Loan modifications aren’t an overnight deal, and while homeowners are antsy and hopeful, this process typically takes anywhere between 30 and 90 days. If you don’t receive any immediate feedback, don’t get discouraged.
There are a few questions you should be prepared to ask upfront when dealing with a lender or a loan modification specialist. Obviously, the first question should be how long the process for this type of situation usually takes. Pinpoint the dates for the best and worst-case scenarios and mark those days on your calendar. You can then follow up with additional questions, such as: When can I expect to hear something about my case? Then mark that date on your calendar. Finally, ask for contact information for the appropriate point-of-contact if you don’t hear back by the estimated date.
Nobody likes the antagonizing wait that comes with the territory of processing applications for loan modifications. However you shouldn’t just wait on the sidelines, being left in the dark to what is going on with your case, but prepare yourself for the following:
If you hired a loan modification specialist to represent you, do not speak with your lender or lender’s representative. Refer all matters only to the professional who is representing you. Anything you say to the lender could confuse things or compromise your representative’s ability to negotiate the best deal on your behalf.
Log all phone calls and correspondence between you and your lender or representative. Write down the number you called, the person you talked with, what was discussed.
Keep track of important dates. If you do not hear something back on the date promised, call the next day to find out what’s going on. Lenders almost never call you back with updates. If you hired a third party representative, they will (or should) keep you posted, but the lender simply doesn’t have the time to make follow up phone calls. If you’re dealing with your lender directly, you’ll have to be the one making the calls. Mark your calendar and schedule periodic update phone calls. Consistent follow up is paramount to a successful modification.
Explore other options. If the lender denies your request for a loan modification or presents an offer that you cannot accept, you will need a plan B (and maybe a plan C and a plan D). In addition, other options may be better for you than a loan modification. Consult a real estate agent about listing your home for sale. Talk to a mortgage broker or loan officer about refinancing. Speak with a bankruptcy attorney to find out whether filing bankruptcy would be a better choice.
Don’t be surprised if you continue to receive delinquency notices or late payment phone calls. Lenders rarely put a stop on the foreclosure process until a workout solution is fully in place. You should ask your lender if your attempts to negotiate a solution will stop or at least postpone other collection actions. If they do not, you should find out what that means for you. If the lender is able to foreclose in 30 days and a workout takes 60 days, there’s a slight timeline problem. Push to have all default and foreclosure actions put on hold while your workout attempts are underway.
Loan When your fate is in the hands of another person, even a 30 day wait seems like forever! Remember to be an active party, keeping track of the progress, ask questions and keep informed, and finally explore all possible resources. This not only boosts your chances of a positive outcome, but it also helps eliminate stress.
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