Always Verify Loan Information Directly with Lenders

To calculate how much equity an owner has in a property, you must first know the unpaid principal loan balance. However, the only way to verify the balance

Repair Item Estimated Cost

Soffit, fascia, gutters and downspouts $_

Roofs, flashing and vents $_

Lawn, shrubs and plants $_

Parking areas and walkways $_

Fences and walls $_

Exterior door repair and replacement $_

Exterior building repair, preparation and paint $_

Exterior lighting repair and replacement $_

Countertop repair and replacement $_

Plumbing repair and replacement $_

Window repair and replacement $_

Carpet cleaning and replacement $_

Cabinet repair and replacement $_

Interior preparation and paint $_

Interior door repair and replacement $_

Electrical repair and replacement $_

Vinyl and ceramic tile replacement $_

Heating and cooling system repair and replacement $_

Total cost estimate $, and the payment status of a mortgage or deed of trust loan is for the lender to provide the owner with an estoppel letter, which states the unpaid loan balance and the payment status of the loan. Estoppel is a legal doctrine that prevents parties from denying facts that they have previously certified as being true. For example, if a lender sends you an estoppel letter stating that Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public's mortgage or deed of trust loan has an outstanding balance of $52,750 as of a specific date, the lender cannot later claim that the loan balance was really $62,750. I recommend that you have the property owner call the lender to get the name of the person in charge of the loan servicing customer service department before sending the estoppel letter. This way, the owner will have the name of a real live person to call if he or she does not receive a quick response to the estoppel letter request. To request a mortgage or deed of trust estoppel letter from a lender, send a letter like the sample on page 143.

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