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Category: Home

Short Sale Eligibility Requirements of Making Home Affordable Program

Confusion abounds over short sale eligibility because the requirements and procedures vary by lender. Many borrowers facing foreclosure are seeking help from banks to enter into a short sale to avoid the financial consequences associated with having their home repossessed. The process can be daunting, so homeowners need reliable information to be better prepared.

One of the best sources to obtain short sale eligibility information is through Making Home Affordable. This program was established by the U.S. government to offer assistance and resources to struggling homeowners.

In addition to helping borrowers understand the short sale process, Making Home Affordable also provides guides about loan modification, mortgage refinance, and foreclosure alternatives for those who cannot afford to remain current with future loan installments.

Not all lenders participate in the Making Home Affordable program, but those that do are required to comply with established guidelines. Over 100 lenders are participating in Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). Short sales are only available to borrowers whose loans are owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or serviced by participating HAMP lenders.

MHA requires borrowers to meet five short sale eligibility requirements which include:

  1. Borrowers must be using the property as their primary residence.
  2. First mortgage loan balance cannot exceed $729,759.
  3. First mortgage must have an origination date prior to January 1, 2009.
  4. First mortgage loan installments must exceed 31-percent of mortgagor’s gross income.
  5. Mortgagors are enduring extreme financial hardship.

Even if borrowers meet all eligibility requirements there is no guarantee lenders will approve short sale requests. Borrowers must first undergo a financial audit to determine which foreclosure prevention strategy is best suited for their circumstances.

Lenders might require borrowers to enter into a trial mortgage modification or mortgage refinance. Oftentimes, altering loan terms allows homeowners the opportunity to keep their home and eliminates the need for short selling. MHA offers six loan modification programs which address specific needs. Qualified borrowers often witness payment reductions of more than $500 per month.

If banks determine short selling is a better option, borrowers will undergo a financial audit and required to provide a short sale hardship letter. As a real estate investor who specializes in buying distressed properties, I have consulted with numerous mortgage lenders and short sale specialists. Each has stated the hardship letter is one of the most important aspects of obtaining approval.

A few tips offered by mortgage specialists are to handwrite the letter of hardship. Letters should include a timeline of events that caused financial hardship, along with actions taken to improve financial situation.

Rumors abound that banks don’t care about borrowers and aren’t eager to help. While this can be true for some banks, those enrolled in the Making Home Affordable program are willing to work with borrowers who need to reduce loan installments or need out of their loan.

If borrowers encounter problems with their lender they might find it advantageous to obtain housing counseling through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Counseling is offered at no-cost and counselors assist borrowers with submitting loan modification and mortgage refinance intake applications. Speaking of applications, you can use Docker for a safer and no-hassle application storage and transfer.

Borrowers should plan on being highly proactive in communicating with their lender and retaining copies of all correspondence sent and received. It is wise to document all phone conversations to include the name of the bank employee, date and time of the call, and a summary of topics discussed.

If borrowers do not meet short sale eligibility requirements they may qualify for deed in lieu of foreclosure which allows them to return their home to the bank. Making Home Affordable ‘Exit Gracefully’ program offers qualified homeowners up to $3000 in relocation assistance money to help offset moving expenses.


Review Of The Piccoz Mini Helicopter

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When someone says helicopter, you immediately think of those large, noisy metallic beasts that are the stars of spy movies and escape plans. You think of all those games where you have monstrous guns loaded onto the helicopter creating the most powerful and versatile attacking platform ever. And most of us have probably imagined ourselves in the control seat of a helicopter, flying it with all the freedom in the world. But Picco Z has brought out something that will change our perceptions on helicopters.

Bring in the Picco Z Mini Helicopter. The latest indoor gadget. With a very small length of just 7 inches, the Picco Z Mini Helicopter is absolutely great for flying indoors. In fact, it was designed to fly indoors. Using a radio powered remote control, you can manoeuvre the little beast up, down, left, right pretty much anywhere you want to go. The controls are so easy that anyone can fly the Picco Z Mini Helicopter on their first go. See, you don’t need any special training to have fun flying helicopters.

