November 14, 2011 Newsletter

As we approach year end, the real estate market seems to be showing some signs of life, with some regions reporting a stabilization of prices, where other areas are still unsettled. For those of you who have current mortgage rate of 4.75% or greater, the window of opportunity has opened to refinance since fixed rates are under 4% and there are adjustable rate mortgages closing under 3%. If you are worried about closing costs, inquire whether you can refinance at a slightly higher rate with the lender paying some of the closing costs. For example, If you are pursuing a 3.75% fixed rate, ask if agreeing to 3.875% would allow your lender to pay towards closing costs. You still get a reduced rate, and the time to recoup your costs of refinancing is greatly reduced. With most refinances we are seeing the origination costs are minimal, the main costs being the title and govt. costs, and replenishing your escrow account. Remember your existing escrow comes back to you within 30 days, and you skip one mortgage payment before you start paying on the new loan. If you need assistance sorting this out, call my office and I’ll be happy to explore the possibilities with you.

NACA just had a weekend “Save the Dream” event in Baltimore where homeowners can bring their information about their existing mortgage and obtain monthly payment relief. NACA is a non profit started more than 10 years ago, designed to assist homeowners to get relief from predatory lending practices, and their basis is more on character issues rather than credit scores. NACA has agreements with most major lenders where they can get “instant” approval to lower mortgage payments, assuming the borrower provides all the documentation normally required for a mortgage modification. For more info go to NACA.com.

To address homeowners who are in arrears where the property is salvageable, but a cash influx is required to bring the loan current, I have written a white paper outlining the creation of a company funded privately to put up the cash and take an interest in the property. The concept is based on shared equity agreements, which have been used in the past for homeowners to partner with investors in order to buy a home. You can review the white paper on our website www.colonytitle.com. Click on American Home Partnering.

Thanks to all the well wishes. My recovery is going well and I have returned to work. Thanks again.

We want to be your title company and law firm. For questions or comments contact me at tee.tillman@colonytitle.com or 410 884 1160 x 3007.