I’m not going to sugarcoat this. This is going to take your total focus and some tenacity on your part to get done. Its basically going to be like originating your own home loan all over again, throwing yourself at the mercy of your current mortgage note holder. I’ll show you how to submit a flawless package to your bank’s (or servicer’s) mortgage assistance department and how to follow up. Attention to detail is paramount. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me, this is too important not to get right the first time!!
Step 1: Figure Out What Documents You Need to Submit
Call your mortgage servicer (the company that is sending you your mortgage statement, not the investor that owns your note). Let them know you would like to apply for all their mortgage modification programs, including government sponsored ones. Ask them to email you the documents, including lender specific ones, that you need to submit. Mention you are interested the following programs that are currently available as of this writing:
They may tell you they cannot email the documents, so have them mail them to your home, expedited if possible. To get even further ahead of the game, have a pen and paper handy and ask them to tell you over the phone what they will need in terms of documentation. If you do not understand the specific document they are asking for, most times, they have blank forms on their website, so ask how to access those. They should be able to walk you through that.
Make sure to have the representative you are talking to over the phone note that you are sending in a loan modification package! This is important, especially if you have a foreclosure auction date looming. Lastly, ask how they would like you to submit your completed package. Typically its through a fax number, but ask for an email address and mailing address as well to be sure.
Step 2: Submit a Flawless Package
Organize all the requested documents into one package. Your odds of a modification offer increase dramatically if the person dealing with your file only needs to upload your fax once. Be sure your full name, property address and loan number are on the cover page, as well as, every page in your package. Below you identifying information on the cover page, put “Please accept these documents as my formal request to be reviewed for ALL modification programs.”
Now review all the pages again and make sure every document is fully filled out. Do not leave any spaces blank, even if they are not applicable. Write “N/A” where it doesn’t apply to your situation. Do not make any scribbles or marks on the page margins and make sure everything is absolutely legible.
Make sure all the documents are in correct order if the pages are numbered. Fax, mail or email the package out.
The following six documents need to be included in the package no matter what your lender requests:
- Request for Mortgage Assistance Form (RMA)
- Personal Hardship Letter
- 60-days bank statements
- 30-days worth of income verification (this includes ALL income sources)
- IRS Form 4506-T
- Tax Returns for the most recent two years
Click on the links to see samples of the forms.
Step 3: Friendly but Insistent Follow Up
In general, it will take the servicer 48 hours to upload the package into their system for review. Call them after this 48 hour period, and make sure you are speaking with the loan modification department, sometimes called the “loss mitigation department.” Do not wait more than 72 hours to call; you want your file fresh in their mind. If you’re talking to a front line customer service rep, then ask them to transfer you to the loan modification department and be sure to ask for the direct phone number for future use.
They will ask you to provide verification info about yourself so be prepared to provide your social security number or address.
Here is your “friendly, but insistent” script:
- I submitted by complete loan application two days ago. Is the person handling my file available? (By asking it this way, you’re preventing yourself from being transferred to a Voicemail). If they tell you yes, ask them to get that person on the line and then complete a live transfer. Say the words “I do not want to be transferred to someone’s Voicemail.” If they say no, tell the representative that you need to speak to someone responsible for your file today so if that representative can’t speak now, you’ll have to speak either their supervisor or another person in the underwriting department. Make them transfer you to another underwriter, loss mitigation representative, or supervisor. Be prepared to ask for the same thing three times before they’ll get you to someone. Stay polite and firm.
- Once transferred, be sure to get their complete name and their email address or direct phone extension if possible.
- Ask them what modification programs you will be reviewed under. First, hear what they say before you say anything. This will test how far along your file has been moved. Then, state that you would like to be reviewed for every program possible: HARP and in-house. Ask if they can run an in-house review simultaneously.
- Offer to hold while they review your document package so you can make any and all corrections in real time. Often, they will simply have clarifying questions that you can answer over the phone. If they ask you to submit something further, get their direct fax number or email so the document gets directly to them.
Step 4: Common Responses
Here are some of the things the lender will tell you after your follow up:
- They didn’t receive the documents.
- They are missing some of the pages.
- Some of the documents are incomplete.
- They have additional questions about the information.
- Pay stubs/bank statements not matching income reported.
- They haven’t assigned the file to an underwriter.
- The underwriter hasn’t had a chance to look at it.
- You’ve been approved for a trial plan.
- You’ve been denied.
If you’ve been approved, congratulations! DO NOT MISS ANY PAYMENTS OR THEY WILL CANCEL THE MODIFICATION AND PROCEED WITH A FORECLOSURE! If you’ve been denied, contact me directly and I can do a review of your application and tell you if you have a chance or if you’d be wasting your time appealing the bank’s decision.
Anything other than these, you need to be persistent and quick in getting them what they want. Do not take too long in giving it to them or they could cancel the application and proceed with foreclosure.
QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? CONCERNS?
Contact me directly, I would love to hear from you! And I WILL get back to you!