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Loan Modifications

Loan Modifications

A loan modification is a complete re-structuring of your home mortgage. A loan modification is an agreement between a past due homeowner and a mortgage lender, which change the terms of a mortgage loan and usually cures any past due balances. There are federal loan Modification programs, such as H.A.M.P. (Home Affordable Modification Program), and private loan modification programs available directly through many lenders. Although you can apply for a loan modification yourself you may need or want to retain the assistance of an attorney to help you. Utah Bankruptcy Professionals has assisted hundreds of individuals obtain loan modifications in all the ways discussed above (reduction in amount of mortgage payment and interest rate, adding arrears to end of loan, reducing principal balance, etc.). To succeed, it is important to present yourself and your financial picture in the most favourable and accurate light possible to increase the likelihood the Lender will approve your application for modification. It is also important to demonstrate that the loan modification benefits both you and the Lender. Utah Bankruptcy Professionals has assisted many individuals in preparing, organizing and evaluating documentation requested in applications for loan modifications. Utah Bankruptcy has helped numerous individuals strategize means of increasing income to their households to qualify for a loan modification. The Lenders are very demanding in their requirements that all requested documents are submitted with the application for loan modification. There are often multiple additional requests for documentation.

Loan modifications are either approved or denied by the lender who owns your loan and its designated servicer. The lender’s designated servicer reviews the submitted paperwork and renders a decision based on the loan owners’ guidelines. To clarify, most mortgages today are owned by pension funds and investment groups, and serviced by banks and loan servicing companies. Many consumers falsely believe that major banks such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America own all the mortgage loans they service. The truth is that while they do own some of the loans, they act as a servicer for most loans. As a result, they are instructed by the owner of the note on what guidelines are to be used to determine whether a loan application is approved or denied. However, lenders have been pressured by the government to modify mortgages to assist homeowners and in cases where the mortgage is owned by a government sponsored entity the lenders are directed to modify a mortgage payment equal to 32% of gross income, if reasonable. However, the government left the means to the Lender for determining income was left to the lender along with the definition of “if reasonable”, no timeline was given under which they had to review the modification documentation, and the 32% of gross income to mortgage payment was vague as they were not required to modify to the percentage, only asked to when reasonable. Homeowners who are interested in obtaining a loan modification should be careful and only work with a licensed Utah attorney.

Loan modification scams and foreclosure avoidance fraud are commonplace and too many homeowners have lost their money and even their homes to criminals and con artists. Although ostensibly intended to assist borrowers who are experiencing financial problems, loan modifications have been getting a lot of bad publicity recently, thanks to lawsuits brought by consumers alleging that their lender misled them. Common complaints include allegations that the mortgage company recommended or encouraged borrowers to default on their mortgage to qualify for assistance, only to demand a huge sum of money afterwards. For loan modifications, this can be problematic because lenders never actually sign these documents. They simply send out the paperwork and express willingness to honour the modification until they suddenly and unilaterally terminate it – which they can, because they never signed it. In the meantime, unwary consumers have come to rely on the modification and change their payment habits accordingly, only to be struck with an unexpected notice of default. A loan modification is a change to the original terms of your mortgage, typically due to financial hardship. The goal is to reduce your monthly payment and this can be achieved in a variety of ways. Your lender will calculate a new monthly payment based on amendments made to your initial mortgage contract.

Some types of modification are better than others, and your lender might not offer all of them, although it might have additional options. Options include:
• Principal reduction: Your lender can eliminate a portion of your debt, allowing you to repay less than you originally borrowed. It will recalculate your monthly payments based on this decreased balance, so they should be smaller. Lenders are typically reluctant to reduce the principal on loans, however. They’re more eager to change other features which can result in more of a profit for them—not a loss. If you’re fortunate enough to get approved for a principal reduction, discuss the implications with a tax advisor before moving forward because you might find that owe taxes on the forgiven debt. This type of modification is usually the most difficult to qualify for.
• Lower interest rate: Your lender can also reduce your interest rates, which will reduce your required monthly payments. Sometimes these rate reductions are temporary, however, so read through the details carefully and prepare yourself for the day when your payments might increase again.
• Extended term: You’ll have more years to repay your debt with a longer-term loan, and this, too, will result in lower monthly payments. This option is commonly referred to as “re-amortization.” But longer repayment periods usually result in higher interest costs overall because you’re paying interest across more months. You could end up paying more for your loan than you were originally going to pay.
• Convert to a fixed rate: You can prevent problems by switching to a fixed-rate loan if your adjustable-rate mortgage is threatening to become unaffordable.
• Postpone payments: You might be able to skip a few loan payments. This can be a good solution if you’re between jobs but you know you have a pay check out there on the horizon somewhere, or if you have surprise medical expenses that will be paid off eventually. This type of modification is often referred to as a “forbearance agreement.” You’ll have to make up those missed payments at some point, however. Your lender will add them to the end of your loan so it will take a few extra months to pay off the debt.

