Thursday, April 27, 2017

Can I Modify My Mortgage Without Any Equity In My Home?

One of the things that you can do when you are behind on your house payments is work with your lender to get a lower payment. You can do this by asking for a modification of your mortgage, which will get you a lower interest rate. When your interest rate is lowered, so is your payment. A lower payment makes it easier for you to stay current on your house payments, and this can alleviate a lot of your financial burden if you are struggling to make ends meet.

The idea of modifying a mortgage can easily be confused with refinancing, but the two are not the same. A refinance is a good idea if you have equity in your house that you want to take out, so you can pay down other bills that are at a higher rate than your mortgage loan. So what about a modification? Do you have to have any equity in your home to get a mortgage loan modification? Fortunately, the answer is no. There is no requirement that you have equity in your house in order to get the mortgage modified. Here are some of the things you will have to do though:

         Fill out an application. Even though a modification can be done by your current lender who should have your data on file, you will still have to fill out an application and provide information about your income and debts.
         Provide proof of income.
         Do some follow up with your lender to check on the progress of your application.

A successful mortgage modification will lower your payments, so you can get back on track with your loan. In some cases the modification may be on a trial basis at first, and once you have made a few months’ worth of  payments pursuant to the modified terms the loan will be permanently modified. If you are thinking about applying for a mortgage modification, let us help. The process can be complicated and time consuming, but we have experience with the application and follow up and can take on these tasks for you.

For more information about what to expect when you seek a mortgage loan modification, contact us today at We will help you come up with solutions that work for your family, and have multiple locations where we schedule appointments so you can make a choice that is convenient for you.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Is Discharge The Final Act In A Bankruptcy Case, Or Do I Have To Come Back To Court?

Most people prefer to spend their days anywhere but in a Courtroom. This is especially true when the case is about your finances, because being tight on money is stressful enough without adding the anxiety going to Court can cause. Luckily, most bankruptcy cases only require one attendance in Court and that hearing takes place at the start of the case. The hearing is called a 341 hearing and is very informal. Once you are finished with your 341 case, you can expect to resume normal daily activities without being asked to come back to Court. After the 341 hearing and other administrative needs in your case are handled, you will be notified that your case has been discharged. The discharge is the end of your case, and is the legal equivalent of declaring your debts no longer due and payable.

But, there could be instances where you would have to go back to Court after the 341 meeting and perhaps even after the discharge is entered. Some examples include:

         If you or a creditor reopen your case. This happens when a debt has not been fully administered during the case, but is not an automatic circumstance. A request to reopen a case has to be made, and not all of those requests are granted.
         If a creditor is challenging your right to discharge their debt, you may be required to come to court for more than just the 341 hearing. These types of instances are called adversary proceedings, and can include a trial in the bankruptcy court. If this happens in your case, there is no need to get worried. The trial is not to a jury, and your involvement should be limited to answering a few questions.
We understand that going to Court is not something most people do frequently, and it can be intimidating. This is why we prepare you fully, and make sure you know what to expect when you do step foot inside the Courthouse doors. We prepare you from the smallest detail of needing proof of identification to gain entry, to what types of questions to expect from lenders who show up at the 341 hearing. And, if an adversary does get filed in your case, we spend our time with you preparing you for those questions as well. Our goal is to have you show up to Court comfortable, and with confidence in what is expected of you.

If you have more questions about the bankruptcy discharge, contact us today at We will help you come up with solutions that work for your family, and have multiple locations where we schedule appointments so you can make a choice that is convenient for you.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

What Is A Proof Of Claim?

Bankruptcy is full of rules and legal terms that may make you hesitant to file a case. But once you have some basics down, it is easy to see that bankruptcy can be very helpful if you are not able to meet all of your obligations each month. The first term you need to know is the automatic stay. The automatic stay is your best friend in bankruptcy, because it is the part of your case that stops the collections calls and lawsuits, and keeps creditors from garnishing your wages after you file a case. The second most important term to know is the discharge. The discharge is the official entry in your case that your debts are no longer due. But there are other words and phrases you will hear throughout your case, and it is a good idea to know the meaning of certain things.

