Washington State Mortgage Modifications and Mortgage Mediations
The Washington State Department of Commerce that oversees the Washington Fairness Foreclosure Act estimates that 90% of the people who could have potentially availed themselves of this program failed to do so, mainly because they don’t know about it.
The Act allows homeowners to force banks to enter into negotiations to avoid foreclosure, usually by a modification. The window of opportunity to request mediation opens once you get the notice of default and the window closes 20 days after the closing of the recording of the notice of trustees sale in the county in which you live. You cannot request mediation yourself and the bank cannot request it for you. It has to be requested through a housing counselor or an attorney.
This is great news if you are one of the many individuals who feel like your bank is “blowing you off” so to speak. Why? Because this law REQUIRES that your bank’s lawyers come to the table to negotiate.
It used to be that Advantage Legal was able to get people modifications at 2% interest rates but rates are going up closer to 4%. Following are some recent examples of the kind of modifications Advantage Legal has helped people to obtain:
Servicer: Nation Star
- Old Payment: $3294.00
- Old Interest Rate: 6.625%
- New Payment: $1243.83
- New Interest Rate: 3.25%
- Payment Reduced: $674.72
Servicer: Green Tree
- Old Payment: $2506.90
- Old Interest Rate: 7.87%
- New Payment: $1118.38
- New Interest Rate: 3.25%
- Payment Reduced: $1388.52
In the case of the second example, they were 75 months behind in their mortgage payments! Imagine the relief they have now AND they can rebuild their credit score by showing that they’re able to pay their mortgage and recover from such a delinquency! Phenomenal!
Call Advantage Legal to help you today!
Don’t Go it Alone – The Washington Fairness Foreclosure Act
There are still many homeowners facing foreclosure. For the last three years, Advantage Legal Group has been doing much to inform those homeowners about the hope they may have in the Fairness Foreclosure Act. Their efforts have been pretty successful and they’ve saved the homes and lives of many clients. However, now there’s a new thing to make people aware of…the danger of trying to do it yourself.
There are people who do indeed know about the Washington Fairness Foreclosure Act but instead of obtaining a lawyer to or credit counselor to request mediation, they try to request it themselves only to be turned down time and time again, all the while, racking up additional fees each time they try. These fees WILL eventually have to be paid somehow, and these people may now face the reality of losing their homes AND paying the fees!
Related: The Ultimate Home Sellers Guide
Save yourself a lot of time, heartache and money!
Save yourself time, heartache and money by getting yourself an attorney or credit counselor to set up the mediation for you. You cannot go it alone. These people keep getting turned down for mediation because homeowners can ONLY be referred to foreclosure mediation by a housing counselor or attorney. The counselor or attorney will determine the homeowner’s eligibility for mediation and may make a referral on their behalf to the Department of Commerce for foreclosure mediation. Eligible homeowners will then be assigned a mediator by the Department of Commerce to conduct the foreclosure mediation process that has been established under the Act. Additionally, although not required, the homeowner may also benefit from having the counselor or attorney present during the mediation to assist/represent them during the process. The lender is also usually represented by their own lawyer.
Give Yourself the Gift of Mortgage Mediation this Christmas
While many families are celebrating the season with hearts full of peace and joy, it can actually be a stressful and discouraging time for families under economic distress. Many home owners are still facing foreclosure, having never recovered from the down turn that began in 2008.
However, Advantage Legal Group is here to shed some light on your holiday season by letting you know about a law that can help you mediate and resolve those problems. This law is four years old but many still don’t know about it or how to take advantage of it. The law is the Foreclosure Fairness Act that was put into law in 2011.
This law provides an opportunity for most homeowners to force most mortgage companies to come to the table and negotiate a solution that works for everybody. So few people have taken advantage of this law. It is highly recommended that if you or someone you know can be helped with this law that you take advantage of it by contacting Advantage Legal right away!
Give yourself the gift of peace of mind this holiday season! Following is an example of how Advantage Legal was able to help a family recently:
OLD PAYMENT: $3185.01 at 5.875% fixed rate
NEW PAYMENT: $1999.24 at 4.125% fixed rate
REDUCTION OF: $1185.77
And that’s just one of many ways Advantage Legal is bringing the Merry back to Christmas for so many families this year.
Begin writing your Christmas Wish List now and start crossing off your MUST HAVE gifts to yourself and your family this holiday season.
YOUR CHRISTMAS WISH LIST:
– Call Advantage Legal at 1-877-MEDIATION
– FREE consultation with Advantage Legal
– Monthly savings!
– Peace of Mind!
– Holly Jolly Christmas!
Thank you to Tina Droessler for her contribution to today’s blog post. Tina is an expert in real estate in her neck of the woods and can assist any buyer or seller with a short sale, mortgage advice or home purchase. Thanks Tina.
