by Matt Padilla, Register Reporter and Blogger
I quizzed Lee about the mortgage market, his business, and his prediction for a housing rebound. I have a feeling this interview will appeal more to housing bears than bulls.
Q. Foreclosures in Orange County have broken all the records set in the housing slump of the early 1990s. When is this bloodbath going to end?
A. I’m projecting that the market will start stabilizing in four to five years from now – 2012-2013. That’s not to say home prices will be back to their peak, which could take up to eight years. I base this opinion on proprietary information Foreclosure Trackers has at its disposal. Banks turn to Foreclosure Trackers as the first line of defense because we are defaulted mortgage experts and buyers. Banks send their portfolios to us for evaluation every week before anyone else in the nation. Our company is on the “inside track” with the banks and often times receives information first before the “outside” track – such as the government, title companies, investment firms, lawyers, real estate firms, and even competitor foreclosure sites.
Q. With so many foreclosures, how is an investor supposed to make money buying a property in some stage of foreclosure? As the housing bears like to say, isn’t buying a foreclosure now akin to catching a falling knife?
A. Precisely. There are really five main strategies for investing in foreclosures. But four of the five rely on equity, which doesn’t really exist in today’s market. An equity purchase, foreclosure auction, short sale or REO purchase can all be profitable, wise investment strategies – just not in today’s market. There is only one strategy that makes sense in this market and that’s defaulted and performing mortgage (notes) investing.
At Foreclosure Trackers free seminars, we teach investors how to “buy the loan, not the home” and “work out, not kick out” strategies for defaulted mortgages and note investing. As I said, there’s no equity in properties today. By buying the loan at a substantial discount, we create equity and we are able to turn a profit on the property while helping Americans to save their homes.
This is an example of how it works: a bank may hold a note for a defaulted 1st mortgage in the amount of $800,000. The Broker Price Opinion may state the value of the property is $600,000. This property is over-encumbered or upside down. Foreclosure Trackers buys the note for $325,000. We then deploy our “work out, not kick out” strategy of working with the homeowner and reduce the principal balance to $480,000. The homeowner gets a principal reduction of $320,000, and is able to handle their mortgage payments going forward.
We’re doing our best to get the word out so the movement will start to make a real difference, both to those looking to earn great profits and those who want to help save America one home at a time.