Utility Issues with Rental Properties, by Troy Rappold, Rappold Property Management


When a rental property that is occupied by a tenant is sold to a new owner there are many details that require diligent attention. One of these areas is the utility billing and interim billing. Interim billing is one of the first things that you would want to cancel because an Owner doesn’t want to accidently pay for bill that isn’t their responsibility. This ensures proper and accurate billing. As a general rule, the tenant is responsible for all utilities for a single family home. In this case nothing changes if ownership changes and the tenant stays in place.  If the house is located in a city where the population is over 100K, the owner is responsible for the garbage service. In this case, the garbage bill is changed to the name of the new Owner.

 

As a local property management company, we have the garbage bills mailed to our office and we pay it out of the rental income on behalf of the owner. That way the charge will be reflected on the monthly statement. This is important because this expense is a tax write-off for the home owner. If the new Owner is going to move into the property, and the tenant is going to move out, then all utilities will be a prorated amount based upon the move out date of the tenant. If the tenant moves out on the 18th of the month, then they are responsible for 18 days’ worth of electricity, water, sewer, garbage and natural gas. As the property management company for the house, we track this and make sure all these charges are distributed correctly.

 

We also manage condominiums and often times the owner/investor will pay the Condo Association fees that include water, sewer and garbage. These charges are also a tax write off and can be tracked for the year. Although none of this is difficult to manage, it does need to be watched carefully so all parties involved pay only their share. This careful attention to detail is what we do here at Rappold Property Management.

 

Rappold Property Management, LLC

1125 SE Madison Street, suite #201

Portland, OR 97214

Phone: 503-232-5990

Fax: 503-232-1462

The Advantage of Property Management, By Troy Rappold


In business, the slogan “Just Do It!” rings true and will serve you well. In the world of Property Management this is applicable as well. After all, we are trying to grow our business and be successful when we manage your asset wisely and efficiently. However, more often than not our slogan is “Just Do the Right Thing!”

As property managers we work with many vendors who complete work on our properties. We want quick, quality repairs, and at a good price for our clients. Sometimes this requires tough conversations. Navigating this world is our expertise and it is part of why you rely on us.  Our fiduciary responsibility is always you, the client.

The other piece of the puzzle we have to navigate is relations with tenants. Our job is to provide clean, safe, well-maintained housing. However, and this might come as a shock, sometimes tenants can have expectations that are out of line. Just because a kitchen counter has a scratch on it doesn’t mean we need to replace the entire counter top with new, beautiful granite from Brazil. Often times a property manager has to say “no” in the most professional and courteous way possible.

Real Estate management is an active, engaging industry. One cannot just buy an investment property and watch it appreciate or mature, like treasury bonds. Having the right management in place is just as important as buying the right property at the right price. We have the expertise and experience to navigate the difficulties and pitfalls for you. Here at Rappold Property Management we take our job very seriously and we manage your property as if it were our own.

 

 

Troy Rappold
Rappold Property Management, LLC
1125 SE Madison Street, suite #201
Portland, OR 97214
Phone: 503-232-5990
Fax: 503-232-1462
http://rappoldpropertymanagement.com

 

Asking Prices and Inventory for Homes in Portland Oregon, by Deptofnumbers.com


As of March 17 2014 there were about 7,821 single family and condo homes listed for sale in Portland Oregon. The median asking price of these homes was approximately $299,000. Since this time last year, the inventory of homes for sale has decreased by 2.2% and the median price has increased by 10.8%.

March 17, 2014 Month/Month Year/Year
Median Asking Price $299,000 +3.3% +10.8%
Home Listings/Inventory 7,821 -0.7% -2.2%

Recent Asking Price and Inventory History for Portland

Date Single Family & Condo
Inventory
25th Percentile
Asking Price
Median
Asking Price
75th Percentile
Asking Price
03/17/2014 7,821 $215,000 $299,000 $465,000
03/10/2014 7,819 $214,900 $297,565 $460,000
03/03/2014 7,870 $214,900 $294,900 $450,000
02/24/2014 7,818 $214,500 $289,900 $450,000
02/17/2014 7,874 $213,000 $289,500 $449,900

Portland Asking Price History

The median asking price for homes in Portland peaked in April 2007 at $354,740 and is now $57,585 (16.2%) lower. From a low of $239,125 in February 2011, the median asking price in Portland has increased by $58,030 (24.3%).

