With nearly 3 million homes lost to foreclosure and an expected additional 10 million homes in the near future, what is a troubled homeowner to do?

In February 2012, the National Consumer Law Center published its fourth report on foreclosure mediation .

They found that:

  • Foreclosure mediation programs and conferences provide substantial community benefits at little or no cost. Mediation fees average from none to less than $1,000. Yet, investors lost an average $145,000 per home foreclosure in 2008, and foreclosures just in California have resulted in nearly $500 billion in aggregate costs.


  • Effective mediation programs do not prolong foreclosures.


  • Foreclosure mediation programs should connect borrowers with housing counselors. Borrowers who receive housing counseling are much more likely to avoid foreclosure, and obtain affordable as well as sustainable loan modifications.


  • Not all foreclosure mediation programs are equal. All states should adopt foreclosure mediation programs with enforceable standards and robust outreach as permanent features of state foreclosure laws as quickly as possible.


  • Mediation programs must ensure that the FHFA’s new servicing guidelines do not lead to unnecessary foreclosures.


  • Strong foreclosure mediation programs can work hand-in-hand with other tools to rebuild the nation’s broken mortgage market and should be used to maximize HAMP modifications. The modified loans’ default rate over 1 year dropped from 56.2% in 2008 to 25.7% in 2010. HAMP loan modifications were the most sustainable of all with a 17.3% (2011) redefault rate after 1 year.


  • Policymakers can use mediation programs to help preserve minority homeownership; gains made over the last decade are vanishing.


Borrowers in mediation must receive accurate information about an increasingly unaffordable rental market. Renters, especially those who are low-income, are more than twice as likely as homeowners to spend more than 50% of income for housing. Mediation programs should refer all homeowners to housing counselors to evaluate the costs of renting before giving up on saving a home.

Besides avoiding a foreclosure and its hit on your credit record, you may have other sensible reasons for looking into a short sale of your home. Let’s consider those other reasons.

In my last blog I showed how a short sale may be harder to pull off than expected, and how they can be dangerous if you do not get advice from knowledgeable professionals looking out for your interests. Simply put, you should not assume that any particular solution is the right one without knowing all your options. And that means asking whether the reasons you are pursuing one option might or might not actually be better served through a different option.

So here are some sensible reasons to consider doing a short sale:

1. You can’t afford the house anymore and so believe you have no choice but to get out.

If your income has been cut or the mortgage payments have gone up so that you cannot keep up those payments, and yet you can’t sell your house in the normal fashion because it’s worth less than the mortgage balances, then a short sale may be a good way to escape the house and its debt.

But maybe you have important reasons to stay in your home. Your family may benefit from staying for deep personal reasons—such as not leaving your kids’ school district or maintaining family stability. If you leave this home it may be a long time before you would have the financial means to buy again. So there may be ways to lower the cost of keeping your home. A mortgage modification may now be more available than in the last few years because of the recent large mortgage fraud settlement with the major banks, and other improved programs. A Chapter 13 case in bankruptcy court may enable you to eliminate or drastically reduce a second mortgage balance, and either eliminate, reduce, or delay payments on other liens on the house. And either a Chapter 7 or 13 could reduce or eliminate other debts so that you could better afford to pay the home obligations.

2. You’ve heard that bankruptcy does not allow “cram downs” of mortgages on your home. So you see no way out of your second mortgage other than getting them at least a partial payment through a short sale in return for writing off the rest of that debt.

You’ve been doing your homework if you understand that mortgages secured only by your primary residence cannot be “crammed down,” reduced in bankruptcy to the value of that residence, unlike lots of other kids of secured debts.

But there’s a big exception, one that keeps getting bigger as home values continue to decline in many areas. If your home is worth less than the balance of your first mortgage, so that there is no equity at all in your home for the second mortgage, then through a Chapter 13 case you can “strip” this lien off your home. That means that your second mortgage debt can be paid very little—sometimes even nothing—during your 3-to-5 year Chapter 13 case, and then written off completely. This not only saves you from paying the 2nd mortgage payment from then on, it reduces your debt on your home forever, making hanging onto your home economically more sensible. If this second mortgage strip applies to your situation, then you will pay less each month for a home with less debt on it.

