The Treasury Department announced new guidelines on January 28, 2010, in an attempt to help homeowners modify their mortgage loans. The previous program has met with little success this year. According to CNNMoney.com, only 66,500 homeowners have received permanent modifications of their mortgages, and another 787,200 homeowners were in trial modifications at the end of 2009.
The new Treasury rules will require most of the paperwork to be provided by homeowners when they submit their initial application for a modification of their mortgage. The government has a website, www.makinghomesaffordable.org, that attempts to explain the program, including whether you are eligible for a loan modification, forms to download, and extensive information about the program.
If you meet the qualifications, you might be approved for a loan modification. With the experiences report to me from clients, however, the process if extremely difficult, and very few of my clients have been successful in obtaining loan modifications. Typical problems clients have reported to me include submitting documents required by mortgage companies being lost, several times, promises not kept by mortgage companies, extreme difficulty getting through to any knowledgeable officials of the mortgage company, extreme difficulty getting to speak with anyone from the mortgage company by phone (sometimes an hour or more on hold through an automated answering system followed by a hang-up and return to a dial tone), and other problems. Mortgage companies have told many of my clients that they would work with them to modify their loans, but go ahead and file to foreclose on their home anyways.
If you do decide to attempt to obtain a modification of your mortgage, you should also consider all other alternatives you may have. I would be happy to sit down with you, review your financial situation, and explain what alternatives you may have to assist you, and what may be the best of those alternatives for you.