25thMedian (50th) and 75th Percentile Asking Prices for Portland Oregon

Portland Housing Inventory History

Housing inventory in Portland, which is typically highest in the spring/summer and lowest in the fall/winter, peaked at 23,354 in July 2008. The lowest housing inventory level seen was 7,810 in February 2014.

Housing Inventory for Portland Oregon

Portland Asking Price and Inventory History

Date Single Family & Condo
Inventory
25th Percentile
Asking Price
Median
Asking Price
75th Percentile
Asking Price
March 2014 7,837 $214,933 $297,155 $458,333
February 2014 7,810 $211,875 $288,950 $449,450
January 2014 7,857 $209,225 $286,975 $444,025
December 2013 8,570 $209,920 $289,144 $449,520
November 2013 9,392 $210,177 $289,350 $449,900
October 2013 9,929 $212,815 $294,463 $450,000
September 2013 10,167 $211,790 $296,780 $451,980
August 2013 10,119 $210,875 $297,000 $450,000
July 2013 9,490 $206,640 $296,560 $450,000
June 2013 8,858 $199,688 $288,694 $449,975
May 2013 8,527 $194,888 $281,850 $446,900
April 2013 8,075 $186,800 $274,540 $439,060
March 2013 7,969 $182,923 $267,425 $427,213
February 2013 7,981 $179,900 $262,450 $419,731
January 2013 8,250 $179,075 $259,217 $404,725
December 2012 8,627 $178,900 $259,720 $405,750
November 2012 9,408 $179,675 $260,950 $408,963
October 2012 10,259 $179,900 $267,160 $418,600
September 2012 10,828 $179,900 $268,975 $418,450
August 2012 11,102 $179,675 $268,725 $418,500
July 2012 11,140 $177,600 $266,598 $411,651
June 2012 11,362 $174,825 $259,675 $399,950
May 2012 11,227 $169,713 $252,463 $399,450
April 2012 10,820 $169,160 $249,910 $397,940
March 2012 9,683 $174,450 $259,450 $406,225
February 2012 10,549 $169,225 $248,250 $388,025
January 2012 10,833 $169,080 $246,960 $381,960
December 2011 11,461 $169,925 $248,375 $385,675
November 2011 12,018 $174,750 $250,972 $397,425
October 2011 12,846 $179,530 $258,720 $399,900
September 2011 13,509 $179,939 $259,900 $399,900
August 2011 14,672 $179,360 $256,590 $395,540
July 2011 14,772 $178,150 $253,188 $389,225
June 2011 14,762 $176,475 $250,970 $386,970
May 2011 14,582 $173,184 $249,160 $375,780
April 2011 14,748 $169,950 $242,400 $364,975
March 2011 15,458 $169,800 $239,675 $359,575
February 2011 15,531 $169,675 $239,125 $354,725
January 2011 15,001 $170,760 $239,158 $356,380
December 2010 16,118 $176,200 $242,700 $363,363
November 2010 17,018 $180,160 $249,330 $373,780
October 2010 17,614 $184,975 $253,375 $381,975
September 2010 18,282 $189,100 $258,925 $390,950
August 2010 18,579 $190,940 $261,150 $397,160
July 2010 18,160 $195,163 $267,475 $399,000
June 2010 17,488 $196,853 $268,875 $399,800
May 2010 17,035 $198,880 $269,620 $399,818
April 2010 17,279 $198,000 $266,750 $392,500
March 2010 16,495 $195,600 $264,460 $393,960
February 2010 15,382 $194,938 $264,450 $395,198
January 2010 14,895 $197,819 $267,425 $399,225
December 2009 15,329 $199,897 $272,038 $402,212
November 2009 15,902 $202,750 $277,760 $417,780
October 2009 16,573 $209,675 $283,646 $428,225
September 2009 17,165 $210,000 $289,475 $436,100
August 2009 17,595 $211,760 $292,880 $444,320
July 2009 17,819 $212,950 $294,950 $449,000
June 2009 17,870 $213,460 $294,920 $449,100
May 2009 17,713 $211,475 $293,291 $445,250
April 2009 17,978 $212,525 $289,925 $444,725
March 2009 18,506 $214,153 $289,930 $443,360
February 2009 18,449 $216,014 $293,968 $448,125
January 2009 18,872 $219,952 $297,855 $452,809
December 2008 19,842 $223,220 $302,773 $458,508
November 2008 20,983 $226,382 $307,532 $464,024
October 2008 22,086 $229,650 $312,450 $469,724
September 2008 22,973 $233,730 $319,580 $474,990
August 2008 23,314 $235,200 $322,000 $475,725
July 2008 23,354 $236,074 $324,550 $475,000
June 2008 22,657 $239,150 $324,920 $479,459
May 2008 21,505 $239,900 $325,000 $480,947
April 2008 20,669 $239,900 $324,937 $479,912
March 2008 19,381 $241,300 $324,860 $485,960
February 2008 18,409 $240,485 $324,925 $479,912
January 2008 17,659 $243,500 $324,962 $481,765
December 2007 18,584 $245,120 $327,975 $489,355
November 2007 19,926 $248,665 $330,475 $486,425
October 2007 20,762 $249,950 $337,260 $493,980
September 2007 20,656 $253,425 $339,900 $497,749
August 2007 19,837 $257,712 $342,975 $499,124
July 2007 18,710 $261,120 $349,120 $499,930
June 2007 17,670 $264,282 $349,950 $507,949
May 2007 16,386 $264,900 $350,975 $512,662
April 2007 15,059 $264,900 $354,740 $517,740
March 2007 13,897 $264,450 $353,850 $523,425
February 2007 13,814 $258,517 $349,800 $516,750
January 2007 13,726 $255,810 $349,637 $507,441
December 2006 14,746 $257,149 $348,246 $499,949
November 2006 15,671 $258,837 $348,750 $499,900
October 2006 16,027 $259,640 $348,834 $499,900
September 2006 15,239 $261,098 $349,675 $499,937
August 2006 14,029 $264,925 $350,737 $518,587
July 2006 12,864 $264,920 $350,470 $525,980
June 2006 11,261 $264,925 $349,975 $530,937
May 2006 9,804 $262,340 $350,940 $532,360
April 2006 8,701 $256,433 $346,433 $526,224