If you file a Chapter 13 case one phrase you will hear a lot about is a proof of claim. A proof of claim is filed by your lenders, and it tells the Court the following information about the debt you owe to a specific creditor:

         The balance.
         The past due amount.
         The interest rate.
         The normal payment amount.
In a Chapter 13 case a creditor is paid according to the terms of your Chapter 13 Plan, but they will first expect to be paid according to the proof of claim they file in your case. You do have the opportunity to challenge or object to their claim, and should do so if the figures are not accurate. It might not seem like a “sophisticated” lender would file a claim for the wrong amount, but it happens more than you might think. Claims from mortgage companies are especially difficult to decipher, and it is always a good idea to make the lender prove the amount they claim is the correct amount. After all, you want to pay what is due for things you are keeping (like your house), so you are not hounded by the lender after the case is completed. The Trustee assigned to your case will also want to make sure the proof of claim is accurate, because the Trustee is the one who will be disbursing money to your lenders. If the claim is not correct, the Trustee may not make proper payment.

If you have more questions about how creditors get paid in bankruptcy cases, contact us today at We will help you get prepared for what comes after we file your case, and have multiple locations where we schedule appointments.

Monday, April 24, 2017

What If I Can’t Make My Chapter 13 Plan Payment?

There are two types of consumer bankruptcies, a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13. Chapter 7 cases are usually the preferred case, because they last a shorter time and allow you to get rid of all of your unsecured debt. A Chapter 13 case can last up to five years, and will only let you discharge a portion of your unsecured debt. In a Chapter 13 case you will be required to repay at least a portion of your unsecured obligations, but many times that portion is a very small amount of the total debt owed. The way it works is that you propose a repayment plan, setting forth what you will repay to your secured lenders and what percent of debt will be sent to your unsecured creditors. The Court will approve the repayment plan, and you will begin making a monthly plan payment to the Chapter 13 Trustee. The Trustee will send payments to all of your lenders, out of the money you pay each month on your plan payment, and this will keep you in good standing with your lenders. It can be nice to pay only one payment for all of your debts, and then handle your daily expenses on our own. But it can be hard to do if you do not bring in enough money to cover the plan payment, in which case you will need to take corrective action in your Chapter 13 case.

If you are not able to make your Chapter 13 plan payments, you should:

         Request the Court set the payment at a lower amount. This is done by filing a motion in your case and might include the need to modify the terms of your Plan.
         Request the Court allow you to convert your case to a Chapter 7 case.
Both of these choices require action to be taken on your behalf, and we have the know-how to get these things done. We understand that even if you were able to make the payment when the Court approved your Chapter 13 Plan, things don’t always stay the same. If you have had a change in circumstances during your Chapter 13 case that make it impossible for you to maintain the original plan payment, let us know. We will pursue other options, while still keeping your creditors at bay.

For more information about Chapter 13 bankruptcy, contact us at We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you and have multiple locations to meet your needs for office visits.

Friday, April 21, 2017

How Filing Bankruptcy Helps With Future Plans

No one goes to work with the idea that the money they make will be wasted, and cause loans to go into default. The majority of people who fall behind on their financial obligations do so as a result of a life changing event. Some examples include unexpected medical bills, divorce, or a death in the family. All of these things are tragic, and can also be costly. Even those of us that lay out the best of plans can struggle when an emergency comes up, and have the need to restructure our finances. One way to get out from under burdensome debt is to file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy will either completely eliminate some of your debts, or at least reduce them to a much smaller balance due. 

When you owe less, you can focus on immediate needs and also start to plan for the future.
A few ways filing for bankruptcy can help you to plan for the future include:

         You will be required to take a debtor education class before you file, and also before you are granted a discharge. This course will give you helpful tips on budgeting and how to avoid overspending. If you put these tips to work in your post bankruptcy life, you can get ahead financially.
         You can start saving money the instant you file a case, rather than make payments that get you nowhere with high interest rate credit cards. The money you save can be earmarked for a home repair, or used to establish an emergency fund. You never know when an emergency is going to arise, and if you have a fund set up to cover the cost you can avoid going into debt.
         Once you go through bankruptcy, you probably will not want to go through it again. This personal goal can be accomplished by using the things you learned during your case and applying them down the road.
Bankruptcy is a good option for a countless number of consumer debtors who cannot pay all of their bills. If you are experiencing financial difficulty, we urge you to consider filing bankruptcy. The process can be complicated, but we will walk you through it at every step so you are comfortable with your choice.

