Please if you need help....visit the web site at http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/ or give Kathie a call at 757.713.2400 for help today, you have options.
Home Affordable Refinancing Many homeowners pay their mortgages on time but are not able to refinance to take advantage of today’s lower mortgage rates perhaps due to a decrease in the value of their home. A Home Affordable Refinance will help borrowers whose loans are held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac refinance into a more affordable mortgage. Home Affordable Modification Many homeowners are struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments perhaps because their interest rate has increased or they have less income. A Home Affordable Modification will provide them with mortgage payments they can afford. Look Up Your Loan If your mortgage loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you may be eligible for a Home Affordable Refinance to take advantage of lower interest rates. Only loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are eligible. Your mortgage company can tell you who owns your loan, or you can contact Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac directly by clicking on the links below and completing the forms for each company.
Fannie Mae •1-800-7FANNIE (8am to 8pm EST) •www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup
Freddie Mac •1-800-FREDDIE (8am to 8pm EST) •www.freddiemac.com/mymortgage
Find a Counselor Why work with a counselor? A HUD-approved housing counselor will talk to you about your situation and help you decide what mortgage options are best for you. A counselor will explain what documents you will need to provide to your mortgage company and may be able to contact the mortgage company on your behalf. A housing counselor can also help you make a budget so that you can meet your monthly mortgage payment and other expenses. The counselor will have information about local resources that may be helpful to you. There is no charge to work with a HUD-approved counseling agency. Free counseling help HUD sponsors housing counseling agencies throughout the country that can provide advice on buying a home, renting, defaults, foreclosures, credit issues, and reverse mortgages. Find a HUD-approved housing counselor If you are delinquent on your loan payments and need immediate assistance call 1-888-995-HOPE (4673) Before you call Use this checklist to ensure you have all the information you will need when you speak to the servicer of your mortgage. CHECKLIST
•Information about your first mortgage, such as your monthly mortgage statement.
•Information about any second mortgage or home equity line of credit on the house. •Account balances and minimum monthly payments due on all of your credit cards.
•Account balances and monthly payments on all your other debts such as student loans and car loans. •Your most recent income tax return.
•Information about your savings and other assets
•Information about the monthly gross (before tax) income of your household, including recent pay stubs if you receive them or documentation of income you receive from other sources.
•It may also be helpful to have: A letter describing any circumstances that caused your income to be reduced or expenses to be increased (job loss, divorce, illness, etc.) if applicable. Beware of Foreclosure Rescue Scams - Help Is Free!
•Beware of anyone who asks you to pay a fee in exchange for a counseling service or modification of a delinquent loan.
•Scam artists often target homeowners who are struggling to meet their mortgage commitment or anxious to sell their homes. Recognize and avoid common scams.
•Assistance from a HUD-approved housing counselor is FREE.
•Beware of people who pressure you to sign papers immediately, or who try to convince you that they can “save” your home if you sign or transfer over the deed to your house.
•Do not sign over the deed to your property to any organization or individual unless you are working directly with your mortgage company to forgive your debt.
•Never make a mortgage payment to anyone other than your mortgage company without their approval.
The Obama Administration has launched a coordinated effort across federal and state government and the private sector to target mortgage loan modification fraud and foreclosure rescue scams that threaten to hurt American homeowners and prevent them from getting the help they need during these challenging times Request a Home Affordable Modification To request a modification fill out these two forms:
•Request Form (Request for Modification and Affidavit)
•Tax Form (Form 4506T-EZ) Determine if you are eligible for a Home Affordable Modification by using the simple tool on this website. If you are eligible, you can request a Home Affordable Modification by completing the easy steps below. If you need assistance completing the forms or have questions about the process, free help is available by calling the Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline at 1-888-995-HOPE (4673) and asking for MHA HELP. Step 1 – Complete the Request Form (Request for Modification and Affidavit) The Request Form provides information to your mortgage servicer about your home and financial situation. You can download an instruction guide for completing the Request Form here. After you have completed the form, print two copies—one for your records and one to send to your mortgage servicer. All of the borrowers on the mortgage must sign the Request Form. Step 2 - Complete the Tax Authorization (IRS 4506T-EZ Form) The Tax Form gives permission to your mortgage servicer to request a copy of the most recent tax return you have filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Click here for instructions on completing the form. After you have completed the form, print two copies—one for your records and one to send to your mortgage servicer. Only one taxpayer is required to sign the Tax Form. Step 3 – Gather Proof of Income Your mortgage servicer is required to verify your income to ensure that the modified mortgage payments will be affordable for you. The type of documentation you need to provide depends on the source of your income. The simple Proof of Income Checklist will tell you what documents you need to collect if you are a wage earner, self-employed, or receive retirement income. Be sure to make copies of your income documentation and keep the originals for your records. Step 4 – Send the Documents to Your Mortgage Servicer After you complete, print, and sign the Request Form and Tax Form, send these documents, along with your proof of income, to your mortgage servicer. You will find the correct mailing address and fax number at Contact Your Mortgage Servicer.
