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Archive for the ‘Loan Modification’ Category

What Happens When I Pay Off My Mortgage?

Now that so many retirees of this generation are paying off their mortgages, the question often comes up, what happens when I pay off my mortgage?  How does that work, and how fast is the property free and clear in the land records?

The Process When I Pay Off My Mortgage

In Washington what we call a mortgage is actually a note and deed of trust, and when the note is paid in full, a reconveyance is recorded by the beneficiary, and your property is free and clear.  (There is such a thing as a mortgage, but it’s not used much in residential real estate anymore.)

Pay Off My Mortgage

Pay Off My Mortgage and Requesting a Reconveyance

When you pay off your mortgage, the trustee (the Trustee named in your deed of trust, usually a title company) will send the beneficiary (the bank) a Request for Full Reconveyance, and when the Reconveyance is signed by a bank officer, it is recorded, and Voila! your real estate is free and clear.

I was asked today by a client, “When I pay off my mortgage, how soon does the reconveyance (or satisfaction for an old mortgage instrument) have to be recorded showing that my property is no longer subject to a loan?”  The answer is 60 days.  The reconveyance may actually be recorded in a matter of a couple of weeks, but there is a Washington statute that addresses this:

If the mortgagee fails to acknowledge satisfaction of the mortgage as provided in RCW 61.16.020 sixty days from the date of such request or demand, the mortgagee shall forfeit and pay to the mortgagor damages and a reasonable attorneys’ fee, to be recovered in any court having competent jurisdiction, and said court, when convinced that said mortgage has been fully satisfied, shall issue an order in writing, directing the auditor to immediately record the order.  This comes from RCW 61.16.030.

Pay Off my Mortgage on a Sale

If you refinance your home or sell your home to a buyer who finances the purchase (or pays in cash), the same process will have a reconveyance recorded on your loan.

Now you know the answer to the question, what happens when I pay off my mortgage?


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Loan modifications under a federal plan announced by President Obama had hope for homeowners who were  struggling to make their mortgage payments, and for those who were already in default and facing a foreclosure. Over 3,137,548 homeowners made requests for information, but only 31,382 actually got permanent loan modifications.  Mortgage representatives around the country geared up to help homeowners save their homes and many implemented special educational programs to get the word out.


Unfortunately, it now appears that the program has been a dismal failure with only a one percent (1.0%) success rate.  While one could be critical of the Obama program for the failure, the real victims are homeowners across America.  The pace of foreclosures in several large metropolitan areas has not slowed down.  For the government’s report, see Loan Modifications Report.

“So out of over 3 million requests sent to borrowers, only 31,382 modifications have been made permanent. That’s a failure of epic proportions. Imagine if you got a 1% score on a test when you were in school. How embarrassing. No wonder the link to this report is “accidentally” broken on the financial stability website. (I found it by guessing what they’d correctly name the file and typing it into the browser.)”  Quoted from the Atlantic, 1% Success Rate.


There have been some successful loan modifications in Sequim and Port Angeles, although not necessarily under the federal program.  Clallam County has seen its share of foreclosures gradually increasing.  Trustee’s Sales at the Courthouse have stepped up, and projections are that there are many coming down the pipeline.  We shall see, but if you are in need of a loan modification, pursue that diligently with a reputable loan rep.  Many have gone down the path of modification with a rep that dragged them along for months with nothing in the end, and all that after paying a hefty fee.

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Two Types of Assistance on Housing Trouble

The Obama administration’s housing plan will offer two types of assistance that are designed to help make mortgages more affordable for up to 9 million homeowners.   The plan includes two parts:   refinancing and loan modifications.

Refinancing. Homeowners with more than 20 percent equity in their home can easily refinance their mortgage at today’s low rates and decrease their monthly payment by hundreds of dollars. But people whose home values have dropped significantly will have a tough time finding a lender that will refinance their mortgage. This refinancing program will help those people refinance. To qualify, your loan must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and you must not have missed any loan payments in the past 12 months. The deadline for refinancing under this program is in June 2010.

Chances are your loan is owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac even if you send your monthly payments to a mortgage servicer. Ask your loan servicer whether Fannie or Freddie owns your loan, or look up your loan in the Freddie and Fannie databases at

Loan-Modification. This program is designed to help people who are struggling to make their current mortgage payments. The government will provide incentives for lenders to lower your monthly mortgage payments to 31 percent of your gross monthly income, either by lowering the interest rate to as little as 2 percent or by extending the terms of the loan up to 40 years. To qualify, the loan must have originated on or before Jan. 1, 2009, the principal balance cannot exceed $729,750, and the home must be a primary residence. Borrowers also have to document income and sign an affidavit of financial hardship., and the modification must take place by Dec. 31, 2012.

