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Mortgage modification-what would you do?

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  • Mortgage modification-what would you do?

    We filed for CH7 in January 2012 and were discharged in March 2012. Since then, things have improved dramatically. My wife found a job (her job loss, combined with a mountain of credit card debt precipitated the bankruptcy) so we are now both steadily employed and putting money away for retirement and into a college savings account for our daughter. We also have lowered our student loan payments from about $1000 a month to about $500 a month. However, we’re still living paycheck to paycheck for the most part, which is due in large part to our mortgage. We’re paying $2414 per month (30 year fixed rate @ 6.125%) on a home that is underwater by about 15%. We did not reaffirm the mortgage after CH7 so that we’d always have the option of walking away if it came to that, but we don’t want to leave our home or our neighborhood. We just want some relief in the form of a lower interest rate, principal reduction, or at this point, even an extended repayment period. Even through our bankruptcy we never even paid late nevermind missed a payment, but as I understand it, this is a disincentive to the bank to modify the loan. As long as they see you are paying on time they see no reason to modify. From what I’ve been told, the only way to get the bank’s attention, so to speak, is to stop paying.

    I reached out to the attorney who handled our CH7 case to schedule a consultation. Since he’s away I won’t be able to get in to see him for two weeks so I just figured I’d poke around to see what I can find out in the meantime. I do know from speaking to the paralegal that the retainer fee for a loan modification is $1500-since that’s only a little more than half a mortgage payment it doesn’t seem that excessive to me, but it will depend on how long this drags on. We are located in NJ, a judicial state where foreclosures can take years, so we should have ample time to save up a large amount of cash should the attempt not be successful, but I’m really hoping that’s not the outcome. We just want to stay in our home with a more affordable payment. I’d be interested to hear from anyone else who has retained an attorney to assist with a loan modification to see how they fared. I should add that our loan is with a medium sized NJ based bank-not B of A or one of the other giants-not sure if that matters much. Also, we know we’re not eligible for any of the government programs because our loan is not insured by Fannie or Freddie and the P&I portion of the mortgage is only about 30% of our income, just below the threshold.

  • #2
    Blah, blah I posted spam.
    Deleted.
    Last edited by ValleYum; 03-04-2015, 07:13 AM.

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    • #3
      hai.................
      [removed by moderator - advertising not allowed without permission]

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      • #4
        2014 - really?

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        • #5
          I don't know about hiring an attorney to do the work you can do yourself. I never have read anywhere that an attorney does a better job than the person themselves. its all in the banks hands if they want to refi or not, and they do not care nor have a legal obligation to refi even if you are an attorney or some Joe of the street.

          have you contacted a lender(s) about a refi? it may be tough with your credit and being underwater but also may be worth a try. I have heard of some people getting a refi even though it did not look good.

          just to add and somewhat related, we did refi a house at the proposal of our bank. I think they were part of this government settlement where they had to offer a refi to their customers due to prior shady business practices. they only lowered our interest rate by a little, which was still higher than the current rate, but the payback was within a year and the loan was still part of our BK (meaning we could walk away) so we did it. I had a co-worker who got the same offer and was offered an interest rate higher than mine, but a tad lower than his current rate and still higher than current rates out there. the banks are minimizing their damage while complying.

          I did look into a new loan from a separate bank that would drop our payment (and interest) but could not get one because of our BK so I was not one of the lucky ones.

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