This article is written by Peters and Associates
Question: The bank told me I had to miss payments on my house before anyone could help me with a modification. Now they’re telling me I don’t qualify for a modification and they’re going to foreclose! What can I do? Please help!
It’s usually true that to qualify for a loan modification, you have to miss at least one payment because being able to pay signals to the bank you’re not in need of help. In addition, most federal programs (HAMP, HAFA, etc.) require you to be at least 30 days late to receive assistance. Nongovernment programs tend to follow the same guidelines.
If you were advised to fall behind on your payments, or you simply fell behind on your own, and the bank issued a notice of default, you should seek the advice of legal counsel as soon as possible. If the bank issues a notice of trustee sale, you should seek help immediately or you risk losing your home.
Once you’ve been issued a notice of default, you have 30 calendar days to elect mediation and 60 days to cure the default. However, if you’re actively pursuing a foreclosure alternative, the timelines should pause.
Trouble often arises when people think they’re actively pursuing a foreclosure alternative, when in the eyes of the law, they’re not. In order to be actively pursuing an alternative, there need to be evidence-quality records to prove as much, which is why legal counsel usually is necessary.
Though it’s not impossible for homeowners to prevent foreclosure on their own, bad self-help information that permeates the Internet makes it unlikely that they’ll be successful. The stakes are simply too high to rely on nonspecific, general advice from random people that may not even apply to the case.
Finally, it’s important to remember that Nevada has no right of redemption in nonjudicial foreclosure sales, so if the foreclosure goes through legally, it may be impossible to get your home back.
What is mediation? Mediation is a regulated in-person sit-down between the bank’s attorney, the homeowner and, in best practice, the homeowner’s attorney. It may result in a modification, permission to do a short sale or a foreclosure certificate being issued.
If your credit report shows you’re 120-plus days late on your mortgage, lenders will regard it as a foreclosure whether or not the bank has seized your home.
Please note: The information in this column is intended for general purposes only and is not to be considered legal or professional advice of any kind. You should seek advice that is specific to your problem before taking or refraining from any action and should not rely on the information in this column.