Has the long, complicated HAMP loan modification process left you in the dark, confused or, even worse, without a clue about what's going on and what's expected of you?
If so, you're not alone. The truth is, the HAMP loan modification process is complicated, time consuming, and yes, frustrating for homeowners, who don't understand the process or feel overwhelmed with the paperwork and continual demands made by their lenders.
The good news, though, is that while homeowners might feel that banks are sucking the blood and life out of them, they aren't defenseless in the process. Homeowners are not entirely subject to every whim and decision their lender makes. It is possible to win approval in the HAMP Loan Modification Process, and to do so with your sanity intact. Knowledge is the first weapon in your victory--perseverance is the second.
Use these steps to survive and win the HAMP loan modification process:
1. Learn everything you can about HAMP and its requirements for approval. Make sure you meet those requirements and have the supporting documentation and verification to satisfy the bank's requests.
2. Contact your lender early and often, verifying and confirming receipt of documents and signatures, as well as inquiring about the next step and what is expected of you. Document the date, time, and purpose of each communication, who you spoke to, and the details of each conversation.
3. Get organized. Gather and organize your supporting documentation so that it's readily available when requested. Include your income tax returns, proof of income, insurance verification, a current list of your debts with verification, bank statements, etc. Make duplicate copies of each. Reply to each request for documentation or information on a timely basis. Document the date you submitted each document to the bank and the person you submitted it to. Keep copies of FAX transmittal sheets and certified or registered mail receipts.
4. Crunch your own numbers. Once you know the requirements for HAMP loan modification approval, crunch your own numbers, using the most recent year's income and debts. It's not uncommon for lenders to use the wrong figures in calculating eligibility--performing your own calculations and being ready to submit them to the bank in support of your position can make the difference between saving your home or losing it. Be persistent! If you know that your lender is using incorrect figures, do not back down! Ask to speak to a supervisor or another loan representative until you're finally able to make your case.
5. Ask questions. If you feel like you're in the dark or don't understand what is being requested or why, ask for clarification or explanation. Follow a journalist's creed: Who, what, where, when, why and how.
6. If you've been denied for a HAMP loan modification, don't give up! If you've been denied, ask why and ask to receive the explanation in writing. Then get to work to eliminate or correct the reason(s) for denial. That could mean providing updated information or documentation, increasing your income, or reducing your debt. Once you've done that, reapply as soon as possible. Repeat this process until you've satisfied and met all criteria and become victorious in the fight to save your home.
Remember, you are not defenseless when you are armed with information, preparation, and persistence. You have the power. Use it wisely.
David vs. Goliath
Anna Cuevas, known as "America's Loan Modification Guru," has guided thousands of Americans in keeping their homes from foreclosure. A popular blogger (askaloanmodguru.com), Cuevas has been called a "superhero of the loan modification industry" and has been nominated for CNN's Heroes. She is the #1 bestselling author of SAVE YOUR HOME Without Losing Your Mind or Money.