Monday, July 16, 2012

Questions To Ask When Hiring A Loan Modification Attorney

When it comes down to it no lender follows the same process and each person’s situation is different from their neighbors. In any case, numerous people want to know what their options are and hiring an experienced loan modification attorney is their best bet. However, the majority of struggling homeowners don’t know what look for when hiring an attorney.
First thing you need to ask yourself: How do I know who to hire?
If you are seriously considering hiring an attorney with your loan modification, there is a handful of questions that you should be prepared to have answered while determining the “good” from the “bad”.
The following questions are meant to be a general guide to consumers about what to expect while looking to hire an attorney.
Before you tell a potential attorney anything about your financial situation, ask this question:  How do I know if you can help me?  
It is important to resist the temptation of venting to the first person who will listen to you.  Start of by asking “How do I knowif you can help me?” and let the potential attorney do the talking first.  Force the attorney to identify how he can help you.  Note what he looks
for in order to determining how he can be successful with your case, and what kind of results he’s had so far.  The more information you can get from this initial question before you explain your situation will give you a better idea if the attorney really knows what he is doing.
Do you have clients that you have helped get their loan modified that I can speak with?
Be sure to not only ask this question but also follow through and speak with references. Doing so will help you learn about the process and how the attorney was to work with.   You will be able to gather an overall impression of “was it worth it”?
How much do you charge for your services?
Take note that this is NOT the first question to ask.
While this may not be a good leading question it is something to take into consideration, but it is not the most important factor. The most important part to consider is whether or not the attorney can successfully modify your loan.
Asking “how much do you charge for your services?” won’t give you any idea if they can be successful with your loan modification, but more give you an idea of what to expect.
Can you tell me what to expect in my specific situation when working with my lender?
The answer to this question will allow you gather a better perspective of the attorney’s overall experience with home loan modifications.  If your potential attorney mentions that he has not worked with your specific lender before—it is a pretty clear indicator that the attorney does not have a lot of experience.
If you are currently delinquent or anticipate that you will be in the future hiring an attorney with your loan modification will save you a lot of time and stress.  Be sure to ask the previous questions, doing so will better position you to identify a “good” attorney from a “bad” one.  Choose wisely, you are investing in your future.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

What to Expect When Going Through a Loan Modification

A home loan modification is one of the most popular options for struggling homeowners when refinancing isn’t an option.  Understandably, homeowners are skeptical when considering a modification due to the falsehoods created by misinformed homeowners.  While the process itself is complex; homeowners have been successful. 

Life happens.  Sometimes life throws you hardballs and you are faced with hardships such as illnesses, deaths, job loss, divorces and other unexpected challenges that make the modification process that much more difficult.  However, it is all the matter of being upfront about your situation, submitting the proper documentation and being persistent throughout the entire process.

The process begins with filling out and completing the application. This is the most crucial part of the process that needs to be taken seriously and properly handled. Many homeowners try to tackle this task on their own and find their case delayed while facing more challenges. Homeowners don’t realize that they do not have to go into this alone.  Hiring a foreclosure defense attorney can often times be the difference between saving and losing a home to foreclosure. 

In addition to the application, homeowners will be required to submit a handful of documents including recent paystubs, household budget and the hardship letter.  Often times without the help of an attorney, lending companies take their time filing the application and even worse carelessly lose paperwork and documents. 

Hiring an attorney not only relieves stress but also warrants accuracy far after the application has been submitted, safeguarding homeowners against any hassle. If you are unsure about something, ask.  Maintaining a strong level of communication with your lender and attorney is as crucial as deciding to ask for help. 

Deciding to ask for help can open more doors for homeowners in terms of their options when traveling down this dark road.  Applying for a home loan modification is a hassle but it doesn’t have to be painful.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Is It Possible to Stop Foreclosure

Do you answer yes to any of these questions: Are you facing foreclosure? Are your mortgage payments too high? Is your home worth less than you owe? Are you behind or know you are going to fall behind on your mortgage payments? And finally, do you wish there was a stop button to make this all go away?  If so, many homeowners are wishing and feeling the same thing.  The majority of struggling homeowners don’t know where to turn or even where to start when dealing with foreclosure.
To help with the stress level, the first thing homeowners need to know about foreclosure is that it is stoppable. It is not as easy as pressing a big red button but you can stop foreclosure. The ideal situation would be to start getting help before you receive the Notice of Default, and the best way that homeowners can stop foreclosure is to seek help in getting a home loan modification.  If you have already received the notice don’t worry, a loan modification can still be a good option.
The fact of the matter is that banks and lending organizations don’t want to deal with foreclosure any more than you do.  Foreclosure ends up costing the banks more money than it would for you to keep your home. Loan modifications are much easier and cheaper agreements than a foreclosure.
A foreclosure means one thing to the bank—unnecessary loss of money for both parties. With a foreclosure the bank is forced to forfeit the cost of your mortgage, in addition to paying your property taxes on that specific property.  As well as paying for a realtor to sell the house, and in almost all cases the house will be sold for a much cheaper price than it would sell on the normal housing market.
So let’s go back to those initial questions; did you answer yes to any of these questions?
  • Are you facing foreclosure?

