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Jan. 12, 2021

Forbearance Extension, the Fourth One 2021



Let's discuss forbearance and the extension that just went through.

You may already be aware that there are programs out there to help homeowners that are not able to make their mortgage payment during COVID-19 to help them with a forbearance program so that they don't have to pay those mortgage payments now but they would be due at a later time.

Previously, it expired back in December of 2020, but here we are in January, and they did extend the forbearance program. FHA extended options for single family homeowners financially impacted by COVID-19. Extensions ensure borrowers can continue to seek assistance and avoid eviction and foreclosure while maintaining temporary policy flexibility for lenders and servicers.

The Federal Housing Authority, FHA, announced that it is extending the foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single family FHA insured mortgages for an additional two months through February 28th of 2021. This is the fourth extension that FHA has given to the eviction and foreclosure moratorium.

The moratorium prohibits servicers from proceeding with foreclosure or initiating a foreclosure procedure and foreclosure-related eviction actions for FHA insured, single-family, forward and reverse type mortgages, except for those that have already been legally verified as vacant or abandoned properties.

FHA encourages borrowers with an FHA insured type mortgage who can make their mortgage payment to continue to do so. Those who are struggling financially because of COVID-19 should engage a conversation with their servicer to find out what is available to them through that provider, and when I say servicer, I'm talking about the entity that you were sending your monthly mortgage payments to.

FHA does provide COVID-19 forbearance loss mitigation options to assist borrowers with bringing their mortgage current. I want to note on this, FHA does not require a lump sum payment when the forbearance program is over if your loan is an FHA type loan. 

Posted in Real Estate News
Sept. 10, 2020

What happens when your Loan Forbearance Ends?

When Loan Forbearance Ends, what happens next? Know your options before it ends! From loan modifications to short sales, what are your options when the loan forbearance you signed up for ends?

Let's talk about loan forbearance and how it affects you.

I'm Sandy Curtis with Berkshire Hathaway, Bowen Realty, your real estate resource. And I would like to talk about loan forbearance today and how it is going to affect you with the months coming. Many of you have taken advantage of the low forbearance program that was offered to you by your lender. Government backed program loans are extended until December 31st. So this is more of an informational video on how you should proceed once your forbearance program has ended. A lot of people don't realize the loan forbearance program when it ends is due in a lump some of those amount of months and what your mortgage payment would have been. But most of us do not have that kind of money sitting in the bank that we can just hand over to them. There is a reason that you took advantage of the forbearance program, and it's usually because you didn't have the funds to pay the mortgage to begin with whether that be due to a job loss or business closing, you should be contacted by your lender within 30 days of your program expiring

Because at that point, you either need to bring the account up today with all the amounts paid in full, or you need to accept one of the offers that they are able to offer you. Now, what kind of offers are you talking about? Well, usually, and more than likely it is going to be a loan modification. The ultimate goal when you are at the end of the forbearance is to qualify for the loan modification where they add the months that you missed to the end of the loan. So you would have your loan for 30 years from the day you bought it plus those extra months. So if you missed your payments for six months and you were in the forbearance program for six months, then it would tack six months. At the end of the loan. Other loan modifications may just be a reduction in the amount you pay every month, or it may be a payment program to help you bring the account back up to good standing. 

Unfortunately, if you do not qualify or accept any of these offers, it's more than likely that they aren't going to pursue a foreclosure on your property. Which is why I am bringing it to your attention now, so that you can be ahead of the game and know what your options are and you can move forward. Where it gets sticky is if you don't qualify for the loan modification that they offer you. And the reason you may not qualify can be a bunch of different options, but the main one is going to be job loss. A lot of us have lost our jobs over this period due to the COVID-19. A lot of restaurants have closed. A lot of people are at home, just wondering what's going to happen. When you fill out for the loan modification, you have to give them what your income is and what your debts are. 