Depending on the type of loan you have, it might be easier to qualify for a loan modification. Government programs like FHA loans, VA loans, and USDA loans offer relief, and some federal and state agencies can also help. Speak with your loan servicer or a HUD-approved counsellor for details. For other loans, try the Fannie Mae Mortgage Help Network. The federal government offered the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) beginning in 2009, but that expired on Dec. 31, 2016. The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) expired two years later at the end of 2018. But HARP has been replaced by Freddie Mac’s Enhanced Relief Refinance Program and by Fannie Mae’s High Loan-to-Value Refinance Option, so these might be a good place to start for assistance. Modification is an alternative to foreclosure or a short sale. It’s easier for homeowners and it tends to be less expensive for lenders than other legal options. You get to stay in your home, and your credit suffers less from modification than it would after a foreclosure. In some states, they’re not legally permitted to charge a fee in advance to negotiate with your lender, and in other states, they’re not allowed to negotiate for you regardless of when you pay them. Of course, don’t count on them telling you this. A loan modification is a permanent restructuring of the mortgage where one or more of the terms of a borrower’s loan are changed to provide a more affordable payment. Many different loan modification programs are available, including proprietary (in-house) loan modifications, as well as the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Flex Modification program. If you’re currently unable to afford your mortgage payment, and won’t be able to in the near future, a loan modification might be the ideal option to help you avoid foreclosure.

While a loan modification agreement is a permanent solution to unaffordable monthly payments, a forbearance agreement provides short-term relief for borrowers. With a forbearance agreement, the lender agrees to reduce or suspend mortgage payments for a certain period of time and not to initiate a foreclosure during the forbearance period. In exchange, the borrower must resume the full payment at the end of the forbearance period, plus pay an additional amount to get current on the missed payments, including principal, interest, taxes, and insurance. The specific terms of a forbearance agreement will vary from lender to lender. If a temporary hardship causes you to fall behind in your mortgage payments, a forbearance agreement might allow you to avoid foreclosure until your situation gets better. In some cases, the lender might be able to extend the forbearance period if your hardship is not resolved by the end of the forbearance period to accommodate your situation. In forbearance agreement, unlike a repayment plan, the lender agrees in advance for you to miss or reduce your payments for a set period of time. A loan modification company, also known as a mortgage modification company, is a business that helps homeowners modify the terms of their home loans or mortgages.

When a mortgage is modified, the original terms of the home loan contract between a lender and a borrower are renegotiated and then altered, usually in the favour of the borrower. Many homeowners choose to obtain modifications to their home loans when they are struggling to pay their mortgages or hope to avoid foreclosure. In order to expedite the loan modification process, homeowners may rely upon the services of a local loan modification company. By working with company that handles loan modifications, homeowners “receive the advice, resources and services they need to obtain the best terms possible for their modification while avoiding scams, which are prevalent in the loan modification industry.” Additionally, homeowners who are facing foreclosure may be able to remain in possession of their homes if they work with their lenders to modify their mortgage. Loan modification can also make homeowners’ monthly loan payments more affordable. Loan modification programs are offered by loan modification companies and can be very helpful to homeowners who are struggling with their mortgages. Many of these programs enable homeowners to pay zero advance fees, reduce monthly mortgage payments and stop foreclosure. Loan modification companies can also inform homeowners of federal programs, which may be advantageous. Loan Modification Company Software: Software built for existing companies to help process paperwork and do analysis. These range from Customer Relationship Manager (CRMs), to online portals and also internal analysis.