 

Data on deptofnumbers.com is for informational purposes only. No warranty or guarantee of accuracy is offered or implied. Contact ben@deptofnumbers.com (or @deptofnumbers on Twitter) if you have any questions, comments or suggestions. Privacy policy.

Landlords: Renters That Smoke, by Troy Rappold, Rappold Property Management, LLC


The ability to smoke in public and at apartment communities has been under attack for years. But what about rental homes? Often times an owner plans to rent their home for only a year or two. Certainly the owner does not want to receive the house back with the smell of cigarette smoke still lingering in the house. Even if the renter was a model tenant in all other respects, cigarette smoke can be very destructive. Smoking turns walls yellow (new paint job $1,200), it destroys carpets ($1,500), and it requires a deeper cleaning, perhaps with a deionizer ($500). The cost of all this stress…priceless.

The best approach? In all of our homes we have a no smoking policy. However, we do allow the renter to smoke outside, perhaps on the porch or deck. However, this issue can be a hard one to enforce. What if it’s cold outside? Who wants to stand outside when it’s only 35 degrees? The renter is easily tempted to stand inside the house or close to an open window and light up. Inevitably, smoke gets in the house and the home owner smells the evidence. A good suggestion is to do an inspection within the first month or two of a new lease if you know the renter smokes. Catch the problem early. Then do another inspection a few months later to make sure. If you detect smoke after the tenant moves out, a landlord can charge the tenant for the remediation of the smell. But this can be a tricky proposition. It is always best to be pro-active and keep this issue from becoming a possible expense.  It is less ideal to react and pursue a vacating tenant for money.

You can always call Rappold Property Management with questions about your single family home investment.

Troy Rappold
Rappold Property Management, LLC
1125 SE Madison Street, suite #201
Portland, OR  97214

Phone: 503-232-5990
Fax: 503-232-1462

 

4 Tips On Giving Your Mudroom A Makeover, by Steph Noble, Northwest Mortgage Group


4_Tips_On_Giving_Your_Mudroom_A_Makeover

From crunched-up leaves stuck to bottoms of shoes to bulky coats shed as soon as kids walk through the door, mudrooms are ideal for keeping outdoor dirt, wet clothing and outerwear from being strewn throughout your home.

Mudrooms not only keep the rest of your house clean, but they also designate a spot for those last-minute grabs, such as coats, umbrellas and purses, when you’re running out the door.

These rooms are great catchalls. However, an organized mudroom can make your life and those hectic mornings much less stressful. Below are smart tips for getting your mudroom ready this fall.

