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Steps of a Foreclosure Process in Pasadena California

Steps of a Foreclosure Process in Pasadena California

In California there are two types of foreclosure with which a home owner might be faced.  A “judicial foreclosure” and the “trustee sale” sometimes called the “power of sale” foreclosure.

Judicial Foreclosure


In a judicial foreclosure, where the amount recovered in the sale is less than the amount owed on a loan, the difference is called a “deficiency.”  A “deficiency judgment” is a judgment against the borrower for the difference between the unpaid balance on the loan and the amount generated by the foreclosure sale or the fair market value, whichever is greater.

If the foreclosure is accomplished by judicial action, the lender may be able to obtain a deficiency judgment against the borrower.

However, the recovery of the deficiency amount is only available in a judicial foreclosure and is not permitted after a “trustee’s sale.” In other words if the lender utilizes the non-judicial method of a trustee sale, a deficiency cannot be collected.

Additionally, the recovery of a deficiency is not possible on a “purchase money” loan, including seller-carried financing, on any real property or loans on property consisting of 1 4 family units of owner occupied residential property.  Recovery of the deficiency amount is possible, however, on a refinanced property loan (non purchase money) or on 1-4 family non owner occupied residential property loans.

Foreclosure by Trustee Sale

In contrast to the judicial foreclosure, in a trustee sale there is no court filing.  Instead the lender elects to accelerate the loan under the “power of sale” clause contained in the deed of trust and the property is sold at a trustee sale.

In actual practice, when the borrower is approximately 45 to 60 days in default, the lender sends a letter advising that the loan is in foreclosure and that the lender is going to exercise the option to accelerate the loan.  The borrower is also provided information about how to reinstate the loan.  If the borrower does not cure the default, the lender then records a “notice of default” against the property.  The soonest the actual foreclosure sale can occur once the notice of default is recorded is three months and twenty one days.

If the property sells at foreclosure for more than the amount due plus costs of foreclosure, the “excess proceeds” are distributed to junior lien holders whose loans or liens were “wiped out” by the foreclosure and any remaining excess is returned to the property owner.  Where the junior lien holder’s security is wiped out by the foreclosure of the primary lender, the junior lien holder may choose to sue on the note under a breach of contract claim.  While this was rarely done in the past, some lenders are now pursuing this course of action to recover the lost security on their loans.

Here’re the simplified steps to a Trustee Sale Foreclosure


A home owner has missed a payment or two, but you can still make up the payments to the lender.   The lender will still accept late payments.

Foreclosure notice or Notice of Default (NOD):

The lender publishes the NOD in the paper and records the NOD with the county.   In order to cure the default, a home owner generally has to make a lump sum payment to the lender that covers arrearages, late fees and attorney fees.  Generally, you will receive an NOD after being approximately 90 days delinquent.  Although, the lenders are all overwhelmed now and in reality some lenders take closer to 4 to 6 months to file.

Notice of Sale (NOS):

Approximately ninety days after the bank has filed the NOD, the bank will issue an NOS.   This means a trustee sale date has been made, which could be within in just seven days or less.  At this point the only way to stop the foreclosure is to cure the default by paying everything the bank says you owe, filing a Bankruptcy (which grants an automatic stay) or by filing an injunction if you have grounds to do so.


After the redemption period (if applicable), you will be given an Eviction Notice and have a specific amount of time to vacate the home.   In some instances, you will be given an offer of “cash for keys”, meaning the bank will give you money to vacate early.   Some banks will do this to get you out faster and/or help ensure that you don’t do anything to harm the property.

Options for a Home Owner Facing Foreclosure

Workout Plans:

The first option a borrower should consider when attempting to keep a home is a workout.  Under a workout scenario the lender will assist the borrower in keeping their home.

One of the plans usually offered to the borrower is “forbearance.” Under a forbearance plan the lender will allow the borrower to continue for a certain period of time, such as six months, without making a payment.  When the borrower is able to catch up, the borrower resumes making payments plus an additional amount to bring the loan current.

