Homeowners who can’t afford their current mortgage payment can get their mortgage modified and have a lower monthly payment. Mortgage lenders are willing to work with their borrowers under special circumstances to lower mortgage payments and allow homeowners to remain in their homes. Homeowners who are uncomfortable contacting their mortgage lenders directly to ask for a mortgage modification can have a nonprofit mortgage counseling agency broker the mortgage modification for them
A mortgage modification is essentially a home refinancing or a re-negotiation of the original mortgage contract. A mortgage modification aims to achieve a win-win situation for both the borrower and the lender, with the goal being the homeowner gets to keep their home and the lender recoups some, or all, their money. Having a mortgage modified is a way to prevent unnecessary foreclosures.
Having a mortgage modified will create a mortgage payment that is affordable to the borrower usually one of three ways- by extending the home loan payback period to up to 40 years, or by offering temporary or permanent interest rate reduction, or offering a deferral of principal payment which is usually done at zero interest.
On rare occasions, when a home has decreased in value, a lender may even write off part of the mortgage, offering the homeowner a ‘principal reduction’ or ‘forgiveness of debt’ mortgage modification.
Mortgage lenders will work with borrowers to lower mortgage payments if the borrowers has suffered a severe financial hardships, such as temporary unemployment, divorce or death of a spouse, prolonged illness or disability. Some lenders will require a ‘hardship letter’ explaining the borrower’s situation to be written and signed by the borrower before a mortgage is modified.
The current economic state has caused lenders to take the initiative to prevent foreclosures. Lenders are sending out ready-to-accept mortgage modification offers to a certain group of borrowers who are most likely to qualify, borrowers who have made one or more late payments or who have been deemed at a high risk for delinquency.
If you are interested in having your mortgage modified, the best way to get started on a mortgage modification is to pick up the phone and call the number that is located on your monthly mortgage statement. Some lenders do accept requests for mortgage modifications via email, some lenders even offer an online application for having a mortgage modified.
If the process of having your mortgage modified is uncomfortable or intimidating to you, there are nonprofit mortgage counseling agencies that will help. Make sure the nonprofit mortgage counseling agency is HUD approved, HUD even offers a free voice-response telephone system to help you locate a certified mortgage counseling agency in your area.