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You can reduce your monthly payment with a loan modification. Many people are successfully getting the loan on their home or business modified right now, and you might want to be proactive and get this process started. Watch this short video for help, and if you want an expert mortgage loan mod guy, email me and I’ll pass on his name and contact information. Don’t think anyone can do this. It is definitely a niche expertise right now. It’s not for just any loan rep to to learn at your expense.

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Port Angeles Loan ModificationBe proactive if you are facing high debt service and could end up with a foreclosure action in the coming months. If you wait to sell your home or your business at the 11th hour before a Trustee’s Sale, you may lose everything. If you find a buyer just before a foreclosure, you may be at the buyer’s mercy on the price. Don’t wait until it is too late. Be proactive with a loan modification now. How does a loan modification work?

A loan modification is not a new loan, it’s not a refinance. It is the same loan with adjustments to the terms of the loan so that you can reduce monthly payments. That is done with an adjustment to the interest rate or to the amortization schedule, or both.

Many people have told me they called their bank and tried to get a reduction in the monthly mortgage payment but it didn’t work. There’s a simple reason they could not get that done. The process of applying for a loan modification is very detailed, requires a ream of paper and information, and there must be a very persuasive argument as to why the modification should be allowed. You have to know who to contact, and most local bank tellers don’t even know who you would contact for their own institution. Loss mitigation departments or the modification division of any mortgage company is not found locally. They are not listed in the phone book. They are not listed on the Internet. These departments are not trying to hide from you, but they were not created to interface with the public, so they are below the radar.

In order to put together the right paperwork, you must know what they want, and to make persuasive arguments in writing, you must know what the issues are and how to address them. Then you must be able to write very good English and be very persuasive.

The truth is very few homeowners or business owners will have the knowledge and experience to get this done right. For those who try and screw it up, it could ruin their chances entirely even if they do hire a professional later.

I am not a loan modification guy. I do know one who is, and he is one in a thousand who knows how to do this.   He is having great success with loan modifications. He tells me incredible stories of good people who are staying in their homes because he was able to help them get a substantially reduced monthly payment.   What an incredible service he offers!

If you do need help getting your monthly payments adjusted with a loan modification, email Chuck Marunde. I’ll refer you to a man who can help you get the job done. By the way, he is qualified to do this in any state, so it does not matter where you live.

Don’t wait until it is too late. Be proactive and start working on your loan modification right now.

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Chuck E. Marunde, J.D.

Sequim Buyer's Agent (Atty Ret.)
Founder and Broker of
Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate dba iRealty Virtual Brokers
125 Olympic Ranch Ln, Sequim, WA
(360) 775-5424

From Los Angeles

It's rare, but once in awhile life provides the perfect collaborator for an important endeavor such as buying your new home. For me that person was Chuck Marunde. His two decade background as a Real Estate Attorney, his prolific career as an author of articles and books on Real Estate and his forthright and moral character made choosing Chuck a no-brainer. Chuck is dedicated, thorough, incredible at the negotiating table, knowledgeable about all local laws & regs but, most importantly, Chuck loves what he does. And what he does is find his client the perfect property. Chuck isn't about making the sale, he's about making the sale that is OPTIMUM for his CLIENT and this makes Chuck a rare bird indeed. I love my new home in Sequim and I am indebted to Chuck for making it happen. Kevin E.

From Seattle

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Chuck over the past three years in selling my parent's estate. It was a tough time to sell during the housing recession, but Chuck always kept things on the positive side. With his real estate law background, he offers sound, practical advice. He helps you along with the process using discussions and reason, rather than opinions and speculations. If Chuck doesn’t know the answers, he will get them for you. In several instances, Chuck took the initiative to meet with county officials to get up-to-date facts about zoning and regulations. I was always impressed with his company’s tech savvy communi-cations and internet presence: weekly email updates, blogs, videos, links, Linked-in networking, etc. He is truly pioneering the future of buying & selling real estate. Brian M.

