Law Office of Vivian N. Szawarc
Experts in mortgage loan modifications and the Home Affordable Modification Program.
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What is a Loan Modification?

A Loan Modification is a permanent change in one or more of the terms of your mortgage loan, allows the loan to be reinstated, and results in a lower payment that you can afford.

Thousands of homeowners across the country have received help modifying the terms of their mortgage in order to avoid foreclosure or short sale. Loan modification may be an option if you are unable to refinance and hold an adjustable rate mortgage, sub-prime loan or have a hardship making it impossible to meet your current mortgage payments.

Sample Loan Modification for Jose from Huntington Park, CA  
Find out how we helped Jose from Huntington Park, CA modify his Bank of America mortgage. * Click here

* Disclaimer: Each situation is different and results may vary. The final decision of eligibility is at the mortgage holder’s discretion.

What is a loan modification under Obama's plan?

In February 2009, the government unveiled the Making Home Affordable Program, which is made up of two main programs: one for loan modifications and one for refinance loans. The loan modification portion is called the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

It is designed to reduce mortgage payments struggling homeowners pay per month to sustainable levels. The refinance plan is called the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).

According to the details of the HAMP plan:
  • The lender would first be responsible for bringing down interest rates so that the borrowers monthly mortgage payment is no more than 38 percent of his or her income.
  • Next, the initiative would match further reductions in interest payments dollar-for-dollar with the lender to bring that ratio down to 31 percent.
  • Lenders will also be able to bring down monthly payments by reducing the principal owed on the mortgage, with Treasury sharing in the costs.
  • Borrowers will be put on a trial modification at the new interest rate and payment for three months. If they make all their payments on time, the modification will be implemented at the new rate and be fixed for five years.
  • Under the HAMP, loan modifications will be standardized, with uniform loan modification guidelines used by Fannie and Freddie Mac, and then they will be implemented throughout the entire mortgage industry.

Why do banks offer Loan Modifications?

Most banks are not obligated to offer loan modifications, they offer them to protect their own investments. It is in their best interest to modify or refinance your mortgage to make your monthly payments more affordable. If you stop making payments, the bank has several options.
  • Repossess your property and damage your credit for a long time (a home foreclosure)
  • Attempt to collect, or hire somebody to do so
  • Watch you declare bankruptcy and receive little or nothing
None of these options are attractive to you or the bank. Your credit will suffer, and there’s a financial cost to the bank. Banks offer loan modification so that they don’t have to do any of the above.

How do I know if I qualify for a Loan Modification?

Loan modification isn't only for those who are behind in payments but those at risk of falling behind as well. If you anticipate issues in meeting your payments in the future due to interest rate resets or financial hardship such as an upcoming layoff, it is advisable to start the loan modification process as soon as possible.

It's very easy to get started. Just fill out the simple form above and our experts will guide you through the process with no obligation.

Senate Bill 94/Civil Code Section 2994.6 Statement and Disclosure:
It shall be unlawful for any person who negotiates, attempts to negotiate, arranges, attempts to arrange, or otherwise offers to perform a mortgage loan modification or other form of mortgage loan forbearance for a fee or other compensation paid by the borrower, to do any of the following: Claim, demand, charge, collect, or receive any compensation until after the person has fully performed each and every service the person contracted to perform or represented that he or she would perform.
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