3. You may be induced to do a short sale not just because of your voluntary mortgage debts on your home, but because of various other usually involuntary ones which have attached to your home’s title, like one or more tax, judgment, support, utility, or construction liens.

You may have found out that your title is saddled with other obligations, and in fact you may well be under a great deal of pressure to pay one or more of these obligations. The IRS and support enforcement agencies can be especially aggressive. So you would understandably feel that you have no choice but to sell your home to get that aggressive creditor paid. And since you have no equity in your home, you can only sell it on a short sale. But the problem is that the more lienholders you have, the more challenging a short sale becomes. And even if it does succeed, the troublesome lienholder may agree to sign off for less than the balance, leaving you still being pursued by it.

I can’t cover here how a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case would deal with each of these kinds of lienholders. That’s a many-blog discussion, and would depend on each person’s circumstances. But often you would have options that would give you more control over your home and over your financial life than would happen in a short sale. Considering what is at your stake, it certainly makes sense to consult an attorney who is ethically bound to explain all the options in terms of your own goals and best interests.

Will Fannie and Freddie finally be making mortgage principal reductions now that their own analysis shows that doing so would benefit their own financial health—and make them better able to repay billions owed to U.S. taxpayers?

My last blog described Fannie and Freddie’s conflicting purposes: to make home ownership more accessible, but to do so profitably for themselves. And I showed how this inherent conflict has led to a political dispute between the Obama Administration on one side pushing for greater flexibility in helping distressed homeowners keep their homes—and specifically to allow principal reductions, while on the other side Edward DeMarco, the acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Fannie and Freddie’s overseer, disallowing principal reductions in order “to preserve and conserve [Fannie and Freddie’s] assets.”

Helping Homeowners Also Helps Taxpayers

But what if there is no conflict between these purposes? What if reducing mortgage balances would help hundreds of thousands of homeowners stay in their homes and at the same time would save money for Fannie and Freddie?  

That is the conclusion of a very recent not-yet public analysis by Fannie and Freddie presented to the FHFA, according to the ProPublica article: “Fannie and Freddie: Slashing Mortgages Is Good Business.”

The new analyses by Freddie and Fannie were done to assess the new financial incentives that the Obama administration announced in late January.  … . The companies now find that reducing principal on troubled mortgages has a “positive net present value” — in other words, that doing it would bring in more money for the companies over the life of the loans than not doing it.

The two companies’ analyses showed that upwards of a quarter million borrowers who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth could benefit from principal reductions. The companies would take a loss upfront, but over the long run these mortgage modifications would save the companies money because they would lead to lower default rates.

FHFA’s Response

DeMarco is thinking about it. In a statement he said:

“As I have stated previously, FHFA is considering HAMP incentives for principal reduction and we have been having discussions with [Freddie and Fannie] and Treasury regarding our analysis.”

But he also stated:

“FHFA’s previously released analysis concluded that principal forgiveness did not provide benefits that were greater than principal forbearance as a loss mitigation tool. FHFA’s assessment of the investor incentives now being offered will follow the previous evaluation, including consideration of the eligible universe, operational costs to implement such changes, and potential borrower incentive effects.”

DeMarco seems to be saying that this new analysis may well not change their policy. Why not? After looking at all their options (“the eligible universe”), and considering how borrowers would react to principal reductions (“incentive effects”), it seems to come down to “operational costs”—changes to their accounting and computer systems—which could outweigh the other benefits. It just might be too hard to change Fannie and Freddie’s operations so that principal reductions would work for them.

The Bigger Picture      

So is the FHFA so institutionally ingrained with the short-term profit motive that it would reject Fannie and Freddie’s own conclusions about principal reductions being good for their long term financial health? Does it have SO little ability to adapt? Does the FHFA have such tunnel vision that it can’t give any consideration to the potential benefits to the national housing market, where home values STILL continue to slide? And where in DeMarco’s comments is there any hint whatsoever of compassion for the millions of Americans—about half of them under his control—at continued risk of losing their homes?

The settlement documents of the deal that was announced more than a month ago were finally completed and filed at court on Monday, March 12. They catalog page after page of serious wrongdoing by the banks in their servicing of mortgages and processing of foreclosures.

In my last blog I said that the settlement would be finalized and made public “any day now.” It actually happened only hours later.

