Ready to Go in AZ--Walking with all of your help!

readytogoaz

LoanSafe Member
Aug 22, 2010
202
1
18
Hello everyone,

I thought it was time I posted my own thread. I've put up a couple of posts on some others as I was working through the decision-making process...and I've done it!

I may occasionally be a bit vague about some things as someone already claimed to be a neighbor of mine, though that turned out to be untrue. I really would prefer not, at this time, to let my neighbors know my plan, mostly because I want to be further along before they copy me LOL!

Anyway here goes: I have a condo which I bought in 2002 for $120k. I refinanced in 2006, with a little bit of cash out, and my current balance is $125K. At the same time in 2006, I took out a 2nd loan for $60K, and I did lots to the condo. At the time of the refinanced loans, it was appraised at $205k.

Fast forward to 2010. The condo was in a complex which is, shall we say, "challenged", and this was even true before the current economic crisis. There have been times when amenities were closed and locked off due to lack of funds. There were times the garbage was not picked up. To be more specific would be telling, but trust me, it's not going to get better, I have volunteered, done board time, put thousands of my OWN money into fixes for the complex, but I'm done with that. I'm done with protecting my "equity" which is now almost a negative $100,000.

Why do I say $100,000? There is a unit identical to mine which is listed at $50,000....and no one is biting.

I did try to sell once, in 2008, just before the market collapsed. All I got was, it's a nice condo, but the complex is crappy. No one even tried to low ball me; I had 5 visits in 6 months of my listing, so I took it off the market.

Icing on the cake: the plan has been, since my dad passed away, for my mother to spend time between my place and my sibling's back east. She is disabled and does much better here in warm AZ. I can't do my part though...I have a unit with a stairway inside, as well as outside. It's now to the point that she can't get to my unit, much less use it once there.

That was what triggered me to do something. I've always thought, another year, a couple more years, I can sell and get out. Well at a value of $50,000, it'll be at LEAST a decade before I can get my first mortgage value covered at a sale. I'll have been there almost 20 years at that point....and maybe break even when I sell? And my mother can't wait a decade. I am not staying trapped in this place.

So I'm walking. I have read so many threads on here, it's helped so much. Thanks LeftyAz, KFish, LeavingAZ....so much good information. Yesterday I met with an attorney recommended by Kfish and it was great. I got a "thumbs up" on my plan to walk.

Of course I got the typical warnings that certain things could happen (i.e. judicial foreclosure, suing on 2nd for deficiency), but that they were not likely.

I have not made my September '10 payment on my first loan. I do not plan to make any more. Hopefully, if I get the Notice of Trustee Sale in January or February of 2011, I will then know that it's going that route for sure, upon which time I'll have 3 months prior to foreclosure. At that time, I'll stop paying the 2nd loan so as to put them into a more friendly 'settlement' mode. I don't want to stop paying yet on the off chance that the first goes judicial (not that I have any substantial sums in the bank anywhere, they'd pay their lawyer more than they could get out of me), but should I change my mind for any reason, I'll only have taken a hit on some late payments on my first loan. When I get the Notice of Trustee sale, I'll be more confident of taking the additional hits on the 2nd, and then hopefully settle...particularly because my attorney informed me that the 2nd will get a copy of the Notice of Trustee sale, so they know they stand to have their lien extinguished.

I could end up being liable for the whole 2nd loan, and I understand that. It would be a bit tough to keep paying that back after a foreclosure but I am told that odds are good for a settlement.

I hope my tone in this posting seems somewhat calm and straightforward....different than my first, somewhat panicked, posts on other's threads. LeftyAZ...it is true that once the decision is made, the anxiety lessens. Of course, I will still be a bit nervous until I get the Notice of Trustee sale. And I don't know what types of collection calls I'll get but I think I can handle them...if not, I will write the cease and desist letter. I do not plan to try for any type of workout, provide any financials, etc. since the issue is that I can't get out of my place, even with a short sale (seriously, no one likes my complex, even at $50,000).

I am concerned about my credit card balances....but I should be able to pay them off over the course of a year or so with my non-payments. The good thing about the new credit card regulations is that if my creditors make changes due to my falling credit score, they will not affect my existing balances. I think this will be an issue I can handle.

I am not interested in buying in the future at all, I'm very burned on this issue. From what I've read on here and with some apartment complexes I've checked out (handicapped accessible, of course), a foreclosure is a non-issue for renting here in AZ.

