WANTED: An Oreo Lover

April 29, 2009

Why is it so hard to find a beautiful loving cat a good home? Everyone seems to only want cute little kittens, but there are hundreds of thousands of stray cats of all ages out there that desperately need a good home. I’m talking cats that would LOVE to have a warm and safe home and that would sit in your lap and purr or lay at the foot of your bed while you sleep. Good cats that didn’t do anything wrong, but they were abandoned the moment they became “inconvenient” to their owners.


Oreo is a wonderful black and white male cat perhaps a year and a half old. I’m not sure of his exact age. When I first started taking care of him he was very afraid of humans and wouldn’t come near, but over time he learned to trust people and especially me and now he is as tame and loving as any household cat.

So why is he still living outside under cars and in the rain and cold? Read more

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April 27, 2009


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Examples of hardships for a hardship letter

April 26, 2009

writeOne of the items your lender will ask for during the short sale process is a hardship letter. A hardship letter is a written explanation as to why you fell behind in your mortgage payments. So swallow your pride and face the reality that you’re going to have to explain yourself before your lender says, “Oh, don’t worry about those 15 delinquent mortgage payments. And we’re comfy with you selling your home for $150,000 less than what you owe.” Consider it like having to bring a doctors note to school after missing a few days. The purpose of this article is to help you write a good doctors note.

Your goal is to stop the foreclosure process so start brainstorming for all the reasons why you are in your current financial crisis. And the bank expects you to be in a bit of a crisis too before they’ll consider accepting a short sale. If you’re current on your mortgage payments and have a fat bank account don’t expect your bank to forgive your debt. That wouldn’t make any sense now would it?

Here are some valid reasons for experiencing financial hardship:

  • Illness and/or medical bills
  • Loss of job
  • Reduced income
  • Failed Business
  • Job relocation
  • Death of spouse or co-borrower
  • Incarceration
  • Divorce or marital separation
  • Military duty
  • Damage to property (hurricane, flooding, fire)
  • Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) reset shock

The last example of an ARM reset is becoming increasingly common so don’t be shy about adding this reason to your hardship letter. If you were paying $750 per month for the past few years and suddenly your mortgage rate adjusts to a $1200 payment you could very well experience a strain on your finances leading to a hardship. The difference between your old payment and new payment is the equivalent to a new car payment.

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How to Avoid Florida Mortgage Fraud Scams

April 24, 2009

clearwaterfloridaMcCollum Unveils Website to Help Homeowners Avoid Mortgage Fraud-Related Scams

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum today unveiled a new website designed to help homeowners avoid mortgage fraud-related scams. The website, at, provides consumers with easy access to current investigations, complaint forms, and tips to identify and avoid foreclosure rescue fraud. Foreclosure rescue fraud, or fraud involving loan modifications related to foreclosures, is the complaint topic most commonly reported to the Attorney General’s Office and involves the charging of an up-front fee for foreclosure rescue services before any services are provided, if they are provided at all. Read more

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Cumberland Trace – Largo, FL Real Estate

April 22, 2009

Looking for a townhome in Cumberland Trace of Largo?


There are some incredible deals available in Cumberland Trace townhomes. Prices have dropped significantly over the past few years due to adverse market conditions. While this is bad news for Cumberland Trace homeowners it’s an incredible opportunity for buyers.

As of April 22, 2009 there are 4 units currently for sale. All have 1272 square feet and identical floor plans. The list prices are as follows:

  • $99,900
  • $117,000
  • $119,000
  • $134,900

The 3 lowest priced listings are all short sales while the $134,900 is a fair market sale.  The crazy thing is these units were over $120,000 brand new back in 2004 so clearly they have lost all equity gained over those years. In fact most have lost all equity and are now selling at a loss for the homeowners. Again, good news for buyers and not so good news for sellers. Read more

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Nolo’s Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home

April 21, 2009

buying-your-first-homeby Ilona Bray J.D. Nolo, Alayna Schroeder J.D., and Marcia Stewart Nolo

