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Home Loan Help

Mortgage Modification

Attorney experience is important when attempting a mortgage modification. A successful mortgage modification will lower your monthly mortgage payments and enable you to keep your home. Reduced payments on your mortgage occur when your interest rate is lowered and the amount of time in which you have to pay off your mortgage (the maturity date) is extended.

There are common reasons as to why lenders are willing to modify your mortgage. As the numbers of foreclosures have increased, mortgage lenders have realized that foreclosing on numerous homes significantly increase the lender's costs. The lender typically is the owner of the house following a foreclosure sale, to which they have expended thousands of dollars in attorney's fees, court costs, property taxes, insurance and association dues. As a result of the foreclosure process, the bank will have to hire a broker in an attempt to sell the house and a property manager to maintain the premises.

Additionally, there is a federal mandate for most lenders to at least review the majority of their loans for modification possibility.

FACTORS FOR MORTGAGE MODIFICATION

If any of the following factors apply to you, you should consider mortgage modification.

  • If your home is worth less than the amount you owe and are struggling to meet your payments.
  • You are falling behind on your mortgage payments.
  • You are being foreclosed by your lender.
  • If you have an adjustable rate mortgage that adjusted higher and you cannot now meet the higher monthly payments.

Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)

The Federal Government has established the HAMP program, better known as the Obama plan. The purpose of the program is to lower monthly mortgage payments based upon the borrower's income. If an individual is not eligible for mortgage modification through HAMP, there are other modification alternatives available.

If you are having a tough time making your mortgage payments, you may qualify for HAMP. HAMP lowers your monthly mortgage payment to 31 percent of your verified monthly gross (pre-tax) income to make your payments more affordable. The typical HAMP modification results in a 40 percent drop in a monthly mortgage payment. Eighteen percent of HAMP homeowners reduce their payments by $1,000 or more.

 
Florida mortgage modification

Eligibility*

You may be eligible to apply if you meet all of the following:

  • You occupy the house as your primary residence.
  • You obtained your mortgage on or before January 1, 2009.
  • You have a mortgage payment that is more than 31 percent of your monthly gross (pre-tax) income.
  • You owe up to $729,750 on your home.
  • You have a financial hardship and are either delinquent or in danger of falling behind.
  • You have sufficient, documented income to support the modified payment.
  • You must not have been convicted within the last 10 years of felony larceny, theft, fraud or forgery, money laundering or tax evasion, in connection with a mortgage or real estate transaction.

*Eligibility criteria is for guidance only. Contact your mortgage servicer to see if you qualify for HAMP.

ALTERNATIVE MORTGAGE MODIFICATION

If you are not eligible for HAMP, you may be able to apply for different "in-house" modifications. The scope and effect of these modifications depend upon your particular lender. Some programs utilize calculators similar to the HAMP program, while others utilize an income and expense analysis.

Loan Modification Resources

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Loan Modification Forms
Dodd Frank Certificate:
Tax Transcript:
Income Verification: