finished. Lets look at short sales, foreclosure and bankruptcy.

After completing a short sale or deed-in-lieu settlement with no deficiency balance

Consumer with an original 680 score moved to 610-630

Consumer with an original 720 score moved to 605-625

Consumer with an original 780 score moved to 655-675

After completing a short sale, with a deficiency balance

Consumer with an original 680 score moved to 575-595

Consumer with an original 720 score moved to 570-590

Consumer with an original 780 score moved to 620-640


Original 680 score moved to 575-595

Original 720 score moved to 570-590

Original 780 score moved to 620-640

And Finally, Bankruptcy –

Original 680 score moved to 530-550

Original 720 score moved to 525-545

Original 780 score moved to 540-560

I found all of this information very interesting and definitely saw some kind pattern that caused me say, hmmmm, but wait, I’m not finished with the results of this study. Pattern or not, we all know the credit score is going to go down with any of these delinquencies but maybe more important is how long will it take to recover?

This is what I thought most interesting.

After the first 30 days late it would take the original 680 score consumer 9 months to recover. The 720 consumer, 2.5 years and the 780 consumer 3 years!

After the 90 day late period it would take the original 680 score consumer 9 months to recover. The 720 consumer 3 years and the 780 consumer 7 years!!

How about after Short Sale, Deed-In-Lieu settlement with no deficiency balance?

680 consumer will recover in 3 years

720 consumer will recover in 7 years

780 consumer will recover in 7 years

The results are the same with a deficiency balance.


680 consumer will recover in 3 years

720 consumer will recover in 7 years

780 consumer will recover in 7 years


680 consumer will recover in 5 years

720 consumer will recover in 7 – 10 years

780 consumer will recover in 7 – 10 years.

Quote from FICO Banking Analytics –

In general, the higher starting score, the longer it takes for the score to fully recover.”

Granted the consumers score will gradually improve as time goes by and they demonstrate their other payments are paid as agreed but in all actuality it may take up to 7 – 10 years to fully recover for consumers that originally started with higher credit scores than consumers that started with lower scores.

I think this is very good information for any consumer that is looking at a possible short sale or foreclosure. There are consumers that have definite hardships that obviously show up in the original credit score and there are consumers looking at the so called “strategic default” that should consider the impact on their credit recovery time line. I have no opinion on either really but I do find it quite interesting!

Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!

(425) 750-4970

Accused Washington Foreclosure Scammer Responds to Blog Post

October 21, 2010

In 2009 I posted an article on a local man that was accused of scamming hundreds of homeowners facing foreclosure.  Mr. Kaiser responded to that post yesterday.  Washington Scammer Will Pay.

Since the original post is over a year ago and Mr. Kaiser has recently responded – I thought it only fair to bring it to the front of my blog so that his response can be noticed.   You can see Mr. Kaiser’s comment at the above link.

In fairness – I would also invite Mr. Kaiser – if he wishes – to respond to a couple of questions.

Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!

1.  If this was a foreclosure rescue scam that never happened.  What exactly DID you do for those homeowners?

2.  Of the 3 dozen homeowners that are still in their homes – are they renting those homes from you now, or do they still own their homes?

3.What happened to the other hundreds of homeowners?

4.  Were any of those homeowners referred to an attorney before signing an agreement with you?  Were they given any legal or tax advice?

I have an open mind – Maybe we will all learn something here?

Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!

(425) 750-4970

You Have To Sell Your House To Me – You Have No Rights

October 14, 2009

cut money

I received an offer on a short sale listing for a client of mine. My client, the homeowner, purchased this property 8 years ago. At our listing appointment he and his wife gave me a tour of the home, showing me all the upgrades they had put into the home over the years. They had pulled out the family photo album sitting in the drawer of the china hutch to show me pictures of his retirement party they had celebrated in the backyard 3 years ago. The home is beautiful and it is apparent the love and care they have put into the home. This wasn’t just a house to these people, it was a home. As we leafed through the album there were pictures of annual Christmas get-togethers, Thanksgiving dinners and many other happy memories with family and friends that had taken place in this home. As he closed the album with shaky hands he raised his reading glasses to his forehead. He looked at me and explained the day that had changed his and his wife’s lives.
Past Due
The shaky hands were pretty much a constant through my visit with my clients but it wasn’t because of nervousness or anything you might think. He had been diagnosed with an illness soon after his retirement and now was in the failing stages of his life. Through the course of his medical care, insurance covered some but not all of his expenses. They had taken a second mortgage to help pay the remainder costs. They both had taken retiree type jobs to make ends meet in the past 2 years and now that his medical condition has worsened he’s not able to continue with the job. His wife still goes to work in the evenings and their daughter comes over during the day to help care for him. Behind on mortgage payments and unable to qualify for a loan modification the time has come to try to sell the home in a last effort to avoid foreclosure.