The settlement documents consist of hundreds of pages, but I’ll make it easy for you.

One document talks about the past, the wrongdoing by the banks. That’s the Complaint. The plaintiffs are the United States, 49 of the 50 states (all except Oklahoma), and the District of Columbia; the defendants are five of the biggest banks—Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, and Ally/GMAC, and their subsidiaries, totaling 18 named defendants. This 99-page Complaint is the subject of today’s blog.

The rest of the documents—one Consent Judgment for each of the five banks—talk about the agreed penalties for the banks’ past wrongdoing, but mostly focus on the future: 1) where the money from those penalties is going to be spent; and 2) the new standards by which these banks are now required to service mortgages and process foreclosures.  In my next blog I’ll talk about these penalties, and how they are supposed to help homeowners who have been hurt by the banks.

To say that the Complaint is 99 pages long is misleading, because it actually ends on page 48, followed by signature pages for each of the 51 plaintiffs. And In fact the document doesn’t really get to the point until the Factual Allegation starting on page 21. The detailed litany of bank misconduct goes on relentlessly for the following 16 pages, totaling 55 paragraphs of allegations, some including many subparagraphs of even more detailed allegations. It’s difficult to do justice to all this in one blog. To try to show both the breadth and depth of the alleged misconduct, I’ll give you most of the Complaint’s outline of the types of wrongdoing, and one or two examples quoted under each one:

A. The Banks’ Servicing Misconduct

            1. The Banks’ Unfair, Deceptive, and Unlawful Servicing Processes

Failing to timely and accurately apply payments made by borrowers and failing to maintain accurate account statements; imposing force-placed insurance without properly notifying the borrowers and when borrowers already had adequate coverage.

             2. The Banks’ Unfair, Deceptive, & Unlawful Loan Modification and Loss Mitigation Processes

Providing false or misleading information to consumers while initiating foreclosures where the borrower was in good faith actively pursuing a loss mitigation alternative offered by the Bank; miscalculating borrowers’ eligibility for loan modification programs and improperly denying loan modification relief to eligible borrowers.

   3. Wrongful Conduct Related to Foreclosures

Preparing, executing, notarizing or presenting false and misleading documents, filing false and misleading documents with courts and government agencies, or otherwise using false or misleading documents as part of the foreclosure process (including, but not limited to affidavits, declarations, certifications, substitutions of trustees, and assignments).

 B. The Banks’ Origination Misconduct

   1. Unfair and Deceptive Origination Practices

In the course of their origination of mortgage loans in the Plaintiff States, the Banks have engaged in a pattern of unfair and deceptive practices. Among other consequences, these practices caused borrowers in the Plaintiff States to enter into unaffordable mortgage loans that led to increased foreclosures in the States.

 C. The Banks’ Bankruptcy-Related Misconduct

Making representations that were inaccurate, misleading, false, or for which the Banks, at the time, did not have a reasonable basis to make, including without limitation representations contained in proofs of claim under 11 U.S.C. § 501, motions for relief from the automatic stay under 11 U.S.C. § 362, or other documents.

 D. Violation of Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)

The Banks foreclosed upon mortgages without required court orders on properties that were owned by service members who, at the time, were on military service or were otherwise protected by the SCRA.

 The 55 paragraphs of wrongdoing resulted in these five banks agreeing to pay about $26 billion in a combination of cash and other forms, to the states and to individual homeowners. As I said, I’ll tell you how this is supposed to be divvied up in my next blog.

The long-awaited joint federal-state settlement with the major banks for their alleged fraudulent documentation and processing of mortgages and foreclosures was announced on Thursday, February 9. Will it help you, and if so, how?

I interrupt my ongoing series on small business bankruptcy to answer your most immediate questions about this huge settlement.

1. Who is included in this settlement?

  • Only five big banks are currently signed on: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan Chase, Ally Financial and Citigroup.  Only mortgages owned and held by them are directly affected.  Negotiations continue with nine other mortgage servicers, which if successful could bring the total amount of money involved to $30 billion.
  • 49 states joined in the settlement; only Oklahoma did not.
  • Mortgages held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—consisting of the majority of U.S. mortgages—are NOT covered.

2. What does this settlement resolve and what is open for further negotiation and litigation? In other words, what liabilities are the banks escaping from for their $26 billion?

