We’ve all heard the horror stories from friends who are now unable to make their mortgage payments. Some have tried to negotiate with their lenders. Some have dealt with banks that were not willing to do much to help them out. Others had better luck with their banks. But, just like we said before when discussing foreclosures, these banks took bailout money that was taken out of yours and my paychecks. So do whatever you can and don’t feel guilty about it.
Many people feel like trying to renegotiate the loan is like reneging on their promise. So what? Do it anyway? Would you have made that promise then if you knew what you know now about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the damage it would cause? The bank doesn’t want your house. They have plenty of them already. What they would really like is for you to keep it and pay for it. So you do have some leverage there.
When filing for a modification, be diligent. Document everything. Call the bank and bug them often. You will likely get excuses. You will get the run around. Don’t let that bother you. Filing for a modification and bugging the back about it can be a great way of stalling the foreclosure. I have heard cases where people have lived in their homes for two or three years without making a payment while in negotiations with the banks. These people are backed up. Use that to your advantage.
Get a good attorney who deals in foreclosures and knows what to do for you. Many times a good lawyer can get you into mediation with the bank and get something worked out. If not, at least he can stall while you stay in your home as long as you can. This is kind of like baseball. As long as you are still in your home, you are still at bat. And as long as you still have at bats, you still have a chance. A good will know what to do if the bank fails to mediate in good faith. Many times the bank will not show up or claim you did not fill out the papers and get them in on time, etc. This is where your attorney will earn his money. Many times attorneys can get the judges to sanction banks and put you in a better negotiating position.
Remember, doing nothing is the worst thing you can do. If it looks like you don’t care enough to do something to stay in your home, the judge will take it from you and give it back to the bank. You don’t really have anything to lose. The worst that can happen is you lose your home, which you will anyway if you do nothing. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.