Yes, do it yourself home loan modification is possible - if you know what you are doing! Unfortunately, not many people do know what they are getting into and that is why so many loan modification efforts fail. A bank or other financial entity is not going to grant you a mortgage modification just because you want one. They are going to be asking a lot of questions and you better be prepared to give all the right answers.
What am I up against?
First of all, the bank or other financial institution is a money-making venture. Secondly, they are not particularly on your side. If you are reading this article, chances are you are in trouble regarding your mortgage. In other words, the bank is losing money on you. Their objective is to limit those losses as much as possible. Modifications cost them money.
Furthermore, the bank does not care that you owe more on the loan than what the home is now worth. The bank did not guarantee your investment. They gave you money based on your agreement to pay that money back under certain rates and terms specified in a contract you signed. The fluctuations of the housing market had nothing to do with the specifics of that contract.
What kind of questions will the bank ask?
Just as an example, follow this line of questioning closely. Are you just late on your mortgage or have you missed payments entirely? (This answer will make a difference.) Do you have a valid reason? (Suppose you do have a good reason: You lost your job. Your spouse became unemployed. You became disabled.) Okay, so how are you going to make the payments on the modified loan? And the questions will continue in the same vein, each new one posed on your last answer.
So why would a bank want to agree to a modification?
As you can probably imagine, banks do not like foreclosures anymore than their clients who default. The money they have lent you gets put into their non-performing loan category. Every day they do not receive a payment, from the onset of the foreclosure process, they lose money. Banks do not want that.
The bank will not be able to foreclose for at least six months. In many states, the home buyer is allowed up to a year to get payments current. So, the bank has to sit there all that time with no money, maybe up to two years if legal maneuvering is involved. So, sometimes it is in their best interest to agree to a modification.
Should I do it myself or get some help?
First, understand that only about a third of modification requests are granted. Second, whether you hire a professional at $1,000 or more, or school yourself at a cost of $500 or more, if the modification is successful, it is worth very penny. Homes, after all, cost in the hundreds of thousands. Do not even mention the emotional investment.
Many folks are nervous about the process because they really do not understand what the bank needs to approve a modification. Some are just not talkers nor organized enough to pull off a good negotiation. So, hiring professional help does have a strong advantage for many.
On the other hand, if you equip yourself, you are in control. As mentioned above, a good home study course will run you about $500. Also, when you know what to expect and what to say, you will gain confidence and be able to negotiate from a position of strength. And, you are more likely to keep a close watch on follow-up contingencies; some paid negotiators often are lax on the follow-up.
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