Across the country there were a record 2.25 million foreclosures filed in 2008, and 1.5 million filed from January to June 2009. These numbers are only going to increase, especially in Florida where one in every 33 homes are in some stage of the foreclosure process. (Nationally the rate is one in 84.)
I currently represent hundreds of individuals who are either in foreclosure or who are falling behind on their mortgages and are seeking a modification prior to foreclosure being filed. Most of these clients would like to stay in their homes and could afford to do so if they could receive relatively modest modifications from their lenders. My rather unfortunate experience in dealing with nearly all the major lenders is that modifications are hard to come by. Numbers released by the Obama administration suggest that my client’s difficulty in obtaining modifications is not unique. In fact, only 270,000 borrowers nationwide have recieved modifications….a staggeringly low number given the millions of homeowners who are either in foreclosure or who are behind on their mortgages.
The administration has announced a new goal of reaching 500,000 modifications by November, hardly a solution to the overall crisis, but good news for those few that will benefit. To qualify for a loan modification under the Obama program:
- It must be a homestead property with not more than $729.750 owed on it;
- The loan must have been closed prior to January 1, 2009;
- Your monthly payment must be no more than 31% of your income;
- You must be able to prove hardship such as job loss, unemployment, health expenses.
It will continue to be a very difficult for consumers to navigate the modification channels and you are urged to consult with an experienced real estate attorney to assist with the process. For more information visit my website at www.mattweidnerlaw.com.