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Bob Hillery, real estate pro and short-sale specialist

Many homeowners have fallen victim to the struggling economy, unable to make their mortgage payments, and not knowing where to turn. Bob Hillery of Willis Allen Real Estate is a real estate professional and short sale specialist that has assisted many through this rough time.

A short sale, Hillery said, may be a viable solution for a homeowner to consider to avoid the foreclosure process.

“What people don’t understand is that a short sale could be a potential way out,” said Hillery, noting how the process is lengthy. “There are very complex requirements to get a short sale approved.”

Homeowners need to be qualified for a short sale. When short sale paperwork is submitted to a mortgage company for review, the paperwork must be complete in every way. If it’s not, the process could slow down considerably. Hillery said he knows what mortgage institutions require. He compiles a comprehensive package including items such as tax history, bank, income and hardship statements.

Hillery has also coordinated a resource team with loan modification, credit repair, lender and legal experts. A short sale is only one alternative.

“It’s important to explore all the possibilities,” he said. “People get to the point where they want to give up, and that’s where I would like people not to be; I’d like to reach people ahead of time to let them know that they have options.”

If a homeowner has paid their mortgage on time, and continues to do so during a short sale process, their credit may only be impacted by 20 to 40 points. Miss one mortgage payment due date and a person gets dinged 35 points on their credit score, he explained.

“What I would like is to talk to people when they realize they have trouble, but haven’t missed any payments yet,” he said.

Hillery is helping families in a depressed real estate situation that includes things they never expected. He understands how life can throw an unexpected curve ball: sickness, loss of a job, death, and divorce.

Not too long ago, people felt ashamed of foreclosures. That’s not the case today, Hillery said, adding that 25 percent of mortgages in the U.S. are “underwater.”

Now, banks are more willing to help, he said.

“The mortgage institution, with its lax standards, contributed to this and they need to share in the recovery,” he said. “My mission is to see that people get damaged less with a short sale than they would if they had to go through a foreclosure or bankruptcy.” A foreclosure impacts a person’s credit for six to eight years, while a bankruptcy may have a 10-year negative effect or more.

For the most part, Hillery said, real estate agents won’t touch short sales for a variety of reasons: uncertainty in the process, the trouble it takes, different mortgage protocols, and working with clients in need.

“Real estate is all about helping people,” said Hillery, a retired USMC colonel who served this country for 30 years. “I took care of my troops then and I am taking care of my other troops now.”

Hillery wants people to know that a short sale is far from a quick fix. It’s a slow and tedious process. What he does bring to his clients is a high level of professionalism, knowledge, care and empathy.

On a personal level, Hillery recently intervened when a family could no longer afford their mortgage payment. Now, the home is being rented. Hillery understands the pain these situations can bring.

In his spare time, Hillery helps the community of Fallbrook in other ways. He serves as president-elect of the Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce and said he looks forward to the positive changes the organization has on the horizon.

To reach Hillery, please e-mail him at [email protected] or call (760) 696-7482. He also invites you to visit

http://www.bobhillery.com.

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