Facing Foreclosure? Listen Up!
If you quit then it's over, if you never give up then you always have a chance. First in foremost, I am a Christian and that being said you must have faith above all. If you are facing foreclosure then you may want to read this carefully. I have written about this previously but it is time to address again. I have gotten numerous calls in the last few weeks, friends and family alike that are facing tough financial crisis. Whether or not you are behind on your mortgage, you can ask your lender for a mortgage modification. Remember, if you are not behind on your mortgage you can still ask for a modification. Rest assured you will be told that there is nothing they can do for you until you are late. Do not fall into that trap! I personally know many people that have gotten mortgage modifications after they were told they could not. The lender told them they would have to be at least 90 days late. I know for a fact they have never been late and had their balances lowered, the interest and/or payments lowered, forgiven or waived. But you simply can't take “no” for a answer If you are late - same thing; don’t take “no” for an answer! Just keep asking until you get the answer you are looking for. Here is the first thing you need to do - whether you are late or not. Call your lender and specifically ask for the Loss Mitigation department. Again, don’t take “no” for an answer. You may have to call multiple times, but you will find someone to answer the phone who actually cares and that can get you going in the direction you need. What you will find out is that you will receive as many answers to the same questions as the number phone calls you make. Once you get Loss Mitigation, let them know your situation. Let them know whether you were laid off, fired, had a pay cut…whatever. You have to let them know your financial situation has changed from when you first purchased your home, including the fact that your home is probably worth 30 percent or less than when you initially bought it. In fact you might even consider giving the keys back to the lender and just buy the house next door for 50 percent less. I can tell you that the banks - all of them - need to cut deals to sell their real-estate owned and/or non-performing assets. In fact, many of the banks are encouraged or even rewarded by the government for getting rid of their non-performing assets. That translates into working deals out with you. If the bank reworks your loan and makes it current, then the bank will be able to move that loan off their non-performing assets list. They are very motivated to do this. The longer the property takes to foreclose, the longer it takes the bank to free up the money they have tied up on the non-performing asset, thus they want to cut deals and modify loans more than ever before. So don’t be the one reading this saying I already did what you are saying and was told “no.” If you are saying this, you will lose. The banks are changing their minds daily. After you have started the process with your lender, you can go to “Hope Now” online. They may tell you that you cannot file with them, again don’t take “no” for an answer; insist that they do. Hey, even if you get denied - so what. I know people that have been denied numerous times by their bank and by the “Hope Now” program only to actually get approved many “no's” later. And that goes for people that have never been late before. Okay, this is especially for you former Countywide people out there. I have heard that Bank of America is so far behind that they are suspending actions of foreclosures on their Countrywide loans until they get caught up. Furthermore, I specifically know someone who has a loan with Countywide that is currently going through the modification program. They were about 90 days late as of February and called Bank of America to request a mortgage modification; they also filed with “Hope Now.” Here is what has happened so far. Nothing! I mean nothing! Well, except they haven’t made a payment and their loan is current. What the bank did was tack the past due payments of the loan to the backend and then made the loan current. They then said that until they get caught up to review the modification request no payments would be due and that the loan would stay current. So each month they get a statement from the bank giving them the loan balance and showing that they are current with nothing owed. It has been months since the modification request. If you have an old Countrywide loan, start making your calls now requesting a mortgage modification. I hope this helps you and don’t forget you must have faith above all things. Don’t give up or as my uncle says, “don’t take yourself out of the game, it always gets better and as long as you move the ball along, things will change.” All my best – James Dicks