Category: Loan Modification

Can a Loan Modification Save Your Home?

In the wake of the turmoil caused by the global crash of the housing bubble, the government has been advocating loan modification programs, which are designed to encourage banks and other lenders to offer more favorable terms to borrowers with existing loans.
The housing bubble saw many homeowners take advantage of unprecedented loan opportunities. Lenders bent over backwards to hand out a smorgasbord of seemingly lucrative options like adjustable rate mortgages to homeowners. However, as we all know, the roof fell in rather quickly, and homeowners were left in desperate straits with sky-high payments due and on the verge of foreclosure. Many distressed homeowners started looking into bankruptcy facts, wondering whether bankruptcy was the best option.
Loan modification programs are based on the premise that the already-struggling banks may benefit by seeing these borrowers pay back some money rather than face a complete loss. Helping these homeowners avoid bankruptcy and foreclosure means the banks will get something rather than nothing.
Loan modification programs are a bankruptcy and foreclosure fix for many besieged property owners.
Most loan modification programs are based on reducing interest rates or payments for a period of time or even giving borrowers a complete break on interest payments for a few years. In other cases, a bank may renegotiate the terms of your loan; for example, you may be able to switch from an adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed rate mortgage based on your circumstances. Theoretically, loan modification programs can help delinquent homeowners achieve a semblance of stability and pay off the remainder of their loans.
The first step in the loan modification process begins with you picking up the phone and contacting your bank’s hardship department. You will need to divulge your income and explain the circumstances that are preventing you from making regular payments on your loan. Your lender can tell you whether you qualify. Most loan modification programs exist for people who have already defaulted on at least one payment. If you are making timely payments, the banks might be reticent to modify your loan, figuring you can continue to stay current on your loan and they can recoup 100 percent of the loan.
All modifications you might make to your loan will be conducted through your lender and not via the government. And because the loan modification program is only encouraged by the government, not all lenders have chosen to participate. As I mentioned, some loan modifications may be available only if you have been tardy on your payments, though I have heard of a few available for people who have never been late. Keep in mind that some loan modificationprograms may be subject to fees based on the type of alteration requested, so get all the information before you make a decision.
No matter how dismal your financial situation, you might be able to find a way to retain your house and prevent a dreaded foreclosure through a loan modification. This might be a wonderful option for you, but its availability will depend on your lender and its willingness to work with you. Call your bank’s hardship department to see if you are eligible for a loan modificationprogram and if so, what type of program might best benefit you. An important thing to keep in mind when you talk to your bank is that the economic situation is changing faster than we can predict. What might have been valid yesterday may no longer be available tomorrow. If you are turned down for a loan modification, try again in a month or two.

Credit Bad, Loan Modification, Behind on Payments, What to Do?

Credit Bad, No Credit Score, How to Build Credit – Question #2
Question Submitted by:  Jan, Slidell, Louisiana
I refinanced our home into a poor loan with Countrywide.  Our loan is now with Bank of America and we are two payments behind.  Our credit is bad, any solutions?
Jan – Thank you for your reaching out, and I know how difficult it can be when your credit is bad and you feel you have no options.  It’s impossible to give you all your options with this information; however, here are a couple thoughts:
1) Your bank will not tell you this, but as long as you are paying any part of your payment, your bank will not negotiate with you on your loan modification. Myself and too many of my clients have gone through this – when you pay your bills, you don’t qualify for these programs.  The irony of that statement amazes me every time I say it.
When dealing with the banks on the loan modification, be very nice (I guess most people with credit that’s bad are not that kind) and keep asking them for a solution.  The banks are so overwhelmed that they cannot keep up with the requests they have and you won’t get their attention if you are paying.
2) There is no way around it; at the end of this process you will say, “My credit is bad.”
3) Your bank is going to tell you that you will be “unlendable” for 7 years because of credit bad. That is false.  If you understand how to build credit, you can have a 720 credit score 5-6 years before those late payments fall off your credit report.
The key is to reestablishing your credit score is to start now.  Also, don’t beat yourself up about this process, we have all had learning experiences over the past two years, and this too shall pass.
Credit Bad, No Credit Score, How to Build Credit – Question #2