Photo: Carl Richards
In a Bucks post today, financial planner/napkin man Carl Richards explains what was going through his head when he revealed his short-sale horror story.No it wasn’t a ploy to sell books (“There would be far better ways to sell books than to take your family through three years of hell”).
Rather, Richards feels even to this day an obligation to tell his story and help others.
He also worries he let his community down, since “just like tossing a small piece of trash, [every financial mistake] adds up.”
And of course he’s remorseful that he failed to enlist the help of a financial planner sooner. Writes Richards:
“We can seek out a trusted friend, parent, C.P.A. or our lawyer. Our family hired a real financial planner and after working with him for just a few months, I’m convinced we would have avoided many of our mistakes had we hired him five years ago. Just having a rule that before making major decisions you will walk some objective third party through your thinking would be a step in the right direction.”
What should homeowners do if they find themselves facing a short-sale (a negotiated settlement between a borrower and lender)?
Depending on your financial picture, and your credit in particular, you could possibly refinance your home. A credit score over 720 will land you the best deal, but anything over 680 will work.
If default notices from your bank have been arriving in the mail, then contact your mortgage lender immediately to go over your options. Make sure to bring all the necessary paperwork, including your check stubs, medical records and termination documents, if you’ve been laid off.
For those getting crushed by debt, we recommend tapping a nonprofit housing or credit counselor to strategize a debt repayment plan before seeking the help of a bankruptcy attorney, which should be your last resort.