If you have more questions about bankruptcy, contact us at We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you and have multiple locations to meet your needs for office visits.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Three Short Term Benefits To Filing Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy is a good way to get rid of overwhelming debt, or at least have it reduced to a manageable amount. The purpose behind filing a case is to eliminate what debt can be eliminated, or have it reduced so that you are left with a debt load that is not more than your income. Bankruptcy gives you a fresh financial start, and that can be helpful when you have more on your plate than can be managed. The benefits of filing a case can be long lasting, because once you have less to pay, you can start saving so when an emergency comes up you do not have to rely on loans or credit cards to cover expenses. Along with this long term benefit, there are also some short term benefits that you will feel immediately.

Three of these short terms benefits include:

         An immediate stop to any pending collection or foreclosure action against you. This means if you are being sued for a past due debt, that lawsuit has to be stopped the instant you file a bankruptcy. So if a foreclosure sale is fast approaching, you can stop that sale and take the time you need to gather yourself and come up with a plan to save your house.
         If your wages are being garnished, the garnishment has to be withdrawn. This means no more extra funds will be taken out of your check and you can once again receive full pay for the work you do.
         Your creditors are not allowed to contact you once you file bankruptcy, and this stop in calls and letters can really relieve a lot of stress.
These benefits are immediate, due to the imposition of the automatic stay. The automatic stay is a legal mechanism that is put in place the instant you file a bankruptcy case. Now it does take a day or so for your lenders to be notified by the Court that you have filed, so if you get a call or receive a letter in the meantime you are authorized to give your case number to the lender and cease communications at once. You can also provide any lenders that persist in contacting you with your attorney’s name and phone number, and report to your attorney that certain creditors re not abiding by the automatic stay. If the behavior on the part of your lender is egregious enough, you can also bring an action within your bankruptcy case for their violation of the automatic stay.

If you have more questions about bankruptcy, contact us at We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you and have multiple locations to meet your needs for office visits.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Can Commercial Property Mortgages Be Modified?

A financial setback in business usually means more restructuring is needed than when an individual faces a financial crisis. Companies typically restructure by cutting costs, and the first place they start is with people. When layoffs or reduced hours do not bring the bottom line up to a healthy level, it is time for a business to look at other options to get out of financial trouble. If the company is like most, it does not own the building it operates out of, but rather is making mortgage payments to a lender. So a good place thing for a struggling company to do is to talk with their lender about modifying the mortgage on the building.

Here are some special considerations business owners should take into account when looking to restructure their finances by including a modification of the mortgage:

         Talk to a qualified debt management attorney first. Legal representation when you are trying to get your business back on track is a must. There are issues outside of the finances that will have to be handled, and you will want to be sure you are operating within legal boundaries.
         Have your mortgage and other financial documents analyzed for the legal ability to modify the mortgage. Not every commercial mortgage will have a provision that allows for this type of request, and it is good to know what you are up against at the outset.
         Come up with a reasonable budget, one that includes operating expenses for things other than the mortgage payment. You will still need to be able to pay your vendors, suppliers, and employees. When you seek a modification, seek one that lets you continue to meet your other business related obligations.
Running a business is hard work, and it gets harder when the economy is not on your side. If your company is struggling to make ends meet, call our office for help. We will look at your operating plan and budget, and help you plan for immediate relief, as well as for your future operations. We understand the needs of small and large businesses, and can give you the legal assistance you need to keep afloat and prosper.

For help with asking for a mortgage modification on a commercial property, contact us at We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you and have multiple locations to meet your needs for office visits.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Four Benefits To Mortgage Loan Modifications You May Have Overlooked

By now most all of us have heard of HARP or HAMP, and maybe even done some initial reading to learn that these are programs offered by the government (in conjunction with your mortgage lender) to make your house payment more affordable. While these programs expired December 31, 2016, getting a mortgage loan modification is still a possibility. And, it is still a good idea to explore this possibility if you are not able to make your house payment, because if you are granted a modification your house payment will go down. Paying less each month for your house is a huge benefit of a mortgage loan modification, and it is also a pretty obvious benefit of the process. But there are other benefits that you may not have thought of, but should, if you are having a hard time paying your mortgage bill each month.

