Loan Modification Faq’s
What is Loan Modification?
Loan modification changes the terms and interest on a mortgage to bring the payments down to a level the homeowner can afford. A loan modification could lower the interest rate, increase the length of the loan and, in some cases, change the type of loan–such as changing from an interest-only or adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage.
What is the Government’s Role?
The federal government created the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) to assist homeowners with loan modifications. The government offers subsidies to participating as well as non-participating lenders and servicers when they approve someone for a HAMP loan modification. Federal law requires participation for servicers of loans guaranteed or owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. There may also be non-government loan modification options for many homeowners.
Can I Modify a Second Mortgage?
According to the Home Affordable Modification Program, you can modify a second mortgage through HAMP if the first mortgage has already been modified within the program. Participating lenders are given incentives to modify or forgive second mortgages. Non-participating lenders may also allow modification of second liens but that policy will vary by lender.
Our office is expert at settling second mortgages. Qualifying clients may be able to have their second mortgage removed completely from their real estate without the need for loan modification.
What Are The Basic Qualifications?
MakingHomeAffordable.gov states that the house must be your primary residence; the mortgage must have been started before January 1, 2009; the mortgage has to be $729,750 or less and the payment must be more than 31 percent of your income. You must also have a documented hardship that prevents you from making your current payments. Clients that do not meet these qualifications may still be eligible for a loan modification through non-government programs.
What is a Hardship?
A hardship is a circumstance that makes you unable to keep up with your mortgage payments. Unemployment, reduction in pay, divorce, death of a spouse or other changes in your finances can qualify as hardship.
What if I Am Unemployed?
The federal Home Affordable Unemployment Program (HAUP) provides unemployed homeowners with a temporary reduction or forbearance from mortgage payments for at least three months. You cannot have a previously modified mortgage under HAMP and participate in HAUP .
Can Lenders Require an Inspection?
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, your lender or servicer can request an inspection before agreeing to modify your loan. The inspection will ensure the property is still in good shape and does not need serious repair that may be too expensive for you to handle after loan modification. However, these inspections are very rare.
How Long Do I Have to Act?
Time is of the essence when you are behind on house payments. Time is definitely not your friend in this situation. Each day that passes makes it that much harder to get a work out agreement with your lender that you can live with. The home foreclosure process can take anywhere from a few weeks to many months, depending on your state law and the method of foreclosure your lender chooses to use. The sooner you apply for loan modification, the better.
Several Companies Contacted Me Recently Offering Help. What Makes Your Law Firm Different?
There are many predatory companies who are not what they appear to be. Beware of unscrupulous companies who are actually just interested in buying your house at big discount, or attorneys who just want to take you into bankruptcy. We have an experienced and caring staff of attorneys and real estate professionals, whose sole purpose is to save your house, not buy it, sell it, or force you into bankruptcy. Give us a call, speak with one of our professionals and judge for yourself. The consultation is free. We also have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and you can look up our attorneys on the State Bar of California website. You can also search our company online and read the many positive reviews posted by past clients.
Should I negotiate with the lender myself?
Yes. If you are only a payment or two behind and your lender has not hired an attorney to begin foreclosure proceedings you may be able to negotiate a work out agreement yourself. If you are successful then you have saved yourself some funds that can be used to get caught up on your mortgage.
Do I have enough time to stop foreclosure?
Up until the foreclosure sale occurs there is still hope. If a sale date for your house has been set you need to act fast. We have stopped sales set for the next day but this is very risky and some lenders will not agree to it. Your best option is to take action immediately to stop foreclosure before it goes too far.
How much do you charge to stop foreclosure?
Our fees are based on your mortgage payment amount, and the complexity and urgency of your situation. Our attorneys will evaluate your case and explain the best options to save your home. All clients receive a firm price quote in advance of us performing work on your case, so you can make an educated decision on whether or not to hire our firm. We are also SB 94 compliant, following all California state law regarding loan modification fees.
I’ve already talked with my lender and they just want all their money. Can you still help me?
Yes. Most of our clients have experienced this kind of inflexibility from their lenders before calling us. We get your bank to listen to your needs because they know and trust us. We have mitigated thousands of home foreclosure cases. That kind of experience gives us credibility with your lender.
What if I can no longer afford my home? Can you still help me?
Yes. If you are certain that you cannot afford your home any longer and wish to sell, we can help you to secure a short sale payoff with your lender. Often times these agreements can be arranged at low or no cost to you.
Will I have to meet with my lender or deal with paperwork?
Absolutely not. We take care of all the paperwork and all of the negotiating.