Help at Hand with Foreclosures

Homeowners lost in the confusion of complicated foreclosure procedure can now rely on designated experts

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Photo by QUENTIN ROUX, Staff

Helping homeowners in danger of foreclosure has been a necessary off-shoot of the volatile housing market.

Now, there’s a designation for Realtors doing just that.

It’s called the Certified Distressed Property Expert designation, and one of the first qualified local Realtors is Pat Wilkins of Re-Max Results Realty.

He recently completed training in foreclosure avoidance and short sales.

Short sales, Wilkins explained, allow the cash-strapped seller to repay the mortgage at the price the home sells for, even though it is lower than the amount owed on the property.

With plummeting property values, this can save many people from foreclosure and even bankruptcy, he said.

More and more lenders, he said, are willing to consider short sales because they are much less costly than foreclosures.

Wilkins reiterated that in the Marco Island area, many homes are in danger of foreclosing. “It is happening in all price ranges,” he said. “Local experts say that even high-priced homes are not immune.”

In a release, Distressed Property Institute founder Alex Charfen said the training in short sales of Realtors such as Wilkins can offer the homeowner better alternatives to foreclosure, which virtually destroys the credit rating.

“These experts also may better understand market conditions, and can help sellers through the emotional experience,” he said.

The DPI opened in January of 2008, and provides training on-site and online.

In part of its mission statement, the DPI says that historically, a percentage of the real estate market has been in distress.

However, it continues, with the recent challenges in the sub prime lending market this percentage has grown exponentially.

This rapid growth in what once was a niche market requires agents to posses specialized knowledge and processes that will allow them to successfully assist homeowners in need.

The course covers areas such as foreclosures, short sales, selling against, and working with investors and building a Realtor’s business.

Wilkins said he’s happy to help anyone in danger of foreclosure. Call him at 394-8118.

© 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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