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How to Avoid Foreclosure

By: Margaret Olsen

How to avoid foreclosureIf your or someone you know is dealing with the threat of foreclosure, or is currently in the midst of a debt-related financial predicament, this information could help them address the issue and avoid a foreclosure situation.

Homeowners who are struggling to make their monthly payments may qualify for special programs, including government-backed initiatives such as the HARP plan.

In some situations, and especially if you have received a notice of default or pending suit, you may have only about 90 days to address the problem before foreclosure proceedings begin.

This e-book, written by Elin Bullmann, addresses much of what you will need to know to avoid or head off a foreclosure situation.

For more information, visit

Investors from China Swoop in on Detroit Properties

By: Charles Grice

Detroit houses snapped up by ChineseAs downtown Detroit is reeling from its recent bankruptcy filing, in addition to having one of the worst housing markets in the country, it is also gathering the interest of foreign investors looking to make some money.

Many Chinese investors have been talking about investing in the city on China’s social media network, Weibo, a Twitter-like service for China.

In March, long before the bankruptcy filing, a TV show in China aired with claims that investors could purchase two distressed homes for the price of a pair of good shoes.

Caroline Chen, a real estate broker based in nearby Troy, Michigan, told online news outlet Quartz News that she has fielded “tons of calls” from Chinese citizens looking to snap up properties while they are cheap.

“I have people calling and saying, ‘I’m serious — I wanna buy 100, 200 properties,’” Chen recalled. She noted that a colleague had just sold 30 Detroit properties to a single buyer from China.




Change to HUD Policy Allows NJ Sandy Victims Access to Grants

By: Margaret Olsen

New JerseyThe federal government announced last week that it will change regulations that have kept New Jersey residents affected by last fall’s Superstorm Sandy damage from receiving Community Development Block Grants.

After the storm, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) had told homeowners who had residences damaged to apply for loans even if they weren’t sure they needed one. Because many New Jersey residents could not afford to repay the terms of a loan once they were offered, they instead looked for funds via the CDBG program.

Before the change in HUD policies, the state of New Jersey did not believe it had the authority to give CDBG grants to those residents who applied for SBA loans and then declined them even though they still needed funds from the CDBG.

The HUD policy change went into effect on Tuesday, and now gives New Jersey the flexibility to provide CDBG funds to those who declined SBA loans — as long as the state identifies why the SBA loan was declined and establishes why CDBG assistance is necessary for the applicant’s particular case.

Wells Fargo to Expand Real Estate Brokerage to U.K.

By: Charles Grice

Wells Fargo entering U.K. marketWells Fargo Bank, the U.S. housing lender that receives only about 3% of its revenue from foreign markets, plans to expand its real estate investment-banking business as it makes plans to move into the United Kingdom’s market.

The bank will rely on its subsidiary company, Eastdil Secured LLC, to advise its British clients on deals and aid them in finding financing, according to a spokesperson at Wells Fargo’s commercial real estate division. Earlier in the year, Wells had also announced plans to expand lending backed by U.K. commercial properties.

The CEO of Wells, John Stumpf, is looking beyond the U.S. for business after the bank became America’s top home-lender.

Expansion into the U.K. began in late 2011 with a focus on loans for units in the central business district of London.

HUD Rule Protects Oklahoma Tornado Victims from Foreclosure

By: Charles Grice

Oklahoma HUD tornadoA U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rule is helping to protect some Oklahoma property owners from foreclosure proceedings as they manage the aftermath of devastating tornadoes earlier this year.

Lenders on properties insured by the FHA and HUD are not allowed to start foreclosure proceedings for 90 days following a presidential disaster declaration. President Barack Obama declared a disaster for six counties in the state, following the May 20th tornado that struck the Moore area.

Executive director of Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma Inc., Michael Figgins, told The Oklahoman that he is concerned that some lenders are not following the HUD rules on foreclosures in disaster struck areas.

“The 90-day hold on foreclosure provides disaster victims the needed time to regroup and recover,” Figgins told the paper.

There are many homeowners in the disaster stricken counties that have FHA loans.