Four benefits to a mortgage loan modification that you may have overlooked are:

         One change you may not have considered is to lengthen the repayment term of your mortgage loan. Just like a lower interest rate will result in a lower payment, a longer repayment term will have the same effect. If you are not already at the maximum repayment term, this is an option to consider and will give you the same benefit of a lower payment that you get with a modified interest rate.
         A reduction in the principal amount due will also lower the amount you pay, and can be an option when modifying your mortgage. However most people don’t ask for this benefit, and by failing to do so can miss out on some pretty substantial savings.
         When your payment is lower, you have more money to pay off other debts. If you are able to stick to a repayment plan you can get high interest rate credit cards paid off faster with the extra money you save on your house payment, and this can save thousands in credit card interest.
         Your credit rating might improve with a modified mortgage, because the lower payment will enable you to pay consistently and on time. When your mortgage lender reports this type of payment pattern, your credit score will benefit.

If these benefits sounds good to you, let us help you with a mortgage modification. We have helped others in your situation, and look forward to helping you too.

For more information about the seen and unseen benefits of mortgage loan modifications, call us today or reach us online at

Monday, April 17, 2017

What Happens To My Escrow Account When I Modify My Mortgage?

The first few years you owned your home you were probably surprised to receive an escrow analysis that showed either a shortage or an overage in your escrow account. If your account had an overage, the mortgage company probably sent you a refund check, and you went about your business without much thought to the analysis. But if you had an escrow shortage, your lender would have asked  you to pay the shortage amount, and this is a much more serious situation than getting a refund. An escrow account is set up when you take out a mortgage to pay for your homeowner’s insurance and property taxes. A portion of every mortgage payment you make is set aside for these expenses, and when these expenses become due your lender pays them for you. So you have to be sure to keep enough money in that account, or you will be asked to replenish the account all at once or by an increase in your monthly mortgage payment. Anytime your expenses go up, such as an increased house payment, your budget can take a hit. So, if you are going to modify your mortgage, you will want to pay attention to how your escrow account is treated during that process.

In general, a mortgage loan modification is a process that works to change the terms of your mortgage. In most cases the interest rate is lowered, which results in a smaller monthly house payment. When you sign a modification agreement you are entering a new agreement with regard to your mortgage payments, and you will have a closing just like you did when you bought the property. You may recall that at your original closing, a lot of discussion was had about where the funds required to close the mortgage were going; a certain amount was for inspections and appraisals, and then you had to set up an escrow to cover you taxes and insurance. At modification you should do the same, and here are a few reasons why:
         All lenders require you to maintain insurance, so keeping an escrow account current with funds in it to pay for the coverage is essential.
         The tax man does not wait to send out tax bills when your real estate taxes come due, so making sure your escrow account has enough money in it to keep the taxing authorities off your back is a must.
         When you fail to fund an escrow account, you end up paying more later to put the money in escrow. The point of modifying your mortgage is to lower your payment, so it is not a good idea to leave out a provision for the escrow account when you are closing your modified loan.

The lender should come up with the appropriate calculations to make sure your escrow account is covered when you modify your mortgage. If you are not certain this was done, ask for confirmation before signing any new mortgage loan. For help with the entire process, call  us today.

If you have more questions about mortgage modifications and how your escrow account is impacted, contact our office. We can be reached by phone, or online at

Friday, April 14, 2017

Can I Modify My Second Mortgage?

If you are like most American homeowners, you had to take out a first and a second mortgage in order to buy your home. Maybe you did this at the suggestion of your lender, who thought it would be a good idea to split the balance among two notes in order to avoid paying certain fees, such as private mortgage insurance (PMI). Or, maybe your credit was such that two loans was the only way you could make the purchase. It might even be that the appraisal did not come back at a high enough number for the lender to make the loan, so creative financing was used. And then there are those instances where a second mortgage was taken out after the fact, as part of a refinance or when you took out equity to pay off other debt or make a home repair. Whatever the reason or the timing for your second mortgage, if you are having a hard time making the payment then you are likely looking for answers on how to get both mortgage payments under control.

One thing you can do to try and get your mortgage balance reduced is to see if your lender will modify your mortgage loan. You can ask for this with the first mortgage, but what about your second mortgage? Is a mortgage modification available on a second mortgage? Most generally, the answer is “maybe”. As with most things, the answer depends on your particular circumstances. But here are some things to know about modifying a second mortgage:

         If your first and second mortgage are held by the same lender, your chances at getting your second mortgage modified increase.
         If the payments on your modified first mortgage are current you will have a greater chance at having a modification of your second mortgage approved.