I'm hoping this will turn out to be the best decision I've ever made...to counter the worst one, which was purchasing a challenged condo way too quickly.

Thanks everyone....I'm happy for any insights. I'll post as my process goes forward! Best of luck to all you out there doing similar things.
 

CA_NA

LoanSafe Member
Mar 7, 2010
238
1
18
Good luck with your walk! There is nothing worse that feeling trapped.
 

KFish

LoanSafe Member
Oct 27, 2009
964
5
0
San Diego, CA
Readytogo...welcome to the walking club. Hopefully it is a club that will bring you comfort! It sounds like you have thought out your decision well. Here's hoping for a quiet, uneventful walk for you.

Glad Attorney MM worked good for you..I really liked him too. He knows his stuff and wasnt judgmental at all.

Looking forward to keeping up on your journey!
 

readytogoaz

LoanSafe Member
Aug 22, 2010
202
1
18
Speed of Foreclosure/Fannie Mae influence?

Thanks CA NA and KFish for responding so quickly!

I have a few additional questions for the forum. What is the feeling on what to do if foreclosure takes too long? Is anyone seeing that? I found a couple of instances of this on another thread. So far, my complex is not full of foreclosures, so I don't think it's on anyone's "foreclosure blacklist". I know of a terribly distressed property (that warranted an article in the local newspaper) which has many condos in limbo because the banks know no one will buy, and the HOA fees are super high due to needed assessments. Though my complex has its issues, it's not quite that far gone. Yet. I don't have confidence :)

My issue is that I want to stay a bit to save up money, but not much longer than 8 months or so, so I can get on with life and my mom's visits in a new accessible place.

Related to this: I don't want to say too much to the collections calls, but is something along the lines of "My circumstances have changed, I've been researching all my options and unfortunately no options other than foreclosure will provide me the help I need."

And further related to this: I checked and my loan is owned by Fannie Mae. Does that fact influence whether or not a servicer forecloses on a property sooner rather than later?

Thanks.
 
T

tryinmybest

Guest
The less you talk the better, the less financials you provide your bank the better. You don't owe them an explanation, I'd stay as
long as you can/want and then call them and tell them to come and get the house. Ha! Make sure you take all the things you want.
:) And sell the rest for extra cash. Say after me, "I don't owe the banks anything". After saying this around 10 times, you'll feel better.
 

KFish

LoanSafe Member
Oct 27, 2009
964
5
0
San Diego, CA
There is no way to predict (that I know of) how long the bank will take to finish the process. My first two took 7 months (about the fastest they can go per AZ law) and the third one took an entire year. All of the loans were with the same servicer (B of A) and owned by Fannie/Freddie. The first two were in an excellent area, on the golf course, and in an established community that had (until we came along!) never had a foreclosure. The third one was in a very nice complex, only a few years old, BUT in a complex filled with foreclosures. Did it make the difference? Maybe...we'll never know for sure...

If its taking too long, just move out. Do what is best for your family. Make sure you keep up on the insurance and HOA fees...you are liable for the property until the trustee sale. Its probably better to live there to keep an eye on the property, but if you cant, so be it.
 

readytogoaz

LoanSafe Member
Aug 22, 2010
202
1
18
If its taking too long, just move out. Do what is best for your family. Make sure you keep up on the insurance and HOA fees...you are liable for the property until the trustee sale. Its probably better to live there to keep an eye on the property, but if you cant, so be it.
Thanks KFish, sounds like a good plan. And the good thing about a condo, and this one in particular, is that it's really hard to tell if someone is here or not; since it's not on the ground floor the windows can't be walked up to, and there's no way to see through the front door.

I think other people have pointed out that trustee sales can be researched online.....I should look to see if there are any pending in my complex I suppose. There is only one unit listed for sale at the moment, which I believe was a foreclosure and then purchased by an investor. So I think that's a good sign. There have been other foreclosures in here but they all seemed to happen one at a time, so I'm hoping if they look at my complex, all my neighbors haven't decided to do the same thing. We are all frustrated with this place and I want to be ahead of the crowd. Thanks again!
 

leftyaz

LoanSafe Member
May 12, 2010
109
2
0
Arizona
Hey Ready, glad you got your thread up and running! It brings some solace to write about your experience, kind of like therapy :)! I'm glad to hear you are feeling more at ease. Hang in there and try not to get your mind too wrapped up in the unknowns. The time is likely to be around 7 or 8 months. I agree with tryinmybest's advice to say less. I did not know what to say, but it would have been fine to just say financials have changes. Give no information on your financials. I just told them I would not be able to keep the house, it was no longer an asset.
Keep your chin up, it'll all be over before you know it.
 

readytogoaz

LoanSafe Member
Aug 22, 2010
202
1
18
Hey Lefty--thanks, I happened to be online when you posted. I was reading another thread....by dogatemy I think? And hmmm. I may have to try to be more entertaining :) He's a hoot, though with some serious home issues. Did you find anyone recognized you here? To be more entertaining I'd probably have to reveal more of my situation and circumstances.....
 