1. Put In Seating

After shedding outer layers, the next thing anyone wants to do after coming inside on a cold, wet day is to take off their mucky shoes. So make sure there is a built-in bench or convenient chair for people to sit down and tend to their tootsies. Whether taking off or putting on shoes, it makes life a little more comfortable.

2. Install A Sink

A mudroom is supposed to be the catchall for everything dirty from the outdoors. With this in mind, a sink for washing off the grime and mud makes sense. Then you can clean your clothing in the contained space without having to haul them to the kitchen sink or laundry room.

3. Create Cubbies

Even though this space is designated as a drop-off point before entering the main living space, you don’t want everything just thrown into one big confusing pile. Create individual cubbies for every person in your household. Each cubby should contain a shelf for purses and backpacks, hooks for coats and a low place for shoes.

4. Splurge On A Boot Warmer

While electric boot warmers can be a little expensive, you will definitely think it’s worth the money when it’s freezing outside and your shoes are damp. Electric boot warmers heat your shoes on pegs and dry them out at the same time. They also work well on gloves.

Fall is a mudroom’s busy season; so get it in shape with the tips above. With all the coats hanging on their hooks, shoes in their cubbies and dirt contained to this designated space, your life will be a little more organized and much less stressful!

 

 

 

Steph Noble
Northwest Mortgage Group
(503) 528-9800
http://www.stephnoble.com
http://www.nwmortgagegoup.com

 

 

How To Have the Best Garage Sale Ever At Your Home, by Steph Noble


It’s getting close to that time of year again — time to have a garage sale at your home!

Here are a few tips to help you have your most successful garage sale ever.

Advertise Your Sale In Local Newspapers And Online

Many of the habitual Saturday morning garage sale patrons use the paper to plan their treasure hunts.

They do this to make sure they hit all of the sales in certain neighborhoods.

In the ad, mention your home address, date and time of your garage sale and any big or popular items you’ll be selling.

Open Your Sale Early

It’s best to open early, such as around seven in the morning a sales tend to taper off in the afternoon.

Don’t disappoint early shoppers who are typically your best buyers.

They have a busy schedule and a lot of stops to hit.

Open on time or even a few minutes before the time you advertised.

Make Plenty Of Signs To Guide Customers In

If your yard is difficult to see or is not on a main road, be sure to post signs pointing the way.

If allowed, attach a few balloons to it which will catch the attention of passing motorists.

Have Everything Labeled With Reasonable Prices

You’ll get some customers who try to haggle, but for most customers, not knowing the prices is a quick way to have them moving on to another sale.

Keep in mind that these shoppers are looking for a bargain and price accordingly.

You can individually label each item, or use an easily readable color-coded chart.

For instance, a blue sticker means 25 cents, red stickers mean 50 cents and yellow stickers mean $1.

Offer Specials At Different Points During The Garage Sale 

You can offer a 2-for-1 sale or a twenty percent off special.

At the end of the day, you may want to have an unadvertised special such as fill a bag for $1 to get rid of as much as possible.

It’s always a good idea to have a “free box” for items that are already low-priced and don’t move during the first half of the sale.

Donate Leftovers

Make your life easier and do something for others by donating any items that don’t sell.

If you plan carefully, you can schedule a pick up by your local charitable organization at the end of your garage sale.

Garage sales are a great way to get the clutter and unused collection of items out of your house while recycling them at the same time.

Using these tips, you’re well on your way to having your best garage sale ever.

 

Steph Noble
http://stephnoblemortgageblog.com/

3 Tips To Get The Best Results On Your Mortgage Application, by Steph Noble


Although the financial markets have tightened lending guidelines and financing requirements over the last few years, the right advice when applying for your loan can make a big difference.

 

Not all loans are approved. And even when they aren’t approved immediately, it doesn’t have to be the end of your real estate dreams.

There are many reasons why a mortgage loan for the purchase of your real estate could be declined.

Here are a few things to understand and prepare for when applying for a mortgage:

 

Loan-to-Value Ratio

The loan-to-value ratio (LTV) is the percentage of the appraised value of the real estate that you are trying to finance.

For example, if you are trying to finance a home that costs $100,000, and want to borrow $75,000, your LTV is 75%.

Lenders generally don’t like a high LTV ratio. The higher the ratio, the harder it normally is to qualify for a mortgage.

You can positively affect the LTV by saving for a larger down payment.

