Thursday, May 29, 2008

Short Sales

This offers useful tips on short sales:

Dear Homeowner,

For each short sale, there will be required paperwork that must be obtained from the Seller. We need to obtain this information as soon as possible. This will make your transaction run a lot smoother. See below the list of required short sale documents:

o Listing Agreement with price included and comps to justify listing
o Purchase Offer/Contract
o Buyers Pre-Qualification Letter
o Authorization to release information ~ This document gives
permission to the agent to speak on the sellers behalf and to obtain
o Financial form ~ List of itemized assets and liabilities.
o Two year’s most recent tax returns.
o Two months most recent paycheck stubs.
o Two months most recent bank statements.
o Hardship Letter explaining why the borrower fell behind/ can not
afford to sell/ which documents may be missing from the package
o Completed Hud1 or Seller’s Net Sheet ~ (Utilize your favorite title
company o provide preliminary propertyspecific information for full
payoff transactions at the time of listing the property.) If it is a short
sale then use approximate figures gathered from the Borrower.

Once you have received an offer on the property, the Loan Servicer may order a formal appraisal report. Try and be patient. There is no definite time frame involved in the short sale acceptance process. Sometimes, weeks or months are required to complete the short sale process. Mortgage loans are sold in bulk portfolios to investors on Wall Street therefore it is the investor that is the ultimate decision maker. I recommend for you to contact a tax professional with regard to the possibility of adverse tax implications that might be associated with a short sale. It takes resourceful, committed and caring Realtors to succeed at successful short sale negotiations. It can be a long drawn out process and your patience is appreciated.

Directory of Local Lenders for Mitigation

Sandy Allen has shared some useful numbers for homeowners seeking to discuss mortage terms or mitigate losses with their mortgage lenders:

Washington Mutual – Loss Mitigation
Phone: 800-496-9633
Phone: 904-281-3900 Collections Department
Phone: 866-356-5789 Foreclosures Departments
Fax: 818-775-2010

Chase – Loss Mitigation
Phone: 510-652-0401

National City Mortgage – Loss Mitigation
Phone: 937-910-3563

Bank of New York – Loss Mitigation
Phone: 212-495-1784
Fax: 212-415-2035

Home Side – Loss Mitigation
Phone: 904-281-3900

Wells Fargo – Loss Mitigation
Phone: 888-231-0757
Loss Mitigation: 877-216-8448
Borrower Assistance: 800-551-9808
Homeowners in Foreclosure: 800-868-0043 or

Whitney National Bank – Loss Mitigation
Phone: 800-347-7272

American General – Loss Mitigation
Phone: 770-614-6005

Citi Mortgage – Loss Mitigation
Loss Mitigation: 800-682-2286
Foreclosure: 877-202-3846
Loss Mitigation: 866-357-6015
Loss Mitigation Fax: 248-488-7727
Workout Fax: 248-488-8357
Loss Mitigation: 866-357-0614

First American: 800-511-1278
Workout Fax: 636-256-2884

Chase Manhattan Mortgage – Loss Mitigation
Homeowners Assistance Department (foreclosure)
Phone: 800-446-8939
Fax: 614-422-7259
Additional Numbers:
Fax: 858-605-3006
Citi Financial – Loss Mitigation
Foreclosure: 800-424-3562 or
800-423-8158 or
Dial by Extension: 800-888-6001

Saxson – Loss Mitigation
Phone1: 262-502-6724
Phone2: 817-665-6537
Phone3: 414-278-8068

Cendent – Loss Mitigation
Phone: 800-750-2518
Fax: 856-917-8334

Fairbanks – Loss Mitigation
Phone: 801-270-7713 or 888-818-6032
Customer Service Fax: 904 232-4607

Homecomings – Loss Mitigation
Phone1: 800-206-2901
Phone2: 858-874-7417

First Horizon Home Loans – Loss Mitigation
Phone: 800-707-0139
Ext. 17305

Litton – Loss Mitigation
Phone: 713-966-8803

Countywide – Loss Mitigation
Phone: 800-669-6607
Fax: 800-658-0395

Wachovia Mortgage – Loss Mitigation
Phone: 866-642-8608

Bank of America – Loss Mitigation
Phone: 800-846-2222 or 716-635-2000
Authorization Fax: 716-635-7265
Short Sale Package Fax: 716-635-7255
Short Sale – Loss Mitigation Help

County Seeks Citizen Input on Services

Hello Citizens of Sarasota County,

As you know the Board of County Commissioners are faced with making some very difficult budget decisions in the upcoming months. A survey has been comprised covering several areas of service that are currently provided to the residents of Sarasota County. Your input is being gathered to give a better idea of the community's priorities for various services:

If you would be so kind as to take 3-5 minutes and take a survey here.

