Applying for a loan modification can be a time-consuming, frustrating process. You mail or fax a huge package of completed forms or documents to your mortgage servicer, only to be told they never received them. You resend them, often multiple times. To follow up, you call the servicer, speaking to a different person every time. The call often takes an hour after waiting on hold and being transferred to several different departments. You call several times a week to make sure they have everything they need. It’s not uncommon to be told that the servicer has closed the file because certain documents were missing.
Even when all docs are timely received, homeowners more often than not are met with a denial. The numbers are not encouraging. By some estimates, only 5% of all loan mod applications nationwide result in successful modifications.
That’s why the Southern District of Florida’s Mortgage Modification Mediation “MMM Program” is considered such a success. Offered only to debtors in bankruptcy, the program is posting high success numbers (up to 70%) in only its second year. So what’s different about it? Everything. The loan mod docs are uploaded to a secure web portal where they can be viewed by both parties. All communications between servicer and homeowner (though their attorney) take place on this portal. Gone are the days of missed phone calls and lost documents. If the lender has questions about a borrower’s income or a Profit and Loss, for example, they simply post their message on the portal. The borrower, though counsel, responds. All messages and documents are saved and viewable. The process is a secure and efficient way for the parties to communicate throughout the application review process.
The parties agree to appoint a mediator who sets a mediation conference for 2-3 months out. Typically, the mediator, servicer, and servicer’s attorney appear by telephone. Often, a modification offer or denial comes before the mediation conference. The mediation conference becomes very useful for discussing and clarifying the terms of the offer, or for gaining valuable insight into why a mortgage modification application was denied.
We have taken part in the MMM program both as debtors’ counsel and as mediators for other attorneys. Without question, this program is an excellent tool for those who are looking for their best shot at keeping their home through loan modification. Of course, there is never a guarantee that a lender will modify a loan (since forcing lenders to do since is not something our Congress was willing to impose on lenders), but the MMM Program has proven to be the best shot for homeowners to obtain fair consideration and a good faith review by lenders in seeking to save their homes.
At The McCue Law Firm, we offer a no-cost consultation so that you can learn if your circumstances may benefit from participation in the MMM Program. Don’t delay; end those sleepless nights. Call 954-267-9377 to schedule your free consultation today.