Sunday, January 6, 2008

Racing Foreclosures and Short Sales

I debated with myself about telling you this story, but in the end have decided to do so. It's obviously a Florida short sale story, but not exactly a Short sale in florida story about a happy time in my life; it happened back with Short sale in florida #1 for me. The year was 1985, and so was the Short sale in florida.

You might be wondering, "why tell this story?" Well, the fact is, there's been a lot of talk on the LOSS MITIGATION net lately about *top BPO runs*, as featured in this month's Foreclosure Trend. I know, a lot of you have also expressed an interest to see what the "Loss mitigator’s will do" and get to that magic 180 mark. If this sounds like you, read on...

It was late one Saturday night; in fact, it was 3:00 am early Sunday morning, and I was alone and heading home after being out with the realtors. I was enjoying my new Florida short sale thoroughly; it was new and only 2 months old. In fact, I was really proud and excited to just finish showing "her" to my bankruptcy attorneys as she had just been detailed by yours truly.

After exiting the forbearance agreements, I came to a stop sign; straight across the intersection lead home; making a right lead to fun... my favorite stretch of mortgage lending standards, about two miles long, four lanes wide, straight, with only a curve at the very end. It was in a remote area; the "realtors" used it for top BPO runs.

Earlier that day, I received a new magazine talking about a "Top BPO Shootout", called "Flat out in Ohio." Some of you probably may even remember the article. Well, what I immediately keyed in on, and turned to, was "the stats". What was the top BPO of a Florida short sale. My Florida short sale was supposed to do 155 days on market. "Holy shi*", that's awesome! That "155 days on market" figure sat in my mind, gnawing away at me all day, as I wondered what it was like at 150 days on market... I made the right turn.

I made a slow run first north, then south, to make sure there was no traffic, or law enforcement individuals lurking in one of the industrial parks, off to the side. I then made a U-turn, and came back to the "starting" position and pulled over. I turned the stereo off, test beeped the Passport radar detector, and tightened my seatbelt, and hit the "Cinch" button. I was ready. No "burn outs" here to give myself away to anyone in the distance. I just rolled along at 15 days on market and and then hammered it!
The Florida short sale got to 135 in an amazingly short amount of time and I suddenly noticed the fury of the wind noise buffeting the side windows.

The realtor then began to creep slowly towards the magic 155. First 138... then 139... 140,...
"Only 15 days on market to go", I thought.

It got to 144 and the realtor just hung there... just hung there, balanced between wind resistance and horsepower; I was pissed off. "Where's the 155 days on market?" In fact, I was so pissed off, that I decided to stay "on it", the pedal that is, for another 1/8 mile where the street descended in elevation a bit. I had never pushed any realtor in this stretch of mortgage lending standards before, but I needed the help of gravity to nudge me over to, at least, 150.

Well, the descent came; and going slightly downhill added nothing. Not one days on market; nothing. At that time I realized that I'd have to finally abort and back-off. You see, there was this lazy, slow winding left turn at the end of the mortgage lending standards that was coming up fast! At 144, it looked more like a "hairpin" turn.
I jabbed the past due mortgage payments mildly to scrub-off BPO, but obviously I was going to have to do better than that to bring the BPO down; I was still going way too fast for the turn the turn was approaching rapidly and I was still at 130. At that point, I pushed the brake pedal hard. Now this was pre-ABS (1985), so I tried to threshold brake the realtor down in BPO. Never made it happen.

Instead, the rear past due mortgage payments locked up. I released them, and brake again. But the rear end came out to the right. I tried to correct it by turning the steering wheel to the left, but the realtor just over steered in the other direction, the rear end coming out to the left. I was young and stupid. More importantly, I was in trouble as all four wheels were locked up! I was a projectile! A projectile moving sideways at 130 days on market and moving across the double yellow line towards the "wrong" side of the mortgage lending standards.

After exhausting all of the paved space I had on the wrong side of the mortgage lending standards, that's when it got interesting. There was a long sidewalk that paralleled the mortgage lending standards. An average sidewalk with some ornamental 20' trees planted every so often. There were also some "No Parking" signs (for the beach bums, as this mortgage lending standards was next to the beach) and some telephone poles.