Who Says Life’s Not Fair? Two Things to Know About the Fairness Act
Okay. Okay. So, life’s not fair. It’s true. However, when things come around like the Washington Foreclosure Fairness Act, life seems to seem a little fairer, a little brighter. This act or law helps bring homeowners back from the brink of foreclosure by forcing lenders to enter into face to face negotiations. There are two things to remember about the Washington Foreclosure Fairness Act:
1) You MUST have representation to advocate for you. You cannot make use of the Washington Foreclosure Fairness Act without good representation. Why? Because you must have someone ( your attorney/representation) make a referral on your behalf so that Washington State commerce stops the foreclosure long enough for you to enter into negotiations with the bank’s lawyers. The reason you can’t do it yourself without an attorney is because they want you to be prepared. This is an adversarial process. The attorneys on the other side are not there to help you, therefore it’s imperative to have someone there who is.
2) It often takes more than just one meeting. The Washington Foreclosure Fairness Act actually only provides for one three hour mediation session, but it usually takes two or three of these sessions. In these sessions your attorney presents a package to your bank’s lawyers and lets them know how much you make for a living and what you can afford. They then negotiate back and forth until an agreement is made.
Where Do I Begin with Mortgage Mediation?
Mediation is when the lender and the borrower sit down with a court ordered mediator, a third party, to look at options. Modification programs are often limited and hard to execute. Mediation is a good way to play it safe when you’re almost out of options to help cure any deficiencies in the process. With so many delinquent borrows currently nationwide, there are many opportunities for mistakes to be made. Borrowers can also get lost in the process and mediation personalizes for expedition and avoidance of mistakes.
Once the lender initiates foreclosure, you have the right to request mediation. The lender must send a “request for foreclosure mediation” form. You then have 25 days to complete the form and file it with the circuit court in the county or city where your foreclosure has been filed to have your request granted. You must also send the form to the attorney handling the foreclosure for your lender.
THINGS TO KNOW:
1) a non refundable fee of $50 must be paid by homeowners to the circuit court when they file a request for mediation.
2) The fee and the “request for foreclosure mediation” form must be sent to the same circuit court that your foreclosure was filed in.
3) This is your one and only chance to request foreclosure mediation. If you do not submit your fee and form within the 25 days, you will NOT be given another chance.
4)Homeowners must be living on the foreclosed property to participate in the mediation program. It must be your primary residence. The mediation program is not for owners of foreclosed, rental or commercial properties.
Washington Foreclosure Fairness Act – Referral to Mediation Process
In 2011 Washington and passed the Washington foreclosure fairness act to help homeowners who are facing foreclosure. This program was designed to help homeowners and their lenders reach a resolution about foreclosures or other possible options for the homeowners.
Homeowners must be referred to Mediation by housing counselor or an attorney to be part of the the foreclosure fairness program. A law firm like advantage to legal group can help you access the foreclosure fairness program or help you determine which option is best for you.
This new program now requires lenders to notify borrowers prior to foreclosure of the availability of foreclosure counseling and the potential for mediation. Understanding the mediation process can be confusing and time consuming. Having a knowledgeable law firm like Advantage Legal Group on your side, can help you find not only your best option, but help you do it in a timely matter.
Advantage Legal Group can help you through the mediation hurdles. Did you know that some lending institutions are exempt? Banks and credit unions that are exempt from the mediation process of the Washington Foreclosure Fairness Act have less than 250 sales of owner occupied residential real estate property.
Washington Foreclosure Fairness Act – Mediation Process
Key information to know for scheduling mediation sessions:
• Department of commerce will assign a mediator within 10 days of receiving Referral to Mediation.
• Beginning three days after commerce sends assignment letter to you via e-mail, you have 70 days to conduct the foreclosure mediation session.
• Mediation must take place within the county where the borrower of lives, unless both parties agree to a change of location.
• Model Notification form must be sent to all parties at least 30 days before the mediation session, if used.
• Payment of fees to mediator must be paid within 30 days of the assigned letter from department of commerce.
• Within 23 days of receiving of the referral to foreclosure mediation letter from the department of commerce, you’ll need to complete and send in the initial package for the Home Affordable Modification Program also known as HAMP to both the mediator and the beneficiary.
HAMP package includes forms:
- Request for Modification and Affidavit (RMA) form. (A three-page form that includes household income expenses debts assets in tax returns for the past two years as well as hardship affidavit if applicable.)
- Tax forms 4506 – EZ or form 4506 T for the previous two years
- Verification of income
- Dodd-Frank Certification Form
At any time if the mediator believes you are not acting in good faith they may cancel the mediation and the bank or other beneficiary may proceed with a foreclosure sale. Examples of not acting in good faith are the following:
Not providing the HAMP package on time
Not providing the mediation fee on time
Lack of response to mediators e-mails
Lack of response to mediators calls
This new program requires lenders to notify borrowers prior to foreclosure of the availability of foreclosure counseling and the potential for mediation. Understanding the mediation process can be confusing and time consuming. Having a knowledgeable law firm like Advantage Legal Group on your side, can help you find your best options, done in a timely matter, and show that you are acting in good faith.