So if you do not qualify in their numbers to keep the house under their loan modification, they more than likely will reject you. I recommend that everyone speak to a counselor that knows what they're talking about. When it comes to loan modifications and the forbearance program, you get to put a link below that is going to take you to the HUD website that you can put in your state and find your nearby agencies. I recommend that you speak to them. They will know what the options are. They also know what needs to be done to get you from point a to point B. The other options, if you do not qualify for the loan modification, would of course be selling the property. Of course you can only do that if you have equity in the home. Otherwise you have to look at doing a short sale. The benefits for doing a short sale I have on other videos, I'm going to leave the link up here, go ahead and watch the short-sale videos for a little bit more information on how they work. But basically you're asking your lender to take less for the house than what is owed on it. With all of that I said, I unfortunately do predict that we are going to have more short sales next year, due to the financial difficulty that a lot of people are going through. So if you or anyone, you know, is going through this and make sure that you reach out to a counselor who is knowledgeable about what it is you're discussing and a realtor who is familiar with the short sale process and has completed short sales in the past for sellers. Don't forget if you like the content in my videos, I would love it. If you could subscribe and ring that bell. So you're notified when my weekly video comes out and of course like the video.

HUD Counseling agencies: https://apps.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/...


CARES Forebearance Fact Sheet: https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/SFH/...


Consumers Financial Protection Bureau Guide to Success: https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/d...




Aug. 10, 2020

What does HUD mean by As Is?

Hey guys, Sandy Curtis here with Berkshire Hathaway Bowen Realty in Hagerstown Maryland.

How are you doing today today?


Today I wanted to continue the discussion on HUD properties.

And what today's discussion is going to be is about understanding what their as-is means.


When HUD sells the property they don't repair them. Fannie Mae sometimes will go in and do a complete overhaul, they'll do what they need to do to get through an FHA loan type, but HUD doesn't do any of that.

HUDs properties come in a variety of conditions some are insurable. We'll discuss that at a later time, but with HUD they don't repair so they don't want anybody to repair the properties. There's a liability issue with it. So their properties are sold as is.

All right so what does that mean to you as a buyer or a buyer agent?

As is means, yeah, sure you can do the inspection and this is what we've done up to this point; so we know this is

wrong, ie the plumbing; but .... you can't repair the plumbing to do your home inspection.


So does that make sense? 

Basically you're not even allowed to scrape paint off of the wall. You're not allowed to paint a wall, you're not allowed to change the locks, you're not allowed to do anything physically that changes the property in any way.

There's no moving your clients items into the property before closing. Because they technically don't own the property. 

The buyers are allowed to do those home inspections because if you are able to get the electric on or the gas on or the

plumbing on, then you can do a more extensive search.

Homes that already have some damage to them and they're aware of it, you're disclosed up front. Those can go through special loan types like an FHA 203b or 203k depending on the amount of work that needs to be done to the property.

So I hope that explains a little bit more about what as is it is, because you  as a realtor could lose the ability to

sell a HUD property if you or your client goes into a property and alters it in any way. And that includes having

the gas company come back to the property and install a gas meter on the outside.

You and I probably wouldn't think that that is a physical alteration of the property but it is, it is a change. They moved the meter off before I  got the property so there was no meter.

When they called in for their inspections they physically install the meter. Can't do it.

So it can result and your buyer losing their earnest money deposit, don't want to do that. You don't want to do that a week before closing.

Certainly by any means if your client is trying to have a utilities turned on and your contract got extended but the client didn't call the utility company to say "hey don't turn the utilities on I didn't close on the house yet. It's not mine" Wait a week because, they go in they change it, the field services company or the agent goes through the property and does a final walk through for the client and they see somebody altered the house they have to report it and HUD can come after your buyer, cancel the contract and keep the earnest money.

Don't want to do that.

So you as a buyer don't want to do that. So don't do it !

Just don't go into somebody else's house and alter it without something in writing saying "hey you're allowed to go and it change my house."

Buyers don't start any repairs and please don't try to move into the house before you own it. It's not yours.

Agents you have to err.., accompany ,excuse me, agents you have to accompany your inspections. You have to be there. You have to be there for your buyers.

You can't just give the code out to your buyers and let them go walk around willy-nilly.

It's not your property, is it? You're not paying for insurance are you? Just keep that level head, common sense guys and you'll be good.