Government programs that allowed for modifications of second mortgages have expired, but you can still ask your current lender to take a look at your second mortgage. It is also important to know that when you modify your first mortgage, you have to deal with your second mortgage even if it is not also being modified. This is because when a first mortgage is modified, it is released and then recorded again. But when the mortgage gest released, the second mortgage assumes the first position and most first mortgage holder lenders will not agree to a modification if they lose their position. A second mortgage holder can agree to subordinate its mortgage to your new first mortgage, but it does take some negotiating go get to this agreement. This can be one of the most sticky parts of any modification process, but with our help you can stay out of the briar patch.

If you have questions about modifying your first or second mortgage, call us today or reach us online at We have multiple locations to serve you and can schedule a time to meet at the office most convenient for you.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

What Options Do I Have To Modify My Mortgage?

If the writers of Forest Gump are right, then life truly is “like a box of chocolates”, meaning you don’t know what you might get, but there are certainly a lot of choices. Take a minute to think about some of the things you do and see every day, like which route to take to work or what to have for breakfast, and you will quickly see that there are options for just about everything. Having choices is a good thing, because it ensures you get the best result for your circumstances. Not everyone has the same needs, so having an option that meets your needs is always a positive.

When you are looking to lower your bills, you have options that will help you reach that goal. You can refinance your car, you can call your credit card issuers and ask for a lower rate, and you can also modify your mortgage loan. A mortgage modification is a change to the terms of your mortgage, most notably changing the interest rate by making it lower. With a lower rate comes a lower payment, and that is something that can benefit anyone. Within the choice to modify your mortgage you also have choices, such as:

         Whether to accept the changes offered by the lender, or ask for something different.
         Whether you will modify just the interest rate, or also the length of time you will be repaying the mortgage loan.

At the end of 2016 the most popular modification program expired, but that does not mean you cannot still get a modification. To get started, take a look at your finances and what needs to be done to account for any shortfall. Find places you can cut back on expenses and see where you end up, so you can identify additional savings opportunities. Once you have cut back on so called luxuries, you will know exactly what you need your house payment to be at in order to make ends meet. Having an idea of your financial needs before seeking a mortgage modification is a good idea because it puts you in the position of knowing what to ask for from your lender.

For more information about how to fix your finances, call us today or reach us online at We have multiple locations to serve you and can schedule a time to meet at the office most convenient for you.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Will My House Get Inspected When I Do A Mortgage Modification?

If it has been a while since you bought your home, you may not remember all of the details of the process. Or, you may have had a bad experience during the home buying process and just prefer not to think about all of the steps. There is no doubt that buying a house is time consuming and expensive process, and there are a lot of requirements that are out of your control. For example, once you find your dream home, you have to make sure the appraisal is high enough for the bank to make the loan and you also have to have a home inspection performed. The inspection reveals areas of the home where a repair or improvement is needed, and sometimes these items can be pricey. So if you are trying to refinance or modify your mortgage, you probably do not want to go through that process for a second time.

Luckily, there is no requirement for a home inspection when you do a mortgage modification. The reasoning behind this is as follows:
         A modification is a way to lower the payments, by lowering the interest rate. It is not a purchase and so there is no need to redo an inspection.
         A modification is designed to help distressed homeowners stay in their homes, which have already passed an inspection and doing another one does nothing but add to the financial distress.
         A modification is done by the current lender, who has the ability to rewrite their own loans. This right also means the lender can decide which requirements are needed and which are not necessary. An inspection is not necessary to rewrite a loan.

If you are having a hard time paying your mortgage, you might be surprised at what a mortgage modification can do for you. Sure, there are horror stories about homeowners who were turned down or who had to resubmit their application numerous times; but with our help you do not need to become one of those stories. The process eliminates things like inspections, and also allows you to apply with fewer documents than what you had to provide when you applied for the mortgage initially. This can speed things up a bit, especially when you let us tackle the process on your behalf. We have helped others get good results modifying their mortgage loans, and look forward to helping you too.

