Can I Change the Terms of My Mortgage?
If you have experienced an illness, injury, loss of a job, or another life event that has caused you to fall behind on your mortgage, you may believe foreclosure is inevitable. However, in many cases, there are ways that an experienced mortgage attorney can help you get back on track with your payment and avoid foreclosure. One method of doing so is seeking a modification of the terms of your mortgage.
The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)
To help homeowners and reduce the number of foreclosures across the United States, the government started the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). If you qualify for this program, you may be able to obtain a significant reduction in your mortgage payments, as HAMP limits payments to 31 percent of your monthly income. Some of the requirements for HAMP include the following:
- Your mortgage originated before 2009;
- Your mortgage balance is below a certain amount (which varies based on single-family or multi-unit properties);
- You can prove you will be able to afford modified payments;
- You can demonstrate that serious financial hardship led to your difficulty paying your mortgage.
Even if you can prove that all criteria are met for HAMP, not every mortgage company allows modifications under HAMP. In order to improve your chances of approval for a modification as much as possible, you should seek assistance from an experienced loan modification attorney during the application process. An attorney can help you prove that serious financial hardship exists and can make sure you meet the other requirements.
Negotiating with Your Mortgage Company
Even if you are not eligible for a mortgage modification under HAMP for some reason, an experienced attorney can help you seek a modification directly from your lender. Some lenders will work with homeowners to modify their interest rate or monthly payment if homeowners can demonstrate a modification will allow them to catch up with payments and avoid default.
In addition, if your mortgage lender has already initiated a foreclosure action against you, it may not be too late to obtain a loan modification. By participating in mediation or other negotiations with your lender, a skilled attorney can help you come to a settlement agreement that involves a loan modification, short sale, or other solution to avoid foreclosure.
Call a Foreclosure Defense Attorney for a Consultation Today
At the Law Office of Michael Alan Siddons, we help homeowners in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland find creative solutions when they may be facing foreclosure. Call our office at 610-255-7500 for help.