Table of Contents
   Downloadable Formsp. vii
   Introductionp. ix
      How Did So Many of Us End Up with Underwater Housesp. ix
      What Happened to Real Estate Prices?p. x
      Easy Money Home Loansp. xiii
      When Lending Guidelines Loosened-The Beginning of Our Current Problemsp. xvii
      Meet the Authorsp. xix
   Acknowledgmentsp. xxii
   Options for "Underwater" Property Owners
      Is Your Home Worth Less Than the Mortgage?p. 3
         How to Estimate the Value of Your Homep. 4
         What Banks Wantp. 6
         Introduction to a Short Salep. 7
         Other Options for Underwater Homeownersp. 8
      What Happens If I Walk Away from My Property?p. 11
         Stop Making Payments, Move Out, Let the Bank Foreclosep. 11
         Deed in Lieu of Foreclosurep. 13
         How to Protect Yourselfp. 14
         Your Losses Don't Stop with Foreclosurep. 15
         Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Actp. 19
      If You Are in Financial Trouble, Deal with Your Emotions First!p. 25
         The Typical Mindset of People in Distressp. 25
         How It Feels to Be Trappedp. 31
         Putting Your Pride Aside-The First Step to a New Lifep. 34
         How to Get Free from Your Property and Get on with Your Lifep. 36
      Aggressive First Steps to Get the Highest Possible Pricep. 39
         Try to Sell the Property Yourself before Calling a Real Estate Agentp. 39
         Using a Real Estate Agentp. 41
         What If My House Is Underwater but the Payments Aren't Late?p. 44
      Try a Loan Modification: Negotiating a Lower Monthly Payment with Your Lenderp. 47
         Loan Modificationp. 48
         Forbearance Agreementp. 52
      Government Programs and Mortgage Relief Organizationsp. 57
         Mortgage Reliefp. 58
         Financial Reliefp. 61
   Short Sales: How to Sell a House When It's Worth Less Than You Owe
      The Short Sale Solutionp. 65
         When a Short Sale Won't Workp. 67
         Short Sale Requirementsp. 68
         Short Sales for Investment Propertiesp. 71
         How to Approach Your Bankp. 73
         How to Ace the Broker's Price Opinionp. 75
      How to Put Together Your Own Short Sale Packagep. 79
         Requirements for Financially Distressed Homeownersp. 81
         Requirements for Solvent Homeownersp. 84
         Putting the Package Togetherp. 85
         Sample Contract for Sale and Purchasep. 85
         Sample Comparable Salesp. 86
         Sample Pictures of Disrepairp. 86
         Sample Net Sheetp. 87
         Sample Investor Letterp. 87
         Sample Repair Listp. 87
         Making Sure Your Package Is Completep. 88
         Sample Short Sale Packagep. 89
      How to Work with an Ethical Investor to Short Sale a Propertyp. 105
         What Should an Investor Do for Me?p. 106
         How to Negotiate with Investorsp. 117
      Closing Any Deal-What You Need to Get in Writingp. 123
         Get Everything in Writing from the Bank, Investor, or Real Estate Agentp. 124
         What to Expect from the Closing Agentp. 126
         Check Your Credit after the Deal Is Donep. 128
   Other Options and Issues for Underwater Homeowners
      If Nothing Else Works, Consider Bankruptcyp. 133
         Bankruptcy-How to Buy Timep. 135
         Will Bankruptcy Help or Hurt My Credit?p. 138
      Temporarily Renting Your Homep. 143
         Section 8 Programp. 160
      Don't Go Broke Trying to Save Your Housep. 165
         Don't Go Brokep. 166
         Living with Negative Cash Flowp. 168
         Living with the Emotional Stressp. 172
      How to Rebuild Your Creditp. 175
         Credit Repair Servicesp. 176
         Steps to Rebuilding Your Creditp. 181
         Formula for Paying Off Credit Cardsp. 183
      Is There Life after Financial Disaster?p. 187
         How Do I Avoid Disaster Again?p. 188
         Will I Be Able to Invest Again?p. 190
         Sharing Your Experience with Other Distressed Homeownersp. 192
         Consider Becoming a Real Estate Investorp. 193
   Indexp. 195