96short.com Launched to Offer Short Sales to Overextended Homeowners

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Are you caught with a mortgage that is greater than the current market value of your home? A new website, http://www.96short.com, offers information and assistance to homeowners who are falling behind on their mortgage payments and may be facing foreclosure.

If they are having problems, they should talk to their lender as soon as possible. We can help them do that. On average, a short sale takes about 90 days, is much less traumatic on the family and allows borrowers to be back on their feet much more quickly.

A new Web site, http://www.96short.com has been launched to help overextended homeowners in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. The site offers information and assistance to homeowners who are falling behind on their mortgage payments and may be facing foreclosure.

"A short sale offers an alternative to foreclosure, bankruptcy or just walking away from your home if you can't make the payments," says Matt Martin, co-founder of 96short.com. "A short sale means selling your home for less than what is owed on the mortgage. Short sales can be a good deal for many borrowers - those with piggy-back mortgages, mortgages that exceed the current market value of the property and other overextended homeowners - provided the lender agrees to accept the proceeds of these short sales as payment in full," says Martin.

Martin, who is president of Matt Martin Real Estate, LLC and part of Re/Max Distinctive, works with a team of experienced short sale professionals, who negotiate with the lender on behalf of the homeowner.

Martin's team of short sales negotiators has closed more than 10,000 short sales and foreclosure prevention cases in 14 years. He says that if they were to put an average on each case over the past 14 years, they would value them at no less than $100,000 each or $1,000,000,000 in savings to consumers.

"Here is an example," says Martin. "We met a great couple who had purchased a home in Bristow, VA, $630,000 at the height of the market in late 2004.They had taken a Pay Option or Negative Amortizing loan for the property and, when they contacted us, they owed close to $700,000 because of the negative amortization. The biggest problem was that the property was only worth $550,000 and, after fees and commissions, they would only be left with around $510,000 to pay towards the mortgage. We negotiated a short sale with the lender to write off the $190,000. The lender only asked for $5,000 in return for the write-down. The couple was then able to buy a new home in the same neighborhood for $200,000 less than what they were stuck with in their old home."

Martin is working with an attorney, Doug Callabresi of the Green Law Group, P.C., also a co-founder of 96short.com. Callabresi has been representing clients in short sales for nearly a year. He has successfully represented many sellers in short sale transactions and currently represents nearly 100 short sale clients. In addition to negotiating down a seller's debt, Callabresi focuses on the potential credit and tax ramifications to sellers and the treatment of deficiencies.

As part of their turn-around process, Martin and Callabresi refer clients to Ameriprise Financial, Inc. to help them set up a financial plan to avoid unhealthy financial situations in the future. Ameriprise is offering these services at a minimal fee.

According to Forbes.com, 79% more U.S. homes foreclosed in 2007 than in 2006 (data from RealtyTrac).While the metro Washington area has not been as hard hit as other areas of the country, Loudoun, Prince William and Stafford Counties posted 219, 167 and 262 foreclosures as of November 2007, respectively. January figures from Loudoun County showed foreclosure activity continuing to increase.

Recent mortgage woes have been exacerbated by trends of 100% financing and the increased popularity of adjustable rate mortgages, which are now resetting. Dramatic changes in the real estate market have also caused a general decline in home prices. Personal reasons such as illness or job loss can also affect a borrower's ability to pay.

"Most homeowners who are unable to pay their monthly mortgage payments don't know about the options available to them," says Martin. "If they are having problems, they should talk to their lender as soon as possible. We can help them do that. On average, a short sale takes about 90 days, is much less traumatic on the family and allows borrowers to be back on their feet much more quickly."

For more information on short sales, visit the 96short Web site or call 888-96short (toll free).

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