Nation's top lenders charting new territory, saving homes

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Some of the nation's top lenders are charting new territory, all to keep homeowners from losing their homes, offering some rates as low as two percent interest on your mortgage.

Dropping the "f-bomb" should always be a last resort in the mortgage world.

"The ultimate goal is to keep the lender from having to take it back in the foreclosure process," said Margie Fisher, with PrimeLending.

Fisher says modification loans, or work-out agreements, can be helpful.

"The borrower can either catch up the back payments that he's behind on, either in lump sum, or spread them out over a period of time...or in some cases, take the amount past due and tack it on to the end of the note," said Fisher.

Fisher says many homeowners have been able to go from adjustable rate mortgages to fixed rates and from high to low interest, bringing payments down. It is reported some rates have been modified to as low as two percent.

"The earlier you start on it...the more apt you're going to be successful," said Fisher.

It starts with a call to your lender's loss mitigation department. Fisher says they are the ones who ultimately decide whether your loan gets modified.

"You're dealing directly with the lender, you're not dealing with a third party when you do that," said Fisher.

Eighty-percent of modified loans ended with lower payments. But, only four-percent of homeowners who needed them, actually received them. Fisher says it is important for you to know where you stand.

"Maybe they lost their job, but now they're gainfully employed again...people who have a medical situation where they were out of work, three, four, five, six months...and obviously got behind during that time," said Fisher.

Fisher says borrowers with a history of problems may have a harder time getting their loans modified. Especially as word spreads, and more people take advantage. Another good tip is to beware of scammers. Many legitimate and many wannabe legitimate modification companies charge several hundred dollars in fees for their services. Our expert says the best place to start is with your lender.

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