Bad Credit Keeping You From Buying A Home? Fix It In 30-60 Days!

NO ONE needs to tell you that life with bad credit is a tough life indeed.   No single number like your credit score dictates how much you pay for everyday goods and services such as electricity/gas, phone service, all types of insurance, etc.  Home loans are no different, and if your score is too low, you can kiss any hopes of getting all of the above ‘goodbye’ – at least temporarily.

As a person who was once in that situation, and being the ‘can do’ type of person I am, I decided to take matters into my own hands & get to work researching.  I sat and read ALL 386 printed pages of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and went to work repairing my credit.  With a little time and effort, I was able to get most of the negative items deleted from all three credit reports (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).  Within 60 days, my credit scores were boosted 172 points!  I was FINALLY ABLE TO QUALIFY FOR A MORTGAGE!  There’s no reason why you can’t either.

Buy “How to repair your credit – BY YOURSELF!” NOW!  For only $9.99, you can INSTANTLY DOWNLOAD his easy-to-read e-book, which will show you the following:

  1.  HOW TO properly order your credit reports from the big 3 credit bureaus.  The e-book will explain why.
  2.  HOW TO interpret your credit reports and identify inaccuracies/negative items.
  3.  HOW TO start the process of having big 3 bureaus correct/delete negative items.
  4.  HOW TO quickly add positive credit to your reports.
  5.  HOW TO re-challenge the bureaus’ results, if necessary.
  6.  HOW TO MAKE MONEY by suing creditors & debt collectors if they violate the law.
  7.  HOW TO properly deal with debt collectors, putting them on ultimate defense!
  8.  WHY you should never use a credit repair company.

See sample letters and actual correspondence you can use as templates for your own credit repair efforts AND SO MUCH MORE!




FOR ALL YOUR ARIZONA REAL ESTATE NEEDS:  Call or e-mail Shane O’Brien of We Sell Real Estate, LLC TODAY!  If you like this post, please ‘LIKE’ SGO Content Media, LLC on Facebook, and SHARE on social media!

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RealtyTrac Flubs Phoenix Foreclosure Numbers

Housing industry website posted a 100% increase in the number of foreclosures in the Phoenix metro area (as well as the State of Arizona as a whole) in its January 2015 report, scaring Valley residents into thinking there may be another mortgage crisis in the future.

THE NUMBERS ARE COMPLETELY FALSE!  What happened, you ask?

It turns out that RealtyTrac compiles information from recorded mortgage foreclosures, second mortgage defaults, and trustee sales in its foreclosure reports.  In addition, RealtyTrac also receives data from foreclosure vendors, mortgage lenders, and auction houses across the state.  Per Michael Orr, University of Arizona economist, and countless local real estate professionals, an uproar of sorts has ensued due to the false data – and the resulting panic due to such misinformation.  Phoenix in particular is still recovery from the housing crash of 2008.  It is suspected that RealtyTrac added several months of foreclosure data.  Nothing to worry about here!

Accurate foreclosure data for Maricopa County (Phoenix and surrounding cities) suggests that the rate of foreclosure is actually declining, with an average of about 700-800 foreclosures per month.



Quite simply, Arizona is a ‘deed of trust‘ state, whereas most states back East are ‘mortgage‘ states.  The difference between the two are illustrated below:

Example of 'Deed of Trust state foreclosure process' (specific to Arizona).
Example of ‘Deed of Trust state foreclosure process’ (specific to Arizona).

Arizona is unique, because we have a 90 day ‘grace period’,  if you will.  What this means is that you have 90 days after missing a home loan payment to catch up ALL  delinquent payments.  If after 90 days the account hasn’t been completely satisfied, the lender may direct the trustee to sell the property at public auction to the highest bidder.

IF your home is sold at trustee’s sale, State law allows you to satisfy, or  ‘pay up’ your TOTAL delinquent balance to the lender and redeem, or keep your home.


Example of how 'mortgage state' foreclosures work.
Example of how ‘mortgage state’ foreclosures work.


In the example above, we see that there is no such intermediary, or trustee.  Borrower deals directly with the lender.  When the property owner fails to pay the note/mortgage as agreed, the lender (after a time period specified by state law) may sue the borrower in court in order to foreclose the right and title to the property.  This process is undoubtedly more complicated, as any type of foreclosure action is subject to backed up court calendars/dockets.

