This article was written to give a brief overview of how the loan modification process is handled when the home owner is dealing directly with their lender. Before I begin I have to let you know that I am not trying to persuade or scare you from doing a loan modification on your own, but instead I am trying to give you real information, so stay with me. Before you attempt a loan modification it is important to know what you will be getting yourself in, as most lenders only give the home owner one shot at this per year.
It will normally begin with several phone calls to the lender or servicer in which the phone call will be answered by an automated system which will provide a list of menu options, and not to mention prolonged hold times for up to 60 minutes depending on call volume and the hold music will sometimes put you to sleep and if you are lucky after waiting 30, 40 minutes your call wont drop and you may have to start all over again. Some home owners describe this as modern day torture.
Once you finally reach a live person and you give them you loan number and other identifying information, do not be surprised if they have to transfer you to another department 3 or 4 times in which you will have to give all you information over and over again to every representative you speak to. To save you time and frustration you will need to speak to the loss mitigation department, this is the only department that can and will handle loan modifications, so do not waste your time with customer service, some of the customer service reps have no clue as to what a loan modification even means.
Once you do get a hold of someone that is knowledgeable, you will want to get their full name, direct number and or extension, this way in the future you can get around the long hold times.
To save you frustration and from getting a full head of gray hair, believe me this process has been known to do worst, you can hire a loan modification expert. A loan modification expert is able to devote their complete attention and skills to getting you a beneficial loan modification. There are hundreds of loan modification strategies that a loan modification professional will use, depending on the home owners individual situation. Most loan modification will result in any of the following: reducing the interest rate, converting the adjustable rate to a fixed rate loan, forgiving default payment, or a combination of any of the above. Principal reductions are absolutely a possibility but it is very rare, if you consult with a loan modification company and they guarantee principal reductions you should run and not walk away.
Lenders are more willing to grant just an interest rate reduction, because if done properly will keep the home owner paying their monthly payments and they can avoid a short sale or foreclosure, as short sale and foreclosures are very cost options for the lender.