Loan modification can also involve rewriting the terms of the loan to make the loan affordable for the borrower. This might consist of changing an adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed rate mortgage, for example.  The objective is to work out the default with the borrower to allow the borrower to remain in the home and avoid foreclosure.

Short Sales:

“Short sales” may occur once a home is in foreclosure or prior, but before the property goes to sale.

In a short sale, the lender accepts an offer from a third party buyer for less than the outstanding loan on the property and forgives the deficiency owed by the borrower.

This arrangement may be appealing to lenders because it saves time and money by stopping the legal foreclosure process and by taking the property off the lender’s books.  However, recently it has come to light that some lenders agreeing to short sales are including language in the release which allows them to sue on the note even though they are releasing the security in the property.  Pasadena home sellers need to ensure that there is appropriate language on the release to avoid potential problems in the future.

Until December 21, 2007, if the lender accepted less than the balance owed and cancelled the debt, that amount would be considered debt forgiveness, and tax would be due on the amount forgiven.  This forgiven amount was called “phantom income.”   According to the IRS it is the same as if you received that amount of income.

On December 21, 2007 President Bush signed H.R.3648: Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 which provides relief to homeowners facing foreclosure from the phantom income realized from debt forgiveness or foreclosure.  The benefit to the borrower of a short sale is that the credit report will show that the loan settled for less than full value as opposed to a foreclosure. Those who are most interested in the short sale opportunity are those who would like to preserve their credit by avoiding the foreclosure.

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure:

In a “deed in lieu of foreclosure” plan the borrower returns the deed on the property to the lender in exchange for a release of the security interest and a cancellation of the note.  As in the case of foreclosures and short sales, the borrower may be able to claim relief under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act.

Caution: A number of lenders have been offering a deed in lieu of foreclosure.   However, when the borrower reads the fine print on the release of claims, he discovers that the lender is reserving the right to proceed against the borrower for breach of contract on the loan.

It is strongly recommended that home owners request an attorney to review the documents received from a lender before entering into a deed in lieu of foreclosure transaction to assure that the documents express the true intent and understanding of the borrower.


Bankruptcy is another option that defaulting borrowers may sometimes consider.

Generally, bankruptcy will be attractive where the borrower is in debt with no feasible way of recovering.   The most common scenario is where the borrower is in default on a loan where the lender is seeking judicial foreclosure or where the lender is suing on a note where the underlying security has been “wiped out” by a senior creditor.

Again, whenever you are facing possible foreclosure, it is prudent to consult an attorney who is qualified to address all of the available options.


Altadena Foreclosures List

Burbank Foreclosure Home List

Pasadena Foreclosure Home List

South Pasadena Foreclosure Home List

If you are thinking of buying or selling your home, please give us a call for a comprehensive and free consultation. We can be reached at 626-629-8439.


Pasadena Real Estate Agents

Pasadena, California



Posted on June 12th, 2009
Posted by: Irina Netchaev

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Foreclosed Homes in Altadena California: REO property for Sale

Foreclosed Homes in Altadena California: REO property for Sale

Altadena homes for sale listed as foreclosures in Pasadena Multiple Listing Service:

For more Altadena foreclosure property details, please visit Altadena Foreclosures for Sale.

If you are interested in seeing any of these Altadena homes, please give us a call, we’ll be happy to set up an appointment to show them to you.


Pasadena Real Estate Agents

Pasadena, California



Posted on June 5th, 2009
Posted by: Irina Netchaev

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Foreclosed Homes in South Pasadena – South Pasadena Real Estate – REOs for South Pasadena Homes, Condos and Townhomes

Foreclosed Homes in South Pasadena – South Pasadena Real Estate – REOs for South Pasadena Homes, Condos and Townhomes

Live Multiple Listing feed of all available South Pasadena foreclosures (bank owned homes):

For more property and real estate information, please visit South Pasadena Home Foreclosures List

If you are interested in seeing any of these South Pasadena foreclosures, please give us a call, we’ll be happy to set up an appointment to show them to you.