 

Credit-to-Debt Ratio

Your credit score can be affected negatively, which in turn affects your mortgage loan if you have a high credit-to-debt ratio.

The ratio is figured by dividing the amount of credit available to you on a credit card or auto loan, and dividing it by how much you are currently owe.

High debt loads make a borrower less attractive to many lenders.

Try to keep your debt to under 50% of what is available to you. Lenders will appreciate it, and you will be more likely to get approved for a mortgage.

 

No Credit or Bad Credit

Few things can derail your mortgage loan approval like negative credit issues.

Having no credit record can sometimes present as much difficulty with your loan approval as having negative credit.

With no record of timely loan payments in your credit history, a lender is unable to determine your likelihood to repay the new mortgage.

Some lenders and loan programs may consider other records of payment, like utility bills and rent reports from your landlord.

Talk to your loan officer to determine which of these issues might apply to you, and take the steps to correct them.

Then, you can finance the home of your dreams.

3 Stress-Free Packing Tips For Moving Into Your New Home, by Steph Noble


Moving everything in your house to your new |Oregon| home can be an overwhelming task.

You never realize how much stuff you actually own until you try to fit it all into boxes and move it somewhere new.

When you are packing up your things to relocate, here are some helpful tips to make your moving experience much easier:

Start Packing In Advance

You don’t have to wait until the day before you move to start packing everything in your house!

As soon as you find out that you are moving, you can start packing the items you don’t often use, such as your seasonal decorations, photo albums and family keepsakes.

If you pack a few items per week, you’ll have almost everything packed by the time you are ready to go except for the essentials you use every day.

Establish A System

Rather than randomly throwing every item you see into a box, think ahead and create a logical plan for your packing.

Before you start, develop a simple record-keeping system.

Give every box you pack a number and write a corresponding list detailing the items in that box.

This way, when you arrive you will know exactly where to find each item.

Stay Organized

You will want to keep all of the items from each area of the house together so they can be unpacked easily.

For example, keep all of the boxes of kitchen supplies together and then put them straight into the kitchen when you arrive at your new home.

You could even designate a color for each room in the house and put colored stickers on the boxes so that the movers or anyone helping you can easily determine in which room a box belongs.

Bonus Tip: Sometimes Less Is More

One final consideration that can make your move easier is to use your move as an opportunity to pare down your unused belongings.

Plus, you won’t be left wondering why you decided to move things from one home to another once you start unpacking.

As with many things, the more organized you are when packing, the less stressful it will be when you arrive and at your new house.

As Inventories Shrink, So Do Seller Concessions, by RisMedia


With inventories down and prices up, sellers are ending the costly incentives they have been forced to offer buyers during the six-year long buyers’ market. Concession-free transactions make deal-making simple on both sides of the table.

There’s no better gauge of the onset of a seller’s market than the demise of concessions that were considered essential to attract buyer interest just a few months ago. The National Association of REALTORS®’ December REALTOR® Confidence Outlook reported that the market has steadily moved towards a seller’s market with buyers more willing to bear closing costs, in some cases paying for half or more of the closing cost. Tight inventories of homes for sale are making markets increasingly competitive.

NAR reports that last year 60 percent of all sellers offered incentives to attract buyers. The most popular was a free home warranty policy, which costs about $500, offered by 22 percent of sellers, but 17 percent upped the ante by paying a portion of buyers’ closing costs and 7 percent contributed to remodeling or repairs.

Concessions linger where inventories are still adequate and sales slow, but in tight markets like Washington D.C., the times when buyers can expect concessions are already over.

“Buyers are discovering, to their dismay that homes they wanted to see or possibly buy have already been snatched up before they even get a chance to see or make an offer on the property. This area’s unprecedented low inventory levels are slowly driving up home prices and making sellers reluctant to cede little if any concessions to buyers. Realtors are warning (or should in some cases) buyers to be prepared to act that day if they are interested in a property,” reporters a local broker.

In Albuquerque, supply is dwindling and sales are moving to a more balanced market. “Buyers can expect sellers to offer less concessions and sales prices will be close to list price,” reports broker Archie Saiz.

In Seattle, not only are concessions a thing of the past, desperate buyers are even resorting to writing “love letters” to win over sellers in competitive situations. Lena Maul, a broker/owner in Lynnwood, reports a successful letter-writing effort last month by one of her office’s clients. Those buyers, who were using FHA financing, wrote a letter introducing themselves to the seller and explaining why they liked the home so much. After reviewing 13 offers, including one from an all-cash investor, the seller chose the letter-writer’s offer.