“Any first-time homebuyer owes it to him or herself to get this book. It’s packed with information you won’t find anywhere else, yet is remarkably accessible, even when covering complex financial issues.” — Elisabeth DeMarse, CEO,, former CEO,

“Coming from a gal that knows tools, this book is a must-have tool for any home buyer. It offers so much essential information, purchasing a home without it would be like trying to drive a nail without a hammer!” — Norma Vally, host of Toolbelt Diva (Discovery Home) and author of Chix Can Fix: 100 Home Improvement Projects and True Tales From the Diva of Do-It-Yourself

” Enthusiasm, hints and tips all rolled into a great read for first-timers.” — Pat Lashinsky, President of ZipRealty

“On my scale of one to 10, this superb book rates a off-the-chart 12.” (Robert Bruss ) Read more

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The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Staging your Home to Sell by Julia Dana and Marcia Layton Turner

April 21, 2009

staging-your-home-to-sellProduct Description
It’s show time!

Home staging transforms rooms from that everyday lived-in look to ready-to-be sold for top dollar. This step-by-step guide offers the tactics used by home stagers—from de-cluttering and cleaning up to arranging and remodeling—that will often yield a quicker sale and higher selling price.

  • Decorating tips to make a house appeal to the widest range of buyers
  • Cost-effective techniques to highlight the home’s selling points, whether it’s the floor plan, the high ceilings, or a newly renovated bathroom
  • Suggestions on how to downplay or eliminate features that might be considered negatives— such as smaller rooms, minimal storage space, or ghastly wall colors

About the Author
Julie Dana is a professional interior re-designer and an accredited staging professional who owns her own decorating business, The Home Stylist. She has authored several articles on thrifty decorating and home staging tips and contributed her expertise and photos of her clients’ homes for The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Selling Your Own Home.

Marcia Layton Turner is a best-selling, award-winning author who co-authored The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Selling Your Own Home and has written articles on home decorating and design for Woman’s Day, Business Week, Realtor, Black Enterprise, and many others.

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The Housing Boom and Bust by Thomas Sowell

April 21, 2009


Publisher: Basic Books

Release Date: April 29, 2009

Product Description
This is a plain-English explanation of how we got into the current economic disaster that developed out of the economics and politics of the housing boom and bust. The “creative” financing of home mortgages and the even more “creative” marketing of financial securities based on American mortgages to countries around the world, are part of the story of how a financial house of cards was built up—and then suddenly collapsed.

The politics behind all this is another story full of strange twists. No punches are pulled when discussing politicians of either party, the financial dangers they created, or the distractions they created later to escape their own responsibility for what happened when the financial house of cards in the financial markets collapsed.

What to do, now that we are in the midst of an economic disaster, is yet another story—one whose ending we do not yet know, but one whose outlines and implications are explored to reveal some surprising and sobering lessons.

About the Author
Thomas Sowell has taught economics at Cornell, UCLA, Amherst and other academic institutions, and his Basic Economics has been translated into six languages. He is currently a scholar in residence at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has published in both academic journals in such popular media as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes magazine and Fortune, and writes a syndicated column that appears in newspapers across the country.

Visit Thomas Sowell’s web site

Visit the Wikipedia page for Thomas Sowell

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No Matter What

April 20, 2009


Someone must have altered this photo. I don’t even own red shoes.

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Unpaid real estate property taxes in Tampa Bay skyrocket

April 20, 2009

property-tax-bill1According to the St. Petersburg Times a record number of property taxes are going unpaid in Tampa Bay thus depriving our area of millions of dollars of tax revenue. As of April 2009 114,000 properties had overdue tax bills totaling more than $300 million.

  • Hillsborough County property owners owe the most, with nearly $160 million overdue, a 6 percent increase from last year.
  • In Pinellas County, property owners have not paid about $116 million in taxes, up 18 percent from last year.
  • Pasco County has $35 million outstanding, while Hernando County property owners owe about $20 million.

The St. Petersburg Times reports that about a third of the properties with overdue bills are homeowners. The rest are commercial properties, including First Central Tower in downtown St. Petersburg, the Tierra Verde Marina, the Brookside Apartments in Temple Terrace, and the Safety Harbor Spa.

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