Pasadena Real Estate Agents

Pasadena, California


Posted on June 5th, 2009
Posted by: Irina Netchaev

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Burbank Foreclosures – Homes, Condos, Townhomes and Income Property for Sale – Burbank CA Real Estate

Burbank Foreclosures – Homes, Condos, Townhomes and Income Property for Sale – Burbank CA Real Estate

Interested in seeing the latest bank owned or foreclosed properties in Burbank, CA?  if so, here’s a direct feed to the Multiple Listing Service that is constantly updating.

For more property details, please visit Burbank California foreclosures for sale

If you are interested in seeing any of these Burbank foreclosures, please give us a call, we’ll be happy to set up an appointment to show them to you.


Pasadena Real Estate Agents

Pasadena, California


Posted on June 5th, 2009
Posted by: Irina Netchaev

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Women in Real Estate

Women in Real Estate

I am so excited to have been featured in Pasadena Weekly again. Take a read below and let me know what you think!

The feminine touch
For many women agents, real estate is more about people than property
By Joanna Beresford 05/14/2009

netchaev-realtor-pasadena-weeklyThe typical American real estate agent is a 52-year-old white woman. She’s attended college, she owns her own home and she’s married. In fact, 60 percent of realtors are women, according to the 2008 National Association of Realtors Member Profile. Women outnumber men in the business in every age group, even among those 60 and older.

Real estate used to be dominated by men, so what happened? Where did all these Rosie-the-real-estate-agents come from and how can they rock so prodigiously, from Pittsburgh to Plano to Pasadena?

In his forward to Ebby Halliday’s recently released biography (“Ebby Halliday: The First Lady of Real Estate”), Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach writes: “Football and real estate have a lot in common. Leadership matters. Ambition counts. Heart energizes. Ebby Halliday might have made a good quarterback.”

Based in Dallas, Ebby Halliday Realtors sells more homes than any other brokerage in Texas and was ranked in 2007 by RealTrends Inc. as the 11th largest brokerage in the country. Halliday graduated from Abilene High School in 1929 and started out by selling hats. The husband of a client visited her shop one day in 1945 and asked her to sell some homes for him. They were ugly cement bungalows and he figured, according to legend, that if Halliday could sell the unlikely millinery concoctions that his wife brought home, she could sell a couple of his houses.

In perhaps the earliest effort at staging a model home, Halliday decorated the concrete residences with draperies, curtains and furniture and sold them all within a year. Inspired by the accomplishment, she began to build her empire.

Maybe that’s what Malcolm Gladwell would call the tipping point, or the point at which a confluence of events causes a significant social or personal upheaval. Women were increasingly and differently empowered throughout the first half of the 20th century. The war lured them from the “sanctuary” of their homes into economic life. The country was on the verge of that proliferation of humanity known as the baby boom and a period of relative wealth and expansion. And, as everybody knows, Texas girls kick ass — on a ranch, in an office and in a living room.

It’s not a Texas trend at this point; it’s a national reality. And while I don’t usually get excited about sociological games or decoding statistics, here’s what I do think is cool: people who are good at what they do.

And there’s another thing I like: When different capabilities come together in one person and make this really vibrant, faceted thing called a successful adult, with nuance and skills that defy expectation.

Irina-the-Tsarina Netchaev, one of Pasadena’s talented real estate agents, doesn’t think that her male clients perceive her any differently than do her female clients, whether they come in singles or pairs. Gender, in terms of her image, seems fairly insignificant to Netchaev. However, she does believe that her identity, or persona, or whatever you call that feminine mystique, serves her and her clients well in the business.

“In my opinion, what gives me an edge is combining my business skills and education with my natural sense of intuition and mothering instinct,” says Netchaev. “It’s an unbeatable combination.”

Instincts and skills don’t entirely drive career choices. Women are nothing if not pragmatic, and many women raise children, want to earn a living and also feel compelled to engage in the public sector. Real estate offers them the flexibility and autonomy that their busy lives require.