  • The claims against the banks that are released in this settlement are limited to mortgage servicing and foreclosure claims. Claims for a variety of other alleged wrongdoing are not covered and so remain open to being pursued by the federal and state regulators, investors, and homeowners. Claims that are NOT covered include those related to the securitization of mortgage-backed securities that were at the heart of the financial crisis, and those against or involving MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems).
  • Individuals’ rights to bring their own lawsuits or to be part of a class action against any banks for any claims are not affected by this settlement.
  • The settlement does not limit any potential criminal liability for any individuals or financial institutions; it provides no immunity from prosecution whatsoever.

3. How does the settlement help you if your mortgage is held by one of these five banks?

  • If you need a mortgage loan modification, these servicers will (finally!) be required to offer principal reductions, for first and second mortgages, to a value of up to $17 billion. This is where the bulk of the settlement funds are earmarked.
  • If you’re current on your mortgage but your home is worth less than the mortgage, $3 billion of the settlement is to provide refinancing relief.
  • If your home has already been foreclosed, $1.5 billion will be paid out by the banks as a penalty against them–around  $2,000 per homeowner–without you needing to show any damages or releasing any claims against the bank.

4. Where do you go for more information and to find out whether you will be helped in any of these ways?

  • Go to the new settlement website for current and upcoming information about it:

The multibillion-dollar deal, more than a year in negotiations between the biggest home mortgage servicers on one side and the states’ attorneys general and federal agencies on the other, may be just days from being finished. The deadline for each state’s attorney general to decide whether to sign was Friday, February 3, but that has now been extended to Monday, February 6.

This settlement is to resolve allegations about an extensive series of foreclosure and mortgage loan-servicing abuses that came to light in the summer and fall of 2010. State and federal officials have since then been negotiating an agreement with five major mortgage servicers. It would provide some very specific mortgage relief to homeowners and would establish strict requirements for how banks could conduct foreclosures. The negotiations have gone back and forth, with various proposals being floated, resulting in very public displays of protest by various bank-friendly sets of attorneys general on one hand and by other more aggressive attorneys general on the other. A settlement now looks imminent, in large part because of the timing of the current election cycle, as well as the dire need for progress on the never-ending home foreclosure front —and because this has dragged on for so long.

Since this story is evolving every day, I’m going to provide you with a few recent news articles about it, introducing each one to help you decide if you want to look at it.

This USA Today article gets right to what we all care about, “Who benefits from possible $25B mortgage settlement?”  It’s actually a good summary—in a Q&A format—of the likely terms of the settlement and its effects on homeowners and the housing market. Some of the questions include: “How might the $25B be spent?” “Who will get [mortgage] principal reductions?” “How tough are the potential settlement terms on the banks?

“Mortgage deal would give states enforcement clout” from Reuters addresses the concern “that banks have not adequately followed through on prior settlements, a concern that has pushed government negotiators to establish more forceful enforcement mechanisms in this deal than have been used in the past.” So this deal gives the states, along with a separate “monitoring committee,” the power to go to court to enforce the terms of the settlement and to ask for penalties of up to $5 million per violation.

And if you want to get a taste of how complicated these negotiations have been on the technical side (without even accounting for the intense political pressures), here is a letter dated January 27, 2012 from the Nevada Attorney General to the officials who have been spearheading the settlement. In the letter, she asks for written answers to 38 questions so that her state can decide whether or not to sign on to the settlement. It’ll make your head spin. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

One million more homeowners have just become eligible for refinancing at the current very low interest rates. Until now, the federal Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) has been limited to homeowners with mortgages of no more than 125% of the value of their homes. By way of example, for a home currently worth $200,000, the mortgage could be no more than $250,000. Now that 125% limitation has been eliminated, allowing homeowners more deeply underwater to qualify for HARP refinancing. So some people who have not been able to take advantage of the low interest rates will be able to do so and get the resulting lower monthly mortgage payments. This change should especially help homeowners in those parts of the country hardest hit by reduced home values, where a large percentage of homeowners have been cut off from being able to use HARP.

To qualify under the revised refinancing:

1. You must have a mortgage owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, which include about half of all U.S. home mortgages. You can find out whether yours is by looking that up online at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or calling 800-7FANNIE or 800-FREDDIE (8 am to 8 pm ET for both numbers).