From Florida

We do our homework for the task at hand and we look for and expect to enlist partners that do the same. It was our good fortune to select Chuck Marunde of Sequim and Port Angeles Real Estate to represent us as a buyer's broker in our search for a home in the Sequim/Port Angeles area. Chuck's site is all encompassing and super fast compared to many others, he knows the market at every conceivable level and his guidance through the process of selecting and purchasing a home is priceless - above and beyond that of anyone with whom we have ever worked. Add to all this his 20 year background in real estate law and you have discovered a superb asset in the adventure of purchasing a home. Greg and Marilyn

From Gilroy California

As an out of state buyer unfamiliar with the area, it was important to me not only to have a real estate agent who knew the area well, but also one who knew the value of the properties. I chose Chuck because he is also a real estate lawyer and it is reassuring to have that extra degree working for you. I selected the houses I was interested in on line before taking a two day trip to Sequim to look at them in person. I sent my list to Chuck, who gave me feedback, then organized our tour so we could see 16 properties in a short time. He was very accommodating, driving me all over Sequim, and rescheduling appointments when we fell behind on our time. On day two, I found my home and we drafted an offer on it that evening. By the time I arrived back home on the plane the next evening, my offer had been accepted. Chuck was honest about what it would take to get me into my new home, while having my back the entire transaction. Since I was unable to relocate immediately after closing, he and his assistant Ade, have been taking care of many additional responsibilities for me. He was a pleasure to work with. Chris D.

From Corona California

The best decision I made, once I settled on Sequim as the ideal place to spend the rest of my days, was to hook up with Chuck Marunde as my broker/go-to guy. He happily took on the entire complicated merry-go-round associated with a long distance move that involved selling in Southern California (with a different agent) and buying in Sequim – all in the span of just over a month. The unexpectedly quick sale of my previous home was already a week into a 30 day escrow when I got to Sequim for my house hunt. We had two days to find my slice of heaven. And day one was less than stellar, each home having at least one major issue. The killer was the dream home that turned out to be an unmitigated disaster once we got inside. I was crushed. Chuck had his work cut out for him that night. And he worked his magic. On day two there was one beautiful possibility, but not quite right. Suffice to say, in the early afternoon we pulled into a driveway and the first words out of my mouth were “That’s my house.” 29 days later I took possession of my new home. Every sale has its issues, but throwing in the complications of a short escrow on top of 1200 miles of separation from all documentation, etc. gives new meaning to “challenging”. Thanks to his encyclopedic knowledge coupled with a great sense of humor, Chuck was able to keep me on an even keel when things got dicey. He knows when to step in and when to let it evolve. I cannot imagine making this move without him. Rebecca B.
Sequim Real Estate

From Bakersfield California

"During the months of February and March 2012, Chuck showed my wife and I over two dozen homes from Port Angeles to Port Townsend. We found Chuck to be very helpful, friendly and courteous. With Chuck there is no pressure; It is all about finding the best home for the buyer. As a Buyer's Agent, Chuck will give you his honest opinion of a property, including a fair market price. In one instance Chuck wrote up an offer for us which was accepted. Chuck was very helpful arranging for home and well inspections which involved multiple trips to the property. Unfortunately, escrow failed to close when, during the home inspection process, it was determined that a septic system repair was needed which the seller was unwilling/unable to make. We will continue to work with Chuck as there is no better Buyer's Agent on the North Olympic" Bert and Sally

From Los Alamos New Mexico

"Over a year ago, during a visit to the Olympic Game Farm, we developed what we eventually called the “Sequim Syndrome.” We live in New Mexico and decided Sequim was where we wanted to live in retirement. On our second visit to Sequim, we met with Chuck and asked him to help us. Chuck's web site provides such amazing search capabilities. Chuck's site also contains a 1000 blog postings and a real estate video series detailing buying real estate in Sequim. We bought Chuck's book about Sequim real estate and set out to follow his advice carrying on an ongoing email and phone conversation with Chuck. Doing our due diligence “Marunde style” and using his MLS search site, we came up with about 50 homes that met our needs. We narrowed the list down to 15 properties that best met our needs. We came back to Sequim a third time with our list in hand, and Chuck spent two days with us showing us all the homes on our list. Not only did Chuck help us find that dream home, he spent time to educate us about the quality of construction, fair market values of various properties, home layouts, and the joys of Sequim living. We had a great time as we traveled from house to house. By mid afternoon of the second day, my wife said we had found “the house.” Chuck helped us draft our offer and sent our offer to the seller's agent. It turned out there was a second offer made on the property at the same time. Chuck's help to make a clean offer paid off. At breakfast two days later, we got a call from Chuck saying our offer had been accepted by the sellers. We are now back home in New Mexico. Chuck attends every inspection on our behalf, updating us at every turn by email and phone. Our dream home is becoming a reality because of Chuck and because we were smart enough to follow his advice. We absolutely would NOT have been able to do this without Chuck Marunde's expertise and enthusiasm. We recommend Chuck to everyone planning a move to Sequim, Port Angeles, or anywhere on the Olympic Peninsula. Chuck is a gold mine of information and expertise for home buyers everywhere, not just on the Olympic" Larry and Shirley
Sequim Real Estate Bookstore