Please if you need help....visit the web site at http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/ or give Kathie a call at 757.713.2400 for help today, you have options.
© Copyright 2008 Brian D. Lytle, Esq. All rights reserved.
Page 1 of 6
A Buyer and Agent Primer
Regarding Changes to Boilerplate Title & Deed Clauses
Contracts used by Realtor® associations on the Virginia
peninsula (and the entire state, I think) provide several important
clauses relating to the quality of title a seller is obligated to deliver
to the buyer, and the type of deed (warranty really) by which the
seller will transfer and guarantee title to a buyer.
As a result of the economic climate more and more sellers
are institutional sellers. More often than not these institutional
sellers want to limit their liability because they only owned the
property for a short period and acquired it under adverse or
unusual circumstances. This primer is intended to answer the FAQ’s I get as a result.
As you read through the FAQ questions and answers, or seek to determine the
answer to your particular question, please bear in mind two factors: first, you should only
accept a deviation from the standard and customary contract title language and deed
warranty when you have an institutional seller (and really want the house despite the risk)
– there is simply no reason why you should accept these changes with a different category
of seller; and, second, a primer is no substitute for a face to face meeting with me or any
lawyer so this is to be considered a guide, not legal advice applicable to any given situation
and set of facts.
FAQ Contents (click on the question)
•What does “marketable title” mean?
•What does the VAR contract language “render the title unmarketable” mean?
•What does the language insurable title mean?
•What does the REIN contract language “marketable and insurable title” mean?
•Is it okay if the seller’s addendum removes or changes the marketable title
•Is it okay if the seller’s addendum removes or changes the insurable title
language?Is it okay if the seller’s addendum removes the marketable title language and
replaces it with insurable title language?
•What does the word “warranty” mean when it is used to describe a deed?
•What is a general warranty deed?
•What is a special warranty deed?
•How does a special warranty deed differ from a general warranty deed?
warranty deed?Is it okay if the seller’s addendum changes the contract from general to special
•What is a quitclaim deed (note, it is not “quickclaim”)?
© Copyright 2008 Brian D. Lytle, Esq. All rights reserved.Page 2 of 6
•How does a quitclaim deed differ from special and general warranty deeds?
quitclaim deed?Is it okay if the seller’s addendum changes the contract from general warranty to
•What is owner’s title insurance?
•If I get owner’s title insurance am I protected?
•Doesn’t the lender’s title insurance policy protect me?
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
What does “marketable title” mean?I’m so confused, what do I do?
Title simply means ownership. While the Virginia Supreme court’s definition is actually
more complex, it has said in part that “marketable title” is one
and prudent person, acting upon business principles and with full knowledge of the
facts and their legal significance, would be willing to accept, with the assurance that he, in
turn, could sell or mortgage the property at its fair value.
and there are no problems that would affect your ability to re‐sell it.which a reasonably wellinformedIn layman’s terms, it is good title,
What does the VAR contract language “render the title unmarketable” mean?
I’m not sure why VAR couldn’t have taken the normal approach and just said “marketable
title” like the rest of the world but I suppose the phrases are functionally equivalent in
context (technically the VAR contract carves out possible exceptions and problems, like
easements, and says they are okay as long as they do not render title unmarketable).
