The Iowa Mortgage Help Hotline was launched on March 1, 2008 and has served over 31,000 households. The process of helping people in foreclosure has changed drastically since we first launched, but our goal remains the same. With the loss of staff and funding in September 2017, we have made this an automated process, using email as our primary form of communication. This allows us to serve the maximum number of people, while still helping Iowans that are struggling with a foreclosure action. Below is what you can expect of Family Management, and our expectations of you, as we work with you to try and resolve your mortgage issues.
- Following your phone call to the Iowa Mortgage Help Hotline, you will receive an e-mail from Family Management with the initial paperwork necessary to assess your foreclosure situation. In addition, we will collect the information we need in order to refer you to Iowa Legal Aid. Please keep in mind that Iowa Legal Aid has it’s own evaluation process and that not everyone that is referred is accepted. I would encourage you to go to Iowa Legal Aid’s website to read about the foreclosure process.
- Family Management staff will internally review your paperwork, and if there seems to be housing affordability, we will send you the “Next Steps” packet via e-mail.
- If there is any problem, or housing affordability is lacking, a counselor will follow-up with you within 48 hours to discuss your case.
Document Collection Phase:
- The Next Steps Packet contains documents that we need you to complete, and documents that you need to submit in order to be considered for a loan modification or other foreclosure prevention options.
- Common mistakes when returning the Next Steps packet:
- Pay stubs are not in chronological order, we cannot submit your information to your servicer without all your pay stubs from the last two months. Start with your most recent pay stub and go back two months, older pay stubs are no longer relevant.
- Submit bank STATEMENTS, not a transaction history. Bank statements contain your banks name & address, your name & address, and your account number. We cannot use bank transaction histories, they are immediately rejected by all servicers.
- Do not white out or cross out any information on your bank statements. Again, this will be rejected by your servicer and is unusable.
- We request your two most recent years of FEDERAL tax returns with all schedules included, with the second page signed. The second page of the tax return must be signed, even if it was electronically filed. Please sign where it says SIGN HERE, even if you’re signing over numbers.
- If you receive a pension, Social Security, or a VA Benefit, we need a benefit letter that clearly states how much you receive each month.
- If you receive public assistance, such as food stamps or FIP, we need a notice of decision from the Department of Human Services. You can contact your caseworker if you have misplaced yours.
- When writing your hardship letter, start with your most recent hardship, or what led you to miss your mortgage payment. Old information is likely not relevant to your current situation. It is best to be concise and provide dates of when your hardship began.
- Once Family Management has received your information, we will review it to see if it is complete. If so, we will send you an e-mail with the final packet needed prior to submitting your information to your servicer. If your information is NOT complete, we will e-mail you one time for additional documentation, if it is not received within 5 business days, we will close your file.
Final Document Phase:
- Verified budget that you must sign & date. If something is incorrect, please immediately e-mail us so we can make the necessary changes.
- Request for Modification and Uniform Borrowers Assistance Form. You will see that we have completed the income and expenses portion of this documents, but YOU need to complete everything else. People commonly miss the assets portion, if you have none of the assets listed, please write zero’s.
- 4506T–you need to use your tax return to complete this form. List your name and address just as it appears on your tax return, and sign on the bottom of the form, everything else should be completed.
- Any clean up items such as the most recent pay stub, a bank statement if we’ve come to the end of the month.
Please remember that all of your documents are dated, so if you wait more than 5 business days to return the item, it is possible to get stuck in a circle where you submit items, and we ask for more. We need to submit the most up-to-date information in order to be successful.
Once we have received all the documents that we need, we will submit your file to your servicer. It is your responsibility to call your servicer during the 1st, 2nd, and 4th week of the month and report what they say back to me. If I have any questions, I will follow-up with them. On the third week of the month, one of our staff members will touch base with your servicer to see where your file is at in the process. Please keep in mind that average mediation time is between 6-8 weeks, sometimes longer. If the servicer asks for additional documentation, we need to provide it within 48 hours in order to keep your file moving forward. Once there has been a resolution in your case, you will receive an e-mail from me with the final decision.