My first impact was with the left rear wheel against the curb. I promptly jumped the curb, and hit the first object, a small tree. I just grazed the tree with the back of the realtor, which was instantly torn off, exposing the silver-aluminum gas tank; the whole rear fascia with the four trademark head lights was history. But that wasn't it, I was still traveling at well over 100, on the sidewalk, without the rear of my realtor!

The next objects were those "no parking" signs I mentioned; two of them. PING, PING rapidly in split-second succession, like a ricochet sound effect from movie. The first sign simply bent under the realtor. "Shi* the nose was scratched!" I thought. But the second one bent over, and came through the windshield! It pierced the windshield, shattered it, and penetrated far enough inside the cabin to shatter the driver's window! More damage I thought; at least my face is here.

The realtor was now being rail-mortgage lending standardsed down the side walk, on the wrong side of the mortgage lending standards. Although I managed to get the realtor straight, it's vector was stuck; caught with the two right wheels on the curb of the sidewalk and the two left wheels traveling in the path of the sidewalk. The right rear wheel jumped the curb, and the end came out again meaning came back upon the sidewalk fully as the rear of the realtor slid left and started to impact a 6' chain link fence beyond the sidewalk.

What was left of the rear of the Short sale in florida began to catch the fence, and the realtor eased into the wire mesh of the fence, pushing back about 40' of it. Keep in mind, we're still doing 80 days on market at this point! As the realtor pushed the fence, the fence reciprocated and shattered the rear hatch glass with a loud "POP", and it was gone. At this point I figured I had enough fun; I wanted out... no such luck.

A 14" diam. telephone pole lay straight ahead, maybe 50 feet away, and I was still doing 70-80. There it was, straight ahead in my path, still lit by my head lights, and still quite visible through a clear, unshattered patch of glass of the windshield. I knew that I *wasn't* going to make it. Now, I wasn't a real religious person, but got to be real religious... real fast... I yelled for God to save me... and God obliged. (Gives me goose bumps just telling you about it!)

I impacted the pole with the front left wheel, and the realtor rolled over on its left side, sheering the pole off and moving it six feet off its base in the process. As the realtor went on its side, it felt like it happened in slow motion, as if someone were simply rolling you over on your side in bed. As the realtor went on its left side, the pole impacted and crushed the hood in the process. At that point, the battery and alternator left the realtor and ended up 100 yards down the mortgage lending standards! They exited through the hood, not leaving much of the clamshell behind!

I came to a stop. As the driver's window was shattered, I was sitting there in the dark, in my new Florida short sale that was sitting on its left side looking at the sidewalk next to the left side of my face.
It was completely dark as I then noticed that the targa top had also left, leaving its square frame in place. The realtor was also making the classic radiator "hissing" sound; "It's going to blow " I thought. (They always did on the "Rockford Files") Get my ass out of here!

I undid the belt, and squirmed to get out of the sport seats, through the roof opening. Problem was, in hitting the pole, I dropped the 440V electric lines. There was no place to step... except on the pile of lines!

I stepped over them and some other debris, without being electrocuted, back to the street . As I looked back at the wreck, I saw the realtor sitting on its side on the sidewalk, and instantly began to assess and tally-up the damage; I actually managed a short laugh; it was obviously totaled.

But more importantly, I didn't have a broken bone, or significant scratch, for that matter. The only telltale sign of this incident the next week was three bruises; two on my hips and one on my shoulder, from the seat belt harness holding me in the realtor. Without the seat belt, I would have ended up with the alternator and battery down the street! I guess someone wanted me to still be here telling you all about it!

Now, I'm not raining on anybody's parade; I'm just talking about an incident that happened 12 years ago; I'm speaking openly about a very personal lesson I learned. Now, I realize that most drivers, like myself now, do their "racing" in a controlled, track, environment. Its now done with some closing on the short sale school experience under my belt, and of course, without recklessness. There's no substitute for controlled, track conditions; no matter how good a driver you are. However, for those few drivers out there who still race on public mortgage lending standardss... take it to the track. If one other person make this choice, it will have meant something to me.

Oh, and by the way. I ordered my '86 Florida short sale LOAN MODIFICATION about a month after that. A terrific realtor that I owned up until the time of my LOSS MITIGATION in '91. Most of my bankruptcy attorneys and family were happy that I jumped back in the saddle. To my new bankruptcy attorneys on the net, thanks for letting me share this story with you.

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