What does the languageinsurable title mean?
however, that title insurance companies might insure against defects that would render
title unmarketable. An old, unreleased, deed of trust is one example (not a good one
perhaps because they will rarely insure over unreleased deeds of trust, but you get the
point ‐‐ and for enough money they will insure anything I suppose). This is complicated
because a title policy can contain exceptions, which raises the question whether it is
“nsurable”if a policy is issued but contains exceptions that are unmarketable in nature., insurable title is title that a title insurance company will insure. Note,
What does the REIN contract language “marketable and insurable title” mean?
Ah, the best of both worlds: add the answers above and you get this one. Kudos to REIN.
Is it okay if the seller’s addendum removes or changes themarketable title language?
© Copyright 2008 Brian D. Lytle, Esq. All rights reserved.Page 3 of 6
Honestly no. If this is changed in the contract the buyer is obligated to buy even if title is
bad. If the seller just flat out refuses to bend on this deal point, and the buyer just has to
have the property, then you have three choices: (a) take significant risk, (b) do a title search
and get a title insurance binder (a binder is a written promise to insure) before the contract
is ratified (or during a contractual due diligence period) – but problems could still come up
between the search and then closing and so that should be covered as well, (c) try and
counter with a counter/addendum expressly providing that if title is not “clear, marketable
and insurable then either Buyer or Seller has a right to cancel the contract.” With this
language the seller is not at risk of being in breach should there be a problem but the buyer
is also protected. Honestly, if a seller won’t accept that you just need to walk away.
Is it okay if the seller’s addendum removes or changes theinsurable title language?
All marketable title should be insurable (however, not all insurable title is marketable).
Note, however, that both the REIN and VAR contracts have exceptions for easements, etc.
and so title could be contractually marketable, but not insurable because a title company
might not insure where such contractually excluded matters like certain restrictive
covenants, easements, etc. are present. If financing is a contingency the buyer might have
an out if a lender’s title insurance policy cannot be issued. To answer the question then: I
seriously question why a seller needs to remove language at least promising “insurable
title” – think about the significance of that. A middle ground is a counter/addendum
expressly providing that if title is not “clear, marketable and insurable then either Buyer or
Seller has a right to cancel the contract.” With this language the seller is not at risk of being
in breach should there be a problem but the buyer is also protected.
Is it okay if the seller’s addendum removes the
replaces it withmarketable title language andinsurable title language?
Not quite a mortal wound since insurable title offers some protection for a buyer. But as
noted above they are not the same. I would try the counter and options described in the
FAQ regarding removing it entirely.
What does the word “warranty” mean when it is used to describe a deed?
Same definition we give to it when we use in the context of other warranties, e.g. a car
warranty. It is a promise, a guarantee.
What is a general warranty deed?
A general warranty deed seller warrants (promises or guarantees) that he holds clear title
to the property and has a right to sell it. This warranty covers all problems created back in
the chain of title (as opposed to the special warranty’s promise only that the immediate
seller has not created a title problem). So, if a title problem arises the buyer would have
the right, even years later, to sue the seller for breach of warranty, and in some
© Copyright 2008 Brian D. Lytle, Esq. All rights reserved.Page 4 of 6
circumstances force the seller to cooperate in getting the problem fixed. Note that deed
title warranties do not cover condition of the property.
What is a special warranty deed?
A special warranty deed seller warrants (promises or guarantees) only that he has not
created a title problem (as opposed to the general warranty’s promise that no one has).
Obviously then general warranty is better than special warranty. One can later convey by
general warranty even though title was taken with special warranty (or even with no
warranty, see quitclaim deed below). So, if a title problem later arises the buyer would
have the right, even years later, to sue the seller for breach of warranty
created the problem
and the contract should so reflect (and the VAR contract, unlike the REIN contract, has
language to that effect). Note that deed title warranties do not cover condition of the
property.but only if the seller. Fiduciaries (e.g. trustees) should always convey by special warranty
How does a special warranty deed differ from a general warranty deed?
Whereas a general warranty seller’s guarantee covers all problems created back in the
chain of title, a special warranty seller only promises only he has not created a title
Is it okay if the seller’s addendum changes the contract from general to special
I would prefer, as should you, that it be conveyed by general warranty, but yes I think that
is an acceptable risk. General warranty is better of course as noted above, but if the buyer
purchases an enhanced owners title insurance policy then the buyer should be okay.
