If you bought a home, or refinanced an existing home, anytime circa 2005 and beyond you are quite likely a member of the Underwater Club. And you’ve got to be wondering what your options are. Foreclosure, short sale, loan modification, trustee sale, default, walking away, deed in lieu, foreclosure abatement ” all are big buzz words of late.
And they are complicated buzz words, fraught with legal, tax and credit implications.
I can’t tell you how many people that are underwater on their mortgage (or mortgages) have asked us questions like, “What should we do?”, “Should we stop making our mortgage payments?”, “Can the lender or IRS come after us if we short sell, or default, or mail in the keys?”
You don’t have to look far on the internet to see that Arizona is an “anti-deficiency state” ”“ ie: lenders can’t come after you for the balance of your mortgage.
Not so fast folks. Yes, there is some anti-deficiency protection in Arizona. Keyword some. There is NOT blanket anti-deficiency protection for all types of mortgages, or homes, or actions you may take surrounding your underwater status. Every situation is different.
BE VERY CAREFUL. Do the wrong thing, or do the right thing the wrong way and you may find a process server knocking on your door.
If you talk to a real estate agent and they tell you things like, “Don’t worry, you are protected” or “Arizona is an anti-deficiency state” or “you need to stop making your mortgage payments” you need to run, not walk, away.
Real estate agents are neither licensed nor trained to make such bold sweeping statements.
You need legal advice
I can not stress this enough. YOU NEED LEGAL ADVICE and with very rare exceptions, real estate agents aren’t trained or licensed to give legal advice.
Enter Kevin Hardin. Kevin is a Specialized Mortgage Paralegal and Director of the Mortgage Mediation Group.
Kevin is wicked smart. He’s done time (so to speak) in the mortgage industry and is a Certified Mortgage Banker, a Certified Mortgage Consultant, and a Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist. All that in addition to being a JD candidate at Concord University School of Law.
Kevin knows his stuff. Top to bottom, inside and out.
He’s also a heck of a good guy and can cook up some amazing bar-b-que (he has a smoker as big as a SUV).
I can attest from personal experience that a consultation with Kevin is well worth the $150 consultation fee. Honestly, he could charge ten times that and it would still be the best money an underwater home owner in Phoenix could spend.
If you are underwater on your Phoenix area home and need to discuss your options, Kevin Hardin is your man.
Here is Kevin’s contact info:
“There are 40 Million consumers with errors in their credit reports. Are you or someone you know one of these consumers? If so, contact me today. We can help you remove those errors and possibly receive a $1,000 or more because of that error…at no charge to you. We are a national law firm on a mission to eradicate credit reporting
Full Disclosure: I receive absolutely zero compensation in any form what-so-ever from Kevin Hardin or Thomson Law for writing this article, if you consult with Kevin, or secure any service Thomson Law offers. Kevin didn’t even ask me to write this. Yes, Kevin is a friend, but I have consulted personally with Kevin on my mortgage situation and fully endorse his expertise in the mortgage arena. My only “compensation” for writing this is in knowing I am passing on a valuable resource for the underwater Phoenix homeowner.
Updated 8/6/2011: A couple of attorney’s, one former and one currently practicing, have correctly pointed out that a paralegal cannot provide ‘legal advice”. Using those words was bad writing on my part. Kevin Hardin is imminently qualified to discuss mortgage and financial issues. He can not, and does not, provide legal advice. I liken talking to paralegals to seeing a Nurse Practitioner, a Physicians Assistant, or a Chiropractor. They aren’t MD’s, but they are trained professionals that can discuss and treat you. Rest assured that if you need an attorney, Kevin can and will direct you to one.