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RealRescue service launched to help bank-shy homeowners

As detailed on Carte Blanche recently, the cost of food, fuel and services has risen so much over the past 10 years that the average salary earner would have needed an increase of 13% a year just to keep up.
 
“However,” says Jan Davel, MD of the RealNet estate agency group, “most increases have of course fallen well short of that mark, especially since the global financial crisis of 2008 / 09, and the result is that most households have been unable to make any significant dent in their outstanding debt.
 
“Indeed, more than 75% of the average household income currently goes towards repaying debts of various kinds, including home loans, vehicle finance, personal loans and credit and store card balances.
 
“And while this is less than the peak of 84% of household income reached just before the recession, it means that most households are still in a very precarious financial position that can easily become disastrous in the event of a job loss, illness, or other family emergency.”
 
Things can become especially bleak, he says, for homeowners whose budgets just won’t stretch enough anymore to cover their bond repayments, because defaulting means they face not only the possible loss of their home but also the destruction of their credit record for many years to come.
 
“But even when things have got to that stage, most people, it seems, are more than reluctant to talk to their bank – they will do almost anything to avoid doing so, perhaps fearing that by actually admitting they have problems they will cause the repossession procedure to be speeded up.”
 
The sad part about this, Davel says, is that most if not all of these distressed homeowners could be helped out of their difficult situation through one of the banks’ assisted sales programmes if they would only speak up early enough – “and that is where our new RealRescue service comes in”.
 
Created specifically to assist distressed homeowners, RealRescue offers them the opportunity to talk to a RealNet agent who will then act as their intermediary and work to get them listed as distressed sellers who qualify for one of the assisted sale programmes run by the four major banks, he explains.
 
“The idea of these programmes is to help homeowners who are in default on their bond payments to sell their properties on the open market rather than have them repossessed and sold at sheriffs’ auctions.
 
“The banks have in this way already saved thousands of homeowners from having to go through the trauma of foreclosure – a big relief that we now intend to make available to many more people through the introduction of the RealRescue service.”
 
RealNet is accredited on the assisted sale panels of all four major SA banks, Davel explains, “so in any area where we have a franchise or a point of presence, we can help most homeowners who are struggling to make their homeloan repayments and would like to do something positive to change their situation.
 
“The final discretion as to whether the homeowner qualifies will always be that of the bank, but we would be delighted to assist any homeowner who is in arrears. What is more, it couldn’t be easier to start the process. All they have to do is email rescue@realnet.co.za or fax 012 348 3960. We will then put them in touch with an experienced and sympathetic RealNet agent who will help them and guide them through the whole assisted sale process.”


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