From Sun Lakes Arizona

"We are ex-Washington residents who currently live in Arizona. We had been searching the Puget Sound area four years for a waterfront property to build a retirement home when we first contacted Chuck Marunde through his website. We had made multiple trips to various areas but most of the Realtors we contacted simply sent us an email, provided no follow up and did next to nothing to help us locate a property. On our first trip to Port Angeles, after connecting with Chuck, we purchased our dream property. We now own a high bank waterfront lot overlooking the Straight of Jaun de Fuca, and are excited to become part of the Peninsula community." Paul and Linda

From California

"Andy Romano is a successful motion picture character actor with over 40 years in 'the Biz.' Mr. Romano has a home in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, but he chooses to live most of the time in Sequim, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula in the great Pacific Northwest. Why? In his own words, 'Because it's even more beautiful and surrounded by more beauty in this incredibly peaceful and quiet place. With respect to real estate agents or brokers, well my friend Chuck Marunde, owner of Sequim and Port Angeles Real Estate, is hands down the best there" Andy R.

From Sequim

I’ve known Chuck Marunde for several years. My wife and I bought and sold one house through his services, and now have another listed through him for sale. Whether Chuck was representing us as the buyer or seller, I am confident he always had our best interests at heart. He helped us set or negotiate a reasonable price, and made sure there was a clear and open line of communication. He responded rapidly to email and phone calls and always knew the best person to contact for the various services involved in a transaction. I have worked with quite a few real estate agents and Chuck is right at the top of my list of good ones. Actually, Chuck is first and foremost just a good person, and he carries his personal honesty and integrity over into his profession. He has the greatest depth of experience in real estate of any agent or broker I have known. His years of practicing real estate law prior to becoming a broker are evident in the meticulous care he takes with the process and documentation. I am impressed by the way Chuck has integrated internet services into his real estate business. He probably knows more about this process than any other realtor in the country. In this tight market it is important to use every possible means to spread the word about available properties…to reach the few people who might be interested in a particular property. Steve L.

From The Netherlands

"We contacted Chuck about six months ago to help find a retirement property in Sequim. We had visited Sequim several weeks before and decided that this was the place for us to retire. We liked the friendly people and the natural beauty of the area. We had been looking for some time in other parts of the country - California, Oregon, North Carolina, and Vermont. In most of these other areas, we found real estate agents that were knowledgeable but did not follow up with us to continue narrowing down real estate possibilities. Once we were out of earshot, communications would stop. That is one of the reasons we were interested in working with Chuck. Besides having great knowledge of both the local real estate market and of law, his testimonials on the internet indicated a willingness to actively communicate with his clients. Chuck demonstrated this immediately. Even before we met, he responded very quickly and helpfully to any email question. After arriving for a second visit to Sequim in September, we finally met Chuck face to face. He was friendly, encouraging, and readily shared good practical information. We worked with him on a number of candidate properties - including an offer on a property while visiting that week. Although we could not come to terms with the owners on the final property price, we look forward to continuing to work closely with Chuck. He is an invaluable resource to help us identify and purchase the retirement property that's right for us." Paul and Virginia

From Fremont California

We can't say enough about working with Chuck Marunde. Luck would have it that we discovered his web site, spoke with him on the phone and had an instant feeling that we had found our realtor. And we were right. With Chucks help and expertise, our longtime dream to retire to the Pacific Northwest came to fruition with Chuck assisting us in finding the perfect home for us. Buying a home is always a big decision and these days can be complex with unexpected delays etc. In fact, our whole experience from offer day to closing, was very smooth. Chuck took all the time we needed to explain processes and made us feel at ease, even though we lived 800 miles away, tying up loose ends and getting ready for the big move to our new home in Sequim. We were impressed with Chuck's ability to listen to our needs and understand our concerns in buying from a distance. Chuck kept us informed all along the way, during the process and was so good at getting right back to us if we had another question. All went so well and Chuck really went above and beyond for us, taking time out from his busy schedule to assist us with some details regarding our beautiful property, even after the closing, because we were not yet arrived there. Without hesitation, our son and his wife will be contacting Chuck this summer, as they plan to follow us to paradise in this lovely town. Thanks again Chuck, for everything! Mary and Jerry

