Maggie’s Five Rules for Working with Your Bank or Servicer

By Maggie McCarthy, Housing Counselor at Project Sentinel, one of the members of ForeclosureHelpSCC.

1.Calling Your Bank or Servicer: When you call your bank or servicer, always be prepared with information the lender may ask from you. They will probably ask for your:

  • Loan Information; loan number, mortgage payment amount, property taxes, insurance.
  • The servicer or bank will also ask about your income, both gross- (before taxes), and net (after taxes).
  • The servicer or bank will also want to know about your other household expenses, including utilities, food, transportation, insurance, credit card payments, and any other debt payments that you have to make (for example, car loans, school loans).

2. Hardship: When discussing your hardship with your lender, be clear and to the point. They want to know the cause of your hardship, any actions you may have taken to help yourself (for example, cut out cable or reduced other bills), and what kind of help you are looking for from your lender. For example, if you were unemployed for three months but now have a new job (and can pay your mortgage), then you could ask them to add the past due amount to the balance of your mortgage.

3. Documents: If you are seeking a modification, remember that you are essentially asking them to write a whole new loan. While modifications can take time, there are some steps you can take to make the process go faster:

  • Provide all documentation requested;
  • Double-check that you have completed and signed all forms that they are requiring;
  • Make sure all of your supporting documents are up to date. You may have to update some documents like your pay-stubs every month.
  • If you write the loan number on every page of any documents that you are sending to the bank or servicer, it reduces the chance your documents will get lost.

4. Follow-Up: Once you submit all of the documents, follow up with your lender every week to 10 days on status of your request, that also shows that you are very interested in resolving the problem. Start a notebook, and make sure you write the name and ID number of the person you talk to each time, and what you discussed. While this can be a frustrating process, the bank person may be able to help you, so be nice to them, and you may even try and make friends with them. You never know how much power they have to help move your case forward.

5. Other Options: There are other options and programs available to resolve your housing problem, so ask your lender for other options available if you do not qualify for a loan modification. Always ask questions and never agree to anything that you don’t understand or sign any documents that you don’t understand. If you are being offered something, ask if they can put it in writing.

Do you have any tips you have found helpful based on working with your bank or servicer?

Remember: You don’t have to go through this process alone. If you have questions, give ForeclosureHelpSCC a phone call and we can set up an appointment to meet with you: 408-293-6000.

Please note: All content included in the ForeclosureHelpSCC blog is provided for information only and should NOT be considered legal or tax advice.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us on our hotline: (408)-293-6000, or visit our website:

3 thoughts on “Maggie’s Five Rules for Working with Your Bank or Servicer

  1. Pingback: Loan Modification: How To Be Successful | ForeclosureHelpSCC

  2. Pingback: Helpful Resources if You’re Facing Foreclosure By Foreclosure Help SCC | ForeclosureHelpSCC

  3. Pingback: Homeowners Say Customer Service is Still a Problem when They Contact Their Bank or Servicer | ForeclosureHelpSCC

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