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Can I stop my repossessed home being sold at a knock down price?

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A friend of mine had their house repossessed in late February, just before the lockdown began.

With the assistance that is currently being offered such as mortgage holidays and protection from repossession until the end of October, is there any protection for those currently being repossessed? 

Can their lender sell the house at a reduced price because of the effects of the pandemic on the housing market?

House prices, according to the latest Nationwide data, have had the biggest fall in 11 years and I wondered whether my friend could request that his lender refrains from selling his property into this current depressed and distorted housing market?

The Government hasn't set any guidance for lenders on what repossessed homes should sell for while the lockdown remains in place

The Government hasn’t set any guidance for lenders on what repossessed homes should sell for while the lockdown remains in place

Will Kirkman of This is Money replies: The Government’s ban on repossessions came into place on the 20 March and was extended to 31 October this week. 

As you mention, your friend unfortunately saw their home repossessed just before the ban came into place. 

You say your friend has had to leave his home and that it’s now being advertised on an online portal, having been valued by three different agents from £825,000 to a high of £875,000.

The next stage will be for the lender to sell the home, and your friend may have to pick up any shortfall if the selling price doesn’t match what he owes. 

Unfortunately for your friend, the Government hasn’t set any guidance for lenders on what repossessed homes should sell for while the lockdown remains in place. 

As the home was repossessed before lockdown, it’s unlikely your friend’s financial hardships were a result of the economic impact of the virus, which is what the Government’s measures are intended to dampen.

And while it’s in your lender’s best interest to sell at the highest price possible, they will also want it to dispose of the property as soon as possible. 

We’ve asked Russell Conway, a senior partner at solicitors Oliver Fisher specialising in housing, for his advice on what to do next. 

Russell Conway, senior partner at Oliver Fisher solicitors replies: This is a very unfortunate situation to find yourself in.

Oliver Fisher senior partner Russell Conway

Oliver Fisher senior partner Russell Conway 

Sadly lending organisations and building societies generally choose to sell a repossessed property as quickly as possible. 

There are generally good reasons for this. 

Not least of which being that the property owner remains liable for interest on his loan until such time as the property has been sold and the loan paid off in full.

The lender has a legal duty to sell quickly and they also have a legal duty to obtain the best possible price for the property.

Repossessed properties can be sold on the open market using an estate agent or possibly at auction.

However, it should be stressed that valuation is not a science. 

It is possible 10 valuers looking at a property may well come up with 10 different valuations and accordingly while you may disagree with the price obtained for the property unless it is very wide of the mark there may be nothing you are able to do about it. 

Asking the court to hold off on selling until the market picks up is unlikely to be successful

 Asking the court to hold off on selling until the market picks up is unlikely to be successful

Obviously if a £500,000 property were sold for £200,000 that is something you would wish to question and possibly litigate over but if a £500,000 property were sold for £450,000 that may be very difficult to challenge.

Repossessed properties are often valued lower than normal house sales. This is because they may not have been left in great condition. 

There may also be a problem locally which made it difficult for the house owner to sell before the property was repossessed. 

There is also the fact that anyone purchasing a repossessed property may have a black mark on their credit rating as the previous occupant will have almost certainly have had a bad credit rating.

I am not sure if the property has now been sold or if it is awaiting sale. 

Sadly, however, to make an application to the court to defer sale until the property market picks up is unlikely to be successful as this is a huge unknown. 

While prices have dropped in certain parts of the country that is not the case everywhere and if the Covid-19 emergency slows down it may be the case that prices pick up again very quickly.

Courts do not like to dip their toes into the unknown, and accordingly I would advise against any application to the court.

If you genuinely believe the property has been sold at an under value – and you can back this up with an expert valuation report from a valuer – then and, only then, you might be able to think about challenging the sale.

I do wish you luck.

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Jackson receives financial reporting award

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JACKSON, Mich. (WILX) – The City of Jackson is getting international recognition for its transparency in financial reporting.

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to Jackson for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019.

The CAFR was judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program. Standards include demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate the financial story of the City and encourage users and groups to read the CAFR. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.

“This is great for the City as a whole because it improves our bond rating,” said City Manager Jonathan Greene. “We believe this award will help our residents understand the work we do to make the City’s finances transparent and easy to understand.”