2. Your mortgage must have belonged to either of these two institutions by no later than May 31, 2009.

3. You cannot have been late on any of the mortgage payments during the last 6 months or on more than one payment in the last 12 months.

4. You can’t have already refinanced through HARP.

The program continues to be voluntary for the mortgage lenders, so there are additional incentives for them. Lenders have been accused of being extremely picky about income documentation and home valuation under HARP, apparently fearing that they would have to buy-back the new mortgages being sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. So the new changes eliminate most of that risk. As a result, the application process should be much easier and less expensive for borrowers.

Detailed rules are expected by the middle of November, with lenders ready to implement the revamped program starting around December 1.


If you’re a homeowner who is selling his or her home for any of the following three reasons, think again: 1) you can’t afford the house payments, 2) you owe income taxes with a tax lien on your house, and/or 3) your mortgage modification application was rejected.

In my last blog I told you the first three of ten reasons why you should get advice from a bankruptcy attorney before selling your home. Here are the next three. All of these are about saving you money, and helping you make much better decisions about your home.  

1.  Can’t Afford the House Payments:   It’s sensible to sell your home if it’s more house than you need, or you’re not able to make the payments. But you may really need to hang onto the house, and are selling it because you think you have no choice. If so, you may instead be able to keep your home either by reducing the debt attached to the house or by reducing the rest of your debt so that you can afford the house debt. I gave you some ways to reduce the debts on the house in my last blog, and will give some more in the next one. As for reducing or getting rid of the rest of your debt, even if you are resisting the idea of filing bankruptcy “just so I can afford my house,” you still owe it to yourself to know your options. We live in truly extraordinary times in terms of home values and economic uncertainty. So especially now, it’s wise to be open to creative ways of meeting your financial needs.

2.  Have Income Tax Debt:   If you owe back income taxes, these taxes may have already attached to your home’s title with the recording of a tax lien. Or that may happen in the near future. You may feel extra pressure to sell your home to pay those taxes. But Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy options can often help you deal with your tax debts, sometimes in ways better than you expect. Some income taxes can be legally written off altogether. Others would likely be able to be paid much less than outside bankruptcy, through huge savings in interest and penalties, and other possible advantages. The details are beyond what I can cover in this blog. But if income tax debts or tax liens are part of why you are selling your home, first find out how bankruptcy would deal with them.  

3.  Your Mortgage Modification Application Was Rejected:   Mortgage modification programs—both governmental ones like HAMP as well as private ones—have been tremendously controversial and of questionable benefit to homeowners.  They are almost always terribly frustrating to go through. Without getting into all that here, there are definitely times when mortgage modification requests are rejected because the homeowner did not fully complete the application or the mortgage lender did not process it accurately. Often it is not really clear why the modification was not approved. After going through this challenging process without a reduction in your mortgage payments, understandably you may well feel like you have no choice but to sell your home. But sometimes a bankruptcy filing—either Chapter 7 or 13, depending on the circumstances—can help get a mortgage modification approved, either the first time or in a renewed application. Reducing your debts through bankruptcy provides you more resources to put into your house, generally making you a better candidate for mortgage modification.

Deciding whether to sell your home involves a whole lot of factors–personal, financial, and legal. Virtually every time I meet with new clients who are thinking about selling their home, they learn a bunch of things which puts that decision in a whole different light.  Often, my clients are pleasantly surprised by options and advantages they did not know were available. Let me help you, too, make an informed and wise choice about most important asset.


Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 stop a foreclosure of your home. One or the other COULD be better for you, but which one is it?

Many considerations come into play in deciding whether a Chapter 7 or 13 is better medicine for you.  I could list literally dozens of possible ones. Focusing here just on factors involved in saving your house, there are still lots of advantages and disadvantages to each one. The answer turns on your unique circumstances. Lawyers are sometimes given a bad time for seemingly answering every question with “it depends.” But when it comes to your home and your financial well-being, the fact is that what you want and deserve are what is best for you in your unique circumstances. You don’t want a cookie-cutter answer but rather one that does in fact “depend” on your individual facts and on your personal financial goals.

