Interactive Tool Released to Assist Distressed Homeowners

Unemployment, property depreciation and general economic hardship are some of the attributes why RealtyTrac.com is predicting that there will be over 1.2 million homes repossessed by banks in 2011, which would be a 20% increase from repossession rates reported in 2010.

A Freddie Mac report concluded that six out of 10 homeowners who are in preforeclosure are not aware of the types of programs and services available to help them prevent this from taking place.

That is why the Short Sale Association of America released last month their interactive Pre-Nod heat map to assist real estate professionals working with homeowners who are in preforeclosure. The system helps real estate agents identify the exact number of homeowners in their area who are 30, 60, 90 or 120 days late on a mortgage payment.

There is no cost for the homeowner to use the Pre-Nod system as an assistance tool.

“Knowing that most distressed homeowners will not seek assistance on their own, it is our responsibility to reach out and assist homeowners who are in a preforeclosure situation,” said Jonathan Bowman, founder of Short Sale Association of America. “We believe that everyone wins, including taxpayers and banks, each time a homeowner is able to avoid foreclosure. We bring qualified, local real estate professionals together with distressed homeowners and their banks to help ensure that this happens whenever and wherever possible.”

Over seven million U.S. homeowners are currently in default, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Many are reportedly in the final stages of the preforeclosure process and now have limited options to avoid bank repossession.

Based on current credit bureau data provided on the Pre-Nod map, there are over 1.5 million homeowners nationwide whose default status is new enough that it has not yet been labeled as public record. These homeowners are still in the early stages of preforeclosure and, if identified early on in the process, have a much greater chance of avoiding foreclosure and bank repossession.

Ellen Shaikun, a real estate broker at Opia Properties in Louisville, Ky., said the Pre-Nod program helps homeowners who need immediate assistance.

“The housing crisis impacts all of us,” Shaikun said. “Doing it the right way by finding homeowners in the early stages of the pre-foreclosure process is critical. The SSAA’s program is a comprehensive, thoughtful, and purposeful structure to a confusing and negative situation.”