Kimbly

LoanSafe Member
Feb 27, 2008
297
2
0
Hey there Readytogo. Just wanted to throw my good wishes in on the pile. I'm a walker (well, trying to be!) in the far east valley. My lender (BoA) no longer calls, I receive nothing in the mail other than my monthly statement with the formatted language that "unless brought current...further action" blah, blah. We last made a payment in August '09. The limbo does stink - we're ready to move on - but it's also allowing us to make great financial strides which will change our life for the better.

At any rate - good luck to you!
 

readytogoaz

LoanSafe Member
Aug 22, 2010
202
1
18
My lender (BoA) no longer calls, I receive nothing in the mail other than my monthly statement with the formatted language that "unless brought current...further action" blah, blah. We last made a payment in August '09.
Wow, that is a while. I wonder if talking to them does help if you WANT the foreclosure to happen? I know both leftyaz and KFish did that, without saying too much other than, "My circumstances have changed and I suggest you foreclose ASAP". And as I discussed a bit with KFish, I wonder if ownership of the loan matters....I know my first is owned by Fannie Mae, so my servicer (Wells Fargo) will come out quite clean with a foreclosure on my property. Or so I hope :)

I'm going to move out sometime next spring, regardless....as you may have seen, much of my issue is with having a one-story place for my mom. But I'm also ready to be out of here, so I do hope it does continue to move along. Thanks for the well wishes and I hope yours works out soon!
 

Kimbly

LoanSafe Member
Feb 27, 2008
297
2
0
The few times we spoke to them, early in the process, we did tell them we weren't interested in 'working things out' and were simply waiting for them to foreclose. I'm not sure either approach helps. I don't recall you mentioning who your lender is, but BoA seems to move the slowest; GMAC from what I've seen, seems to move pretty quickly.
 

leftyaz

LoanSafe Member
May 12, 2010
109
2
0
Arizona
No, no one has recognized me I don't think. I tried to be non-descript about location and anything too personal. There are many entertaining threads, Cactus was the one I read first and what actually lit the fire under me to make my decision. That was a really great thread to read. Other than a general location, I have not divulged much and don't plan to. My goal was to write about what was happening with my situation in hopes of helping others with their decision, because it was a very big deal for me to walk. In lieu of entertainment, I would probably choose privacy.
 

readytogoaz

LoanSafe Member
Aug 22, 2010
202
1
18
UPDATE

I think I got my first potential collections call on the 16th, which was quick (I only missed my first payment September 1). I wasn't home and they didn't leave a message, but on my caller ID I saw an 877 number and called it, and got a recording saying that it was my lender calling me about a "special promotion". Probably the opportunity to pay over the phone LOL! And today, on the 17th, I got an email reminder to send in my mortgage payment. Not.

LeftyAZ, I think you said in your own thread how the stress comes and goes in waves. I agree! I was stressed yesterday because I had an innocent chat with a neighbor in my complex, since he said he started a new job. He's working for a firm which handles debt collections. The name of the firm he mentioned was the same firm that my attorney told me handles most of my lender's foreclosures. Suddenly I thought, what if my paperwork goes by him? Might he flag it or do something to it because he wouldn't want a foreclosure in the complex? I don't even know what the chances of him being assigned my case is anyway, as there are LOTS of foreclosures in AZ...but still. I talked myself down by telling myself that if he contacted me or investigated anything on his own would probably violate some law or debt collection practice, but still.....

Am I being paranoid, or am I being good by thinking about all the possible things which could go wrong? Needless to say, I did not tell him about my intentions, so he won't be actively looking for my case when it happens.
 

readytogoaz

LoanSafe Member
Aug 22, 2010
202
1
18
UPDATE #2!