“I got into real estate two years ago when both my girls were in school,” says agent Kerri Glotfelty. “It was a tough time to enter the market, but I’ve learned so much from my colleagues and I’ve been able to develop at my own rate.”

Ultimately, real estate is more about people than property, and it’s more practical than political. “The Internet has empowered real estate consumers by providing them with information never before available,” says Netchaev. “I have had to quickly move with changes and incorporate the habits of consumers into my business. By creating real estate blogs and sites I provide information that consumers crave and at the same time market my clients’ homes to millions of potential buyers. Real estate is much more interactive now. Homes are bought and sold on social networks like Twitter and Facebook.”

Good news for women, who are notoriously social. But, for male and female agents alike, technology doesn’t negate Ebby Halliday’s leadership, ambition and heart; it just puts these qualities on the grid.

The original article can  be found at Joanna Beresford’s page at Pasadena Weekly.


Opportunity Knocks Buyers and sellers have good reason for hope in economic crisis – “Best Of” issue of Pasadena Weekly, October 16, 2008

Barefoot in the park Walking miles without anyone’s shoes is an eye-opening experience – Pasadena Weekly, September 18, 2008

What Price Paradise? Now may be the best time to make that move to a new home – Pasadena Weekly, August 14, 2008

History in the Making Short sales make owning a home a reality for many- Pasadena Weekly, June 22, 1008

Posted on May 29th, 2009
Posted in About Us, Fun Posts
Posted by: Irina Netchaev

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Altadena Estate – Old World Charm at a Foreclosure Price

Altadena Estate – Old World Charm at a Foreclosure Price

A new foreclosed listing in Altadena hit the market last week. It is an amazing estate on Altadena Drive sitting on a huge lot – 36,850 sq. ft. per assessor.


The home itself has seen many better days. It must have been really grand at one time. It features 5 bedrooms and 4 baths, huge windows, several fireplaces and lots of nooks and crannies.


As in a lot of mansions built in the early 1900s, there is a grand staircase leading to the upstairs living quarters, as well as a servant’s back entry.

The bathrooms are enormous and the rooms are spacious with extra high ceilings.

There’s a remnant of what used to be a tennis court, a pool with a cabana, a river rock bar-b-que. I can just see the parties that were hosted here.


Now… this Altadena home is bank owned, repossessed and available to purchase for $569,900.

Keller Williams Realty in Santa Monica is representing the bank in this sale and has entered the following information into the Pasadena Multiple Listing Service:

“Great price for this grand house waiting for your renovation, spacious front porch, large entry way with crown molding, dining room with built-in hutch, stain glass window & ceiling with box beams, living & dining room have pocket doors, sun room off of living room, wood floors, 1 bedroom on main floor with 4 bedrooms on 2nd level along with study/den, roomy basement for storage, hugh lot approx 36,850, private drive shared with 2 other houses.”

If you are interested in getting more information about this one of a kind property, please contact us at 626-204-3340.

READ MORE: Pasadena Real Estate Guide

For more property details, please visit Altadena homes for sales post.

Posted on May 5th, 2009
Posted by: Irina Netchaev

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Is my Pasadena Home being reviewed for a Decline In Value by the Tax Assessor?

Is my Pasadena Home being reviewed for a Decline In Value by the Tax Assessor?

Home values in Pasadena California have declined over the last year and a half.  We started seeing home price decreases in 2007 and they have continued through 2008, but if you own a home or condo in Pasadena, you still wrote a healthy check to the Los Angeles County Tax Assessor for your bi-annual taxes which were due on April 10th.

READ MORE:  Pasadena Real Estate Housing Analysis for the Last 5 years (2003 to 2008)

I wrote about the tax assessor proactively re-evaluating properties which were purchased between July 1, 2004 and June 30th, 2007. Now, the LA County Tax Assessor has made it even easier to find out if your home property taxes are under review.

If you click on the link below, it will take you to a page where you will be able to enter your home’s property tax identification or AIN number OR type in your Pasadena home address to see if your property’s tax status is under review due to the “decline in value”.


