Let’s talk about the research that goes behind your loan modification process that and what distinguishes your process from simply filling out and submitting a loan modification application?
With loan modifications, I can’t tell someone just in the initial consultation what the likelihood of a loan modification on their mortgage is going to be. It is all dependent on what type of loan they have, is it government backed? Is it a private mortgage? And beyond these categories, who is the owner (investor) of your specific loan? In the investment pool of loans yours is in along with hundreds or thousands of other mortgages, what types of loan modifications is the investor offering? Are they reducing interest rates? Offering new or extended mortgage terms? Putting mortgage arrears on the end of the mortgage? Reducing principal where the mortgage is more than the value of the house?
I have the ability to do is see what the investor (owner) of your loan should do if I prepare a well-prepared loan modification application.
I have someone on staff who used to be a mortgage broker. He spends his days researching investor guidelines, mortgage program guidelines both government backed and private (provided on a proprietary basis by the specific owner of the loan).
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Guidelines
I use what’s called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB guidelines, which were put in place in 2014 in my mortgage modification and bankruptcy practice. I send out a Request for Information (RFI) for specific information about your mortgage. If I do not receive an answer within a statutory period of time, I follow up with a Notice of Error (NOE) until I get the information I need to properly do a detailed analysis to see what type of loan modification you should qualify for.
RFIs and NOEs are essentially a way to subpoena information from the mortgage lender without having to serve a subpoena in active litigation. It’s a letter-based practice, certified regular mail. The lender has to respond within certain time guidelines, or they’re creating certain federal causes of action if they don’t. I’m not looking to file a federal suit because the mortgage company didn’t provide me with, for instance, their loan modification programs that the investor holds, but it’s helpful when I’m negotiating if a lender has not provided their guidelines after I have requested them under the CFPB guidelines four (4) or more times.