Contacting your mortgage servicer.
It is always a great idea to call your mortgage service and to ask for help and options available to you. However you do need to prepare with great detail before you talk to your loan servicer. Some of the steps to take include calculating the equity in your home, record your income and expenses in detail. To calculate equity, estimate the market value of your home. Subtract the balance of your first, and any second mortgage or third mortgages or home equity loan. Then, be prepared to answer the following questions.
- What happened to make you miss your mortgage payment and why do you need help paying your bills? Can you send documents to back up your explanation for falling behind? Have you attempted to resolve the problem, and how?
- Is your problem long term, short term, or permanent? What type of changes in your personal situation do you see in the short term, and in the long term? What other issues, primarily financial, may be stopping you from getting back on track paying your bills and paying your mortgage?
- What would you like to happen from this? Do you truly want to keep the house? What type of payment arrangement can you agree to and make?
- Find the phone numbers of the major mortgage servicers. Click here.
After calling your mortgage servicer and starting the process, there are additional steps to take. Throughout this entire communication process be sure to do the following.
Steps to take after contacting mortgage servicer
- Keep immaculate notes of all your communications with the servicer, including time, date, who you spoke to, the method of the contact (phone, face-to-face, fax, E-mail, or postal mail), and the outcome of that contact. It is all too common that at some later date you will need specific details on what was said, who you spoke to, and of course any deals or mortgage assistance that was offered to you.
- Looking into contacting a professional organization, such as the Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America, for help with counseling and negotiation.
- Follow up any requests you make in writing, with a letter to the servicer. Send your mail by certified mail, “return receipt requested,” so that you can always document what the servicer received. Keep copies of all documents, including enclosures, bills, and letters.
- Be sure to meet all deadlines that may be established in this process. Miss one, and the service will be less likely to provide you help paying.
- Stay in your house during this entire process. For example, renting your home will change it from a primary residence to an investment property and will probably disqualify you for any assistance from the servicer.