You can also check the status of your application if you submitted one for reassessment by entering your street address or Assessor Identification Number.

You can also see if your property automatically qualifies for a decline-in-value review under either one of the following conditions:

  • The property is a single-family home or condominium purchased between July 01, 2003 (2000 in some areas based on economic conditions) and June 30, 2008.
  • A property is subject to annual review of a temporary decline-in-value reassessment granted for the prior assessment year (2008).

Pasadena home owners of properties other than single-family or condominium (residential-income and commercial/industrial for example) may file a decline-in-value APPLICATION on or before December 31, 2009.
While you may check and monitor the status of a potential or existing decline-in-value review, the details of this review can be obtained by contacting your Los Angeles County District Office.

ALSO READ: Property Tax Increases on your Pasadena Home

How are Property Taxes calculated in Pasadena California

Get your Property Reassessed by the LA County Tax Assessor

To see what Pasadena homes are selling for right now or to start your Pasadena home search, see our Pasadena Homes for Sale site.

For more information on the current health of Pasadena’s real estate market, please visit Pasadena Real Estate Housing Reporting and Statistics site.

Posted on April 15th, 2009
Posted by: Irina Netchaev

1 Comment »

CalTech Housing – Pasadena Condo for Sale

CalTech Housing – Pasadena Condo for Sale

If you attending CalTech and looking for housing, here’s a wonderful opportunity to own your own condo in Pasadena

This beautifully renovated 1 bedroom and 1 bath Pasadena condo is available for sale for only $200,000.  The complex located at 1115 Cordova Street offers a pool, sun deck and a barbeque area.

More information can be found at 1115 Cordova Street #213 Pasadena condo website.


If you are interested in seeing this condo, please call Irina Netchaev, your Pasadena Real Estate agent at 626-627-7107 to schedule a private showing or email Irina at

UPDATE:  Sold in 1 day and closed escrow in 13 days!

Posted on March 17th, 2009
Posted in Homes for Sale
Posted by: Irina Netchaev


A New Breed of Real Estate Agents

A New Breed of Real Estate Agents

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks. I’ve been getting multiple phone calls from home buyers finding my real estate websites and contacting me for more information on homes that they are interested in.

That’s great! Except for, most of these home buyers are doing research for their part time real estate agents. The phone call goes something like this:

Scenario #1

Home Buyer: Hi, I wanted to get more information on 1234 Main Street. I saw it on your website and wanted to see if you can show it to me.

Me: That’s great. I would love to help. May I ask you, are you currently working with a real estate agent?

Home Buyer: mmm… yes… but, my real estate agent doesn’t have time to show me the home. He or she is very busy. Can you please schedule an appointment for me.

Scenario #2

Home Buyer: I was driving through an area and saw a house that I liked. There’s a sign for XYZ company, but they’re not returning phone calls. I googled the address and your site came up. Can you please give me more information.

Me: Same answer – see above.

Home Buyer: Yes… I’m working with an agent, but your site is so informative and you seem so nice. You wouldn’t mind giving me more information about this house, would you?

Scenario #3

Home Buyer: I would like to get more information on a Pasadena home that you have on your website. I called my real estate agent and he said that he didn’t have access to the MLS, can you pull this up for him.

Me: SHOCKED… trying to think fast of an answer that will not offend.

Scenario #4:

Home Buyer: Hi, I’m calling to see if you have any short sales in Pasadena, Temple City or Arcadia.

Me: Sure… there are many homes available that are in the “short sale” process. Are you currently working with an agent.

Home Buyer: Well… I’m actually a lender looking for my client.

Me: Okay, no problem. Is your client working with a real estate agent?

Lender on behalf of Home Buyer: Silence… well… I’m doing all the pre work for my client. Just collecting information.

Me: That’s great. But, isn’t your client working with a real estate agent to help him buy a home?

Lender on behalf of Home Buyer: You see… once we find a home, I will represent him.

Me: Do you have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)? All the information on short sales is there.

Lender on behalf of buyer: silence and hang up

Okay, so I’m getting a little frustrated here.