For more information about mortgage modifications, call us today or reach us online at We have multiple locations to serve you and can schedule a time to meet at the office most convenient for you.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Will I Get To Skip A Month’s Payment If I Modify My Mortgage?

When people refinance their homes they often times get to skip a month, or maybe even two months’ worth of house payments. This is always nice because it gives you a chance to save a bit of money, or pay off another debt instead of making your house payment for 30 to 60 days. A modification of your mortgage can work in the same way and have a lot of the same benefits as a refinance. The most visible benefit is the lower payment, but there are other things you should expect when you modify your mortgage.

A few benefits to mortgage loan modification include:

         The possibility of skipping a payment, depending on the timing of your modification. At the very least you will enjoy a lower payment, so the money crunch you are under will feel a bit less overwhelming.
         A lower interest rate, that is good for the rest of your loan term. You should not allow your lender to modify your mortgage is the lower rate is only for a limited time.
         Being considered current on your payments, which can put an end to collection calls and/or legal action such as a foreclosure.

Even if you are not able to skip a payment when you modify your mortgage, it is still a good idea to explore the possibility of a modification. As stated, the interest rate will be lowered during the process, and this gives you a lower payment. If your money is too tight right now, having a lower payment will give you some breathing room. And once you are on track with making lower payments, your credit can also begin to be repaired. Making consistent and on time payments will do wonders for your credit score, and you can accomplish this goal with a modification to a lower payment that is easy to pay each month. We understand how hard the struggle is to pay bills with less income that you bring home, and so work with you to come up with creative ways to bet back on track. One of the most popular ways to get a handle on your budget is to file bankruptcy, but a mortgage modification is also a good option. Let us take a look at your needs, and help you decide what will work best for you.

For more information about how to handle a high mortgage payment, call us today or reach us online at We have multiple locations to serve you and can schedule a time to meet at the office most convenient for you.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Can My Late Charges Be Included In My Mortgage Modification?

When you are behind on your house payment it can seem like the world is about to end. In addition to the constant worry of being foreclosed on, you are probably also worried about how you can get back on track without a huge hassle. The problem is that if you are behind on your payments, the lender has now added late fees and the interest is also accumulating. This can make it hard to get caught up, because those fees quickly escalate and become unmanageable.

One option is to modify your mortgage, so the interest rate is lowered and you can make a lower payment. The good news is that you can have the opportunity to clear up all your mortgage issues in the modification, you just have to follow the correct procedure. For example, you will need to:

         Have a good idea of how far behind you are, and what all is included in that figure. Your bank should provide you with a detailed pay history and balance printout, which you should reconcile with your own records to make sure the pay history is accurate.
         Have a good idea of how much you can afford to pay each month for your house payment, so when the rate is dropped and a new payment calculated you will know if the new payment fits your budget.
         Fill out the application and be prepared to be put on a trial modification before your final modification is approved. Banks will sometimes do this, to make sure the new payment is doable.

Modifying your mortgage to a lower rate and payment helps you in a couple of ways, such as saving money on your house payment each month. But, you can also shore up loose ends, like late payments and fees, when you modify your mortgage. It does take some doing, and you have to be diligent about stating what you want and staying on top of your lender as they review your request. We can help by making sure your application is done properly, and by performing all of the negotiation and follow up on your behalf. The benefit of having an experienced attorney working for you is that the lender will be less likely to brush you off, or to make an offer that does not work

For more information about how to modify your mortgage payment, call us today or reach us online at We offer appointments at multiple locations for your convenience and can schedule a time to visit with you soon.

Friday, April 7, 2017

What Is A “Hardship” Condition For A Mortgage Modification?

A mortgage modification can save you thousands in interest on your mortgage payment, and free up money each month so your budget is not so tight. But there are some things you have to do in order to receive a modification, among them is to apply for one with your lender. Many times the application will contain a section where you explain why you are seeking a modification of your mortgage loan. For most people, the reason is that the payment is too high to fit within their finances. A busted budget can be the result of several things happening, such as loss of job or an unexpected medical expense. Whatever the cause, when your income stream is reduced, it becomes difficult to continue paying all of your bills. This difficulty can also be referred to as a financial hardship, and when you ask for a mortgage modification this hardship is probably the reason you need the loan terms changed.

