You are NOT alone, I am here to help. There are literally millions of homeowners who became delinquent on their mortgage payments during the global COVID-19 pandemic. In doing so, they were offered, and accepted, forbearance options by their mortgage servicers that would enable them to pause or lower their payments for a limited time until they regained their financial footing. My response to those offers is, “buyer beware.”
When folks called my office for guidance, I would routinely warn them – if you accept a forbearance of 90 days, understand that when the next payment comes due you will have to come up with FOUR (4) payments. I also advised that if you didn’t absolutely need a forbearance, pass on the offer. I always advised all homeowners in danger of missing payments and looking for answers to read the fine print and consult an attorney before signing any agreement with a mortgage lender or service.
Now as the pandemic is finally wrapping up, there are still millions of homeowners who are having trouble with their mortgage payments and with finding an amicable resolution with their mortgage servicer. Many people believed that the payments on forbearance would automatically be put at the end of the loan term or that they would simply apply for and be granted a loan modification. Unfortunately, many consumers are finding nothing is “automatic” and achieving a modification of mortgage loan terms is never guaranteed. To add to the frustration, many borrowers wanting to resolve mortgage payment issues call the servicers repeatedly for hours on end trying to just speak with a human being at the servicer’s calling center only to be disconnected, rudely hung-up on or receive incorrect information.
Over the years I have learned may things fighting banks and mortgage servicers, and while some companies are better than others, the industry as a whole is simply not to be trusted. Time and time again I find the mortgage servicing industry will provide inaccurate accounting, misinformation and partial information when an unrepresented consumer asks for a full accounting of their mortgage loan. I have seen it all from no accounting for 18 months of payments proven to have been received by the servicer, to rejection of payments received by a servicer without explanation, thousands of dollars in add-on fees and charges which make no sense, force-placed insurance, charges for property preservation and inspections that never happened, among others. The inaccurate accounting often results in a homeowner being refused a loan modification or even a denial for a new refinanced loan. And although there are federal programs available for many homeowners, lenders simply steer the borrowers to accept modifications that are not suitable in the long run.
In short, despite federal safeguards and regulations in place, mortgage borrowers who attempt to deal with servicers on their own are often in a no-win position. Here is where I can assist you. Before you accept a loan modification or attempt another contact with your servicer, call my office for a free consultation. I’m here to help you get accurate information and, most importantly, real results.
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Linda Tirelli Law Group LLC