Feds estimate off by over 90% regarding loan modifications…and we pay these people?

Real Estate Agent with Greenridge Realty Inc.

With nearly a 1/3 of Michigan home owners owing more than their homes are worth (Upside Down) and 10% in foreclosure, what are we to do?  Well the  $75 Billion Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) has not done it’s job, so modifying your loan may not be a viable option.  Out of a projected 3 to 4 million home owners that this program was supposed to help modify their mortgages, as of February 2010,there had only been 261,000 who were successful in doing so, that’s only 8.7% of the people the “Feds” said they were projecting would be helped.  Just to put that into perspective, (somebody check my math, my calculator won’t go that high) that means we spent over $280 million dollars for each home owner that was helped.  This is our money we’re talking about here, and I don’t know about you, but I sure would like to know where that money went… wouldn’t you?

Anyway, there are some who were successful in getting these modifications, so how can you increase your odds?  Following is my version of a list of tips I found in an article by Edmund L. Andrews, author of “Busted – Life inside the Great Mortgage Meltdown”  These are some good points that may help, and if not, you may need to consider other options that probably won’t result in you keeping your home, but may help you by minimizing the damage to your credit, but…that’s a subject for another day.

How to get assistance in obtaining a loan modification


  • Be sure all your paperwork is in order…and complete.  Make sure you have all the documents the lender is requiring, regardless of how trivial you may think the item is.  If it’s not there your whole file could end up in the shredder
  • Put money aside in an escrow account to show that you have the resources to make the payments.
  • Use a HUD approved counselor – (like NCCS in Newaygo County MI.)  The banks are required to communicate with these folks who will certainly improve your odds of getting results.
  • Don’t stop with the 1st call…be persistent, don’t stop until you are able to talk to someone who has the authority to make decisions on your file.
  • Avoid Scams.  There are a lot of crooks out there feeding on the unfortunate.  A good rule of thumb…if they ask for money up front, they are probably scammers.

Hopefully these tips may help your odds in getting a successful result at obtaining a loan modification, if not, get in touch with a good real estate professional with a sound knowledge of short-sales and foreclosures and use that knowledge to guide you through your options.  It’s not easy or pleasant to be in this position,  

but if you are…you are not alone and there is help out there, you just need to find the right people and ask the right questions.


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