Let’s assume that after looking at all the other aspects of your financial life, the choice between the two Chapters comes down to how that choice impacts on your house. And let’s also assume that this is a house in distress, where a foreclosure is already scheduled or is just around the corner.

In one sentence, the key difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 is that the first one generally buys you a relatively short time while the second one buys you a much longer time.

So that leaves as the main question whether—in your unique situation—a Chapter 7 would buy you enough time, or if you instead need the much stronger medicine of Chapter 13.

Chapter 13 deservedly has the reputation of being the home-saving chapter of bankruptcy. But every day of the week Chapter 7 bankruptcies are filed which save people’s homes. If you have a sale pending on your house but you’ve run out of time with a scheduled foreclosure; if you have some money coming to cure the arrearage but again have run out of time; if you are very close to getting a mortgage modification approved or are more likely get it approved after discharging you debts in bankruptcy; or if you’ve decided to surrender the house but need a little more time to get into another home—these are possible circumstances where Chapter 7 could well buy you enough time to do what you need to do for your home.

Admittedly, these are relatively rare situations. The much more common one is that you had lost some income or had emergency expenses, making it impossible to keep up the home mortgage payments. And then you regained that income, but maybe not all of it, and now you owe a whole lot in missed payments, late charges and other fees. No way can you catch up all that in just a few months. Chapter 13 can give you as much as five years to do so. Chapter 13 can also buy you much more time to sell your home, such as to get to a better selling season, or even maybe to allow a kid to finish high school. Chapter 13 can also be much better at dealing with other house-related debts, such as property taxes, second mortgages, and income tax liens. As I said, these choices depend on your unique set of circumstances.

You can build a nice gingerbread house out of cookie-cutters. But when it comes to your home, and you and your family’s well being, get the advice of an experienced attorney. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than helping save a family home. Let me help you make the very best choices about yours.

Does the recent increase in foreclosures signal the long-anticipated surge in defaults of Option ARMs (adjustable-rate mortgages) that were scheduled to reset their interest rates right about now?

That’s a question that came to mind when I noticed the recent uptick in new home foreclosures.

Option ARMs gave borrowers a choice of paying principal and interest, interest-only, or else lower payments covering only a part of the interest and none of the principal. Most people paid on the low end, which increased their principal balances every month. Plus many of them had low “teaser” interest rates. These rates would reset after 5 years, or sooner if the principal balance reached a certain threshold, say 120% of the original amount. People could get more house for less money, but with a greater gamble that house values would continue to rise.

Since $600 billion worth of Option ARMs were made from 2005 through 2007, we are now right in the thick of when they were scheduled to reset. A similar flood of resets among subprime mortgages in 2006 and 2007 likely was a major cause of the “subprime mortgage crisis” which ignited the Great Recession. Around that time lots of smart folks were warning about this huge second wave of mortgage defaults and foreclosures that was to hit now.

But it’s not happening, or at least not nearly with the intensity anticipated. Why not?

1. Because many of these mortgages never got as far as their reset dates. They fell into default as the economy got worse and property values declined. They’ve just been part of the mix of mortgages in the foreclosure pipeline through these last two-three years.

2. Something like 20% of the Option ARMs have been modified by mortgage lenders and servicers, many into fixed-rate mortgages. Although mortgage modification efforts overall have been roundly criticized for their ineffectiveness, the lenders recognized their self-interest in avoiding the anticipated Option ARM defaults and so they were proactive with this category of mortgages.

3. Because the economy has been so slow in its rebound, interest rates have stayed extremely low for much longer than most anticipated. As a result the interest rate resets have increased mortgage payments much less than expected. In fact, in some cases mortgage payments have actually gone down.

4. Unlike subprime loans which mostly went to homeowners with shaky credit scores, Option ARMs went to borrowers with average or better credit. Those that have not already defaulted, and who are getting relatively modest payment increases at reset time, tend to be borrowers who can better afford to make the payments.

However, there still are millions of Option ARMs, most of which ARE requiring payment increases when they reset.  A large percentage of ARMs are at least 30 days late. So although the reset impact is not nearly as bad as many anticipated, with the very shaky economy many homeowners with these mortgages, even if they had decent credit a few years ago, are very vulnerable now.

If you have an Option ARM, or any other kind of mortgage, and need advice about your options, please come in to see me.