Friday, December 23, 2011

Refinancing vs. Loan Modification

Question: I am thinking of stopping to make mortgage payments so I could modify my loan. What's better: refinancing or loan modification?

Response: A lot of mortgage broker companies, as well as other types of real estate companies, that try to earn a living since the real estate market collapsed, will try to solicit you to get your loan modified with them. They might call or send you notices telling to that you are already approved to modify your loan at 2%. The actual process, however, is much more complicated before you have defaulted, i.e., stopped making your mortgage payments, your credit score may be good, if not excellent, to refinance your mortgage under today's fair market rate, which could often be similar, if not the same rate that is being offered once the loan is modified. If you go with the option of refinancing your loan, then your credit history stays untouched and you win twice. People who default on their mortgage payment should only be those who truly face some financial hardship (which is essentially a prerequisite to getting your loan modified). If you are experiencing financial distress and you defaulted or plan to default on your mortgage payments, the bank cannot commence a foreclosure action immediately as they must first give you 90 days to accelerate the entire remaining balance due under the note and mortgage agreements. Please beware that your credit score will start to drop immediately after you missed one payment and will progressively get worse, thus refinancing will no longer be an option. Modification then may be your only option to save your home and potentially lower your monthly payments (with FHA loans, it is very hard to lower monthly mortgage payments), however, you will not know if your loan will be modified until it is actually modified. Even after it is modified, it will take years for your credit history to recover. Before you default, you are in superior position--you have the time and resources to weigh all your options...

In the legal blog, Attorney Svetlana Kaplun addresses typical questions our firm has received from our clients, or come across from homeowners related to foreclosure, foreclosure defense, loan modification and bankruptcy topics.

The information contained in the legal blog of Attorney Svetlana Kaplun is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as a legal advice on any subject matter. Please read our full disclaimer or contact the Law Office of Svetlana Kaplun, P.C. by telephone at 718-444-1115 for more information.
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