New regulations enacted last year by the Federal Housing Administration to limit its exposure to risk forced many sellers to cut back on the amount of assistance on buyers’ closing costs. Sellers are now limited to no more than six percent of the loan amount.

Underwriting standards on conventional mortgages also have the effect of limiting the amount sellers can contribute.

In recent years many lenders have disallowed seller paid closing costs on 100 percent financed home loans because of the high foreclosure rate.

However, seller paid closing costs are typically limited to 6 percent of the loan amount at 90 percent loan-to-value or lower, 3 percent between 90-95 percent, and then usually 3 percent for 100 percent loan-to-value.

Some sellers bump up the home sales price to pay for concessions. However the buyer will need to get the higher amount he will need to borrow covered by the appraisal and he will have to meet increased debt-to-income ratio in order to close his loan.

The demise of concessions will make buying and selling a little simpler and more rational. As one observed asked, “Why would anyone selling a home pay the home buyer to buy it?”

For more information, visit www.realestateeconomywatch.com

MultnomahForeclosures.com Updated with New Notice of Default Lists



Visit MultnomahForeclosures.com for the notice of default lists (Homes in Foreclosure) for Multnomah County and other Oregon counties.

Multnomah Country Foreclosures
http://multnomahforeclosures.com

Fred Stewart
Stewart Group Realty Inc.
info@sgrealtyinc.com
http://www.sgrealty.net

Top court ruling leaves Oregon’s residential real estate market in limbo, by Thomas Hillier, Davis, Tremain Wright,


In a ruling the Oregon Supreme Court will soon review, the Oregon Court of Appeals on July 18 issued a major decision.The case, Niday v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc., et al, held that MERS, when acting as a nominee for a named lender, is not a beneficiary under Oregon law. The practical effect of the holding is that any trust deed naming MERS the beneficiary may not be foreclosed in the name of MERS by the more expedient nonjudicial method.

 

A little context is in order.

In 1959, to remain competitive for loan dollars, Oregon adopted the Oregon Trust Deed Act to establish trust deeds as a real estate security instrument. For lenders needing to foreclose, the act created a summary, nonjudicial procedure that bypassed the courts and allowed no redemption rights for borrowers. Foreclosure previously was a judicial process taking two years or more to complete; now it could be done in six months with the summary procedure.

Lenders were happy because the time to liquidate a non-performing loan was substantially reduced. Borrowers benefited because there was no right to a deficiency if the debt exceeded the value of the property and borrowers could cure defaults during the foreclosure process by paying only the amount in arrears rather than the full loan balance.

Trust deeds quickly became the favored real estate security instrument.

In 1993, in part to respond to a growing practice wherein lenders were bundling loans secured by trust deeds and selling them in secondary markets, a group of mortgage industry participants formed MERS and the MERS system.

Anytime a loan is sold from one member of the MERS system to another, the sale is tracked using the MERS system. MERS, the named beneficiary as nominee for the original lender and its assigns, remains the beneficiary as the loan is sold and becomes an agent of the new note owner. With no change to the named beneficiary, there is nothing to publicly record, an administrative convenience accomplishing a central purpose of MERS.

As MERS grew in acceptance, so did its popularity. Nationwide, there are more than 3,000 lender members of MERS that account for approximately 60 percent of all real estate secured loans nationwide.

The onslaught of the Great Recession resulted in a tremendous spike in foreclosure activity. To defend foreclosure proceedings, borrowers challenged the authority of MERS, in its own name, to foreclose non-judicially.

Because the trust deed is a creature of statute, the statutory elements allowing a nonjudicial foreclosure must be followed strictly. One such element is the requirement that the name of the beneficiary and any assignee be in the public record. Niday argued that the lender, not MERS, was the beneficiary. MERS countered that it was the named beneficiary in the trust deed and had the contractual right to foreclose as nominee of the lender and its assigns.

The court sided with Niday, holding that MERS is not a “beneficiary” as defined by the act. The court wrote that the beneficiary is “the person to whom the underlying, secured obligation is owed.” It reasoned that because the lender is owed the money, that party is the beneficiary. Only the person to whom the obligation is owed and whose interest is of record may legally prosecute a nonjudicial foreclosure.

What does all of this mean? Maybe nothing if the Supreme Court finds that the Court of Appeals defined “beneficiary” too narrowly.