Remember the deed warranty gives you a right to sue for breach of that warranty, but since
a lawsuit isn’t always the best remedy around (turnip sellers, sellers cannot be found, etc.)
having a financially sound title insurance company to pay or defend a claim (or fix the
problem) is a pretty good remedy.
What is a quitclaim deed (note, it is not “quickclaim”)?
A quitclaim deed is one where the seller makes no promise or warranty whatsoever as to
title. In effect, the seller says that he isn’t promising whatsoever that he has any interest in
the property but that if he does own an interest you have it.
How does a quitclaim deed differ from special and general warranty deeds?
In the nature of the warranty or guarantee as to title – whereas special and general
warranty deeds have a title guarantee the quitclaim deed has none whatsoever. Think of
© Copyright 2008 Brian D. Lytle, Esq. All rights reserved.Page 5 of 6
the three of them as general warranty deed, special warranty deed, and no warranty deed
Is it okay if the seller’s addendum changes the contract from general warranty to
Not really (and definitely not if the seller is also making changes to the quality of title at
closing language unless the buyer personally meets with a lawyer and understands what
she is doing). But like the answer to the special warranty change question if the buyer
purchases an enhanced owners title insurance policy then the buyer should be okay. I just
would really go on high alert, and so should any buyer, when there is a seller who wants to
convey by quitclaim deed.
What is owner’s title insurance?
Title insurance is insurance, just like any other insurance, except that here it insures
against defects in ownership. A policy of title insurance is like a pre‐paid legal agreement:
the title insurer will provide legal defense against challenges to the buyer’ insured title
(dependent, of course, upon the type of policy coverage) and will reimburse the buyer
financially for losses due to covered defects in the buyer’ ownership rights
policy insures buyers that the title to the real estate is free from all defects, liens and
encumbrances except those that are listed as exceptions in the policy or are excluded from
the policy’s coverage. It also covers losses and damages suffered if the title is
unmarketable. The policy also provides coverage for loss if there is no right of access to the
land. These are the basic coverages and an enhanced residential owner's policy can be
purchased that cover additional items of loss.. An owner's
If I get owner’s title insurance am I protected?
About as protected as you can possibly get, particularly with an enhanced title insurance
policy. I highly recommend it. If you ever have a loan officer or lender tell you that an
owner’s policy is not needed (so you can save some money) you ought to ask them why
then they require you to pay for a (lender’s) policy to protect them. If you ever have a real
estate agent tell you an owner’s policy is not needed you ought to get that in writing so you
can later sue them (does not need to be in writing, it’s just that the evidence of the bad
advice is better).
Doesn’t the lender’s title insurance policy protect me?
No. It is called a lender’s policy because the lender is the insured, not the buyer, which
means the buyer has no rights whatsoever under that policy. Many people think that if a
lender’s policy pays the note will be paid and so the loss will not be that great and so they
are somewhat protected. This is misguided and wrong for several reasons. First, an owner
is not compensated for the equity in the property. Second, even if the lender’s policy “pays
© Copyright 2008 Brian D. Lytle, Esq. All rights reserved.Page 6 of 6
off” what in effect happens is that the title insurance company will buy the note from the
lender. So even then the buyer is not helped because the title insurance company steps
into the shoes of the lender – who has an unpaid note from the buyer – and they can insist a
buyer pay regardless whether the collateral for the loan has been lost or not. Besides, a
lender’s policy only insures the deed of trust securing the note, not the fee simple title a
buyer would be concerned about, and so there are many different coverage provisions.
I’m so confused, what do I do?
Call me at 757.595.5655 or email me at
provide with an FAQB ‐‐ Frequently Asked Question Bill (:firstname.lastname@example.org where I may or may not
The above is a short/sample list of the requirements you may need for your mortgage company. Please go to the website http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/to be directed to YOUR mortgage company’s sight for a complete list. If you need TAX OR LEGAL information PLEASE CONTACT YOUR ATTORNEY OR TAX CONSULTANTS.