Since each of the ‘mortgage states’ regulate how long a lender must wait before initiating a foreclosure, it is not uncommon for a state to make a lender wait 12 months before filing a foreclosure, ,only to have the county court make the lender wait an additional 6 months to get the case before a judge.  THIS IS WHY MORTGAGE STATES HAVE SUCH HIGH RATES FOR FORECLOSURE, WHERE ARIZONA DOES NOT!


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How to Buy a Home Without a Mortgage

Let’s face it – financing a home purchase is no easy feat! Since most people cannot afford to pay for a home in cash, they must turn to a lender or bank to obtain financing in order to make the deal work. Given the current shaky political climate here in the U.S., federal regulators are changing lending guidelines and practices almost daily, making lending extremely difficult for lending institutions and borrowers alike to know what programs can be offered, to whom, and under what terms. Individuals who suffer with bad credit also face tremendous hurdles trying to obtain financing as well. No bank or lender will issue a conventional loan (20% purchase price down payment) to an individual with bad credit. Needless to say, most people in a credit bind wouldn’t have the means (on their own) to come up with 20% of a home’s purchase price.

That all said, there are plenty of ways to buy a house WITHOUT a mortgage! You just have to be creative! The strategies are as follows:

Seller financing, also known as owner carry back – In this scenario, the Seller/Owner of a house becomes the lender. You and the owner write up a real estate purchase contract that specifies that you (Buyer) will pay Seller ‘X’ amount of dollars up front. Buyer will pay Seller ‘X’ amount every month until the purchase price is paid off. The advantages of this method for both sides are:

1. Seller can ‘sell’ his or her property, collect some cash up front to move on with, and get paid a steady stream of income every month.
2. Seller can charge a reasonable interest rate (one that works for both parties), making interest income!
3. Buyer does not have to endure the harsh qualifying guidelines of the bank or mortgage lender. A private seller may be far more understanding of your situation where a bank will not.
4. Buyer gets to obtain ownership (title)., while seller holds the lien (claim) on the property until the loan is completely paid off.

Rent to Own/Contract for Deed – this is a rental agreement with an option to purchase at a later date (or at any time during the option period) for a fixed price. The advantages to this type of financing are:

1. Buyer gets to rent and take possession of the property, Owner is still retains title.
2. Owner earns monthly income.
3. Buyers have the advantage of time – time to improve his/her/their financial situation so that he/she/they may have an easier time qualifying for a conventional or FHA loan in order to buy out the owner.

Assume The Mortgage (If Possible) – in this scenario, a Buyer and Seller come to terms and sign the real estate purchase agreement. The buyer takes over the payments on the seller’s behalf. The buyer gets title at the close of the transaction, whereas the seller STILL has an open loan on the property, and loses title and possession to the property. For the reasons above, this type of purchase benefits the buyer more than the seller. The seller, by the very nature of this type of transaction exposes his/her credit being damaged in the event that Buyer does not perform, or pay the loan as agreed. A seller facing foreclosure or short sale may be in the position that they were going to lose their home and credit rating ANYWAY, so what does the home owner really have to lose?

What You Need to Know About Assuming a Mortgage

The Savings and Loan Crisis of the 1980s brought about federal regulatory changes that required savings and loan institutions (the major source of home loans at the time) to write off bad debt, or sell the non-performing loan to an entity that would pay pennies on the dollar for the bad debt, and collect the unpaid balance from the borrower. The federal government would insure the lenders against the losses, and allow the banks to clear the unpaid balances from their balance sheets, making that same mount of money available to be loaned out to a new consumer. Enter for the first time the ‘due on sale’ clause.

The ‘Due on Sale’ Clause – is language contained in the mortgage paperwork that allows a lender to call a loan balance due and immediately payable upon the sale of real property. This provision was designed to prevent the sale and transfer of real property without the mortgage being paid off. While most mortgages written after the mid-1980s (and all VA mortgages) contain said clause, there exists one AWESOME loophole, which is buying ‘subject to’.

