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Walking Away?

Being on the brink of foreclosure is a desperate, sad, and fearful situation, but is walking away a viable option?  For those who are in over their heads, and will never be able to pay their mortgage, even if they are given a grace period, then foreclosing or a short sale might just be there only option.  That's where a site like You Walk Away come in, they help guide you through the process of bailing out.

Sites like these are a relief to many, giving some advice to those who think there's no way out, but I'm of the mind that there's always someone out there who can and will buy your property or be willing to help you out.  It's in the lenders best interest and yours.  If you walk away or foreclosre, then your credit will be ruined for up to ten years.  There are buyers out there, advertise that you're selling on a short sale.  The key is to not wait until the last minute and get started early on finding a way out.

Firms like You Walk Away, though, have raised red flags with credit counselor and consumer watchdogs. Ellen Schloemer, director of research at the Center for Responsible Lending, says borrowers would be better off hiring their own attorneys and accountants, rather than relying on those provided by You Walk Away.

"Just look at the picture [on the company's Web site]," Schloemer says. "It shows people enjoying a day in the park. But foreclosure is no day in the park."

It takes a decade to recover from a foreclosure, she says, and there's not much anyone can do about that. The company, she says, paints a misleading picture of the foreclosure process.

"The real solution is to help people before they're forced into foreclosure," she says.

John Taylor, of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, says he's concerned that the company might not help customers explore all of their alternatives before going into foreclosure.

"I would rather see people who are facing foreclosure fighting to keep their home, and keep it as long as possible, because help is on the way," he says.

On Tuesday, in fact, the Bush administration announced a new initiative aimed at helping homeowners about to lose their homes. For qualified homeowners, it will freeze the foreclosure process for 30 days. Dubbed "Project Lifeline," the new program will be available to people who have taken out all types of mortgages, not just the high-cost subprime loans that have been the focus of previous relief efforts.

Read more...at NPR

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