Making Home Affordable for the Unemployed

“Unemployment” – It is a single word but very much vast in describing a person’s overall condition. A person’s financial condition, psychological condition, and overall emotional well-being can be explained by this word. Thanks to recession, approximately one person out of ten can be found bearing this problem.
The recent statistics shows a sampling of unemployment rates in different states as follows: North Carolina- 9.9%, California- 10.9%,New York- 8.5%, Texas- 7.1%. (Data from the bureau of labor statistics)
In my previous articles I have inspired people’s dream of home ownership. Today we are going to see how an unemployed person can seek for help to maintain his dream of home ownership.
Have you ever heard of MHA (Making Home Affordable)? This is a free federal government program, designed to help struggling homeowners to make their mortgage payments. Among many of its programs,Home Affordable Unemployment Program (UP) is quite awesome.
To receive benefits from this program, you must meet the following eligibility requirements.
• You are unemployed and eligible for unemployment benefits.
• You occupy the house as your primary residence.
• You have not previously received a HAMP modification.
• You obtained your mortgage on or before January 1, 2009.
• You owe up to $729,750 on your home.
(Source: Making Home Affordable program’s website)

Now, you’re perhaps wondering where is this program available? Well, more than 100 organizations affiliated with HAMP can offer assistance with UP. For example, in North Carolina, Yadkin Valley Bank, RBC Bank (USA), Marsh Associates, Inc etc. offer UP.
Let me share a success story with you… A homeowner lost his job in late 2009. He had just purchased a home and was in the middle of settling in when he lost his job. The mortgage was unbearable to him. He entered into a HAMP trial modification in December 2009 and moved in to a permanent modification in March 2010. As a result, he was then able to meet his mortgage payments, and was also able to put aside a good amount for savings each month too!
So, if you find yourself in a similar unfortunate situation, I strongly suggest you research the UP program and contact an appropriate bank to see if you qualify. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain!
In the end, it can be said, patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.
We are born to succeed, not to fail!
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Andrea Williams

NACA Makes the Dream of Home Ownership a Reality

Hello dear readers, I hope you are doing fine. In my last article I wrote about how you can own a home even if your financial situation is not great!  I suggested some options too. Today I am going to shed some light on another option, which I believe to be of great benefit to you also.

A few days ago I attended a conference and heard a wonderful presentation by NACA. It is the acronym for “Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America”. It is a non-profit, community advocacy and home-ownership organization. Before we explore NACA ’s missions, visions, activities, let me ask you a question. Would you like it, if you could receive a mortgage with zero down payments and without any closing fees? How about a fixed interest rate, which will not fluctuate with the market? That’s not all. You do not have to have the best credit scores either.

I am doubtful that many of you will believe that, but I am quite confident that you would like it. Oh, not ‘like’ it, you will LOVE it, and that is why I am writing today. I want to introduce you to the organization that makes this all possible… it is NACA.

So, how to get a mortgage with NACA? Well, first of all, you can’t own any other property, as you are not getting help for a second property. You must also occupy the home for as long as you have the mortgage. NACA believes that people who own and occupy homes will have a greater chance of success in their neighborhood and will contribute to stabilizing those neighborhoods.

The best way to understand all that NACA has to offer is to attend one of their free workshops. You can learn about their upcoming workshops on their website

Now, if that was not impressive, this organization not only helps people in need, but it continues its fight against predatory lending. NACA has committed funds to its Home Save Program to provide loans for people at risk of losing their home due to a bad deal. Check them out…you won’t regret it!

At the end, all I want to say don’t be disappointed. If there are problems, there are solutions too. Like every cloud has a silver lining. So motivate yourself to find the solution, or you will be a part of the problem

Andrea Williams



Some tips on buying a foreclosure home

Now-a-days the word “foreclosure” has become a very common word to people. If I may boldly say, it has become part and parcel to the real estate industry. Foreclosure is like a double edged sword. Sometimes it is a blessing, sometimes it is a curse to bear. Well, I always try to be positive minded, so why don’t we look at what is good about foreclosures? Yes dear readers, in this article we will delve into the aspects of buying foreclosure homes.

A couple of days ago, one of our friends got married. They are young couple, so it is not likely that they will buy a brand new home. However, an alternative option that is available for them is to buy a foreclosure home as a starter home and then when they have built up some equity in their first home and are more established, they can look forward to buying their next move-up home. This couple is not alone in their situation. Like them, thousands of people have the same need.

So, what should they do? Should they rush into buying their dream house? I would strongly suggest that they not chose that route. Before doing anything you should investigate, observe and judge the home you intend to buy. Let’s have a close look at some points that would help in this evaluation process.

  • Explore carefully-Think carefully and then think again. Does the home in question meet the current needs for you and for your family?


  • Hire an attorney to complete a title search – This is critical to make sure that when you purchase a foreclosure home that you are the only person who has the ownership claim.


  • Checks for liens –Most liens are wiped out with a foreclosure, except for UCC claims. So, be sure that you check to find out if there are any UCC liens against the property because you will be responsible for paying them. So be sure to check this out and have the seller pay the claim prior to closing.
  • Know how good of a “bargain” you’re getting – foreclosures are sold “as is” and in many cases you will have a limited amount of time to complete your inspections. Be sure to hire the appropriate professionals to ensure that you verify the real condition of the property before finalizing the deal!



  • Stick to the rules- When you choose to purchase a foreclosure, you agreed to play by the bank’s rules. Follow the rules that govern the purchase of your chosen foreclosure home so that you will have a pleasant buying experience.


  • Check your credit score- The better your score, the lower the amount of money needed for your down payment. And also, you may be able to finance all of your repairs without any out of pocket expense (see my previous article on FHA loans).


Be mindful of all of the above mentioned points! Take your time and follow a step by step process to make sure you have the best possible information to make the best possible decision for your purchase. This may be tiresome, and some aspects may even be boring, but in long run you won’t be a loser!

Happy house hunting! Let us know if we can serve you!


Andrea Williams

Potential pitfall in Real estate industry

Hello everyone, it is great to be back. I was having a nice time and also kept pace with what is happening in our real estate industry. Not many days ago, (nearly two months) the federal government and most states agreed to a $25 billion settlement with some Banks for carrying out foreclosures on mortgages. There is lot of critical responses surrounding this settlement. It is considered “fraudulent” in an article by Simon Johnson a former chief economist of the IMF, co-founder of the economics blog, a professor at MIT Sloan, and a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. In his opinion,there was no serious criminal prosecution and no one will go to jail for being charged with a felony.

Dennis Kelleher an attorney with extensive experience in private practice and the public sector tells it as;’Robo-signing’ is massive, systematic, fraudulent, criminal conduct.” Alternatively, as he points out, we could just call it “lying, cheating, and stealing.”

Now as this heated argument continues, let me visualize you some facts about Robo-signing. Robo-signing is a practice of a bank employee signing a huge number of documents or affidavits without validating it. In some case studies it revealed that one bank official performed the inhuman feat of work signing off on almost 10,000 documents in one month.

So things are very hectic at this moment. Each month analysts issue reports showing the number of homes nationwide in foreclosure or held by banks. At is moment if we could just find a solution to this problem, it would stabilize our economy. But at ground level, it is much more complicated. This will also affect politics too; as people think foreclosure is the only thing that shows the health of housing market.

At the end it can be said that, statistics, reports…everything comes in black and white, but reality shows infinite shades of gray. The present foreclosure crisis is the deepest shade of gray, very much close to darkness. To solve this crisis we have to go beyond and venture into those shadows and bring a complete solution to it. No matter what the change is, it surely can only be for our betterment.

Andrea Williams