mortgage

Loan modification in bankruptcy

Justin Harelikq_v2.gifDear Bankruptcy Adviser,
I filed Chapter 7 in Minnesota and was on a repayment plan with my mortgage company, as we are reaffirming with them. However, they said the repayment plan is null and void since filing bankruptcy, and now I am waiting for an answer from the mortgage company as to how I pay back the two months I am behind. I have not been sent anything or spoken to anyone about foreclosure, as we are not that far behind and will continue to send payments. Can you give me any idea what to expect? I'm a little scared.
-- Lori

a_v2.gifDear Lori,
I believe you should be fine. The mortgage company worked with you before and it will likely work with you again. Let's be frank -- the lender does not want another property to sell at foreclosure.

It is very common for a loan modification to become null and void after filing a bankruptcy. Usually, there is a provision in the repayment agreement that states as such, but since those modification documents are long and in legalese, it is hard to catch the bankruptcy provision.

At this time, you need to begin a phone call campaign with the lender. If you used an attorney to file your bankruptcy, then your attorney must send a letter via fax to the lender authorizing you to speak to them. You do not need that letter if you filed on your own.

Then you get to begin the phone calls. You will first need to talk to the bankruptcy department. I hope your lender is not one of the big lenders. I have clients who filed bankruptcy and the lender was unaware of the filing two months later! Have your bankruptcy case number available when you call.

You will want to mail in your payment via certified mail. The lender might not accept it, but at the very least, you will be able to confirm that the payment was received.

Finally, you need to just be persistent. Remember the following saying each day: "Patience is a virtue, but persistence to the point of success is a blessing."

You need to call and call and call, just like you did in the past. You will probably have to repeat your story over and over again; it will try your patience, you might even yell at one of these call center people. But what can you do?

If possible, find out whether there is a local office for your lender where you live, and just show up at the office. One client did that and it really worked! The employees were so shocked that they began working on her case right away and she modified her loan.

Your file will likely have to be reviewed again, even by the same department that approved you before. The lenders and their employees are scared to make mistakes; therefore, you will have to play by their rules.

I am confident that you will be able to keep your home, but it will take another monumental effort. Just remember the goal: Save your home.

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