It’s the beginning of the month and almost all of us are paying our rent or mortgages in the coming days.  Many are facing drastic income loss.  Fortunately, many lenders are offering some relief to homeowners.   Some offer postponing up to 6 months of no payments with no credit impact.  Some are tacking the missed payments to the end of the loan while others are requiring repayment by a certain deadline, which may not offer enough relief.  Be sure you get everything in writing before taking them up on their offer.  Call me with any questions and let’s crunch the numbers together.  For those of you who rent, be sure to speak to your landlord as soon as possible.  They may be receiving relief on their loan, which might be passed on to their tenants?    A moratorium on eviction may offer some peace of mind, but what is your landlords plan if you can’t pay your rent for a few months?

Friends and family understandably may not wish to share their more intimate financial details, good or bad, with a Realtor who is also in their social or family circles.  As a result many choose someone with whom they have no history of trust.  In upholding the code of ethics of the National Association of Realtors, I hold your private details, financial and otherwise, in the highest regard and strictly between you and me.  During a purchase or sale, your financial details are private and never shared with anyone outside the transaction.  In fact, on a home purchase, we leave the financial nitty gritty to the trusted mortgage lender you choose.  Your lender will review your pay stubs, credit history, and cash reserves to generate their pre-approval.  No one else in the transaction will see that daytime Del Taco visit that may show up on a bank statement. 

Through the economic downturn of 2008 and its subsequent path of destruction, I saw friends and neighbors struggle financially.  Some ultimately elected to walk away from their homes.  If you are experiencing financial challenges now or anytime in the future, please seek counsel.  Get multiple opinions on options from your tax preparer, financial planner, lawyer, mortgage broker and Realtor connections.  There may be options you haven’t explored that could have major long term financial upsides.  After it was too late to help, I learned of several friends who lost their homes through foreclosure who could very well have opted for a short sale or loan modification had they explored these options.  Fortunately, others did contact me and we talked through options, candidly and privately.  When one friend was unable to work temporarily, I advised calling the lender right away rather than getting too far behind.  Their lender modified the loan terms and made the situation more bearable.  Banks don’t want to foreclose on you and ding your credit, but if you give them no options and make no proactive efforts, they will eventually have no choice.  Ask questions, seek counsel.  Most of us charge nothing to share our experience and advice.  If we can’t advise directly, we can likely point you in the right direction.  Balance all those opinions and you can make a good financial decision with a clear mind.  

If you’re struggling, whatever you do, ask for help and rest assured that there are many of us out there who can offer advice and even just offer a comforting ear in a fully confidential setting.  Please don’t ignore it and bury your head in the sand.  Together we can get through this and we’ll all be better for it in the long run.

Below are some links to assist you.

Or, feel free to call or email me anytime, for any reason:

Matthew Fletcher

949 677 3618

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