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In Foreclosure? Buy a Second Home

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In Foreclosure? Buy a Second Home Empty In Foreclosure? Buy a Second Home

Post  Guest Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:11 am

http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=5747718

In Foreclosure? Buy a Second Home
'Buy and Bail' Is the Answer Some People Have Found to Threat of Losing Home
By NEAL KARLINSKY and KRISTIN RED-HORSE

LAS VEGAS, Sept. 7, 2008

Just a few weeks ago Jim Eble lived in his dream home in Las Vegas. It now sits empty because he owed the bank more money than the house was worth and the bank was threatening foreclosure.

"It's tough to come back here now," said Eble, looking at his dream house.

But Eble has found an answer to his financial problem: buying a new home. Although it's hard to imagine with one house near foreclosure, his solution is to buy a second house at a bargain price and simply walk away from the old house.

"Buy and bail" is becoming a growing trend in the hardest hit real estate markets.

Eble owes $334,000 on his first house, which is now worth only $219,000 and is still dropping in value. He has an adjustable rate mortgage that has doubled to more than $4,000 a month, more than Eble can afford to pay.

So before the bank forecloses on his first house he is taking advantage of falling real estate prices to buy a new home for $285,000, with a fixed rate mortgage he can afford. Once inside the new home, he can either sell the first property for a huge loss to the bank or walk away completely and let it slip into foreclosure.

This exit strategy only helps homeowners who can afford the down payment on the second home as well as carry both mortgages until they are in their new home.

Like Jim Eble, homeowner Kim Hinske just bought a new home -- for $280,000 -- as a way to get out of an expensive mortgage.

"Yes, it's a scary thing, but I know that my family's taken care of 'cause we have another house, a bigger house and a mortgage that's less," Hinske said.

For those who can "buy and bail," it is an attractive option. Why struggle and pay an increasingly unaffordable mortgage on a home that has lost significant value?

"We have to rebuild our credit, that's the only downside of doing this," Eble said.

One problem with the buying and bailing solution is that foreclosure ruins a person's credit rating. However, the people who are willing to walk away from a mortgage say that even the high cost of ruined credit is worth it because they face few attractive alternatives.

So how do people get a loan for a new home when they are barely making payments on their current one? In many cases they tell the bank they plan to rent out the first house, or they put the second mortgage under a spouse's name.

"Desperate people do desperate things and again, we're at a point now where the relationships between the borrowers and lenders really seem to have devolved into a survival of the fittest mode," said Rich Sharga, a spokesman for RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for homes in foreclosure.

However, buying and bailing is not for the most desperate. For homeowners who may have lost their job or are behind on payments, it is doubtful that a bank would give them a loan solely to purchase a new home.

Some lenders call the practice deceptive, even fraudulent, and they are fighting back. Fannie Mae has already imposed stricter guidelines for approving a second mortgage and other companies are expected to follow.

Copyright 2008 ABC News Internet Ventures

lol. Suck it America.
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Post  Markwes Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:18 am

Interesting strategy. I'm a bit surprised that another bank has given him credit.
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Post  Guest Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:27 am

I think the key is to make the decision before you get too far behind on the first house. So that the knocks on the credit haven't started showing up yet. I don't know though. There's information on the web on how to pull it off.
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Post  Guest Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:08 pm

Jugo, you got it. It's also not new. I hate to think that this becoming a strategy but I remember this as pretty common in the early 90s in California when the housing market was in trouble.
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Post  Guest Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:25 pm

Interesting though.. with the new gov't plan for Frannie.. people are wondering if this means banks will go back to less than stellar requirements to get people into new homes (heard this on CNBC).
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