  • Is your home worth less than you owe?
  • Are you behind or know you are going to fall behind on your mortgage payments?

Chances are if you are reading this blog post, you said yes to at least one if not all the questions.  The good news is we at The Mortgage Law Group can help!
If you pick up any newspaper you will find that President Obama has been working with and asking mortgage lenders to aid homeowners and help save your homes with modifications to avoid foreclosures.
President Obama’s bailout plan could help the following:
  • Lower your interest rate
  • Give you more time to pay off your loan
  • Reduce your principal mortgage balance
  • Stop foreclosure

Unfortunately, not all lenders are following the President’s request.  A handful are ignoring him all together, making it nearly impossible to get the loan modification you deserve.  If a lender doesn’t help or work with you don’t stress, you are not in this battle alone.  The Mortgage Law Group has attorneys all over the United States with years of experience dealing with mortgage lenders.  You have options; find out where to start today.
Call The Mortgage Law Group at  (888)591-6555 or fill out your free home loan modification consultation online at

Don’t Give Up On A Home Loan Modification Just Yet

Applying for a home loan modification can be daunting and incredibly frustrating, so much that it makes you want to give up.  However, you may want to reconsider and finish that application.  Recently mortgage companies are getting their acts together and properly processing homeowner’s applications has become a higher priority.
Let’s start off with some motivational numbers to see just how much one can benefit from a home loan modification.
Hypothetically, if your home loan is $150,000 at 7% interest—a home loan modification could be reduced to a 2% interest rate for 3 years, making a monthly payment of $550.00.  Keep in mind that escrow and impound fees still need to be added and these numbers are for example purposes only. But as you can see from this example there are strong benefits.
Submitting an application can be a hassle, especially when you don’t know what is needed. Wouldn’t it just be easier if there was a check list somewhere telling you, well you are in luck; below we have provided one for you.
  • Fill out an application form
  • Submit last two tax returns
  • Gather all your wage records (paystubs or a profit and loss statement if you own a company)
  • Submit bank records from the last 6 months (now if you are like most Americans and didn’t keep a copy, you can obtain this final step by going online or into your banks branch and ask for it to be printed. It’s as easy as that)
  • Before submitting your application, it is smart to number the pages and add your account number to each page before sending it to your mortgage company
  • Finally, make an extra copy for yourself. Accidents happen and papers do get lost once in a while.  You will save yourself a lot of stress by following this last step.

Remember that you are not the only one in this position, so it would be smart to call your mortgage company as a checkup. Thousands of other  don’t let your paper work get lost.  It is advised to call at least once a week until you have confirmation that all your information has been received. It is common to feel nervous about the application process, The Mortgage Law Group urges you to seek help before you find yourself in an underwater home that cannot be saved.  Good luck!

Short Sales Are Up, Now What?

Short sales are up due to the foreclosure rates dropping. Now you wonder how this affects the real estate market.
Well, before we get into that, some back ground:  Short sales happen when a lender agrees to sell a home for less than it the mortgage is worth.  In this case the lender forgives the difference and the borrower is no longer responsible for the home they cannot afford.  The short sale process is becoming more efficient, which is both good news for lenders and borrowers. This streamlined process is much more organized making turn around quick; typically homes spend more than a year to finalize when being foreclosed on.
Lenders are making a strong effort in considering short sales as an alternative to foreclosure.  According to Bloomberg, large banks including, JP Morgan, Chase and Wells Fargo—started to give away cash to borrowers for agreeing to do a short sale instead of falling into foreclosure.
Similar to foreclosure, short sale can bruise home prices. The experts at the National Association of realtors (NAR), short sales normally sell for 17percent below the market according to February’s numbers. This is a huge price cut, but less than the average 22 percent for foreclosure sales.
Assuming that short sales typically pick up more money for the lender, it would be safe to assume that short sales would be another valuable option of unloading distressed homes.  It is important to note that short sales don’t add to the bank-owned homes (REO’s) supply, the houses don’t sit on the market long and the impact on home prices is not as substantial as that of a foreclosure.
Although foreclosures have typically surpassed short sales in terms of volume, that trend is changing. Bloomberg just reported the most recent data available which indicates that short sales exceeded foreclosure sales for the first time in January of 2012 by 4.2 percent.
If short sales continue to streamline their way past foreclosure it could mean that home prices will hit bottom by the end of 2012.  Over time, we will see less homes going through foreclosure, which would decrease home prices dramatically.  At best, this uptick in short sales will help avoid foreclosures a road that no homeowner wants to go down.
If you are a struggling homeowner and have questions about loan modifications or to find out if you qualify contact The Mortgage Law Group.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Bank of America Offers New Program Aimed at Helping Struggling Homeowners