Here are some common examples of a “hardship” condition when asking your mortgage lender to modify your loan:

         The payment amount is so high that you are not able to pay for other necessities.
         You have other expenses that must be paid in order to maintain a reasonable standard of living, such as medical bills for an ongoing illness or there is a need for expensive treatment for a disease.
         You have lost your job or been laid off, and can only find part time work or a job at a much lower pay scale.

In each of these instances, the homeowner is suffering financially due to circumstances outside their control. There are other hardship conditions that might fit the facts of your case, and those can be reported to your lender as well when you are seeking to modify your mortgage. You are required to be truthful and complete when filling out the modification application, so be sure to include all relevant data about your financial condition. A more detailed application can result in a smoother modification process, but you should also expect to encounter some hiccups along the way. That is just the nature of the beast, but it does not mean you will be denied. A good approach is to let a knowledgeable debt management attorney help you. We have experience negotiating modifications and can help you too.

For more information about hardship conditions for a mortgage modification, call us today or reach us online at We offer appointments at multiple locations for your convenience and can schedule a time to visit with you today.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

What Exactly Is A Mortgage Modification?

With all the options out there to lower your bills, you might be wondering which one is best for you. You can take matters into your own hands by calling your lenders and asking for lower rates, alternative repayment plans, or to have a certain part of your debt forgiven. This course of action can yield results, but they are usually not significantly beneficial to your overall monthly budget. You might also consider filing for bankruptcy, which will reduce or eliminate your debts, and this approach works well for a large number of consumers. But if you are not sure bankruptcy is the right step to take, or you are only looking to lower your house payment, you can think about asking for a modification of your mortgage. Before you do though, take a look at a few of the requirements and some basic information about mortgage modifications.

A mortgage modification is a process whereby your current lender rewrites the terms of your mortgage. This is beneficial because it can result in the following:

         A lower interest rate.
         A lower payment, because when the rate is lower the payment is also decreased.
         More money in your pocket every month because you are now paying less for your house.
         Reduced stress levels in your home, because as we all know when money is tight or there is not enough to go around, your anxiety and stress increases.

There is a process that has to be followed in order to get these benefits, and we can help. Typically, you have to start by filling out an application for a modification and providing certain documents to your lender. The most commonly requested documents include proof of income, proof of homeowner’s insurance, and proof of steady employment. This can be quite a bit of paper to gather, but the upside is that most times you do not have to have your home appraised again like you did when you made the initial purchase. This not only saves on time, but also on expenses. Once your application is approved, there will be a new closing, just like when you bought your house, and you will be required to sign a new note and mortgage. The new note and mortgage become effective, and the old ones no longer govern your payment obligation.

For more information about debt and what to do if you have more debts than you can pay, call us today or reach us online at We offer appointments at multiple locations for your convenience and can schedule a time to visit with you today.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Is There A Certain Income Level Required To Modify My Mortgage?

Modifying your mortgage loan is a good way to reduce your payments, and loosen up an otherwise tight monthly budget. The process to get a modification requires you to apply with your current lender, and during that process you will be asked to provide certain documents. One thing you can expect to have to provide is proof of your income. This information is used to determine whether you are capable of making the reduced payment, which seems strange because it is much easier to pay less than it is to pay more. Nevertheless, lenders do require proof of income to be provided when applying for a mortgage loan modification.

This may have you wondering if you have to make a certain amount before your lender will agree to a modification, and the answer depends on your particular set of circumstances. Generally speaking, you will need to show:

         How much income you have, to go towards your house payment, even a modified and reduced payment amount.
         Employment information, to show the likelihood of continued employment.
         In some instances, you can provide proof of other debts you are paying each month, so an idea can be formed as to how much disposable income you have.

So while there is no set baseline level of income that is required to ask for a modification of your mortgage, you do have to provide information as to your specific income data. The first step is to ask, and then tackle any hurdles you encounter once your application is in process. Many times lenders will have a preset formula they use to review the information you provide, and that can mean you will need to make the matter personal. It is hard to accomplish much of anything by using preset guidelines, and a human element must be taken into account. This can be intimidating when dealing with large banks, but our office has experience doing so and is not afraid to go to bat for you. We know how helpful it can be to reduce your monthly bills, and will work hard to make sure you get results that work for you.

For more information about managing your mortgage payment or asking for a modification, call us today or reach us online at We will help by looking at the facts of your case and giving you options to reach your financial goals.