Friday, March 21, 2014

How to Buy Foreclosure Property on Maui – Part 3

At a judicial foreclosure auction, you will be required to show the Commissioner at least 10% of your highest bid.  This means that if you intend to bid, you must appear with cash or a cashier’s check.  For example:  if you have calculated that your maximum bid for the property will be $100,000, you must show the Commissioner $10,000 cash or a cashier’s check for the same amount.  Experienced investors will bring several cashier’s checks of different amounts that total 10% of the their highest bid.  This technique ensures that you do not submit more money than necessary to an escrow account. 

If you are the highest bidder for the property, the Commissioner will take 10% of your highest bid, give you a receipt and open an escrow account.  Shortly after the auction, the Commissioner will file a report with the Court detailing the sale of the property and the auction to give the presiding judge enough information to decide whether to confirm the sale. 

A Confirmation Hearing will be scheduled after the auction for the Court to hear any opposition or argument regarding the auction and sale of the property.  It is common practice for the Court to reopen bidding at the Confirmation Hearing.  The Court is not required to reopen bidding so if you are intent on obtaining the property, you should bid at the initial auction. 

If you intend to bid on the property at the Confirmation Hearing and the Court allows additional bidding, you must bid at least 5% higher than the winning bid at the auction.  After the bidding process has concluded, the Court will typically confirm the sale of the property.  The proceeds of the auction will be distributed to the lender of the property who is owed money.  Any remaining funds will be distributed to other lenders with lower priority who have a claim to the property and also the former owner. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Real Estate Short Sales on Maui

A short sale can be attractive for the investor, the lender and the homeowner. Short sales can also be complicated and risky for the ill-advised. 

There are several reasons why a homeowner might consider a short sale.  Typically the owner has encountered financial difficulties and has defaulted on mortgage payments.  An owner may consider a short sale if a buyer is available and if the lender agrees. 

Most mortgages have a due-on-sale clause which allows the lender to "call" the entire amount of the loan due if the owner sells the property.  In a short sale, the lender agrees to let you sell the property to someone else and accept less than the amount of the whole loan. 

Lenders will carefully evaluate if you just want to get out of your loan or if you are truly unable to make your mortgage payments.  To this end, mortgage companies will usually require some evidence of financial hardship before agreeing to a short sale.  If it appears that you are actually going to walk away from your mortgage and give up the house, despite the risks, a lender may agree to accept less than the original amount of the mortgage to recoup at least some of the money it has loaned you.  The foreclosure process can be time consuming and expensive, particularly in Hawaii, and smart lenders will try to avoid foreclosing on a property if possible, even if it means taking a loss on the loan. 

Homeowners should carefully consider the whether a short sale is appropriate.  A short sale will harm your credit rating.  Possibly as much as a foreclosure.  However, a short sale can also allow you to obtain another mortgage sooner than if your house is foreclosed upon.  Seeking legal advice may be wise if you have any questions at all regarding a short sale because unwary homeowners may still be required to pay the remainder of the loan. 

Homeowners also face the challenge of finding a buyer willing to purchase their property.  The short sale buyer is typically an investor who is willing to negotiate with a mortgage company and has the experience and funds necessary to make a complicated real estate transaction occur smoothly and quickly.  Attorneys who are experienced in foreclosures, short sales and other real estate transactions are often in contact with investors who may be willing to purchase a short sale property. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Haleakala National Park's Economic Impact on Maui

The National Park Service has released a report detailing the economic impact Haleakala National Park has on Maui.  Almost 1.1 million people visited Haleakala in 2012 bringing in over 64 million dollars.  Visitors and residents alike know that the Park is an extraordinary place and is one of many natural resources on our island that generate tourism revenue. 

For more information on the National Park's impact on Maui click on these links. 

Maui Now Article on Haleakala's Visitors

National Park Service Information on Visitor Economic Impact