Increase Your Credit Score By Handling Credit Cards Wisely

On July 6, 2011, in Credit Repair, by Justin Velthoen

To increase your credit score and become a more qualified home-buying candidate, there are a number of major financial fixes you can make, from restructuring your current home mortgage to paying down or eliminating major sources of debt such as car loans or an equity line of credit. But those are major steps, typically easier […]

Avoid Foreclosure Scams by Watching for Warning Signs

On June 20, 2011, in Equity, by Justin Velthoen

At a time when so many homeowners face property ownership difficulties, foreclosure scams are a real concern that should make even the most desperate homeowner take caution when looking for assistance. Dishonest financial counselors often make promises they can’t keep, request information that isn’t relevant to the foreclosure process, and charge unnecessary up-front fees, all […]

How Private Mortgage Insurance Impacts Your Mortgage Payment

On June 10, 2011, in Equity, by Justin Velthoen

Take a close look at your mortgage statement and you’ll see a breakdown of the items that ultimately determine your monthly mortgage payment. In addition to the principal and interest portion of your payment, as well as escrow installments that go toward your property taxes and homeowner’s insurance, you might notice an item called PMI. […]

Avoid Probate to Avoid Property Headaches

On June 6, 2011, in Probate, by Justin Velthoen

The natural assumption might be that probate court exists to settle ownership disputes following a property owner’s death. While it’s true that probate court does handle such cases, more often than not, probate is largely a clerical process. Nobody’s disputing property ownership, nobody’s arguing the interpretation of a will. But it can be a pricey […]

Home Foreclosures On The Decline. How can you avoid one too?

On June 1, 2011, in Foreclosure, by Justin Velthoen

Notice of Trustee Sale (Home Foreclosure) filings in Arizona plummeted nearly 28 percent in from March to April. Foreclosure filings in California fell to their lowest point since the housing market bottomed out in the fall of 2008. And Notice of Default filings in Nevada dropped nearly 18 percent from March to April. Are these […]

Dealing With Property Division After Divorce

On May 31, 2011, in Divorce, by Justin Velthoen

She’s moving home to Wisconsin. You’re considering renting an apartment. It’s closer to work, and there’s no way you can keep up with mortgage payments with your household salary sliced in half. The marriage is over, you’ve accepted that. But what happens to the house? Settling on property division after divorce is often one of […]

I’m Working On A Loan Modification, But Is My Bank?

On May 20, 2011, in Foreclosure, by Justin Velthoen

In many cases, it’s a homeowner’s “Hail Mary,” a last-ditch effort to preserve their home. But getting approved for a loan modification, despite recent encouragement from the federal government, is not as simple as merely calling your lender and asking for one, or visiting its website and applying for one. There is nearly as much […]

FTC Rule Protects Homeowners From Mortgage Relief Scams

On May 20, 2011, in Foreclosure, by Justin Velthoen

With so many uncertainties, so much legal jargon, and so many documents that require the eye of a licensed professional, navigating the complexities of the foreclosure or short-sale process can be daunting to many homeowners. That – coupled with the desperate nature of people hoping to avoid foreclosure – makes many homeowners prime target for […]

Finding Mortgage Relief In Your 401(k)

On May 20, 2011, in Foreclosure, by Justin Velthoen

It isn’t what you’ve been saving for, and it will come at a price, but that 401(k) account you’ve been building for years might be the mortgage relief you need if you’ve fallen behind on your mortgage payments. Many companies allow employees to take money from their 401(k) accounts for what is called a “hardship […]

I’m Losing My Home to Foreclosure. What Can I Take With Me?

On May 15, 2011, in Foreclosure, by Justin Velthoen

Often bitter after losing their home to foreclosure, many homeowners look for ways to “get even” with a bank or lender. And one of the most common tactics is to strip a house of anything they can. Literally. While homeowners are fully within their rights to remove any personal property from a home following foreclosure, […]