Mortgage Modifications Have Changed

In 2009 I spent a lot of time with clients trying to figure if they’d qualify for a mortgage modification. In 2010 it takes me about 5 minutes and is nearly 100% accurate. That’s because the banks, in their rush to streamline, have become so very standardized and predictable.

Standardized – The Making Homes Affordable Program (MHA) Guidelines have become the standards. Other programs are modeled after the MHA. None of the other programs are as rich and all are harder to get. But the guidelines have become universal.

I say predictable because the sheer numbers of applications has forced the banks to routinize everything – including erroneous rejections – to a point where it is pretty obvious to us veteran loan mod freaks.

Homeowners will get a mod if they, 1) have a typical hardship, 2) the loan qualifies (non-jumbo, done before Jan. 1, 2009), have correct ratios, 3) live in the home, and are in default. That’s not to say that landlords are SOL…they just have less likelihood of approval and must have lower expectations.

Just because you are qualified does not mean you will get a modification. In fact, thousands of qualified applicants get rejected each day. You will need to learn how to play a hugely bureaucratic, boobey-trapped game. And, like a lot of games, there are plenty of “gotchas” along the way.

You should have the advantage of an insider, a street-smart advisor who has been at the game table for a long time. Someone who is unabashadly on your side – not a government entity and certainly not a bank employee or site. If you follow the advice of the government or bank sponsored entities you can only expect to get info tailored for the masses. That’s like going into a street-fight with training in only boxing. You are totally unprepared when the opponant kicks you in the ear! You’ll have to pay for such advice. But, you get what you pay for.

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