So HUD properties are awesome purchase.

It can be, depending on the amount of work that's needing they've done the property and whether that's what you're looking for. Or whether it's move-in-ready.

There's just so many options. Thanks for watching again, hopefully I covered something that you got a little bit of knowledge from or a nugget. Please comment, like, share, suggest items that I should be talking about.

Sandy Curtis, Berkshire Hathaway Bowen Realty, have a great day!


Posted in Buying a Home
Aug. 7, 2020

What is a HUD Home?


Hi guys! Sandy Curtis here with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Bowen Realty in Hagerstown Maryland.

 And today I wanted to talk to you about the question that a lot of buyers have, which is what is a HUD home?

 So a HUD home first off, is not low-income housing.  It is a property that is one to four units and has been foreclosed   on...

 Now HUD homes are in varying conditions, varying locations, but they are all sold as is.

 No Repairs. Not until you own it.


Sept. 12, 2019

First Time Home Buyer Mistakes To Avoid

Infographic Design By Susan & Troy Susan & Troy: Sedona Real Estate Agents

Posted in Buying a Home
April 30, 2018

Unexpected find

Not just a burger joint. Waynesburger in Waynesboro, PA. has an unusually wide selection of food. With the name Waynesburger I expected a variety of burgers and subs. It was harder to choose my lunch once I walked in and saw the menu. The selection ranges from burgers and hot dogs to Falafel and Baklava. I even found North Carolina BBQ sandwiches. Not common in the north because it's a dry vinegar & crushed red pepper based flavor, not a saucy pork BBQ. If you are in the mood for desert they have Brown Betty (a loaded pound cake), rice pudding and chocolate mouse. An even harder decision to make could be choosing one of the 51 flavors of milkshakes. 

Definitely an interesting find. They have been there 9 years.  


Posted in Community News
Feb. 22, 2017

Washington County Civil War Heritage Area

Image result for civil war battle photos

It would appear that Funkstown, Clear Spring and Keedysville would like to be added to the Washington County Marylands Civil War Heritage area.

Doing so would provide them the opportunity for grants for the towns and non profits. Once added all of Washington County municipalities will be included in the Civil War Heritage Area.

There currently is a proposed expansion area that includes Fort Frederick State Park and more of the South Mountain State Battlefield.

Although a date hasn't yet been set, a public hearing on the proposal is expected to be held in mid to late March. First review goes to the Maryland Heritage Area Authority then to the Maryland Historical Trust for approval. Officials should know by the end of June if the proposal will be approved or not.

This will be the first proposed change to the area since the boundaries were set in 2006.

For more information or to see the article provided by the Herald Mail please click on any of the links.


Sandy Curtis

Your Real Estate Resource

Image result for funkstown                     Image result for keedysville



Posted in Community News
Feb. 7, 2017

Rental Scams

Yes, Rental Scams/Fraud are still a thing. 



What is a Rental Scam?

A rental scam is when someone advertises a home or apartment for rent when they don't actually own the property.

How do you know if it is a scam?

The biggest trigger to tell whether an ad is a scam is if you are asked to provide rent or deposit money upfront. ESPECIALLY if they ask for a wire transfer through Western Union.

Another is if they tell you that they can't meet you at the property because they live out of town or out of the country.

As a real estate agent, I have seen quite a few things. The most recent is that the person advertising a home for rent went and REMOVED a for sale sign AND Rekeyed the home! Yes, they actually keyed the home so that they would have a key to "show" potential renters the property.

If this happens to you, how would you know?

My best recommendation is to ask for identity or proof of ownership. If they balk at your request... then maybe they aren't the owners... Better safe than sorry.

Another way to protect yourself is to go directly to a property management company or a real estate agent in order to rent a property. That way you know they are legit.

Do NOT fill out an application until you have seen the property. DO research the email address that they contact you with on Google. Is the email they contacted you with filled with a sob story and/or grammatical errors? Red flag...

Is there protection for you if you get "taken" by a rental scam?

Yes. First report it at your local law enforcement then report to IC3 and the FTC

Posted in Real Estate News