Short of that, many issues arise. What is the effect on completed nonjudicial foreclosures of MERS trust deeds? Such sales may be void, in which case the ownership and right to possession of thousands of foreclosed properties fall into legal limbo. Perhaps the sales are only voidable, requiring a lawsuit by the borrower within a limited time to challenge the foreclosure sale.

Titles may now be in doubt for people who bought properties either at a foreclosure sale or further along the line. Also, no market may exist for these properties if title insurers choose not to insure titles until there is some clarity.

Going forward, will MERS lenders do business in Oregon? And if so, at what cost? Loans may be more expensive to administer because they either require that all assignments be documented and recorded or foreclosure via the more expensive judicial method. As such, loans in Oregon could demand higher interest rates.

Courts will see a sharp increase in the number of judicial foreclosure filings; it’s happening in Multnomah County already. An already overcrowded judicial system will gain additional burdens.

The Legislature could step in to fix the issue by clarifying the definition of “beneficiary” to include a nominee of the lender, such as MERS. But is there political will to legislate a solution that, on the surface, seems to benefit lenders?

A practice that for many years roamed freely under the radar has suddenly exploded to the surface, leaving the mortgage industry in limbo. Quick answers to the numerous issues now pending are imperative to restore certainty to real estate markets.

When a quality check can ruin a short sale, by Chris Diaz, The Orange County Register


Chris Diaz is the founder of Charis Financial, Inc. He has over 15 years experience in helping homeowners with their mortgages and has closed hundreds of short sales over the last 4 years. His website is http://www.charisfinancialinc.com. Send questions to moneymatters@ocregister.com; reference ³Short Sales² in the subject line. 
I was recently approved for a short sale by (my bank).  The loan was in escrow and ready to close within a few days.  I then got a letter from (the bank) denying my short sale due to “quality review”.  My approval letter wasn’t set to expire for another two weeks and nobody in (the bank) could give me a valid reason as to why I received this denial.  Have you seen this scenario before and do you have any suggestions for me as I really don’t want to lose my home to foreclosure?

Yes, the out of the blue “QA Review” denial.  This one is a difficult one because of the lack of explanation from your bank.  It’s difficult to accept that one can have an approval in hand, with an expiration date that hasn’t yet expired, and still get a denial for a reason that is unexplained.  However, this is a reality and it does happen, albeit somewhat infrequently.

Even though your lender has accepted responsibility for their part in one of the largest instances of mortgage fraud on record with the robo-signing incident, they have a QA team that dedicates a great deal of time and effort in making sure that their company is free from other purveyors of fraud.  As well they should because there are lots of unscrupulous people trying to steal a buck instead of earn one.

One recent incident, in which a bank was victimized, was where short sale negotiators were doctoring up fake approval letters along with a fake bank account to have funds wired to, and stealing money that way.  The FBI said that three California men probably netted $10 million doing that.

Here are two of the main reasons that we’ve been told as to why a QA department would deny your file and what you can do to reverse or overturn the decision:

1. Buyer information is incorrect. Sometimes QA will deny a deal if the buyer’s preapproval has inaccuracies like the wrong NMLS number, broker number, or property address.  This can also happen if the buyer’s “proof of funds” is determined to be fraudulent or doctored in any way.  We have also seen it happen where the buyer is getting a loan but has enough money in the bank to pay for a property in cash.  Even though they could’ve bought the house in cash, because there was no preapproval letter for a loan, QA denied the short sale until we provided that letter.  This has happened even if we weren’t specifically asked for the letter.

2. The Equator account being used to process the short sale has been flagged. Some banks use an automated processing system called Equator to handle their short sales.  Equator centralizes all communication for all files that a real estate licensee is working on with them.  Sometimes, a licensee can involve themselves in schemes like I described above, or can just be guilty of shoddy work and upload documents from files incorrectly.  If the QA team catches either of these two things they may flag that file or all of the files of that particular agent.  Once that happens they would contact the agent for an explanation.  However, if they feel that there are deliberate inaccuracies in the file an agent can be suspended from doing any further deals with that bank.  If that happened your deal could be denied even if there was nothing fraudulent done on yours.

If a QA team has denied your short sale, have your agent address these two situations first as they are the most common.  So long as you’re dealing with someone who is ethical, there is probably just a minor oversight of buyer info that the bank needs to have satisfied.  Have your agent submit the complete buyer info first and then call to have the decision reversed.

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