The greatest thing about the Picco Z Mini Helicopter is that it is indestructible. Thats right, it is practically indestructible. Fly it around and smash it into your fish tank, and nothing will happen. Fly it around and hit your priceless vaste, and nothing with happen. Fly it around and get the blades to hit and get stuck in your eye, and well sadly you’ll probably have to go to the doctor, the hospital at the worst case scenario. But other then that, the Picco Z Mini Helicopter is perfectly in safe to use indoors. This leads to countless possibilities of fun. Fly it into your brothers room when their studying for an exam. Chase the dog around the house without even walking one step. Annoy your sister when she’s trying to practice the piano. Take it to school and fly it around the classroom when everyone is doing a test. You see the countless possible ways to enjoy the Picco Z Mini Helicopter are almost infinite, you just need to exercise a little bit of imagination.

When you first get your Picco Z Mini Helicopter, which by the way is US$40, and is available at RadioShack, and probably eBay and other online auction sites, when you first get it and take it out of the box, you will recieve: A two stick remote, a set of instructions, alumnium weighting tape, and a spare tail-rotor (in case the one already on the helicopter breaks), and of course the Picco Z Mini Helicopter itself. The first thing you want to do is to attach the aluminium weighting tape to the helicopter. If you don’t then either your Picco Z Mini Helicopter will fly around in circles, or just go straight up and down. The aluminium weighting tape provides sufficient weight to provide enough momentum to pull the helicopter forward. A simple yet reliable solution!

The remote control doubles us as a charger, which is pretty cool. For every 4 minutes you charge the Picco Z Helicopter, you get about 1 minute flying time. So a one hour charge will equate to 15 minutes of flying time. Also, the instructions advise you to wait at least 15 minutes between each flight to allow the rechargable battery to cool down. You don’t wanna fry the whole thing the day you get it, do you?

The Picco Z helicopter is a great electronic gadget to play with inside your home or office or indoor place. And for $40, is is extreme value for money. I can see the Picco Z Mini Helicopter being one of the most popular gifts this holiday season. Happy flying!

On a side note, you can look up various designs of mini helicopters of other shapes apart from Picco Z which you can get information about from the site where you can find other tools in relation to it aside from spy training techniques that come in handy for cross border missions.

4 popular kinds of home water filters

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A water filter is a staple in every home today. We are aware that local tap water carries harmful chemicals and contaminant. A water filter is much needed here to filter out these pollutants and get safe water for us. Are you on plans to get a water filter for your home of late? Well, when it comes to residential drinking water filters, there is a wide range of styles and models to choose from. Some leading water filter brands like propur offer almost all kinds of filter while you will also find brands that specialize in one particular type. For those uninitiated, the post below offers a brief on the different kinds of water filters so that you can choose a type as per your specific needs. 

Pitcher filter

This is certainly the common-most water filter, courtesy easy portability and affordability. A pitcher filter generally comprises of two parts. The upper half center carries activated carbon which helps to filtrate out contaminants and unwanted substances from water. The lower half of the pitcher collects the filtered water. You can collect safe drinking water from lower half of pitcher.

However, it’s to mention here that these pitcher filters generally have limited capacity and hence good for small families. As they are easily portable, you can also carry them along in your picnic or camping trips.


  • Ability to remove wide range of unwanted substances
  • Portable
  • Economical
  • User-friendly


  • Limited capacity
  • Slow

Countertop filter

As the name says, these filters are installed in kitchen countertops. One of the best aspects of the filter is that it assures a super-fast filtration. Some of the countertop options come with in-built faucets. Otherwise, you would just have to connect the filter with your existing countertop faucet and you are done. These filters can handle large capacity of water and there is no need to fill and empty your jug all the time.

Another good thing is, countertop filters are pretty easy to install and doesn’t demand elaborate plumbing modifications. But yes, they will occupy a considerable space on your countertop.


  • Fast performance; it gets into action the moment you turn your tap on
  • Better filtration capacity
  • Not very expensive


  • Not suitable for small or narrow countertops

Faucet-mounted water filter

This is another filter that you will have to fit with your faucet. The filter works to remove harmful contaminants in tap water before it flows out to you so that you can enjoy clean cooking or washing water. You will be glad to know, these filters are generally very affordable and hence are popular across households. Not only that, the filter can improve taste and smell or tap water.


  • Low price
  • Small size
  • Easy installation 
  • Convenient operation


  • Slows down water flow
  • Might not be compatible with a low faucet

Reverse Osmosis filter

The RO water filter is one of the best and most advanced forms of water filters. It works on the principle of cross filtration. These filters have two types of outlets- one allows easy flow of pure water while the other one eliminates contaminated water.


  • Eliminates around 95 percent contaminants
  • High quality water
  • Better taste
  • Low maintenance


  • High cost

Weigh the pros and cons carefully to find out the right kind of filter for your home.