Loan modification is the systematic alteration of mortgage loan agreements that help those having problems making the payments by reducing interest rates, monthly payments or principal balances. Lending institutions could make one or more of these changes to relieve financial pressure on borrowers to prevent the condition of foreclosure. Modifications were a fix to the crash as litigation has ensued as the lenders reorganized and renamed the lending institutions and government agencies are to closely monitor them. Prior to modifications loan holders that experiences crisis would use Loan assumptions and Loan transfers to keep the note in the 1930s. During the Great Depression, loan transfers, loan assumption, and loan bailout programs took place at the state level in an effort to reduce levels of loan foreclosures while the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Trade Commission, Comptroller, the United States Government and State Government responded to lending institution violations of law in these arenas by setting public court records that are legal precedence of such illegal actions. The legal precedents and reporting agencies were created to address the violations of laws to consumers while the Modifications were created to assist the consumers that are victims of predatory lending practices. During the so-called “Great Recession” of the early 21st century, loan modification became a matter of national policy, with various actions taken to alter mortgage loan terms to prevent further economic destabilization. Due to absorbent personal profits nothing has been done to educate Homeowners or Creditors that this money from equity, escrow is truly theirs the Loan Note Holder and it is their monetary rights as the real prize and reason for the Housing Crash was the profit n obtaining the mortgage holders Escrow?

The Escrow and Equity that is accursed form the Note Holders payments various staff through the United States claimed as recorded and cashed by all staff in real-estate from local residential Tax Assessing Staff, Real Estate Staff, Ordinance Staff, Police Staff, Brokers, attorneys, lending institutional staff but typically Attorneys who are also typically the owners or Rental properties that are trained through Bankruptcies’ Mediation is usually a great way for a plaintiff and defendant to sit down with a neutral arbiter to hash out their differences and come to a resolution that is usually better than continued litigation. Mediation is successful in all types of disputes including personal injury cases, contract disputes and even divorces. However, in these cases, circuit court judges will readily punish a party who fails to attend mediation or who attends but fails to comply with the mediation order. The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) was established on February 18, 2009 to help up from 7 to 8 million struggling homeowners at risk of foreclosure by working with their lenders to lower monthly mortgage payments. The Program is part of the Making Home Affordable Program which was created by the Financial Stability Act of 2009]. The program was built as collaboration with banks, services, credit unions, the FHA, the VA, the USDA and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, to create standard loan modification guidelines for lenders to take into consideration when evaluating a borrower for a potential loan modification. Over 110 major lenders have already signed onto the program. The Program is now looked upon as the industry standard practice for lenders to analyze potential modification applicants. Foreclosure rescue and mortgage modification scams are a growing problem. Homeowners must protect themselves so they do not lose money or their home. Scammers make promises that they cannot keep, such as guarantees to “save” your home or lower your mortgage, often for a fee. Scammers may pretend that they have direct contact with your mortgage servicer when they do note. Even amongst reputable refinance organizations, the fundamental education of the house owner is not stressed. Some may even request struggling homeowners to pledge their time to become politically active.

The controversy exists between personal integrity and the concept of a ‘right to homeownership’. Many euphemisms are used to implicitly stress the concept that homeownership is not the result of a lifetime of effort but a government-given right. These euphemisms like “HOPE, relief and Save-the-Dream” as used above in naming or implementing the loan modification programs. The origins of the word ‘mortgage’ are a death pledge—a concept that perhaps even exceeds the common view of personal integrity. At the foundation of homeownership should be a personal long-term commitment to pay the terms of the mortgage. On the banker’s side of the contract, their business model is regulated by the ‘social good’ which are implemented by government by chartering banks. If the banks implement policies that lead to financial bubbles and panics, a democratic government is equipped with the tools to unchartered and redistribute banks assets.

Loan Modifications In Utah Free Consultation

When you need legal help with a loan modification in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

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About the Author

People who want a lot of Bull go to a Butcher. People who want results navigating a complex legal field go to a Lawyer that they can trust. That’s where I come in. I am Michael Anderson, an Attorney in the Salt Lake area focusing on the needs of the Average Joe wanting a better life for him and his family. I’m the Lawyer you can trust. I grew up in Utah and love it here. I am a Father to three, a Husband to one, and an Entrepreneur. I understand the feelings of joy each of those roles bring, and I understand the feeling of disappointment, fear, and regret when things go wrong. I attended the University of Utah where I received a B.A. degree in 2010 and a J.D. in 2014. I have focused my practice in Wills, Trusts, Real Estate, and Business Law. I love the thrill of helping clients secure their future, leaving a real legacy to their children. Unfortunately when problems arise with families. I also practice Family Law, with a focus on keeping relationships between the soon to be Ex’s civil for the benefit of their children and allowing both to walk away quickly with their heads held high. Before you worry too much about losing everything that you have worked for, before you permit yourself to be bullied by your soon to be ex, before you shed one more tear in silence, call me. I’m the Lawyer you can trust.