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Zillow Study Shows Mortgage Process is a Mystery for Many

The bankruptcy process is about getting debt under control. In many cases, the largest debt on the books is the mortgage. A home is often the most valuable asset that people own, and for some the fight to keep it is the most important goal of bankruptcy. For others, getting rid of the incredible weight of a mortgage is their goal and yet many people don’t realize that getting rid of a mortgage or restructuring it during bankruptcy is also an option.

Lack of the mortgage process is not as uncommon as one might think. In fact, a recent Zillow survey determined that a lot of homeowners aren’t aware of many of their rights or options that relate to the mortgage process. For example, 20 percent of homeowners didn’t know that refinancing was an option even if their home was considered to be underwater — valued lower than they owe on their mortgage.

The director of mortgages at Zillow said that in many instances people place all of their focus on obtaining a lower purchase price for the home but tend to forget about the importance of a mortgage. Many don’t even realize the level of control that they have over the terms of the mortgage — the largest debt in most people’s lives.

For instance, 25 percent of those surveyed thought that if they were pre-approved by one lender, they were stuck with that lender. Another 24 percent thought that if they held a savings or checking account with a lender that they would receive the best loans terms from the same. Even scarier, 34 percent were unaware of the fact that a lender’s fees are not the same for every client and that the law doesn’t require them to be.

Misunderstanding can be an obstacle to successful financial futures. For those with questions about mortgages, debt and bankruptcy, a Florida attorney is a great resource not only for answers but sound advice on the variety of options available to them.

Source: Credit Unions Online, “Home Buyers In the Dark About Mortgage Process,” Gina Ragusa, May 20, 2013

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