Let me set the record straight. Real estate agents work on commission.

Minimum real estate agent responsibilities:

We explain the home buying process.
We ensure our clients are pre-approved and understand what they can and can not afford.
We find the right homes for our home buyers.
We negotiate the best price and terms.
We oversee all transactional details during the escrow process.
We close escrow.
Home buyer is happy and we get paid.

The best real estate agents will only work with 3 to 4 buyers at one time. Their time is limited because their focus and attention is devoted to their clients.

If you are a home buyer working with a real estate agent that is unable or unwilling to provide you with the attention that you deserve – switch agents. But, please, I beg you, do not call me and ask for information and cut into my time with my clients. It’s simply disrespectful.

If you are a lender who is trying to make some extra money on the side dabbling in selling real estate. Let me tell you. It’s not easy. If you’re not equipped and trained and experienced to do it correctly, just don’t. Save yourself and your clients the trouble. Refer your home buyers to a great real estate agent.

And, if you are a part time real estate agent that does not have the time for your clients because you have another full time job or do not have the money to invest in the MLS and other needed tools, well… you know what NOT to do…

Posted on March 13th, 2009
Posted by: Irina Netchaev

No Comments »

$8,000 Credit Explained

$8,000 Credit Explained

There are a lot of questions around the $8,000 tax credit that is part of Obama’s stimulus package. Here’s a more detailed explanation:

The $787 Billion stimulus bill is made up of tax cuts and spending programs aimed at reviving the US economy. Although the package was scaled down from nearly $1 Trillion, it still stands as the largest anti-recession effort since World War II. One of the major benefits of the plan is a tax credit for new homebuyers.

According to the plan, first-time homebuyers who purchase homes from the start of the year until the end of November 2009 may be eligible for the lower of an $8,000 or 10% of the value of the home tax credit.

A first-time home buyer is defined as someone who has not owned a primary residence for the last three years.

It’s important to remember that the $8,000 tax credit is just that… a tax credit. It’s a dollar-for-dollar tax reduction, rather than a reduction in a tax liability that would only save you $1,000 to $1,500 when all was said and done. So, if you were to owe $8,000 in income taxes and would qualify for the $8,000 tax credit, you would owe nothing.

Better still, the incentive is refundable, which means you can receive a check for the credit even if you have little income tax liability. For example, if you’re liable for $4,000 in income tax, you can offset that $4,000 with half of the tax incentive… and still receive a check for the remaining $4,000!

Who Qualifies?

The $8,000 incentive starts phasing out for couples with incomes above $150,000 and single filers with incomes above $75,000 and is phased out completely at incomes of $170,000 for couples and $95,000 for single filers.

To break down what this phase-out means, the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) offers the following examples:

Example 1: Assume that a married couple has a modified adjusted gross income of $160,000. The applicable phase-out threshold is $150,000, and the couple is $10,000 over this amount. Dividing $10,000 by $20,000 yields 0.5. When you subtract 0.5 from 1.0, the result is 0.5. To determine the amount of the partial first-time homebuyer incentive to this couple, multiply $8,000 by 0.5. The result is $4,000.

Example 2: Assume that an individual homebuyer has a modified adjusted gross income of $88,000. The buyer’s income exceeds $75,000 by $13,000. Dividing $13,000 by $20,000 yields 0.65. When you subtract 0.65 from 1.0, the result is 0.35. Multiplying $8,000 by 0.35 shows that the buyer is eligible to reduce the tax liability by $2,800.

Remember, these are general examples. Borrows should consult a tax advisor to provide guidance relevant to their specific circumstances.

What Type of Home Qualifies?

The tax credit is applicable to any home that will be used as a principle residence. Based on that guideline, qualifying “homes” include single-family detached homes, as well as attached homes such as townhouses and condominiums. In addition, manufactured homes and houseboats used for principle residence also qualify. Buyers will have to repay the credit if they sell their homes within three years.

Posted on March 9th, 2009
Posted by: Irina Netchaev

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