( )

We would be very interested to know what your thoughts are. Your name and address are optional but your zip code is required in order to complete the survey. Thank you in advance for taking time out of your busy day to complete the survey.

Advice from a Mortgage Planner

The following letter was sent to the LSCG solely to offer guidance to homeowners who might be anticipating housing-related difficulties. It is not an advertisement or commercial message:

SunCoast Mortgage Partners
2477 Stickney Point Rd., #221-B
Sarasota, FL 34231

Office: (941) 924-0044
Fax: (941) 924-0033

In today’s turbulent times many homeowner’s are facing situations never before thought possible. Where is one to turn for solid, reliable information? Here are some basic things homeowner’s should know when dealing with the possibility of losing their home:

  • Don’t ignore letters from your current lender. If possible, contact your lender before you begin to fall behind on any payments. When you call – ask to speak with someone in the Loss Mitigation Department. Be willing and prepared to provide them the information they need to determine a solution (i.e. current financial income, such as monthly income and expenses).
  • Stay in your home for now. You may not qualify for assistance if you abandon your property.
  • There are alternatives to foreclosure that your lender may consider.
    • Special Forbearance – a repayment plan based on your current financial situation or a temporary reduction/suspension of your payments.
    • Mortgage Modification – a refinance of your current loan into a fixed or lower rate of interest or an extension of the term of your loan.
    • Partial Claim – a one-time payment from the FHA-Insured fund to bring your mortgage current for which you must execute a Promissory Note, and a Lien will be placed on your property until the interest-free Promissory Note is paid in full.
    • Pre-foreclosure Sale or Short Sale – Allows you to avoid foreclosure by selling your property for an amount less than the amount necessary to pay off your mortgage loan.
    • Deed-in-lieu of foreclosure – You may be able to voluntarily “give back” your property to the lender.

For most of these options additional qualifications must be met. And, ultimately, it up to your lender to determine which option, if any, will be acceptable.

Any of the above options may damage your credit profile. Should you find yourself in any of the above referenced situations, if you can continue to pay your other creditors in a timely manner your credit profile may stand a better chance of recovering sooner than if you pay multiple creditors late. Late payments are typically not reported to the credit bureaus until they are 30 days late.

Remember, one person’s loss is another person’s gain and in these times, much like any other there are opportunists searching to take advantage of an unsuspecting people. Most of the information provided here is from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. To learn more visit or you may contact me at my office at 941-924-0044.

Amy L. Samsal

Licensed Mortgage Broker

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sarasota County Sheriff candidates debate at June 9 CONA meeting

Incumbent Sheriff Bill Balkwill is not running again, but there is no shortage of folks seeking his job. The four announced candidates for Sarasota County Sheriff will debate who will make the best sheriff at CONA's Monday, June 9, 7:00 PM meeting.

The meeting will be at The Sarasota Garden Club, 1131 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota (Corner of US 41 and Blvd of the Arts) at 7 PM on May 12. Please visit CONA's web site for detailed directions. Candidates Dave Gustafson, Tom Knight, and Curt Lavelle have so far accepted invitations to participate.

The format at CONA candidates' nights is that each candidate has two minutes to introduce themselves and their views, followed by the panel answering questions from the audience and concluding with a one-minute summary by each candidate. CONA, the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations, is a county-wide coalition of sixty-one neighborhood and condominium associations and individuals organized around making Sarasota County more neighborhood friendly. Members of the public and the media, as well as CONA members are invited to attend and ask questions.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sarasota Workshops on Public Policy

Due to a glitch, this was not posted in time for the first workshop, but two more workshops are coming:

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Citizens Patrol Training Session: July 8th

Citizen's Patrol training on July 8th @ 6:30 (right before general meeting).

Only a half hour and required before you can 'patrol'. One of two people in vehicle must be trained.

County Utility ready to hook up

Those homes on Jarvis and Lago that were in the new water line plan can call the county for paperwork. The paperwork is the application for service at the home in question. When you call, the initial financing options (20 years fixed at 3% or lump sum) will be explained. You'll then need a plumber to do the connection. A permit will have to be pulled.