Buy Houses ‘SUBJECT TO’ (one of my favorite, and most creative methods) – When buying real property ‘subject to’, it means subject to the existing financing (and all liens of record, like mechanic liens, recorded judgments, easements, clouds of title, etc.). This method allows the seller to sell the property to the buyer without triggering a due on sale clause, but comes with a few caveats. See the example below:

1. Seller creates a real estate trust as a holding entity for title to the property, and adds Seller and Buyer as beneficiaries (in a Deed of Trust state, just add the buyer’s name to the deed)
2. Seller opens an extended escrow account. An escrow account is a third, impartial party that holds and distributes funds per the instructions given to it by the parties of the transaction. An extended escrow account remains open for several years. In this case, it’s the beneficiaries of the trust created in #1. Buyer funds escrow account and pays monthly mortgage payments equal to what is required by the existing mortgage.
3. Escrow then pays the funds deposited from buyer to the mortgage company on the due date.
4. The real estate trust/deed of trust remains in effect until the entire mortgage has been paid off.
5. When total balance is paid off, Seller removes his/her name from real estate trust or deed of trust.

It is very important to check with your attorney about drafting this type of contract. The language must clearly state each parties’ objectives, give instructions for the escrow company, and hold each party accountable to fulfill their obligations throughout the entire process. Buying ‘subject to’ is one of the BEST methods of getting your hands on a property at an affordable price WITHOUT qualifying with your own credit! It is also a GREAT way to get real estate without having to save ridiculous amounts of money!

I sure hope this article helps you in your real estate endeavors. Where there is a will, there is a way! Please visit my other website The site hosts my e-book “Get that real estate for pocket change!”. My e-book explains how to buy real estate for only a few thousand dollars (or less) in ALL 50 states. In most counties and states, you will have the ability to point and click to see sale dates, current inventory, and SO MUCH MORE!

Thanks for the read! Make sure to visit for more insightful articles and information! Please ‘like’ SGO Content Media, LLC on Facebook, and share on social media!

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Owner Carryback: A Home Seller’s Best Friend

Most sellers place their homes on the market with the expectation that their home will sell quickly, and for the highest price possible. This is only reasonable. I see sellers offer all different types of incentives to get thir homes sold quickly – from free furniture, sheds full of equipment, cars, and other personal property that one would normally take with them when moving. I’ve a lot in my time! One of the most powerful incentives a seller can offer is the powerful owner carryback.

What It Is…

Owner carryback is a form of financing a real estate purchase where the Seller becomes the lender. Just the same as the bank, the owner would qualify the buyer’s ability to purchase (i.e. – collect and evaluate pay stubs, run credit reports, etc.), and if all checks out, the owner will have the note (loan) drafted up by his or her attorney for the buyer to sign before closing. The owner can set an interest rate and number of years (term) of the loan (can be anything both parties agree to). At closing, buyer takes title and possession to the property. The seller, just like a bank, will record the note as a lien against the property. This protects the former owner in the event the new owner defaults on payments, as former owner can foreclose and re-gain title.

There Are Several Advantages About Owner Carryback (see below):

Buyers do not have to endure rigorous qualifying criteria and time delays usually experienced when dealing with banks. Sellers will protect their bottom lines, but are most likely to do what they can to get their property sold – banks don’t care either way.
Both parties deal directly with one another, so no middleman to worry about.
Buyers can get property FAST, and then work to improve their situations, so they can later refinance with better terms.
Sellers can sell their property – enjoy the income from a decent down-payment, and make monthly income for the life of the loan, WITH INTEREST!

For more information about Arizona real estate, please visit my REALTOR® page  Please also visit my property investing, credit repair, and personal injury websites by visiting

If you like this post, please share on social media, and ‘LIKE’ SGO Content Media, LLC on Facebook!Shane O'Brien Business Card

Super Bowl XLIX Festivities Bring Excitement to Downtown Phoenix

Football fans worldwide are flooding into downtown Phoenix to take part in this year’s Super Bowl-themed activities. The big game takes place on Sunday, February 1, 2015 between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks at the University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale, AZ (about 1/2 hour drive west of downtown Phoenix in good traffic). Game starts at 4:30pm MST (check local listings).

Just a day before the big kickoff, I decided to take the Light Rail (commuter train) downtown just to get a feel for all that was going on. Unknown to most visitors, downtown Phoenix, for the most part doesn’t have the same amount of foot or vehicle traffic one would expect of the Nation’s 5th/6th largest city (I say 5th/6th, because we are always doing battle with Philadelphia, PA for the position).