The home is aggressively priced for a short sale and after about 3 weeks an offer has come in. An unrealistic offer in my homeowners opinion. When asked for my opinion, I concur. My client counters the buyers offer and the exchange of opinions begin!

Since the time the short sale market has begun it has been a common misconception of many buyers and their agents and brokers that a seller does not have the right to NOT accept a buyers offer – no matter what that offer is! I received a phone call from the buyers agent and then another call from the agents broker informing me that my sellers by law had to present this buyers offer to the bank and that only the bank could decide if they would accept this offer. The agents broker decided it would be a good idea for his agent to call the bank and let the bank know that the seller was not presenting their offer.
I’m sure you can imagine how this made my homeowners feel. The key word in that last sentence being HOMEOWNERS. I can tell you that yes, this agent did call the bank and no, the bank would not even speak to the agent or the buyer, who also decided to call the bank.

So what is a short sale? question-mark

The borrower/homeowner has run into financial difficulties or a hardship. They are unable to make their mortgage payments and are facing a foreclosure in the near future. They still own their home at this point. They have in most cases defaulted on their mortgage payments and are unable to sell their property for the amount owed on their mortgage. They owe more than the current market will bear. In this case a borrower will list their home for sale at present market value and submit that offer to their lien holder and propose a short sale. The lien holder at that time will review the offer, the current market values in the area of the property along with other financial information and the borrowers hardship circumstances to determine if the they will accept the lower payoff of the mortgage. The lien holder, knowing that there is a high probability that they will be foreclosing on the property will determine if a short sale is in their best interest versus a foreclosure which in most cases will be more costly for the lien holder. Once the house has been foreclosed on – the lien holder is the seller. During a short sale – the borrower is the seller.

The concept of what a short sale is, is pretty simple. The actual process of a short sale is not so simple. You can learn more about short sales at Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!

Where Do We Go After The Foreclosure?

October 12, 2009

Hanging Lizard

We don’t hear much in the news about what happens in life after foreclosure. But for many it is continued nights of unrest and concern. While going through the process homeowners are treated rudely and disrespected in many ways, yet many foreclosures are the result of some catostrophe that has taken place in the homeowners life. A death of a loved one, a major illness, unemployment or divorce. Add to this a difficult real estate market and you find these are common events that can lead to loss of a home.

For many the problems have just begun. In real life a foreclosure can cut the family out of the rental market because landlords are skeptical to rent to a family that has just gone through foreclosure. Many families have lost their homes because of unemployment and find that while applying for new employment employers will check credit. Foreclosure on a credit record can keep them out of the rankings for that particular job. The consequences are many and can be deep.

What should be done when faced with foreclosure
Beginning the process of rebuilding your credit should be started immediately. When you know that foreclosure is in your near future it is imperative that you begin to save as much money as possible. In many cases you are probably going to be faced with larger rent deposits and for the recently foreclosed cash on hand can be a problem. money ladder

Rent –Consider that you should not pay more than 25% -28% of your income on rent. Your rent should be the first thing you pay each month. Your payment history will be a huge factor when you do apply for a new home mortgage in the future.

Credit Cards- If you have credit card debt- work on reducing it. If you can afford to have a credit card then be sure to make these payments a priority and keep your balances paid off monthly. Financial advisers suggest to keep your charges below 30% of your credit limit. Make every effort to avoid balances. A common mistake consumers will make is to close their credit accounts in the attempt to raise their credit score. This attempt can actually make your score lower!

Other Credit– Pay on time. Finances may be tight but by paying your bills within 30 days your credit report will show a positive rating. Don’t let 30 days go by without paying your bill.

Payroll Taxes Be sure to review your deductions. If you are receiving a refund each year, change this. It doesn’t make sense to save money through the Government when you could be using it today to get back on your feet!

Savings– Begin a savings account and put something in it every month. Even small amounts will build up! Have a goal to save 3 months of expenses saved. Before you know it you will have a down payment saved for your future home. Your savings account is the beginning of accumulating your new assets and will be reviewed when you apply for that new home in the future.

New Credit– Begin new credit carefully and slowly. Eventually you will be offered new credit but determine if you really need those. Keeping up on the above items can build a very strong credit history without taking on additional responsibility that you probably don’t need.

There is a life after foreclosure and the future will look bright again!


My Husband Recently Died – Foreclosure?

