- Are you having difficulty making your mortgage payments?
- Are you experiencing a financial hardship?
- Do you worry that you will lose your home to foreclosure?
- Are you interested in learning what your options are?
Financial situations can change, sometimes unexpectedly. Payments that you were able to make in the past may no longer be affordable for your family. Your mortgage payment could have increased due to rising insurance costs or real estate taxes. Your household income may have decreased due to underemployment, unemployment, or a variety of other events.
Whatever the reason may be, if you are having difficulty paying your mortgage, Attorney John S. Simonian may be able to help you. Your monthly mortgage payments may be able to be reduced. If the payments can be reduced, you won’t have to lose your home due to foreclosure, or move from the home that you love.
Feeling Stressed about Finances?
If you feel stressed about your financial situation, you are not alone. Many people feel stress about money, and many especially feel stress about trying to make the mortgage payment each month. Homes are expensive, and for many people, mortgages are the largest bill that they pay each month. Feeling stress about your mortgage can affect your health, your relationships, and your life. Further, this stress can also affect your family.
Are you Behind on your Mortgage?
If you are behind on your mortgage, your mortgage company may be threatening to foreclose on your home, or the mortgage company may have already initiated the foreclosure process. However, that doesn’t mean that you should let the home go into foreclosure without at least seeing if you have any other options. It doesn’t matter if you are a little or a lot behind on your mortgage, or if you have missed a few or many payments. A mortgage modification may be able to help your situation.
What is a Financial Hardship?
A financial hardship occurs when a homeowner would like to make the mortgage payment. However, due to a situation out of the homeowner’s control, the homeowner is finding it difficult or even impossible to make the monthly mortgage payment. What qualifies as a financial hardship varies amongst different mortgage companies. Common examples of a financial hardship include a decrease or a loss of income resulting from:
- Difficulty finding a job
- Decrease in work hours and/or pay
- Illness of primary income earner or a dependent
- Work absence due to medical conditions of a primary income earner or a dependent
- Divorce or other relationship breakdown
- Natural disaster
- Death of an income earner
Further, the birth of a child or addition of another dependent into the household may be considered a financial hardship.
What is a Mortgage Modification?
A mortgage modification is an agreement that is entered into between the homeowner and the mortgage company. A mortgage modification is not a new mortgage. It is the same mortgage, but some of the terms change, so that the homeowner may be able to afford the monthly mortgage payment. Some things that a mortgage modification can do in order to lower the monthly payment are:
- Change the type of the mortgage (fixed rate, adjustable rate, etc.)
- Lower interest rate
- Change the repayment time period
- Add past due amounts to the principal amount of the loan, so they may be paid overtime instead of upfront in a lump sum
- Reduce the total principal amount owed
Mortgage modifications can be temporary or permanent, depending on the type of financial hardship. Mortgage modifications may be able to change a first home, a vacation home, a rental home, etc.
What are the Benefits to Mortgage Modifications?
The main benefits to a mortgage modification are:
- A more affordable mortgage payment
- Avoiding Foreclosure
- Not having to move
Homes are important to us. They are where we build our families, make precious memories, and where we gather together at the end of the day. Most of the time, just because a homeowner can’t afford their mortgage, does not mean that they want to leave their home.
Moving in any situation is disruptive to the entire family, and can add a lot of stress. If you move, you may have to commute farther for work, or your children may have to change schools. You may have to leave your community and all associated relationships and routines behind. However, being forced to move from your home due to a financial hardship adds another level of stress to an already trying situation. You don’t want to move, but your choice is being taken away.
If your home is foreclosed on, not only will you have to move, but your credit score will also be affected. A foreclosure will cause your credit score to drop, and will have a lasting impact on your credit.
Fortunately, if you are approved for a mortgage modification, you will not have to leave your home against your will. You and your family will be able to stay in your family home, in your neighborhood, and in your community. Your children will not have to change schools, and your commute won’t be affected. Although a mortgage modification may affect your credit score negatively, it will not have as significant of an impact as a foreclosure would have on your credit report.
Mortgage Modification Application Process
Mortgage modifications have to be applied for. In order to apply, there is paperwork that needs to be filled out, and supporting documents that need to be provided. The application can take one to three months or even longer to be approved. This means that you should reach out for help as soon as you think you will have difficulty making your mortgage payment. The sooner you act, the better your options will be. Acting quickly can help you avoid fees and penalties from accruing on your account.
Should I Hire a Professional?
Although a professional cannot guarantee that your mortgage modification application will be approved, there are many advantages to hiring a professional to represent you in your mortgage modification application. Some of these benefits include:
- Taking the guesswork out of the process – a professional will tell you exactly what your mortgage company requires, which paperwork needs to be submitted, and when.
- Easing your stress – a professional will deal with the mortgage company on your behalf, so you don’t have to take time out of your busy life waiting for a representative.
- Protecting your rights – professionals know your rights as a homeowner, and an attorney will make sure your rights are protected.
- Experience – this could be your first mortgage modification, but for a professional, this could be their hundredth or even thousandth mortgage modification application.
- Knowledge – professionals know what your options are, and can empower you to make the best decision for your particular situation.
Attorney John S. Simonian
Attorney Simonian has helped numerous families throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts since he started practicing law over 26 years ago. His office handles dozens of mortgage modifications each year, and he has helped hundreds of clients throughout his career. Attorney Simonian has a lot of experience with mortgage modifications, and it is very likely that he has worked with your mortgage company in the past.
There is no guarantee that you will receive a mortgage modification, but hiring Attorney Simonian will give you the best chance for your case. Hiring Attorney Simonian will take a lot of the guesswork out of the process, and a lot of the stress out of the situation. Attorney Simonian will tell you exactly what documents you need to submit, and what information you need to provide. The office will handle all of the calls and communications with the mortgage company, so you know everything will be fully documented. Further, Attorney Simonian knows your rights, so you can be sure that your rights as a homeowner are being protected under the law.
Have any Questions?
Please reach out to Attorney John S. Simonian with any questions that you may have. Attorney Simonian offers a free initial consultation to discuss your personal options. His office can be reached at (401) 467-7998.
For further information on mortgage or loan modifications, please take a look around our mortgage modification blog.