ADVOCATING FOR YOURSELF WITH YOUR MORTGAGE LENDER
If you are having mortgage difficulties with your mortgage lender, we encourage you to contact us so we can assist you. However, there are occasions when we are not able to assist due to lack of funding.
If we are not able to assist you, we hope that you can be successful in advocating for yourself with your mortgage lender. This BLOG is to give you some guidance in how to prepare a loan modification package for yourself. Here are the documents you will need in your own loss mitigation package:
- A Making Homes Affordable Application
- IF your mortgage is an FHA loan, you will also need a FHA Hardship Affidavit
- IF your mortgage is a Fannie Mae (https://www.knowyouroptions.com/loanlookup ) or Freddie Mac (https://ww3.freddiemac.com/loanlookup/ ), you will also need a Uniform Borrowers Assistance Form
- A Hardship Letter
- Complete Bank statements for the most current 3 months, all pages. Make sure they are actual bank STATEMENTS (most lenders will not accept transaction histories), with the name/address of your bank, your name/account # and a “beginning & ending” balance for the period
- Income verification, which includes:
- Paycheck stubs for ALL JOBS for everyone whose income is supporting the home for the most current two months…make sure you provide a consecutive sequence of the most current 8 weeks
- If you are self-employed, you will need to provide a summarized Profit & Loss statement for most current six months (minimum). Please find attached a sample P & L format that most lenders will accept. You will also need to provide bank statements for the account your business runs through for ALL months represented on your P & L
- Documentation of any other income, such as award letters from social security or VA, pension statements, unemployment benefits, child support/alimony, rental income, food stamps or any other income you receive.
- A utility bill from the current month
- A statement indicating whether you DO or DO NOT have Homeowner’s Association Dues
- A 4506T completed and SIGNED
When you have gathered all the above items, double check them to make sure that you have completed everything fully. Label each document with your loan # printed plainly across the top.
You will then need to call your lender OR go on your lender’s website to find YOUR lender’s preferred means for submitting the packet (some lenders have fax #’s and some prefer email.) Also note that some lenders will list some “lender specific” forms, in addition to the forms listed above.
Submit your packet, according to the directions on the website. When you have submitted your packet, give your lender a minimum of 2 business days to process.
After 2 business days, call your lender to confirm that they have received it. Here are some tips for you when you call in:
- Have your loan number, social security # and your property address ready.
- Allow yourself adequate time to sit on hold … and also be persistent. If you get disconnected, call back.
- When you get someone on the line, be polite and patient. Be aware they are mandated to read to you their “scripts” and remember… on the other end of the line is a person just “doing their job;” our experience is that if you are polite and respectful to them, they will also be polite and respectful to you.
- Once they confirm receipt of your file, in order to get your file to review, you need to ask, “are any further documents needed at this time?” Be prepared with paper and pencil because frequently, they will ask for corrections and/or additional documents, letters of explanation, etc.
- Rather than argue about having already sent a document, get clarification on what they are asking for and be prepared to resend it to them, according to their directions. Be prepared to comply… remember you are asking for a revision on the contract you originally signed when you took out the mortgage!
Following your initial contact, plan on following up on at least a weekly basis until there is resolution. Sometimes your file can be in review for a modification for months. When you make your follow-up calls, always indicate that you are checking in to see if there are any further documents required OR any status updates to report. Know that as long as it is in review, there is a chance for a positive outcome but it is UP TO YOU to follow through. It is YOUR home you are trying to save…the persons on the other end of the line have little to lose or gain in the process.
Some of the key factors in successfully advocating for yourself are: PROPER DOCUMENTATION, adequate income to support a reasonable mortgage payment, PERSISTENCE and patience. Don’t give up… sometimes persistence and cooperation pay off.
We hope that these directions have been helpful. We wish you the very best of luck as our goal at Family Management and Iowa Mortgage Help is to keep Iowans in their homes.