October 9, 2009

I recently received an email from a woman who lost her husband to Cancer. She asks; What is the best way to keep from foreclosure on my home?
My spouse died from cancer and unfortunately I will receive no life insurance or pension. It looks impossible to keep up with my payments. My sweet sister has brought my payments up to date, but I don’t see how I can keep them up and she definitely can’t do any more, nor would I want her to. I feel overwhelmed with grief and then have this issue on top of everything. I need advice and obviously, can not afford it. Please help. pulling frayed rope

As a Real Estate Agent I unfortunately hear stories like this way to often. Stories like this make it hard to keep your emotions out of it and after talking to so many people about short sales and foreclosures I have to admit it has gotten pretty much impossible to not get emotionally involved with my clients after awhile. Because of this I decided to post my response to her in the hopes that if there are others (which I know there are) that could use some hopeful advice, they just might find it and know that they too have options.

I’m truly sorry for your loss and the grief you are going through. I’m also sorry that you are going through the pain of financial problems. There isn’t anything I can say to make your loss feel any better. However, you do have some possible options regarding your home. If you have a job there is hope of keeping your home. If you are working you could apply for a loan modification. The key elements are that you are working and you have a hardship. The loss of your spouse is a qualifying hardship with many lenders. Contact Making Homes Affordable They are a government run entity that will work with you and your lender in modifying your current loan. They were put in place by the Obama Administration for people just like you. You DO NOT PAY ANYONE to modify your loan. They will do it for free. I do not recommend accepting help from anyone who is going to charge you up front. This is a free service. The modification in most circumstances reduces your interest rate.shortsale pic

If you do not want to stay in the home for lack of a job or any other reason; such as, you can’t afford it then you may be able to short sale the home. (For more information on Short Sales) Place it for sale with a reputable agent. In this case you will sell your home and if you cannot sell it for what is owed on the property then the bank takes a loss. This is a good way to avoid foreclosure. I don’t know how far behind you are so I would need more info on this. If it is too late to short sale your property and you are facing foreclosure then contact your bank and tell them you are interested in the “CASH FOR KEYS” program. Many banks have an option where they will pay you anywhere from $500 to $5000 for you to hand the keys over on a specified date. The money is meant to help you move. Feel free to contact me if you need further information at Debbie Atwood Is Making a Splash In Snohomish County!

I hope this helps a little bit. You do have options. Take Care and good luck.

Bank Owned Homes And Swiss Cheese?

October 9, 2009

thumbnailCAQQR4N8The word in the wind is that there will be a Tsunami of bank owned homes coming on the market. It’s not hard to believe when you look at the number of foreclosures happening each month. While out previewing homes in the Everett area a week ago for a client I am working for; we came across lots of short sales. Being very familiar with the short sale market it’s pretty reasonable to assume many of those short sales will be foreclosed on if they haven’t already. The Client put an offer on one, now we wait…

Finding the diamond in the rough

Finding the diamond in the rough

This week I accompanied another couple to tour bank owned homes in the Lake Stevens neighborhoods. The difference in the homes we saw from short sales to foreclosure homes was obvious! Bank owned homes had literally been stripped of everything! Appliances, cabinets, doors, sinks, gutters and flooring! One listing agent had in the description of the home; “upstairs walls look like swiss cheese.” I was curious what that meant until I saw it! There were holes in the walls that looked like someone had taken a bat to every wall.

It was sad to see but my clients looked at the homes as a perfect opportunity to build quick equity. Since he is in construction he was able to visualize the final product once it has been rehabbed. moving painter

Bank owned homes can be good opportunities for the cash buyer, investment buyer, consortium investor and construction company with the opportunity to buy now, rehabilitate and then resell for a profit. It is common to see the poor condition of bank owned homes my clients and I looked at this past week. Former homeowners in financial distress tend to neglect maintenance on the home when they know they are looking at foreclosure in the near future. Unfortunately, our economy has wreaked havoc on many homeowners causing financial distress and foreclosure. moving contractors on roof

A few home buyers will buy the homes and finance them through Rehab loans but most tend to look more towards the homes in need of minor cosmetic touch ups and upgrades because of the time needed to make the repairs and upgrades themselves. This contributes to a great opportunity for the investment buyer to make kitchen upgrades and exterior upgrades and repairs. moving man mowing lawn
Investors commonly can see a 20 to 25% return in their investment with the new home buyer ready to move in to the “new condition home
I recently heard this termed as “Recycled Real Estate”.

So with the upcoming wave of bank owned homes about to hit the market it may be a good time to take a look at the present housing market as the glass 1/2 full for investment buyers, home buyers and investment sellers. Family in Front of House

To see recent new listings of bank owned homes contact me at
Debbie Atwood Is Making A Splash In Snohomish County!
Great opportunities in Everett, Lake Stevens, Arlington, Mukilteo, Marysville, Lynnwood, Monroe, Granite Falls, Bothell and Mill Creek.

Which Is Better for the Buyer or Investor; Foreclosure vs. Shortsale?

September 22, 2009

Foreclosure vs. Shortsale?

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