Bond Ratings are letter grades assigned to bonds that indicates good or bad credit for an entity like the City of Jackson. By having a strong bond rating cities are granted opportunities to pay back interest at lower rates.

The CAFR can be viewed HERE.

Copyright 2020 WILX. All rights reserved.

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Letter: Vote for Kiesha Preston | Letters

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The residents of Roanoke, Virginia, need to get out of the box of voting based on party affiliation. It’s time to vote for the best candidate to do the job.

Kiesha Preston is running as an independent and is the best choice for Roanoke City Council. When she was only three years old, she was troubled because a local Kroger store removed the kiddie carts. She asked me how to get them back so she could shop beside me. I told her to go to the manager and she did. She stated her case, and a few weeks later those kiddie carts were back in the store.

Kiesha also has presented a bill to Congress that was approved. The Virginia Domestic Violence Victims Protection Act prevents domestic violence victims from not being able to rent an apartment because of bad credit as a result of their abuser ruining their credit.

These are but two examples of Kiesha’s tenacity and getting results. We need people on council who have no agenda and are truly willing to work for the least of us.

Kiesha is not intimidated by those in power and will hold her own to help those who cannot help themselves. This is why she is the right person to get the job done.

Please do not be discouraged because you are tired of the same old same old where parties are concerned. You have another choice so please vote for Kiesha Preston. She has been working tirelessly on behalf of the people without being elected to an official office. Just imagine what she can do once she is officially on City Council.

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This One Credit Card Will Get You the Most Cash Back Right Now

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Let’s admit it, choosing the right credit card can be a stressful process. There are so many variables to consider—from annuals fees to credit score requirement—not to mention the various rewards and benefits each card offers, and how those align with your lifestyle and spending habits. Then there are those hidden fees and interest rates you have to reckon with. In other words, it takes a lot of work to make a truly informed decision when it comes to choosing a credit card that’s right for you. Perhaps a good cash back program is high on your credit card priority list because, well, who doesn’t like some extra money in their pocket?

To help you decide on the credit card that is going to get you the most cash back, the experts at personal finance site WalletHub compared more than 1,500 current credit card offers. From that large pool, they narrowed down the field to the cards that offer cash back rewards, comparing those offers based on initial bonuses, rewards earnings rates, annual fees, and more. From that analysis, here are the best credit cards that will get you the most cash back right now. And for more money matters, check out This Is the State Where Your Money Is Worth the Least.

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Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card

Best for: Cash back on all purchases

Cash-back rate: 2.5 percent

Annual fee: $0.00 for the first year; $99.00 after that

What kind of credit you need to get one: Excellent

Learn more about the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature credit card here.

If you are worried about having buyer’s remorse after choosing a credit card, put that into perspective by checking out What You’re More Likely to Regret Than Anything Else You Do.

7

Discover It

Best for: People with bad credit

Cash-back rate: 1-2 percent

Annual fee: $0.00

What kind of credit you need to get one: Bad

Learn more about the Discover It credit card here.

6

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card

Best for: Cash bonus for good credit ($200.00)

Cash-back rate: 1-5 percent

Annual fee: $0.00

What kind of credit you need to get one: Good

Learn more about the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card here.

And to make sure you have money to pay off those monthly bills, avoid The Biggest Career Mistake You’ll Ever Make, According to Experts.

5

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Best for: No APR on purchases

Cash-back rate: 1.5-5 percent

Annual fee: $0.00

What kind of credit you need to get one: Good

Learn more about the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card here.

And for more things that will help you and your family stay on the right financial track, check out The No. 1 Sign You Shouldn’t Buy That House, According to Realtors.

4

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Best for: People with limited-to-fair credit and looking for low annual fee

Cash-back rate: 1.5 percent

Annual fee: $39.00

What kind of credit you need to get one: Fair

Learn more about Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card here.

3

Citi Double Cash Card—18 month BT offer

Best for: Flat-rate rewards

Cash-back rate: 2 percent

Annual fee: $0.00

What kind of credit you need to get one: Excellent

Learn more about the Citi Double Cash Card here.

2

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

Best for: Dining and entertainment

Cash-back rate: 1-4 percent

Annual fee: $95.00

What kind of credit you need to get one: Good

Learn more about the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card here.

1

Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

Best for: Most cash back overall

Cash-back rate: 1-6 percent

Annual fee: $0.00 for the first year; $95.00 after that

What kind of credit you need to get one: Good

Learn more about Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express here.

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