Hiring a Loan Modification Professional for Home Mortgage Expertise - dummies

Hiring a Loan Modification Professional for Home Mortgage Expertise

By Ralph R. Roberts, Lois Maljak, Joseph Kraynak

Loan modification for a home mortgage is a team sport. You either work with your lender or through a third-party representative, a loan modification expert. Which option is best for you? Read on to find out why you should strongly consider hiring a professional to assist you with the process.

Assuming you qualify, a loan modification enables you to keep your home, lower your monthly mortgage payment, and catch up on any late or missed payments.

Why you should hire a loan expert

You should consider hiring an expert to represent you in a loan modification for several reasons, including the following:

  • Your lender usually has an attorney representing its interests, so you should have your own representative defending your interests.

  • You may have only one shot at submitting your loan modification application correctly. Having an experienced expert prepare your application is like having a headhunter craft your resume.

  • A loan modification expert knows the system and how to work it for your benefit.

  • An expert can quickly prescreen you, so if you probably aren’t eligible for a loan modification, you won’t end up wasting time, energy, and money trying to get one.

  • An expert can take all the hassles off your plate, freeing up your time and energy to get a better handle on your finances.

  • An expert is free from the emotional baggage that can undermine negotiations. Being emotionally involved, you’re more likely to engage in arguments and make poor decisions.

  • A seasoned pro knows immediately whether the offer a lender pitches is fair and square.

  • You’ll probably more than recoup the cost of hiring an expert from the amount of money he or she saves you by getting a better deal than you could on your own.

Lenders often try to dissuade distressed borrowers from hiring their own representation. After all, lenders often claim, “We’ll modify your mortgage for free.” Sure, they’ll modify it, but are they going to modify it to true affordability?

Finding a qualified loan modification expert

One of the better ways to find a reputable loan modification expert is to obtain referrals from people you already know and trust who’ve hired the expert to represent them. Unfortunately, that can leave you with a very shallow pool to draw from.

Here are some other suggestions for tracking down reputable, qualified candidates:

  • Contact local real estate brokers. They should know attorneys in the area who are experienced in negotiating with mortgage lenders, including foreclosure, bankruptcy, and loan modification attorneys.

  • Call the local branch of your state Bar Association. Someone there can direct you to an attorney who deals with situations such as the one you’re facing.

  • Ask at your bank if you feel comfortable doing so. You may not want to reveal your current financial woes to your friendly neighborhood bank, but if you do, the bank’s manager may be able to offer a valuable reference.