I did get my first official collections call today....I subscribe to Google Voicemail so here it is transcribed (with a little editing for anonymity by moi):

This is Amy from **** Mortgage calling in regards to your mortgage. Please call us back at 1(800) ***-7986 our business hours are 6 AM to 10 PM Central Time Monday through Friday 8 AM to 6 PM central time on Saturdays and 1 PM to 5 PM central time on Sunday to allow us to better assist you, please have your loan number available again. Our phone number is, 1(800) ***-7986. Thank you.

I am going to call eventually, or pick up one time, but advice I got from my lawyer was not do to it too quickly so that they think I'm more of a deadbeat than I am :) Maybe next week...we'll see how often I get the calls now.
 

readytogoaz

LoanSafe Member
Aug 22, 2010
202
1
18
Holy cow, another call today, the same as yesterday. It's a recording. I may have to answer one today or tomorrow....I just didn't want to answer the first one. This is a little sooner than I expected the calls, but if that means the whole process moves fast, good :)
 

DBarr13447

LoanSafe Member
Jul 19, 2010
530
5
0
ready-

B of A is our lender too. We are no longer in our upside down property ($200,000+), due to job relocation. We have no intention of putting ANY more money into the house after 15 months of struggling with various options with B of A even prior to relocation!

Sometimes I pick up the phone just to "chat" with the good folks (mostly from India), just to tell them I'm not making any more payments, etc. As I listen to them typing on their keyboards, I always ask if they could please type in our file that we wish for them to "fast track" whatever they plan on doing with us as we'd like to move on. (We know it will take 3-4 after NOD, and we haven't received that yet.)

Most of the time I ignore the calls, it just depends on what mood I'm in.

By the way, we're now 3 months late and have received 2 Notices to Accelerate OR ELSE!

Making the decision was very difficult, but over the last few months I realize it was financially insane for our financial future to worry any more.

I now feel very empowered and back in charge of my life!:cool:

Good luck and keep us posted!
 

readytogoaz

LoanSafe Member
Aug 22, 2010
202
1
18
UPDATE #3

I spoke with my lender today...decided to answer a call as I thought avoiding them for a week was enough. Was a very pleasant call, they reminded me they were recording the call and attempting to collect a debt. We confirmed my address, same as my property (so they know it's not abandoned), my phone number, and they asked if I wanted to make a payment over the phone. I said I was not able to do that, and they offered help in the form of an 800 number. I said I was working on options with someone and they said their service was free, and would I please take the number. I did, then they reminded me that I would still get calls and other collections actions while I had a balance due. I said I understood, and thank you.

I will work up to "I'm not able to pay again, please foreclose" over the next month or so. I am most concerned about them thinking I've abandoned the place if I'm too aggressive too early and changing locks or something like that, so I think this is the best. The fine line I have to walk is making sure they don't slow down foreclosure, but not piss them off so that they do anything they shouldn't.... :) Just being careful....
 

readytogoaz

LoanSafe Member
Aug 22, 2010
202
1
18
UPDATE #4

Hmm not a whole lot to mention actually, except that my lender calls 2-3 times a day, which I've been ignoring for now. No letters or anything yet, but I'm not 30 days late until 10/16 (assuming 9/16 was 'day 1 late' for my September payment).

However, if anyone is checking this out and has some advice, please share. My 2nd mortgage is recourse here in AZ because I refinanced it and took cash out. I am still paying on that one now. Since most of the 2nd mortgage proceeds actually went into my condo (new AC, new carpet, new windows), I don't have a problem with trying to end that loan too, but I'm concerned about playing their game. Does anyone have experience in trying for a settlement? How likely is that if I stop paying? I just don't want to get into a situation where they think a settlement isn't good enough, and they sue me for a judgement...and I end up paying more monthly than I do now, and get that additional black eye on my credit report. But it also bothers me to keep paying on a loan for things which will stay with my condo. Thanks for any advice.
 

leftyaz

LoanSafe Member
May 12, 2010
109
2
0
Arizona
Hey Ready,
sounds like things are going as planned so to speak. I was talking to a couple of people that had mentioned settling with their 2nd mortgages. It was as simple as calling the lender, saying they could not pay and offering to settle for a certain percentage, advising that the property was going to foreclose. The lender put the person on hold, came back and said some percentage that was rather high, and the person counter offered the lender at 5 percent, was put on hold, lender came back and agreed. Done.
Obviously, I don't know how this works in your situation. I just thought it was interesting. I don't know the logistics, like would you have to stop paying first? I have no expertise at all in this but maybe throw these questions out to the forum on another thread?
Good luck!