Bruce Clark from the Clark Group and Coldwell Banker: Northpark Irvine: 949.285.1207:

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Orange County distressed property, including short sales, foreclosure, bank repos, and bank-owned properties (REO). Call the Clark Group at 949-285-1207. Representing buyers and sellers of Orange County properties.

What is a Short Sale?

A short sale results when a homeowner sells their home for a sum that is less than the amount of the liens and encumbrances against the property (loans, taxes, HOA fees owed, etc.). Many homes listed for sale as a 'short sale' are also in the foreclosure process, though this is not required. Nor is it a requirement that a Notice Of Default (NOD) be filed on the property.

(Please note that a short sale listing does not imply that the listing agent has received a pre-approved sales price, but that the homeowner would like to sell the home before it is foreclosed on.)

Why would a seller prefer a Short Sale?

One of the things banks frown upon is someone 'walking away' from a situation: in the case of a home loan, this typically involves hundreds of thousands - if not millions - of dollars. A foreclosure on ones credit report makes it more difficult to obtain a mortgage in the future. Banks want to know that when times are tough, a borrower is willing to participate in a workout.

Why would a bank prefer a Short Sale?

Foreclosing on a home is expensive since it involves many filings, attorneys fees and more. Banks are not in the business of owning real estate, so their preference is to liquidate the asset as quickly as possible while minimizing their capital loss.

Buying a Distressed Property:

The one thing we find consistent in speaking with real estate buyers is that everyone is looking for a "great deal." For some, it may be a property that needs major work; for others, it may be buying a property that is in pre-foreclosure (a property that has had a Notice of Default (NOD)/Notice Of Trustee Sale (NOTS) filed against it and is referred to as a short sale), or has been foreclosed on and is now a bank-owned property (REO). But buying a distressed property is not for the faint of heart: short sales can take up to 6 months - only to fall out of escrow at the last minute due to changes in the banks terms or an undisclosed lien. And buying a home at an auction carries with it many pitfalls, too, including undiscovererd foundation problems, back taxes, HOA lien, etc. That is why working with the Clark Group team of professionals is more important than ever.

Selling a Distressed Property:

We are very versed in helping a homeowner through the short sale process. Our team of real estate, legal, and tax professionals has been involved in assisting homeowners both sell and buy homes that are in a distressed situation for many years, so the current state of the home market is not something we were unprepared for. To find out more about working with us, please call 949-285-1207. All correspondence will be held in the strictest of confidence.

In Foreclosure: there is help:

More than 55% of all homes for sale in Orange County, California as of February 2010 are in a distressed situation: most are in the process of being foreclosed on and have receieved a Notice Of Default (NOD) and, for those that have been in a NOD status for over 90 days, have also had a Notice Of Sale (Trustee Sale Notice) filed against them.

If you, or anyone you know, have questions about the real estate or mortgage markets, or are experiencing issues with regard to your mortgage, the Clark Group can help. Call us at 949-285-1207. All information is held in the strictest of confidence. If you are in foreclosure, we suggest your first call should be to your lender to inquire as to the availability of any loan workout programs. This could involve a modification of the loan, a loan forbearance, or even a reduction in the principal amount owed. If your lender does not any of those programs in place, or you don't qualify, we suggest your second call should be to the Homeownership Preservation Foundation at l-888-995-HOPE. They are an independent nonprofit that provides HUD-approved counselors dedicated to helping homeowners. Their services are free of charge.

To find out more about avoiding foreclosure, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), offers some very good advice. One will also find information about The HOPE for Homeowners program that will refinance mortgages for borrowers who are having difficulty making their payments, but can afford a new loan insured by HUD's Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Call 1-800-225-5342 for more information.

There are many programs being introduced by the government to help those in distress. On November 30, 2009, the U.S. Treasury Department released forms and guidelines for the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA), which is part of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). For a list of servicers participating in HAMP, visit

For Orange County, California homeowners, there are three more resources available. Click here for more information.

If you would like to speak with us about your situation, please call 949-285-1207. All correspondence will be held in the strictest of confidence.

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New: Short Payoff Principal Reduction - FHA & Cal FHA Refinance

Both the FHA and Cal FHA have special programs reserved for well qualified borrowers with credit scores greater than 620 refinancing their principal residence, and fully documenting their income, assets, and employment.

What is a short pay-off, also known as a discounted pay-off?

The short payoff refinance is a principal reduction program coupled with a refinancing. Unlike loan modifications and refinancing promoted by the "Making Home Affordable," the reduction is permanent and is not limited to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages. If the balance is greater than 115% (FHA) or 125% (Cal FHA) of the appraised value, or you do not have a Fannie or Freddie owned mortgage, you might be eligible.

The situation with banks and their lending and foreclosure guidelines is ever-changing: don't take any chances with your home and your financial future. We are very experienced in all phases of workouts. To set-up a private consultation, call Bruce Clark at 949-285-1207. All information is held in the strictest of confidence.

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To receive Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County & San Bernadino County REO, pre-foreclosure, bank repo, foreclosure auction, and short sale property information, please either sign up for our free distressed real estate newsletter, or request our FREE printout of bank repo, short sale, foreclosed and REO properties in Orange County,