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Some Advice I Received

I sent out an email last week to everybody about me facing foreclosure with a link to this site. The secret is out. My friends, family, past co-workers and business contacts now know what I’m going through.

Here is some interesting advice I have received from some people (no mentioning names). My responses are below.

I’ve been through this so I know how you feel. Take care of the homelife. That more than anything will get you through this.

That’s so true. Life is about relationships. That’s why I chose to share my experience with everybody on this blog. The encouragement from friends and family has been very helpful.

My wife did give me the “I told you so” treatment initially. She thought I was taking foolish risks from the beginning. She was right, so I deserve to hear it. But after that first comment she has been very supportive of me. She now thinks I will get us out. She is not too worried.

Sometimes she has more confidence in me than I do. “I know you can just pull money out of your butt, you’ve done it before!” – she says. Well, its not as easy as it seems, I tell her.

If it looks like you are going to lose the houses, take the lead, don’t let others dictate terms to you or the recovery is very difficult. It is always better to chose an option, regardless of how bad they are than let someone else chose for you. Of ten bad options, they’ll always choose the one worst for you.

That’s right! Sticking my head in the sand and not doing anything is the worst thing when facing foreclosure. I did do a little bit of that initially. And yes, I do get emotional and overwhelmed. But I must be responsible and proactive.

If a person is not proactive, they can get taken advantage of. It’s true, there are “sharks” and “vultures” out there looking to feed on people facing foreclosure. They will use intimidation and criticism to talk you into giving your house away. Fortunately, that was rare in my case. Most people have been helpful.

The bigger problem is newbie foreclosure investors. Foreclosures is a hot business. People will read a book or go to a weekend seminar where they are promised millions in profits. I know this because I went to those seminars.

The seminars usually teach you just enough to be dangerous. Yes, you do need to start somewhere. However, most first-time investors like to pretend to be experienced. “Fake it till you make it” is their motto. I don’t think that’s right.

Fortunately, since I’m already savvy with real estate I have an advantage. I will not let some wanna-be investor or a wholesaler tie me up for 30-90 days if I feel they can’t perform.

I feel sorry for the majority of distressed sellers facing foreclosure. They are not educated and can easily become prey. That’s why I started this site. To help people facing foreclosure know their options and make informed decisions by learning from my experience.

After reading your blog, I think I would talk to a good bankruptcy attorney. You could possibly hold on to the home with equity and let the rest go back, as long as it is your primary residence. With the numbers you are posting, I don’t see any other way out. Good Luck.

Hmmm… I am hoping to avoid bankruptcy. I will have to do a shortsale on some of my mortgages. However, with unsecured debt (credit card and lines) I am still looking for a way to float it. Up until this month I have found ways to pay the minimum payments of about $3700. This month I am starting to fall behind. How long can I hold on?

Give up on trying to sell these properties to other investers or end users. You should just accept the fact that you screwed up and let the forclosures and BK’s go on your record. I suggest that you wake up tommorrow and sign the houses back over to the bank and hire a BK lawyer to help you out with your cash debts. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s time you put your ego aside and think about your future instead of letting your past drag you down.

First, giving the property back to the bank is called deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. The bank saves some money/time by not having to go through the entire foreclosure process to take my house. Deed-in-lieu is better on my credit then a foreclosure. However, its worse then a shortsale. So I will keep trying to sell with or without a shortsale. If all else fails, I will give my keys to the bank.

Second, I don’t think being proactive and trying to avoid foreclosure and bankruptcy (and writing about it) is egotistical. Perhaps someone can say I am a little bit in denial about the severity of my situation. Maybe, we will see. I’m not going out with out a fight!

Go back and do what you’re good at for a while. Go get a good job or work for yourself in the IT world. It won’t be forever but at least it will allow you to pay the bills and have enough left over to have a decent life. Once you get yourself situated, I or someone else will be happy to overlook your forclosures and either rent or sell to you.

If I must I will go back to a job. I still have my website design and programming skills to fall back on. In fact, a very nice job offer was presented to me just a couple of weeks ago. Just in time. I am probably going to take it.

However, I am not going to quit the real estate business. Just because I fell down doesn’t mean I am a failure! Failure is a prerequisite of success. I will get rid of my non-performing properties, get back up on my feet, restructure, refocus, and try again. Failure is not an option!

I would strongly recommend that you read through Proverbs at this time… While there will be some pain to take, there is also opportunity for God to be glorified and even for your family to be blessed. The Lord might very well use a housing recession to humble a whole bunch of us who put their trust in chasing fantasies in the form of excess housing inflation (Prov. 28:19)

I read the verse above and the following one – very good advice! Try switching to different translations and cross-references to get the full meaning. God is telling me to not be frivolous and not to chase fantasies and be around vain people. But instead to be a responsible and diligent worker. Get-rich-quick mentality is very dangerous. I must be on guard again it.

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