Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Unaffordable loan modification terms

Question: I have been applying for a loan modification for over a year. Finally, I got approved but my modified mortgage payment is only $50 less than my original payment. I still cannot afford this new monthly payment. If I do not sign this agreement will the bank continue to work with me in trying to modify my mortgage under better terms or will the bank automatically foreclose on my home?

Response: This is a tricky area. There are many factors that come into play in a situation like this, such as: monthly household income, the value of the home in comparison to your debt, how many payments were missed, whether your escrow has gone up, whether the loan is FHA (FHA loans generally end up in slightly higher monthly payments because different rules apply), etc . For instance, if you were qualified under HAMP and 31% of your gross monthly income is only $50 less than the original monthly mortgage payment, then the new amount is accurate, as it based entirely on your gross monthly income. Had 31% of your gross monthly payment exceeded the original monthly payment by any amount, you would have been denied altogether, citing that the original mortgage payment was affordable. This is precisely why it is hard to answer a question like this without knowing all the details of the situation. However, generally, once a loan modification agreement is issued, the bank will not conduct another review unless there is a material change in circumstances (for example, if your household income has increased since last submission of documents). Most banks conduct a review for HAMP and traditional modification. It is sometimes possible that a new review will result more favorably. It is always a good idea to consult with a professional who could accurately depict the picture of your available options before you choose an option that may later be regrettable. In any case, failure to accept proposed loan modification will not result in immediate foreclosure in NY. It is still a long and complex legal process that must run its course.

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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