According to online real estate marketplace Zillow, there are approximately 13 million US homes with mortgages in a negative equity situation. In addition to negative equity, hardships and rising interest rates have left many homeowners unable to afford their monthly mortgage payments. For many families, the only hope they have of keeping their homes is to secure a loan modification that reduces their payments and makes their home affordable.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has attempted to ease the foreclosure crisis with programs designed to encourage lenders to modify loans and provide homeowners with tools and resources to assist them in obtaining a loan modification. One program, known as Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), offers homeowners information and advice to help them get started on their loan modification program. The first suggestion made by the program is for homeowners to contact their lender. Unfortunately for some homeowners, it may not be easy to work with their lender.
In particular, many homeowners have alleged difficulties working with Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo is one of the nation’s largest lending institutions, currently processing loan modification requests from millions of customers. While this may sound discouraging, there are happy homeowners who have successfully achieved a Wells Fargo loan modification. MSN Real Estate has provided several tips to get you started down the path to maintaining your home with affordable payments. Here are our favorites:
1. Don’t Wait
When it comes to foreclosure, time is always of essence. In the past many homeowners were told to wait until they had fallen behind in their mortgage payments to apply for a Wells Fargo loan modification. Now lenders are encouraging borrows to be more proactive and get the process started as early as possible. So if you are struggling to make your monthly payment, and missing a mortgage payment seems to be a looming inevitability, NOW is the time to start taking the necessary steps to apply for a Wells Fargo loan modification.
If you are nervous about your eligibility for a Wells Fargo loan modification, the Making Home Affordable site has a quick quiz that may help determine your eligibility. However, it should be stressed that the quiz is simply an eligibility tool and does not guarantee your actual qualification for a loan modification.
2. Educate Yourself
How much do you know about your wells Fargo loan? How much do you know about the loan modification process? Now is a great time to educate yourself and gather information. You should also visit the HUD website or this blog and review articles such as loan modification information and tips on finding loan modification help. Knowledge is power, and you should seek to arm yourself with as much information as possible and make sure you thoroughly understand the process and your lender’s expectations.
You should also begin gathering the documentation required to process your loan modification. Be sure you develop a “master file” and provide copies from that file, because you will probably be asked to provide the same documentation on several occasions.
3. Find the Right Representation
Most importantly, homeowners seeking a Wells Fargo loan modification must find the right representation to have the greatest chance at success. An attorney has the resources to pressure your lender to apply the current laws and programs to achieve your loan modification. Your best course of actions is to look for a law firm with a proven track record working with your lender to obtain successful loan modifications.