The Govenator Signs Senate Bill 94

Advance Fees for Loan Modifications Prohibited

Two weeks after writing Loan Modification is Big Business Govenor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 94 into law.

It is now illegal for loan modification servicers to charge fees in advance.  The legislation took effect immediately.  California law now prohibits any person, including real estate licensees and attorneys, from demanding or collecting an advance fee from a consumer for loan modification.

Fees collected prior to October 11, 2009 are not affected. Advance fees collected after October 11, 2009 must be fully refunded.

Short Sales Are Not Short

Award Wining Photo by Victor Bezrukov
Award Winning Photo by Victor Bezrukov

The Meaning

A short sale is called that because the bank is going to be short money on the sale. In other words, they’re not going to get all the money back they loaned on the house.

The Truth

It definitely doesn’t mean the process is short because that is so far from the way it actually is that the term “short sale” is almost funny. If selling bank owned and short sale houses wasn’t such an awful, horrible, frustrating, and annoying process it might be funny, that is.

The Consumer

The buyers and sellers are caught in the middle. They’re expecting us, the Realtors, to get the job done – and rightly so. We the Realtors expect the bank to get the job done – and rightly so except that they have so many files on their desks that the consumer is just a number – a file number, a loan number.

The Million Dollar Q

The other day a wonderful client said, “Is there anything I can do to make this process go faster?” From your mouth to their ears! No, there isn’t. If there was we’d be doing it. We’re now in their world – the black hole where time warps; days pass, phone calls don’t get returned, voice mails are full, people get frustrated. It’s all part of the process.

Comic Relief

Kris Berg, a San Diego Realtor, is one of the funniest people I know. Her wit and wisdom are known and appreciated in the real estate community for always being right on the button.

Her movie– I have no idea how she did it – wraps this whole post into a few minutes of the funniest and most accurate portrayal of what life is like in the world of REOs. In fact, if it wasn’t for some comic relief once in a while we’d all be crying – or in the crazy house – or both.