Start the ball rolling by calling Sarasota County Utilities at 861-0629 or 861-0623.

County considering additional sidewalk

The county is reportedly considering a petition from Lake Sarasota residents to install a sidewalk along the north side of Lago Way/Lago Road.

This segment formed part of the original sidewalk project that accompanied the waterlines along Jarvis and Lago, but was taken out when a few homeowners objected to having the sidewalk on the North Lago side of the road, according to Pinky Pakalapati, the county's sidewalk manager for the project. The county looked at putting a sidewalk in along the south side of Lago, but it was decided that this would require a potentially dangerous crosswalk for children having to cross Lago before or after school, when the road is heavily trafficked.

The reasons for the homeowners' objection to the northside sidewalk were never openly stated, and the discussion as to the merits of the issue never came up in an open meeting of the Lake Sarasota Community Group.

Now a new petition calls for the county to install a sidewalk as originally planned that would connect Mauna Loa to Hand Rd. via a continuous sidewalk along the north side of Lago. Because it's on the north side, no dangerous crosswalk would be necessary.

Pakalapati has received the new petition signed by several residents and, according to one of the signers, he has indicated he will move to hold a meeting with the community. If there are no supervening obstacles, and budget and all else permitting, the project could move forward in the relatively near future.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Foreclosures, Short Sales: Want to Know More?

Home mortgage stress? In the next LSCG newsletter, look for information about foreclosures and short sales work, and consider whether it might be worthwhile to discuss the problems facing many Florida residents and look for solutions. It's possible help might be able to be found within your own neighborhood.

What do you think? Would you like to hear a presentation on the best way to address the mortgage crisis at a future meeting? Let us know!

Beach Parking Fees Coming

Beach parking fees may be coming

County officials to solicit bids for program

By Zac Anderson
Published Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 4:30 a.m.

SARASOTA COUNTY — A plan to charge people up to $2 an hour to park at all of Sarasota County's beaches moved ahead Wednesday, with a final County Commission decision expected later this year.

Contact your County Commissioners and weigh in.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Meeting Summary

Highlights of tonight's general meeting of the Lake Sarasota Community Group (LSCG):

1. The treasury currently has $689.69. The group voted unanimously to thank all those who have contributed to the LSCG, including recent donors Linda B., Dennis W., Barbara P. and Rose D. To these and all who have sent checks to our mailing address, our sincere thanks. Additional moneys were raised through sale of LSCG T-shirts. The mailing address is:

Lake Sarasota Community Group
PO Box 21983
Sarasota, FL 34276

2. A resident asked about the current sidewalk project. He says he remembers original plans called for a sidewalk to run along Lago, connecting Mauna Loa with the sidewalk crossing at Hand Road. He asked why that plan was changed. If anyone has any information, please let us know - or leave a comment below.

3. If anyone knows of a home in foreclosure that is not being properly maintained, please let us know. Renee is keeping track of these and forwarding unresolved cases to Code Enforcement. There is no reason a bank should not be keeping its properties in good condition. According to Sandy, there are currently 38 homes in foreclosure in the subdivision.

4. The county forestry folks have trees for Mauna Loa's medians, but planting awaits final signatures on some legal documents addressing liability and maintenance issues, Laura said. These are hoped to be concluded soon, she added.

5. A new letter about neighborhood traffic calming has gone to the Traffic Advisory Council. It's posted here.

Sidewalk update

The sidewalk part of the Lake Sarasota project is 75-80% done, according to Pinky Pakalapati in Public Works. The sidewalk construction has been completed on many streets, including Friendship, Brentford, Middlesex, Wake and others, he said, adding that progress was "a little bit ahead of plans." Along with the sidewalks, the stormwater work is mostly done.

A few sidewalks remain to be completed: Jarvis and Berkshire are almost done, Palau, part of Jarvis and Hina remain to be done.

For information on the water connections, call Sarasota County Utilities at 861-0629 or 861-0623.

Monday, May 12, 2008

More about the May 14th meeting

Dear Neighbors,

We hope to see you and get your input tomorrow night.
Will be doing another newsletter soon and need your ideas.

Besides our usual updates and Yard of the Month winners, we'll have a brainstorming session: What else can we be doing to make Lake Sarasota a better place to live?

Would you like to make phone calls for Citizen's Patrol scheduling?
Would you like to take some water to our thirsty plants at entrances?

The latest letter sent by our Traffic/Safety Committee to the Traffic Advisory Council is here.

