I Got Your SIX Real Estate
The phrase, “I got your SIX” is a military term. It means “I got YOUR BACK”. It is more than obvious why we as a country owe the members of our arm forces special consideration for the sacrifices they and their families make. During a time when the country is experiencing historically high economic difficulties the men and women who serve, they and their families have an additional burden. As a result the government has adopted policies to help offset some of the hardship they may be experiencing.
One such policy is while a member of the arm service is deployed lenders have been required to give special allowances by abstaining from certain legal action one of which is foreclosing on their property. This subject recently became of interest to me after meeting a client who explained that her Community Association moved ahead with a non judicial foreclosure on back owed maintenance and association fees. I wondered how many others may have experienced a similar situation.
Although the information is very difficult to obtain. Records regarding individuals using their VA status to qualify for a loan are not. Even though the eligibility for VA loans include all qualified veterans. The data suggest a disproportionate amount of people serving in the arm forces are being negatively impacted by the housing crisis, (See table above labeled, Type of Loan to Rate of Foreclosure). The table is a random sample of 150 short sales on the Island of Oahu. As of May of 2011 there were approximately 24.6 million US citizens who were veteran of the military. This is less than 10% of the population compared to the 18% affected in the above table.
Another point worth noting TARP, The Trouble Assets Relief Program focused on curtailing the effect bad debts would have on the industry and to a lesser extent protecting consumers from overly aggressive lenders. One indicator of these predatory practices is refinancing. The table labeled Refinance to Rate of Foreclosure suggest that folks in the military where especially targeted.
There is a double whammy coupled with the data on lenders. It is the aggressive Home Owner Associations and what some may say the easy marks military families make for the schemes of predatory lawyers who represent HOAs. The lawyers exasperate the problem with the liberal use of non judicial foreclosures to appropriate the homes from underneath unsuspected service men and woman. This is a notorious practice because auction dates for the sale of homes go on daily without benefit of the home owner having the ability to state their case in court. This is especially unfair if the active member of the service in the family is deployed overseas at the time.
Although the government has taken some precautions to stop lenders from the practice of no judicial foreclosure against members of the military in active combat the practice of lawyers representing HOAs are not being policed. Hawaii is special because it is home to so many members of the active service. Out of the 150 random samples 5 communities made up 60% of data, (See tabled labeled Foreclosure by Neighborhood. It suggests these communities are more likely to be where members of the military buy.