Successful Mortgage Modification Tips
Since I'm on my 'high' from today's mortgage modification approval, I thought I would extend to my ActiveRain community some tips on how I've been successful participating in 61 mortgage modifications to date. I'm sure we've all done these by now and you know the majority of these tips but maybe there is a step that could make the process go better for you.
Modification Success Tips:
- Contact lender for their updated modification package
- Give your representative (your real estate agent, lawyer, etc) permission to assist you in the process (bank has specific form that needs signatures)
- Fill out the modification package COMPLETELY. If a question on the application is not applicable don't just skip over it or even just put a dash (-) but write in 'Not Applicable' or 'NA'.
- Submit the backup documentation at the same time as submitting the completed modification application. If one of the statements or documents says page 1 of 3 (or 8 or 10, etc) then make sure you include all pages whether it is blank or not.
- Call the bank and acquire a personal modification contact so you can have a direct line to them and keep in contact (you'll need direct phone lines, direct fax line and email)
- After submission of your full modification package start calling bank every other day
- Keep a log of every single phone call made with dates, times, bank contact name and outcome
- For each new month that passes, collect all new statements (all pages) and all new paystubs to keep your file current (must be done every month no matter how long the process may take - super important to have file as current as possible)
- When the bank asks for a document, you should fax or email (whatever that bank recommends) them immediately and make sure each page sent has your clients loan number on each page
- Call bank every other day for update/status
- Add your personal modification contact to your phone contacts with a special ring so when they call you know you MUST answer it
- Keep every piece of mailed correspondence in your file. Don't be nervous about the lender's form letters that will keep coming or the foreclosure attorney letters that keep coming. Know that the bank's different departments don't really keep each other updated (modification department and foreclosure departments are not the same and most likely not even in the same office/state)
- Each time you call the bank and there is no update/status for them to give, keep telling them you want the file to be put in suspense of foreclosure. It may or may not make a difference but in my experience the more they document that in the file it seems to work (for me anyways)
- Call the bank every other day - The squeaky wheel gets the grease my friends! CALL CALL CALL until you finally get some answers, until you finally get returned calls, until you finally get some results. Even if you are asked to keep sending in more and more documents, whether redundant or not, you are still in contact with them and you know at that time they have touched that file. The more they touch the file; the more likely the modification is being worked on
- If the first modification request is denied don't give up! You can dispute! I've worked on files that at first got denied but when I asked for the file to be escalated and disputed and it went to a second review and they ultimately got approved
Keep in mind that the modification department qualfies your clients the same way as if they were refinancing for a mortgage. If your client has no income or can't prove they can pay for their monthly expenses with their proven income they won't get approved. Once you see their application and run the numbers yourself....you will know if it is a waste of time or not. Mortgage approvals are based on debt to income ratios (DTI). If your client's DTI is less than 50% there should be no reason a bank won't give them another shot.
Good luck and happy modifying! It's worth it in the end and your clients will never forget you for it!