A loan modification is a response to a borrower’s long-term inability to repay the loan. Loan modifications typically involve a reduction in the principal balance, interest rate or an extension of the length of the term of the loan. A lender might be open to modifying a loan because the cost of doing so is less than the cost of default or foreclosure. A loan modification agreement is different from a forbearance agreement. A forbearance agreement provides short-term relief for borrowers who have temporary financial problems, while a loan modification agreement is a long-term solution for borrowers who will never be able to repay an existing loan. Loan modification is a relatively new term to most homeowners. What most people are coming to realize is that losing their house to foreclosure is becoming a real possibility. Home foreclosure in America today is at an all time high and is affecting many homeowners that never believed they could lose their home to foreclosure. Homeowners are feeling the crunch of higher interest rates and a slowing economy. A loan modification may be the only way for a homeowner to save the biggest investment of their life; their home. Negotiating with the bank for a modification of your home loan can be an overwhelming process for many homeowners.
That is why retaining the services of an experienced loan modification company is of extreme importance. The reality of today’s market is one of steep drops in real estate values nationwide coupled with tighter credit requirements. The combination of the two makes a formidable opponent for someone facing an upcoming adjustment in their payments due to an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM). It’s not a good idea to take on your lender alone. In general, a mortgage loan modification is any change to the original terms of a loan. A loan modification is different from refinancing. Refinancing entails replacing your loan with a new mortgage, whereas a loan modification changes the terms of your existing loan. This could mean extending the length of your term, lowering your interest rate or changing from a variable interest rate to a fixed-rate loan. The terms of your modification are up to the lender and will depend on what’s best for the borrower. A modification ultimately results in lower monthly payments for the homeowner.
Who qualifies for a loan modification?
Not everyone struggling to make a mortgage payment can qualify for a loan modification. Hall says homeowners typically either must be delinquent for about 60 days, or they must be in imminent default, meaning they’re not delinquent yet, but there’s a high probability they will be. Homeowners usually must also demonstrate they’ve incurred a hardship, Hall says. This could be the loss of a job, loss of a spouse, a disability or an illness that has affected your ability to repay your mortgage on your original loan terms.
Types of loan modification programs
Some lenders and servicers offer their own loan modification programs, and the changes they make to your terms may be either temporary or permanent. Most servicing companies have programs designed to help borrowers who may be struggling to make their payments, driven by some of the hard lessons the industry learned during the housing collapse a few years back. in addition to modifications, offers some at-risk borrowers the ability to refinance to a lower rate at no cost, even if they haven’t endured a hardship. If your lender or servicer doesn’t have a program of its own, ask if you are eligible for any of the assistance programs that can help you modify or even refinance your mortgage. The federal government previously offered the Home Affordable Modification Program, but it expired at the end of 2016. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have a foreclosure-prevention program, called the Flex Modification program, which went into effect Oct. 1, 2017. If your mortgage is owned or guaranteed by either Fannie or Freddie, you may be eligible for this new program. The federal Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, helped underwater homeowners refinance into a more affordable mortgage. This program is no longer available as of Dec. 31, 2018. Fannie Mae’s High Loan-to-Value Refinance Option and Freddie Mac’s Enhanced Relief Refinance replaced HARP.
How to get a loan modification
If you are struggling to make your mortgage payments, contact your lender or servicer immediately and ask about your options. The loan modification application process varies from lender to lender; some require proof of hardship, and others require a hardship letter explaining why you need the modification. It’s possible your lender will reach out to you about getting a loan modification. If you’re denied a modification, you’ll have to file an appeal with your servicer. Consider working with a HUD-approved housing counselor, who can assist you for free in challenging the decision and help you understand your options.
Know before you modify
One potential downside to a loan modification: “If the loan is being modified due to financial hardship, you may see a note about this added to your credit report, negatively impacting your credit score,”The result won’t be nearly as negative as a foreclosure, but could affect other loans you apply for in the future. Another thing to be aware of, he adds, is that depending on how your loan is modified, your mortgage term could be extended, meaning it will take longer to pay off your loan and will cost you more in interest. But for homeowners on the brink of losing their homes, the benefits of a loan modification can far outweigh the risks.
How Loan Modifications Work
Although loan modifications may occur with all types of loans, they are most common with secured loans, such as mortgages. Lenders may agree to a loan modification through a settlement procedure or in the case of a potential foreclosure. In these situations a lender typically believes that the loan modification will provide substantial savings in comparison to a charge-off alternative. A loan modification agreement is different from a forbearance agreement. A forbearance agreement provides short-term relief for borrowers who have temporary financial problems, while a loan modification agreement is a long-term solution for borrowers that adjust the terms of a loan from its original obligations. Loan modification procedures typically include the support of legal counsel or a settlement company. Loan modifications will usually involve a reduction in the interest rate on a loan, an extension of the length of the maturity of the loan, a different type of loan or any combination of the three. Loan modifications are most common with secured loans, such as mortgages, and usually involve a reduction in the loan’s interest rate, an extension of its length of maturity, a different type of loan or a combination of these three aspects. Settlement companies are for-profit entities that work on behalf of a borrower to help reduce or alleviate debt by settling with creditors. Borrowers also commonly work with mortgage modification lawyers who can help them to negotiate a loan modification for a mortgage that is threatened with foreclosure.
