A firm which has specialized in helping consumers escape underwater mortgages is finding their former clients open to returning to the market again.
YouWalkAway.com has been in business since 2007 and claims to have helped 6,000 to 7,000 consumers minimize damage to their credit scores as they abandoned property they could no longer afford, a process known as strategic default.
Now the firm has discovered that far from being averse to the mortgage market, almost 80% of its former clients surveyed expressed a desire to purchase another home within a year after losing the first one in a foreclosure, short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure.
The San Diego-based company has launched an application that contains a survey which aims to help consumers who have lost their previous home get a better understanding of when and under what conditions they might be able to rejoin the housing market.
“There needs to be a way for people to easily see if they are eligible to buy again,” said former CEO and YouWalkAway co-founder Jon Maddux in a prepared statement about the application.
“Millions have experienced the unfortunate event of foreclosure, but that does not mean that they should be discouraged from becoming homeowners again in a more stable environment, or that they should be disqualified from doing so,” Maddux said.
“With historically low interest rates, mortgage payments often rival rental rates. The ability to lock in these reduced rates puts more money in consumer pockets and, ultimately, lends to overall recovery. It’s a win-win and its accessibility needs to be made clear,” he said.
The firm said the application at AfterForeclosure.com has already been downloaded about 2,000 times and that 30% to 40% of those users have found they could re-enter the buying market.
“It is important to note the primary reason why buyers don't pass is because they haven't had enough time pass since the foreclosure or short sale,” Bethany Branscum,
director of operations for YouWalkAway, wrote in response to a question about the application. “Most borrowers need at least 36 months after the foreclosure and 24 months after the short sale in order to pass the app.”