Article By: Georgette Miller, Attorney at Law
Falling behind in your mortgage payments can be frightening. The further behind you fall, the less chance you have of bringing it up to date. As you fall further and further behind, you know that foreclosure cannot be too far in the future. At this point you should ask yourself “Can a mortgage loan modification help you avoid foreclosure?”
WHAT IS MORTGAGE MODIFICATION?
A mortgage loan modification changes the terms of your loan with the main goal being to lower your payment and make them more affordable. This may be achieved by lowering the interest rate or changing your rate from adjustable to fixed. A lender may agree to include any past due payments to your principal in order to bring your account up-to-date. Your lender may extend the loan term, lower the principal or use a combination of different adjustments to help you afford your payments.
HOME AFFORDABLE MODIFICATION PROGRAM (HAMP)
The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is a federal program designed to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. HAMP Tier 1 is designed to lower the monthly mortgage payment for those who are at risk of foreclosure to 31 percent of their pre-tax monthly income. HAMP Tier 2 are for those who do not meet the criteria for Tier 1. Rental property owners, homeowners with a debt-to-income ratio lower than 31 percent, those who defaulted in HAMP trial period plan or who received a permanent HAMP modification but were unable to keep up with the payments are eligible to apply for HAMP Tier 2.
ASK FOR HELP
The question “can a mortgage loan modification help you avoid foreclosure” will only be answered if you ask for help. As soon as you realize you are falling behind in your mortgage payments, contact your lender to see what is available. Ask for the loss mitigation department when you call the mortgage company. It is also recommended that you contact a HUD-certified housing counselor who can help you through the mortgage loan modification process. Never pay an upfront fee to a housing counselor who says they can help you with your modification application. Most HUD-certified housing counselors will provide you with free advice.
SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION
The next step to avoid foreclosure is to submit your modification application to your lender. There will be a set of documents the lender will need, including a hardship letter or affidavit which will explain the circumstances that led you to fall behind in your payments. You will also need to provide documentation that shows that you will be able to pay the modified amount by presenting documents such as a list of debts and assets as well as a monthly budget. Label each page with your name and loan number. In addition, number the pages so the lender knows how many are included, such as “1 of 5.”
There are many federal and state regulations regarding mortgage loan modifications. If you are asking “can a mortgage loan modification help you avoid foreclosure,” contact the Law Offices of Georgette Miller and Associates today to learn what laws may apply to your circumstances. We can help guide you through the mortgage loan modification process and help you avoid foreclosure. Contact us at 1-866-96-GMLAW or visit our website to learn more.