I have to laugh at the people who say now is the time to hunker down and ride out the recession. Are you kidding? Now is NOT the time to hunker down! Heck, if I did that when the bottom fell out of the real estate market I wouldn't be here today. These are the times when fortunes are made.
Buy low and sell high, right? There's no better place to buy low than in the Bulk REO business. Just the other day I heard that 23% of all the mortgages in this country are underwater (borrowers owe more on their property than they're actually worth), and are at risk of default. And even though the government raised the hopes of millions of borrowers by offering to refinance their properties and reduce their payments, less than 400,000 households are actually benefiting.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you and I can change everything but we can at least help some people and make a good deal of money for ourselves at the same time. Remember I was telling you about the Wall Street Journal article, “Vultures” Save Troubled Homeowners? (Don't you love it? You'll always have the few who will call us “vultures” and scavengers but to the homeowners and those who see us make a difference, we're called “saviors” and miracle-workers.)
Anyway, there's a heart-wrenching story the writer James R. Hagerty shares about Alberta and Arthur Bailey, who live in a bungalow in LaPlace, La. Mr. Bailey is 69 and worked in an auto-body shop most of his life but was forced to retire after a stroke in 2002. They bought their home in 2003 and then got an offer to refinance their home with the $33,000 in equity so they could repair the roof and install new doors. But they ended up with more debt than they could handle on $1,600 in Social Security payments, plus food stamps. They may qualify for the government's new refinancing program but no one knows for sure. Meanwhile, the Bailey's are facing foreclosure.
Now, that same property could be part of a Bulk REO package. You could purchase it at a discount and re-sell it to an investment fund and profit on the transaction, and the investment fund could refinance the Bailey's mortgage and reduce their payments. Or, you could “cherry pick” the property as part of the package and offer to refinance the Bailey's mortgage yourself – and still make $20,000, $30,000 or more in profit. And the Bailey's would be thanking you over and over for how you saved their home! It's not an uncommon story.
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