Madison, WI – July 15, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — A new online resource developed by the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association can help consumers take steps to avoid foreclosure or navigate through the process for a better outcome.
The nation’s economic downturn has created financial challenges for many homeowners and experts say extended periods of unemployment, mounting debt and medical expenses brought on by a loss of insurance are contributing to today’s record wave of foreclosures. These factors, along with a decline in property values and predatory behavior by some lenders, have made it difficult for many homeowners to meet their financial obligations and stay current on their loans
“The possibility of going through foreclosure is the last thing consumers think about when they buy a home, but unfortunately it’s the situation thousands of Wisconsin homeowners are facing today,’’ says Bill Malkasian, President of the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association. “As a trusted source of advice and counsel, we created this resource to help homeowners achieve a better outcome when faced with difficult choices. The reality is that banks don’t want to have to go through the time and expense of the foreclosure process, so there is much more opportunity to negotiate new terms and hold on to your home.”
The Wisconsin Foreclosure Assistance Resource Center provides answers to frequently asked questions about Wisconsin’s foreclosure process and features a variety of credible resources, including expert advice and contact information for trusted advisers throughout the state.
The site’s three main sections – a survival kit, prevention kit and public information kit – include video clips with experts from the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association, Wisconsin Bankers Association, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Milwaukee, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority and more. In addition, the site explains the foreclosure timeline and provides a glossary of terms to help homeowners ask the right questions and get the answers they need.
Malkasian says one of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is to do nothing when confronted with a financial problem. Whether they are buoyed by a false sense of optimism that things will get better, or feel a sense of embarrassment or fear, many are reluctant to reach out and make contact with their mortgage provider.
“Often, stress and emotions are running high for homeowners in this situation,’’ Malkasian says. “The purpose of the online resource is to provide a ready source of credible help that takes emotion out of the equation and replaces fear with a clear course of action. Homeowners in this situation are particularly vulnerable to predatory schemes and we wanted to provide professional contacts – often at nonprofit agencies — who are trained to help.’’
The site includes a thorough discussion of what to do if you are unable to make a scheduled mortgage payment, when it might be time to sell your home and tips for avoiding foreclosure scams.
For more information, visit the Wisconsin Foreclosure Assistance Resource Center at www.wisconsinforeclosurekit.org
About the WRA
The Wisconsin REALTORS® Association is one of the largest trade associations in the state, representing more than 14,500 real estate brokers, sales people and affiliates statewide. Sales estimates for the state are provided by the National Association of REALTORS®, which seasonally adjusts quarterly sales figures. All county figures on sales volume and median prices are compiled by the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association and are not seasonally adjusted. Median prices are only computed if the county recorded at least 10 home sales in the quarter.