Mortgage Loan Modifications
Mortgage loan modifications are common in the credit market since larger sums of money are at stake. During the housing foreclosure crisis that took place between 2007 and 2010, several government loan modification programs were established for borrowers. The Home Affordable Modification Plan (HAMP) was one leading program, introduced under the Making Home Affordable program; it, along with the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA), expired at the end of 2016 for new modifications. Current loan modification programs include those from the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, the Federal Housing Administration and Fannie Mae (which also offers disaster relief modifications). Traditional lenders may have their own loan modification programs as well. All of these programs typically require an application.
Applying for a Mortgage Loan Modification
Borrowers and settlement parties can find information on mortgage loan modification programs through government-sponsored websites. A mortgage loan modification application will include a borrower’s financial information, mortgage information and specific details on their hardship situation. Each program will have its own qualifications and requirements. Qualifications are typically based on the amount the borrower owes, the property being used for collateral and specific features of the collateral property. When a borrower has been approved for a specific program, the approval will include an offer with new loan modification terms. As a general rule, you tend to modify a loan when your credit is bad enough that you can’t refinance the loan – so your lender changes the terms of how you’re borrowing for this current loan, so you can get back on your feet and continue paying off the loan. This almost always means that while your payments may become lower, the length of your loan stretches out much further.
There are 4 loan options within Utah Housing:
• First Home Loan
• Home Again Loan
• Score Loan
• NoMI Loan (No Mortgage Insurance)
Utah Housing helps eligible borrowers who do not have enough money to pay for a down payment and closing costs when purchasing a home. The average amount a home buyer must save for a down payment and closing costs is between 5% – 6% of the home purchase amount. Utah Housing allows an applicant to borrow up to 6% of the home purchase amount, which can help cover the down payment and closing costs. Please be aware the Score Loan and NoMI Loan offer 4% instead of 6% for the home buyer’s down payment or closing costs.
Individuals and families who otherwise are unable to purchase a home because of insufficient funds for a down payment and closing costs may still become homeowners by using Utah Housing. The following are important things to know when applying for Utah Housing:
• Your total gross household income must fall within the income limit restrictions. These limits vary by county
• Your credit history must indicate that you pay your bills on time. You must have at least a 620 credit score.
• You must be able to qualify for government (FHA) or conventional financing.
• You must live in the home – can’t purchase as a rental.
• Non-occupant co-signors are allowed (First Home Loan only).
The Utah Housing Loan Programs do not provide rental assistance of any kind. If you need rental assistance, please contact your city or county housing authority.
In Utah, all mortgage loan originators must be licensed at the state level. The licenses are regulated and supervised by the Utah Department of Financial Institutions (DFI). The license application process for mortgage entities and loan originators is managed by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS). The NMLS system allows mortgage broker companies and individuals to apply, update, and renew licenses online.
In the state of Utah, there are two main types of licenses: Company and Individual. Each license type depends on the work you wish to perform.
Most Common Individual License
• Mortgage Loan Originator License – allows individuals to take mortgage loan applications and/or negotiate the terms of mortgage loans for residential properties.
All license applications must be submitted online through NMLS. Please note that some agency-specific documentation, such as the surety bond, must be sent directly to DFI at Utah Department of Financial Institutions Passing an exam is obligatory for some, but not all license types. In Utah, in order to obtain a Mortgage Loan license, you must complete a pre-licensure course and pass an examination. To enroll for the MLO test you must complete at least 20-hours of an NMLS-approved education course. After completing the pre-licensure course, you can enroll and pay the exam fee via NMLS. You can schedule an exam date either through NMLS or by contacting the exam administrator Prometric .The NMLS testing page provides more information on how to schedule, prepare, and take the Mortgage Loan
UT Mortgage Broker Bonds
Bonds for Individual Licenses
• Mortgage Loan Originator – All applicants are required to furnish a surety bond. The amount depends on the origination volume of the applicant during the prior calendar year.
• $12,500 surety bond for loan volume of up to $5,000,000.
• $25,000 surety bond for loan volume between $5,000,000 – $15,000,000.
• $50,000 surety bond if the loan volume exceeds $15,000,000.
Loan Modification Attorney Free Consultation
When You Need a Loan Modification, Please Call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506
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