If you are experiencing difficulty paying your home/mortgage payment, please consider hiring a professional to work with your lender to negotiate a loan modification. It's a better solution than selling your home (via a normal "retail" transaction if you have the equity to cover the costs or short sale if you don't) if you would really rather stay in your home.
For example, some people (read - a lot of people these days) are getting into financial difficulty due to various hardships (examples, cutback in hours at work, temporary loss of job, temporary medical conditions and associated bills, etc.) NOTE: Maybe you or someone you know falls into this category. There's no shame in this. As we all know - "stuff happens". When these hardships are of a temporary nature and you, I, or we just need a little help to get things "back on track" - including getting caught up with your, mine, or our home mortgage payment - getting a professional to assist with a loan modification represents a very viable and attractive option/solution.
A loan modification is like getting your home refinanced in that you can get a lower/better interest rate, extended terms, delayed/postponed payments, fixed vs. adjustable interest, lower principle, etc. You get the idea - just about any term or condition of your loan can be changed.
A loan modification is not like getting your home refinanced in that you don't need the following: a large amount of equity in the home, be current or ahead on payments, an appraisal on the home, and a good credit score. Did you get all that? You're credit can be dinged, you can be behind on your payment, you can have zero equity (or be even a little - about 5% - underwater) and still qualify for a loan modification.
One reason you should hire a professional to assist you with getting your loan modification - assuming a temporary vs. permanent financial hardship and staying in your home is your preference - is the same reason a bankruptcy attorney hires a divorce attorney to handle her or his divorce - specialization. Or, one wouldn't try to read a quick primer on repairing your anti-lock brakes and then set about doing that on a Saturday afternoon. At least I wouldn't. Would you? Didn't think so!
Another reason why you should work with a professional in getting your home loan modified is there are some unethical, unqualified persons out there right now making money off of home owners in this kind of stressful situation. Its a shame; but, it's out there. These folks are taking money from folks in 'up front' fees, and then walking away and not performing the loan modification service/s that they promised. Professionals (meaning educated, trained and licensed Realtors, loan officers/mortgage brokers, board certified attorneys, etc.) wouldn't and couldn't risk their reputations, licenses, and careers by performing such despicable acts. Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying charging an up front fee is wrong. After all, no one wants to work for free. What I'm saying is charging a fee and then DOING NOTHING is wrong.
Because I live and practice my craft in the Saginaw, Eagle Mountain, North Fort Worth, Dallas area of Texas, I can say that the thought process I've covered in this article is HIGHLY RELEVANT to this locale. At the same time, what I've hoped to transmit is fairly general to loans and lenders across the board, and therefore generally relevant across Texas and other states as well.
Disclaimer: laws regarding loan modification vary by state and if you feel the need to consult with an attorney or an accountant you should do that.
Kent Dills BS, MS, ePRO
Realtor, The Michael Group - Hurst, Texas
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