Citibank and Fannie Mae announced that they will suspend foreclosures and evictions for thirty days, which would give thousands of borrowers a brief holiday respite from the legal process meant to take their homes away. At the same time, CitiMortage has converted only 271 out of the 103,478 trial mortgage modifications into final modifications. When faced with their dismal performance in finalizing mortgage modifications, the banks uniformly blamed borrowers who completed the trial period but did not send in paperwork necessary to finalize their modifications. One wonders if these banks could have avoided some foreclosures by finalizing more mortgage modifications.
Borrowers who want to modify their mortgages should understand that just getting the preliminary modification is not enough. They still need to get finalized, which requires more paperwork after a three month trial period. The process involves a lot of very confusing paperwork. Clients have come to us after they tried to negotiate a mortgage modification only to end up increasing their monthly payments, or have their payments go towards the banks’ attorneys fees.
A borrower facing foreclosure should consult with an experienced attorney to see if a modification may present a viable option for them. We are based in New York City, and have experience in mortgage modifications. We joked that we were responsible for more than 1% of permanent mortgage modifications approved by Bank of America, because one of our clients was approved around the time BOFA announced that it had only approved 98 permanently modifications nationwide. Of course, past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Nevertheless, we would be happy to provide you with a free consultation. Mortgage modifications are not suitable for every distressed borrower, but we can help you with your options.