By Stephanie Vang, HomeOwnership Program Manager at Neighborhood Housing Services of Silicon Valley, one of the members of ForeclosureHelpSCC
Do you ever wonder what does it take to get successful loan modification from your lenders? How long is the loan modification process? From our experiences of working with distressed homeowner in imminent danger to default and homeowners already in foreclosure; the answer to these questions is TIME. You must take time away from your busy work schedule to visit your lender’s website to educate and empower yourself and you must allow time for your lender to respond to your request.
Lenders put useful links on their website to help struggling homeowners know their options. By empowering yourself with this information, you will be better equipped when communicating with your lender about your hardship. Although every homeowner’s hardship is unique, banks and servicers know which homeowners did their research and which ones did not. You must take at least a day or two to fully understand what options are available. You should also visit helpful sites like: www.makinghomeaffordable.gov, www.keepyourhomecalifornia.org, or www.conservatucasa.org, www.hud.gov, and knowyouroptions.org.
You must also take time to prepare a timeline of events with concrete dates of when your hardship started. When applying for a loan modification, it takes twice if not three to four times the effort as when you initially purchased or refinanced your home. Like before, you have to get all your documentation ready and prepare yourself when calling your lender.
This call should not be made during a 15 minute break and not during your lunch hour. This call should take place when you have more than two hours to spare.
Through Neighborhood Housing Service Silicon Valley’s Successful Loan Modification Survey, 31% of the homeowners that were able to prevent foreclosure noted a wait time of 20 – 30 minutes when calling their lenders. Of the 31% percent, half noted that they outreached to their lender once a week to verify that status of their loan modification and had to repeat the same information every time they contacted their lender. Some even designated a specific notebook where they recorded the date, time, the conversation, the lender’s representative and the representative’s I.D. number.
Lastly, loan modification varies from lenders to lenders. If you’re applying for a loan modification, do not expect to get your lender’s response within 30 days. On average, loan modification can range from 30 to 45 or more business days in response time or longer. During this time frame, you must stay focused on your goal and stay connected with your lender. Set aside ample time when calling, designate at least one day out of the week to call and always prepare yourself when calling your lender. These are some helpful tips from our past homeowners who received successful loan modification.
You may also enjoy our earlier blog posts related to this topic: “Maggie’s Five Rules for Working With Your Bank or Servicer,” “Foreclosures in San Jose and Sunnyvale: Three Reasons Time is NOT on your Side,” and “Five Reasons Working With A Housing Counselor is Better Than “Going Alone.”
If you are a homeowner living in San Jose or Sunnyvale and are struggling with your mortgage, please contact ForeclosureHelpSCC, a program funded by the City of San Jose and the City of Sunnyvale at (408)-293-6000 or visit our website: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org. Our HUD-approved counselors can help you evaluate your options, learn more about federal and state programs that may help you with your mortgage issues, and will help you create a plan forward.
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: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org or send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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