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January 2010

More than 1 in 8 homeowners are upside down on the mortgage...

More than 1 in 8 homeowners are upside-down on the mortgage and don’t know

what to do. The search for a solution can be filled with misinformation and fraud,

and often adds more frustration to this difficult situation.

If you or someone you know is among the many homeowners who owe more money on their home than it’s worth, know that there are options available. You need the facts.

Being educated in today’s shifting market is the most important safeguard you can take in preventing lost opportunities and avoiding scams.

Your first step as a homeowner in trouble is understanding all your options, including a mortgage modification. Should you qualify, a mortgage modification is an ideal solution for you and your lender. The average foreclosure can cost a lender from 35-50% of the value of a property (or more), so keeping a borrower in their home is a better alternative for both parties. Find out if a mortgage modification is the right option for you and get back on track to a secure, stable financial future.


A mortgage modification is a process through which your mortgage lender changes:

  • Your interest rate
Your principal balance (through a reduction)
  • Your loan terms (example: from an adjustable to a fixed rate)
  • Any or all of the above
  • This process will often allow a borrower who can no longer afford their home at their current mortgage payment to stay in their property. A mortgage modification is ideal for homeowners experiencing a rate increase or a salary decrease, placing the mortgage payments just out of reach.




    According to the Obama administration’s Making Home Affordable program’s website

    (, you will need the following information for your lender to consider a modification:

    ·     Information about your first mortgage, such as your monthly mortgage statement

    ·     Information about any second mortgage or home equity line of credit (HELOC) on the house

    ·     Account balances and minimum monthly payments due on all of your credit cards

    ·     Account balances and monthly payments on all other debts, such as credit cards,student loans and car loans

    ·     Your most recent income tax return

    ·     Information about your savings and other assets

    ·     Information about the monthly gross (before tax) income of your household, including ecent pay stubs if you receive them or documentation of income you receive from other   sources


    It may  be helpful to have a letter of hardship describing any circumstances that caused your income to be reduced or expenses to be increased (i.e. employment reduction, sudden illness, divorce, etc.)


    The first call you make should be to your lender. Have the information listed above ready to discuss with them, and call your customer service line to ask them what options you have available. Different lenders have different names for the department that handles these issues, such as:

    • Loss Mitigation Department
    • Mortgage Modification Department
    • H.O.P.E. Department

    If Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac owns your mortgage, you may be eligible for a Home Affordable Refinance. This will allow you to refinance your home and often lower your payments.

    You should start by visiting:

    Also, check the list of HUD–approved counsellors provided in this document for organizations approved to work with borrowers by the federal government’s Hope Now Alliance.

    HUD Approved Counselors

    Thurs. Jan 28 Surf Taco will donate 20% for Haiti Relief

    There's one in West End Long Branch!

    Haiti Relief

    Surf Taco will be donating 20% of all food sales made on Thursday, January 28, 2010 to the Haiti Relief effort.

    The donation will be made directly to the American Red Cross.   On Thursday 1/28/10 come in to any Surf Taco location for lunch or dinner, or both to help those in need.


    To find your closest location and to see a list of our specials go to



    FHA Imposes Floor for 3.5 Percent Down

    FHA Imposes Floor for 3.5 Percent Down

    The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced major underwriting changes to strengthen its reserves while maintaining the agency's critical position in the mortgage market at a time when its federally backed loans comprise about 40 percent of the market. Among the changes: an increase in the up-front mortgage insurance premium by 50 bps to 2.25 percent; a FICO credit score floor of 580 for borrowers to qualify for the agency's 3.5 percent minimum down payment (other borrowers must put down a 10 percent minimum); and a reduction in seller concessions from 6 percent to 3 percent of the mortgage amount. For further details, access NAR's brief on the FHA changes.

    Trattoria G in Sea Bright , NJ

    My husband and I go out to eat frequently and it just seems that we alway end up at Trattoria G. Mostly because it's close to us and more importantly because the food is GREAT!  It never ceases to amaze me how he makes the different foods he does out of the little kitchen he has.

    His family has been in the pzza busines for a long time and so he continues that tradition. His father used to own the pizza place in Monmouth Mall, I believe it was called Luigi's and as the mall expanded and grew the old timers were "kicked out " do to speak.

    Well John has opened Trattoria G in Sea Bright and the food as mentioned before is succulent. The food and the aroma take me back to Europe every time I go in.

    Trattoria G is now to have  early bird dinner. It's a 3 course meal for $12.95 per person. What a deal and you get to eat and try out John's different dishes. Earlky Bird is from 4pm to 6:30pm Monday to Friday

    Trattoria G is now serving up Pasta Night every Tuesday night from 4 to 10 pm. For $12.95 you get a choice of sooup or salad, choose your past, then choose your sauce  and you get dessert. I am in love with his cannoli's his cream is very different from the other out there and not too much chocolate chips.

    Any way I hope you go and visit Trattoria G in Sea Bright next to the Cherry on Top Ice cream parlor and when you do please tell him Gloria B sent you there and he will treat you special.