To see the many events sponsored by the NFL and the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, please visit

Check out some of the photos from downtown below!

A HEAVILY PACKED Light Rail, making its way downtown to all the Super Bowl-related activities.
A HEAVILY PACKED Light Rail, making its way downtown to all the Super Bowl-related activities.
Greeters are handing out Super Bowl passes at the Light Rail stations.
Greeters are handing out Super Bowl passes at the Light Rail stations.


Bud Light House of Whatever draws in A LARGE SEGMENT of tourists and visitors visiting downtown Phoenix pre - Super Bowl XLIX.
Bud Light House of Whatever draws in A LARGE SEGMENT of tourists and visitors visiting downtown Phoenix pre – Super Bowl XLIX.
Super Bowl Fans in Phoenix
Super Bowl Fans in Phoenix
Event-goers stop by the many Super Bowl-related kiosks and events along Washington Avenue in Downtown Phoenix.
Event-goers stop by the many Super Bowl-related kiosks and events along Washington Avenue in Downtown Phoenix.
Super Bowl XLIX banner drapes Bank of America building in Downtown Phoenix.
Super Bowl XLIX banner drapes Bank of America building in Downtown Phoenix.
US AIrways Center, decked out with Coors Light ad for Super Bowl XLIX
US AIrways Center, decked out with Coors Light ad for Super Bowl XLIX


Downtown Phoenix Super Bowl festivities
Downtown Phoenix Super Bowl festivities
Super Bowl Central
Super Bowl Central
Super Bowl Central
Super Bowl Central
Super Bowl XLIX banner
Super Bowl XLIX banner
Downtown Phoenix celebrates Super Bowl XLIX


While I hope everyone who has ventured out to Arizona to enjoy the game and festivities has a great/safe time, I extend this invitation to all those who are interested in buying and selling a home (or other real property here) to give me a call, or send me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Enjoy, and be safe!

– Shane

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Arizona Real Property Tax Cycle

Timely payment of property taxes is a real estate owner’s primary responsibility.  Property taxes that remain unpaid accrue interest at a rate of 16% per year.  A lien will be sold at public auction to a bidder/investor, who then may sue and foreclose on your property if the taxes remain unpaid after a total of five (5) years – or three (3) years after the date of the property tax lien auction.

Key dates of importance:

1.)  Property taxes become an automatic lien on the property every year on January 1.
2.)  The first half of the property tax year is due on October 1st.  Becomes delinquent November 1.3.)  The second half of the property tax is due no later than March 1st of the following calendar year; becoming delinquent on April 1.

See below for a visual interpretation:

Arizona property tax cycle
Arizona property tax cycle

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Real Estate Commissions – What You Should Know

So often I hear the age old question from prospective clients “What’s your standard rate of commission?”  I immediately respond with the truth that “There isn’t a standard rate”, much to people’s fascination.  That being said, I want to make it completely clear that all commissions rates are agreed to by the parties and in writing.  Different types of real estate command different ranges of commissions, due to the amount of time, effort, and expense borne by the REALTOR® in marketing the property.  What is critical for clients to know is that the commission rate paid must be sufficient enough to pay both the listing broker and a split to the buyer broker (as a means of a buyer broker bringing a buyer client into the deal).  In a relatively easy sale/transaction, the entire printed file (transaction documents, due diligence paperwork, e-mails, etc) contains nearly two (2) reams of paper!

Consult this commission breakdown to see exactly how little remains after the REALTOR® gets paid.

Breakdown of a commission

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Closing Costs: What You Should Know

As part of a real estate purchase contract in Arizona, most all terms and conditions are able to be agreed to by the parties.  Closing costs are no different (unless in the case of a VA loan).  It is not uncommon for a buyer to ask a seller to split closing costs as a means of reducing the buyer’s total cash deposit to be able to close escrow.  Sometimes a seller will agree to pay closing costs and then ask the buyer to pay purchase price marked up by the amount of the closing costs paid by the seller on buyer’s behalf at closing.

Here is handy guide to closing costs that will hopefully take the stress out of the process.

guide to closing costsShane O'Brien Business Card

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