Shari B. Olefson, J.D., LLM – Foreclosure Nation

What is your most recent book?

Foreclosure Nation: Mortgaging the American Dream

Tell us a little bit about it.

The family residence is the backbone of the American economy, the most valuable and enduring asset for those who have achieved a financial foothold. Yet today record numbers of households confront foreclosure. Before it’s all over, over ten million Americans will lose their homes and almost fifteen billion dollars of wealth will disappear in the process. How did the traditional “American Dream” morph into a nightmare for so many?

Foreclosure Nation explains how America slipped to the edge of this dangerous stagnation-recession precipice. In plain language that is easily understandable to the average person, the book clarifies legal and financial terminology and describes how our country’s mortgage system really works. Utilizing real-life lender and borrower interviews, the book exposes its intrinsic flaws and often discriminatory practices, from the mortgage application process to the securitization of bundled mortgages by large investment firms. The book also provides evidence to show the government’s and Wall Street’s roles in both causing and solving the problem.

Above all, the book offers expert tips, tools, and resources to help readers:
-Choose a mortgage professional and understand what’s motivating him or her
-Decide what mortgage product fits best and when to refinance
-Get the best fees, interest rate, and service
-Create solutions for navigating the credit crunch
-Know what to do when readers can’t afford your mortgage
-Protect a home if at risk of foreclosure
-Understand how to proceed if already in foreclosure
-Capitalize on emerging opportunities and avoid the scams and mortgage fraud
-Prepare for coming changes

Foreclosure Nation demystifies the real estate bubble and the subprime mortgage crises that followed. With bold, clear visuals like inventory, absorption, and price trend graphs, it pinpoints exactly when and why experts are predicting a recovery. The book also cites statistics that strongly suggest the number of foreclosures will surge, with increased reverberations felt throughout the US and global economies. Foreclosure Nation will prove indispensable to explaining what is happening and guiding readers through.

Whether planning on buying a first home, struggling to meet current mortgage payments, facing foreclosure, or wondering how investments will be affected, this comprehensive book will assuage fears of the unknown, empowering readers to make wise choices and protect their most valuable assets.

Tell us something about yourself.

Shari Olefson is a partner at the law firm Fowler White Boggs, P.A. Shari is one of only a handful of lawyers in the state who is both a Florida Bar certified real estate attorney and has earned a Master of Law degree in Real Property, Land Development and Finance. Since 1989, her practice has focused on real estate, business transactions and assisting clients to resolve the disputes that sometimes result from transactions and business relationships, including complex business and real estate related mediation, work-outs and foreclosures.

Ms. Olefson’s transactional and related conflict resolution background encompasses purchases, sales, refinances, development, construction, finance, foreclosures, asset preservation and loss mitigation, title agency, real estate and mortgage licensing and brokerge, commercial leasing, RESPA compliance, 1031 exchanges, and contracts.

She has worked with all property types including retail, office, industrial, multifamily and custom residential, shopping centers, restaurant, out-parcel, marina, hotel-motel, mixed use and raw land. Ms. Olefson’s business background includes all facets of entity selection and formation, joint venture creation, mergers and acquisitions.

Her clients include, individuals, public and private local, national and international lenders, businesses, landlords, tenants, developers, investors, buyers, sellers, and borrowers.

Ms. Olefson also represents lending and investment institutions creating loan programs and structuring and restructuring loan portfolios and commercial transactions. Her expertise is likewise sought by lenders, developers and investors in connection with special assets in default resolution, negotiation, mediation and documentation.

Ms. Olefson enjoys long standing relationships with clients throughout Florida, the United States and internationally, attesting to her dependability, technical skill, business acumen and dedication to servicing client needs. She has also written of “Foreclosure Nation: Mortgaging the American Dream,” (Prometheus Books, NY); “An Immediate Look at the Best Practices for Assisting Distressed Homeowners in Florida,” (Aspatore Special Report); “The State of Foreclosure in the State of Florida,” (Thomson Reuters); “The Commercial Real Estate Market: Between a Rock and a Hard Place,” (Thomson Reuters) and is a motivating public speaker for formal and informal presentations and writings as well as a frequent speaker and writer for industry organizations and associations.

In addition, she frequently appears on CNBC, Fox News, CSPAN and MSNBC.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

Whether you are planning on buying your first home, struggling to meet your current mortgage payments, facing foreclosure, or wondering how your home value and other investments will be affected, this comprehensive book will assuage the fear of the unknown, empowering you to make wise choices and protect your most valuable assets.

Are you working on your next book?

Yes. “5 Simple Steps to Save Your Dream”

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

On the book website, www.foreclosurenationthebook.com readers can find a personal bio for Shari Olefson along with a multitude of information regarding the foreclosure crisis, including a blog page which is constantly updated with the newest and most pressing issues and information readers should be aware of gathered in one place. There is a Q&A page on the site where readers can submit their own questions to Shari Olefson and receive a response via the website. On the press page there are many radio and TV interviews which have been posted on the site. The book can be found and purchased at Amazon.com.

What inspired you to write this book?

Generations before you, perhaps including your own parents and grandparents, entrusted you with a vision founded on courage, independence, hard work, personal responsibility and common sense financial values. Like “Always hope for the best but prepare for the worst.” And “If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.”

There is much you can learn from the past few years of American history and the years leading up to them. No doubt it has been a costly education for everyone. But that glass is half full and now you’re in the midst of the great American “do-over.” This is your chance to learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others, get yourself and your great nation back on track, and protect your Dream – the American Dream – of upward financial and social mobility, common sense financial values, self-sufficiency, homeownership, a stronger middle class, and hope for a better future for your kids and your country.

Whether you’re a homeowner, a banker, a commercial real estate investor, or one of the other tens of millions who has been touched, this website, my book and I myself, am dedicated to helping empower you, our country and each of its citizens to squeeze all the lessons we can from our collective mistakes, figure out how to fix them, and move onward and upward.

As was the case following the Great Depression, the next decade in American history will change lives for generations to come. Make your own imprint a beneficial one!