Bank of America announced this month that they will be offering a new program that allows struggling homeowners to start renting their homes rather than have them taken through foreclosure. The program, still in its beginning stages, will only test markets in Arizona, Nevada and New York, some of the states hit hardest by the housing crisis.

Homeowners that live within the test markets and have loans held through Band of America will only be eligible for the new program if BofA sends them a letter inviting them to participate, no one will actually be allowed to apply for the program. Also, the aptly-named “mortgage to lease” program will only expand if BofA concludes that avoiding foreclosure reduces costs associated with repossessing and reselling the properties.
The program is based on the simple “deed-in-lieu” process, which is used by many lenders to avoid home foreclosure. Through a deed-in-lieu (DIL) arrangement, the lender forgives the borrowers mortgage in exchange for the deed to the property. BofA will enter a DIL agreement with its borrowers and then lease them the homes for at or below market values, so long as the borrower can prove their ability to afford the terms of the new lease.

If the program remains successful for one year, BofA says it will allow the borrowers to continue to lease the homes for an extra two years, and will eventually sell the properties to investors seeking to buy rental properties.
Although the program is only in its trial stages, it is considered especially noteworthy because it marks a shift in mortgage relief practices by lenders. Typically, banks that own loans held by struggling homeowners will try to work the borrowers on either a mortgage modification or a principle reduction so that they will still receive some form of payment on the loan. Through the new program the loan is forgiven all together, and homeowners will be allowed to stay in their homes for a much lower monthly payment.

Keep following The Mortgage Law Group’s blog for more news on the latest mortgage relief programs offered by lenders, and for all of your mortgage relief or foreclosure defense questions be sure to call our law offices at (888) 591-6555. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Credit Scores and Your Mortgage

Owning a home is a long-standing dream for many Americans, and most prospective homebuyers are compelled to financing in order to buy. However, did you know that your credit score can determine your interest rate and payment terms with a mortgage lender? So the question now is, just how much of your credit score weighs in on your mortgage payment?

What Is A Credit Score?

A credit score is a number used by lenders to regulate how likely you are to pay back the loan. They are calculated by using the information contained within your credit reports. Scores can range from 300-850. Generally most lenders look at higher credit scores more favorably than lower scores as the key indicator to the likelihood of being paid back. So if you are looking to apply for a mortgage it would be in your best interest to increase your credit score before applying.

How Is Your Credit Score Calculated?

Your credit score is based off of whether or not you pay your bills on time (i.e. payment history), the total amount of dues owed (typically, a percentage of your outstanding credit), the length of your credit history, as well as the type of credit and how much is new.

How Does Your Credit Score Determine Your Mortgage Payment?

To put it more simply, the higher the score the lower your mortgage interest rate will be. So for example, if we take a borrower who has a credit score ranging from 760-850, this person qualifies for around 3.55% mortgage interest rate on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage, whereas a borrower with a low credit score would receive a higher interest rate. Needless to say, this was just an example for illustrative purposes only; the best way to find out your mortgage interest rate is to speak a mortgage lending professional.

How Can You Improve Your Score?

To get your credit score where you want it, it is crucial that you pay all your bills on time. Keep in mind that your payment history is the largest factor of your credit score; therefore, any late or missed payments will hurt your overall credit score.

Also, amounts owed on existing credit lines may factor into your score. So it is important that you pay off and lower your credit card balances. Note that a ‘’maxed out’’ credit card may reflect poorly on your score as well. So try to pay off any debts and not opening new credit cards to help improve your score.

The Point is…

Buying a home is possible, but it is a lot of responsibility that needs to be taken seriously. If you continue to take care of your credit cards your credit score will likely by high, and your mortgage terms are far more likely to be in your favor.