Written by Charleston Bankruptcy Lawyer, Russell A. DeMott
Mortgage modification is a hot topic lately. And most commentators have rendered a verdict: Mortgage modification programs like HAMP and HAFA (Home Affordable Modification Program and Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives) have been a colossal failure.
Still, some homeowners have achieved the impossible to obtain modification or other relief under these programs or others.
Today, I read a great blog post on mortgage modification tips by my colleague at Bankruptcy Law Network, Wendell Sherk. Wendell’s a seasoned Missouri bankruptcy lawyer and a no nonsense kind of guy. And his post reflects his skepticism about mortgage modification.
The best advice Wendell offers–and he says it a couple of times in this post–is this: “If it is not in writing, it did not happen.” Hey, what else do you expect from a guy from Missouri, the “show-me” state?
If you’re considering mortgage modification, don’t get your hopes up. Most modification requests are denied, only to–ironically–cause big losses for lenders. The process is a disorganized mess, and I hear clients’ frustrations with these programs almost weekly.
But some requests for modification are granted. And if your mortgage payments are your main financial problem, modification may just help you avoid bankruptcy…maybe.
If you’re even considering mortgage modification, you should read what these two veteran lawyers have to say about the subject. And, as Wendell says, make sure you have a back-up plan. Be ready to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy if your modification request–like most–goes down in flames. Only the Bankruptcy Code’s automatic stay can stop foreclosure. And whatever you do, don’t rely on empty promises the lender (or servicer) won’t put in writing! When it comes to mortgage modification, we all need to say, “show me!”