How to get to our meeting:

Sarasota Baptist Church is across the street from Lakeview Elementary (Hand Rd from Lago)
Go to the end across from the Worship Center and enter via the Admin Offices entrance.
(You'll see the names on the buildings once you're on that end in the parking lot.)
It's in Room #100, which is straight ahead down the hallway when you enter. Real easy to find.

Thank You :)
Laura Mathis

Letter to County regarding Need for Stop Signs

May 5, 2008

D.J. Galloway and Traffic Advisory Council Members

Manager Traffic Operations

1001 Sarasota Center Blvd.

Sarasota, Fla. 34240

To All:

As residents of Lake Sarasota neighborhood, located on Bee Ridge Road east of I-75, we would once again like to request some stop signs to be placed at the following intersections in our community. We were granted one sign by the Traffic Advisory Council in November that was placed at the intersection of Mauna Loa and Friendship Drive. The people residing in that area feel that the sign has indeed helped to slow speeding cars. But there is seven tenths of a mile between that sign and the next one, on Mauna Loa and Luawana. Speeding is still a problem for the residents living on the section of Mauna Loa between these two stop signs.

The cross streets located between these two signs are:

  • Mauna Loa and Luzon
  • Mauna Loa and Suva
  • Mauna Loa and Fiji

A stop sign placed on both the north and south side of Mauna Loa at one or more of these cross streets would significantly slow fast moving traffic in both directions.

Please consider this request knowing that the traffic issue in this neighborhood is destined to increase in the coming months. There is considerable construction taking place across from the entrance to our community and there is now a school housed in the church on Hand Ave., not to mention Lakeview Elementary traffic, the public park and the dog park. Many service vehicles and residents of other areas already use Mauna Loa as a cut through to Proctor. Once the construction across Bee Ridge is complete we can expect that type of traffic to increase dramatically.

The traffic issue in this neighborhood is not only a critical safety issue but also a detriment to those looking to purchase property in our neighborhood, thereby affecting everyone’s property values. Please keep this in mind when making your decision.

Our community has worked long and hard to bring about positive changes in Lake Sarasota. The traffic issue is an important issue to the residents here and we will continue in our effort to improve the conditions on Mauna Loa and other streets where speeding is rampant.


Lake Sarasota Community Group

P.O. Box 21983, Sarasota, Fla. 34231

Monthly Meeting Tues. May 13th

The regular monthly meeting of the Community Group takes place at the Sarasota Baptist Church, 7 p.m. Come out, meet your neighbors.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Jarvis Water Line Project Update

The water lines along Jarvis and Lago are all installed, according to Rodney Jones Sarasota County Utilities. The lines were certified last week as "drinkable," he added.

Notices with information about hook-ups should be arriving in residents' mailboxes by the 19th of May, Jone said.

For additional info: 861-0506.

We have a call in to the county sidewalk supervisor and will update when possible.

Click to expand the image for information from the county regarding the various fees, which we received in December.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Update on Tomorrow's Vote

From the County's Website:

Sarasota County seeks to jump start local economy with stimulus program
On Tuesday, May 6, Sarasota County will seek voter approval to issue a series of bonds up to $300 million to help fast track several surtax infrastructure projects approved by voters in November 2007.

Sarasota County residents have already demonstrated their commitment to the penny investment in roads, parks and libraries.

Providing the county with access to this funding now through bonds is an efficient and financially secure way to begin projects earlier than originally scheduled, thereby creating jobs and supporting local industries that are vital to our community. This is not a new tax. These are penny surtax dollars you've already approved. Now we're putting them to work to create local jobs and to jump start our economy.

The Sarasota County economic stimulus would:

  • Create more than 2,000 local jobs and put people to work

  • Use bonds to increase current buying power to construct about $300 million in voter approved projects

  • Save millions of dollars in construction costs.

  • Enhance our business climate

  • Support Sarasota County’s economic and business base

  • Fast track projects like water quality, libraries, beach and park improvements, shoreline preservation and natural areas.

The Sarasota Chamber supports a YES vote on both ballot initiatives:

Sarasota County will hold a special election on May 6, 2008.
Two initiatives are on the ballot.

The Sarasota Chamber supports a vote YES to each of these.

Unanimous board approval to amend comprehensive plan relating to lands outside urban service area boundary.

2. BOND CAP: Bond referendum for the funding of infrastructure projects from infrastructure surtax proceeds. (for voter-approved infrastructure surtax projects only)