From Fontana California

My husband and I went to Sequim intending to interview several realtors to find one to help us locate and buy a home in Sequim. We knew we wanted someone we could trust and who would have our best interests in mind. Since we would be handling the transaction from S. California this was very important to us. We met Chuck and looked no further. We felt a connection right away and spent some time looking at homes together so Chuck could get a feel for what we wanted. Well, we left Sequim having made an offer on a home which the owner accepted. Chuck has helped us through the purchase process. We are positive it would not have gone so smoothly without his help. We give him 4 thumbs up. Wally & Cathy

From Tacoma

Chuck Marunde’s level of expertise in real estate investment is amazing. His knowledge, experience and legal training have given me a dramatic advantage in real estate investing. He works hard to stay on the cutting edge of real estate marketing, sound advice and value-added service for his clients. Kirk Wald, Financial Planner

From Wendell Idaho

My wife and I moved to Sequim six weeks ago, and prior to our move here I contacted Chuck Marunde and enlisted his help as our buyer's agent. Once we got here, it took us about two weeks looking at houses, and Chuck did a superb job of showing us places and letting us make our own decisions and guide us through the purchase of our home. We now completed our transaction and are very happy. We would recommend Chuck to anybody. Don & Marilyn

From Sequim

"Buying property either commercial or residential can sometimes be a tricky proposition. That’s why I would recommend Chuck to help you with purchasing or selling property. His background as a real-estate lawyer and his no nonsense to the point advice will help you make the right decisions. Experience and Integrity, what you need when you can’t afford to make a mistake. Dail Hurdlow, CEO, Hurdlow Enterprises

From Seattle

I am an experienced real estate buyer, but I am not from the Sequim area. I am somewhat flexible, realistic, but also particular. So the question was, “how do you choose the RIGHT real estate agent?”

I made my appointment with Chuck on a Sunday morning in March, 2013. He showed me 5 houses. Every house he showed me was within my parameters! I was amazed: a real estate who listened, did his research, and didn't waste my time showing me houses I would never buy! I made an offer a few days later. That was the easy part…

Buying a house is always a stressful time in life. Advice to Buyers: choose an agent who is competent, communicates well, and has exceptional follow-up and follow-through! You will spend a lot of time with your agent during the process. Choose someone likable. Go with your gut. I got to know Chuck during the process, and he's a great guy!

You need an agent who is competent to handle and help you negotiate the issues that come up during disclosure, home inspection, appraisal, etc. Chuck's competence is superb! I got truly professional, sound, straightforward advice.

Chuck's communication skills are exceptional: phone, email, fax. He has a wonderful ability to stay "on-point" with what is actually important and doesn't lead you astray on issues that aren't so important.

Chuck's turn-around time on questions, issue resolution, etc. was virtually always within 24 hours. He follows-up, follows-through. He does what he says he will do timely. This relieves a lot of Buyer stress!

Having a difficult time finding the right agent? Simplify your life! Choose Chuck Marunde. I did. [Name withheld by request]

Intro by Chuck Marunde

From Sequim to California

"In our Sequim real estate broker Chuck Marunde we found a Realtor who knew not only how to list a property, but most importantly, he knew how to sell a property. Chuck is very skilled in current technology and uses that skill to advertise your property nationally. We were very pleased with Chuck, his honesty and integrity." Jerry Levitan and Donna "Teva" Tetiva

Who is Chuck Marunde?

Chuck Marunde is the #1 Sequim Buyer's Agent, having sold more homes (by volume) to buyers than any other agent or any "team" of agents for the past seven years. He is the author of thousands of articles for buyers on this real estate blog, and he is the author of several real estate books for buyers and one for sellers. He is the creator of many free tools that buyers use and love every day. He is recognized as a national expert on real estate transactions, marketing, and negotiating. Please schedule your appointment to view homes with Chuck well in advance of arriving in Sequim.
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Chuck Marunde Text or Call 360-775-5424