The housing crash of 2008 combined with high unemployment rates and the transient military lifestyle has left far too many service members facing upside-down mortgages, where homeowners owe more than the home is worth.
Military homeowners, like all others, should start with their lender or servicer to see what help might be available. They can also explore their eligibility for the government’s Making Home Affordable program, which enables some underwater homeowners to refinance.
Military families heard some good news from Washington last week as the federal government said borrowers forced to move as a result of military orders do not have to be delinquent to qualify for a short sale.
With a “short sale” a borrower wants to sell a home but the value of the property is less than the remaining mortgage balance. In theory the borrower could sell the home and bring the unpaid mortgage balance to closing in the form of cash to settle the debt. In practice most households do not have such cash; instead they find a buyer for the property and ask the lender settle the debt for the market value of the home and not the outstanding loan amount.
Military families are called upon to make a lot of sacrifices to help keep our country safe. One of the most common and time-consuming sacrifices is moving to a new duty station. With all this moving, many military families are more likely to have property damaged or lost during the move.
The National Military Family Association found that nearly 70 percent of families have had a problem with damaged goods during their last PCS. Nearly a quarter of those with damage decided not to file a claim because they missed the deadline or found the claims process too complicated.
Although the majority of PCS orders are given in the warmer months of the year, many military families are saddled with the additional stress of moving in the winter.
Whether you’re trying a DITY move or a more traditional PCS move, moving in the winter presents unique problems that you need to be prepared to handle.
Here are some great tips to make sure you get where you’re supposed to be safely.
Active duty homeowners know relocation is always lurking around the corner.
A PCS can kick-start the home-selling process, and some homeowners can find themselves short on time when it comes to prepping their property.
Here’s a list of some simple do-it-yourself fixes that can help get your home ready quickly and cost-effectively:
Signing a lease or a rental agreement typically means you’re committing yourself to a house for a non-negotiable amount of time.
Deciding to leave before the lease expires tends to trigger a financial penalty, and sometimes it’s a steep one.
So what happens when you’re in the military and a PCS or deployment calls you away?
Perhaps you can get out of the agreement, but can your spouse? The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides help for service members who need to break a lease, but cases are typically settled on an individual basis.
That means you may not get out of your house fine-free.
So what can you do? Insure yourself. Before you sign the lease, be sure to put in a specific and succinct military clause.