Hello and welcome to You Be All You Are TV
I’m your Brad Harmon and today my guess is Brant Stevens with Brad L Stevens Law in Spokane
Washington. Brant, welcome to the broadcast.
Thanks Brad. We�re so glad you could take time out of
your busy schedule join us. Now Brant I want to talk to a little bit about foreclosures.
I know we’re not seeing a ton of in the news, but they’re still happening out there. And
there are a lot of people that are in trouble, their behind on their payments and are now
receiving foreclosure notices. What it what is the first thing they should
do? What are their options? Well in the foreclosure notice, Brad there
is generally some information about mediation and due to the problems with foreclosures
throughout Washington State and throughout the country, Washington has enacted laws that
protect the homeowners and required the banks and homeowners to sit down in a face to face
a mediation and that is the law in the state of Washington. That banks and homeowners that
are in for foreclosure on their residence have to sit down and faces face mediation
with each other and try to attempt to work out a resolution for the arrearages on their
mortgage and also if they are caring high interest rate, working to lower that interest
rate and also if they’re behind on their mortgage payments potentially rolling those mortgage
payments on to the loan. So I advise my clients to always attempt to
go through the mediation process with their lender when they receive their foreclosure
notice. That’s good, now should they have an attorney
with them when they go to that mediation or is it something they can just work out themselves
with the bank. I’ve been to you several mediations with clients
that I’ve represented. It�s optional for the home owner’s, they can participate in
the mediation by themselves or they can hire an attorney to participate in the mediation
with them and on their behalf. And do the mediation usually resolve or end
with a good results for the homeowner or do they sometimes fail?
Generally the result in� and generally it’s a good process for everybody that’s involved
it. It forces everybody to sit down and try to communicate and work out the problems on
the mortgage. Which if you’ve ever been in a situation where
you’ve had to do that with your lender due to the large number of foreclosures in the
past several years it�s almost impossible to get anybody to try to help you work out
your loan, once you’ve on behind on your mortgage payments and so the legislature in the state
of Washington enacted that mediation provision so that that could be accomplished because
all the problems that the banks and homeowners have been having with the backup in the foreclosure
process. That’s good to know, because a lot of people
signed up for mortgages that had those adjustable-rate mortgages and those big ARM�s are popping
on them now and they’re struggling. That�s right, Brad, that’s been a big problem
with the pay off some the loans becoming due and due to the restriction in the lending
requirements homeowners haven’t been able to accomplish a refinance and once that balloon
payment comes due it’s only a matter of time before either the foreclosure starts or a
refinance has to happen. That’s good to know, so if the mediation doesn’t
work do they have any other options? Can they do a loan modification or anything like that?
Yeah, my office does offer loan modifications for clients and we’ve had success with doing
those. A lot of the times will used the lending requirements
that have been established under the Obama administration. Through what�s been termed
the HAMP program the Home Affordable Modification Program.
We have a process that our clients go through and somewhat a boilerplate loan modification
form that we submit to banks. Often times the banks will have their own modification
forms that they want you to do and they want to use and fill out, but either way our office
has had quite a bit success doing that for homeowners in the past.
And then they can get their loan modified and that will quite often get them out at
the urgency and the trouble there in with foreclosure.
That’s right, and when we do that loan modifications were generally asking the bank to you again
put the arrearages back into the loan so that the homeowner can make those payments over
time. We�re generally asking the lender to reduce their mortgage interest on the home
loan. A lot of the times I’ve seen homeowners come in with interest rate on the 30-year
mortgages at six or seven percent and apply for a loan modification and come back with
three or four percent interest rate. Which significantly lowers the payments to the bank.
So, it’s a good process it’s an option that’s available at something that should be looked
at, if you’re having problems making a mortgage payments.
That’s good to know, thank you for sharing that with us. Now, if the person is in foreclosure
and in trouble and they�ve tried to go through loan modification, if they�ve tried the
mediation and neither are working, do they have any other options left?
Then our office for usually looks at filing a chapter 13 for them. With a loan modification
there’s a lot of discretion with the banks as to when they have to do a loan modification
when they don’t have to do a loan modification. With a chapter 13 there’s no discretion of
the creditor. I propose a plan with input from my clients about how they’re going to
pay back the arrearages on their home loan and that gets submitted to the bankruptcy
court and generally it’s approved by the bankruptcy court. The arrearages the home loan are paid
back either through three or five year plan, along with some other debts that the client
maybe having a problem paying such as taxes. So it’s been� that is a sure thing. It’s
kind of a last resort thing, but a chapter 13 can be a very advantageous tool for a homeowner
that’s far behind on their mortgage payments and making sure that they continue to keep
their home, to keep their family you in the family home and that is that is definitely
an option that a homeowner needs to take a look at.
So, chapter 13 is part of the bankruptcy code and that helps you with the bankruptcy court
work with the bank to work something out for the homeowner so they can keep their home. Yes! And the bank and my clients are all operating
under the same laws there’s some strict procedure that needs to be followed through the chapter
13, whereas in a home loan modification there’s not a lot those law that dictates where and
when loan modification is going to be approved. That’s good to know. So, if someone is in
trouble with their mortgage, the first thing they should do is give you guys a call at
Brant L Steven Law, so that you can walk them through either mediation, loan modification
or as a last resort chapter 13 bankruptcy. That’s right, Brad.
Brant thank you very much for spending some time with us on the program today. Do you
have any final thoughts for anybody that maybe watching this that might be struggling with
their home mortgage and are in danger of foreclosure? No, I just know that it can be a very scary
and very frustrating process when you’re faced with losing your home, but pick up the phone
and give our office a call. Ninety-nine percent of the time we can give you some good advice.
We offer free consultation about your options that are available to homeowners in a foreclosure.
Wonderful again thank you very much for your time we appreciate you joining us
Your welcome Brad, have a good day. Thank you and thank you for joining us on
You Be All You Are TV. I hope you’ll tune in again for another broadcast.