Surprisingly most people in Washington state don’t even realize that they can qualify for a mortgage modification or mediation. Mortgage payment each month is causing you more and more stress or you’re simply not able to make the payment, there are options. Washington state has Washington State Foreclosure Fairness Act, which was implemented several years ago helps Washington homeowners modify their existing mortgage in order to stay in their home.
Like to stay in your home there are options but there are also qualifications. Banks will not tell homeowners that there are options oftentimes considered a better “dirty little secret”. Banks have not financially incentivized homeowners to modify their loan in most cases, and this is where a mortgage lender needs to come into play. Homeowners cannot modify their own mortgage unless the letter asking for a straight refinance. Often, homeowners that are already struggling making their mortgage payment cannot qualify for refinance. This is where attorneys such as Advantage Legal Group can come into play. Attorneys or housing counselors must modify and mediate the mortgage refinance or modification on behalf of the homeowner. This really is the only caveat and can be difficult for a lot of homeowners to understand. Often get asked why they cannot simply go to their bank and ask for modification on their own. But with Washington State Foreclosure Fairness Act, there is a moderator on behalf of the homeowner that can handle and facilitate the moderation between the homeowner and the bank.
The downside is that the only way to qualify is to actually stop paying your mortgage. While this is often the case for a lot of homeowners, some may find it difficult to do so without food and utilities in order to make the mortgage payment. This is where the moderator needs to step in and provide alternate options. Once the homeowner is unable to pay and this is a payment, they can trigger events under the current law which provides the homeowner an option to elect to enter into mortgage mediation. The homeowner will receive the “Notice of Pre-Foreclosure Options” and after this will have 30 days to respond to elect to request a meeting with the bank in order to discuss the situation, however, this must be done with a moderator as in a housing counselor or attorney. You can meet with the bank on your own but homeowners cannot request mortgage mediation by themselves. This mediation can only be requested through a HUD counselor or mortgage mediation attorney.
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- In order to qualify the homeowner must complete the package for loan modification including submitting paycheck stubs, budget, documents that the loan servicer requests and a hardship letter stating why you are unable to make their mortgage payment.
- The property must be the primary residence, meaning it cannot be an investment or rental property.
- Homeowners to choose modification if they are unable to refinance. Allows a temporary briefing room to get through financial hardship.
- Homeowners must also have adequate debt to income ratio. Lenders prefer as low as 36% but can go as high as 45%.
If you’re concerned you may not qualify contact Advantage Legal Group today to discuss your options! You might be surprised at how affordable a mortgage modification really is, even through an attorney. And of course, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing you can keep your home.
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.