Can’t Qualify For A New Mortgage? Try A Loan Modification

By Bill Baskin

2 years ago, I decided to take out an adjustable rate mortgage on my Florida home as the Mortgage Broker convinced me this was the best financial instrument given my goals and cash flow position. I had only planned to be in the home for a short 3-4 year period, so the lower payment made sense at the time. I was assured I could refinance beforethe rate adjusted upwards if I decided not to sell my house. As time passed and my house did not sell due to slowing market conditions and declining values, my adjustable rate mortgage got closer to resetting to a new higher rate, I went out and started searching for the new perfect loan. Instead of a new loan, all I received was a shock. I could not qualify for a new loan!

Despite having perfect credit with an 800+ FICO score and even 30% equity in my home, as a self employed businessman I am unable to fully document my income to meet the new home loan underwriting guidelines so i was told. I have come to learn that even an ideal borrower like myself who has never missed paying a bill, has perfect credit, can’t qualify for a new mortgage in the current credit environment. As such, I’m now stuck in my adjustable rate mortgage that has now reset twice and my back is against the wall. I approached my lender hoping they would understand my situation and be sensitive to the fact my mortgage rate has gone up while my income has going down and leverage my good payment history with them. I made what I felt was a very strong appeal to the loss mitigation department of my lender, but after several months of negotiations with them I got nowhere. It was then that I stumbled upon, a loan modification law firm.


After speaking with Greg one of the Case Managers at Consumer Debt Advocate, they were able to complete a financial analysis of my situation and determine that my loss of income due to economic conditions that have impacted my take home pay was indeed a true hardship that qualified me for loan modification help. I was also told that although my debt to income currently was not enough to qualify me for my current mortgage payment under my lenders own underwriting guidelines, I was still given this loan by the lender. After the CDA attorneys put my lender on notice that I was represented by Counsel, my lender became much more willing to address my case. We even came to find out by requesting my original loan documents that the mortgage broker I got my loan through inflated my income level without my knowledge, to get me to meet the qualifications in the stated income loan I acquired.

After speaking with my new CDA Attorney Marc Bonanni, he completed a financial analysis and predatory lending review of my situtation over the next week, and reviewed my case with me prior to submitting it to my lender. In some ways, the process was very much like applying for a new mortgage but without the gamesmanship. Everything was handled very professionally and I came away with a lot of knowledge about how things really work on the lending side. After 45 days of haggling with my lender, Attorney Bonanni was able to get my rate lowered by 2.5% to a new 6% 30 year fixed rate loan and I can now afford to make my payments and not go late on my mortgage.

I would imagine many people out there are in the same boat I was in or worse in regards to their adjusting mortgage rate and who need help avoiding foreclosure by modifying their loan. Go out and do your research and make sure you are hiring an attorney, not the same mortgage broker who put you into that bad loan as there are many non attorney companies calling themselves ‘Attorney based’ or “Attorney Backed’ that are fronts for unscrupulous mortgage brokers looking to make a quick buck I found out. After shuffling through the websites of several companies I retained a legitimate loan modification attorney and had tremendous success with him negotiating my mortgage to a new payment I could afford.

About the Author: Bill Baskin is a nationally recognized expert on Mortgage, Credit, Automotive, and Debt topics, having been a quoted source on a variety of newspaper, radio, and television pieces. He currently writes for on consumer education pieces.


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