Contacting Your Loan Servicer
Before you have any conversation with your loan servicer, prepare. Record your income and expenses, and calculate the equity in your home. To calculate the equity, estimate the market value less the balance of your first and any second mortgage or home equity loan. Then, write down the answers to the following questions:
- What happened to make you miss your mortgage payment(s)? Do you have any documents to back up your explanation for falling behind? How have you tried to resolve the problem?
- Is your problem temporary, long-term, or permanent? What changes in your situation do you see in the short term, and in the long term? What other financial issues may be stopping you from getting back on track with your mortgage?
- What would you like to see happen? Do you want to keep the home? What type of payment arrangement would be feasible for you?
- Keep notes of all your communications with the servicer, including date and time of contact, the nature of the contact (face-to-face, by phone, email, fax or postal mail), the name of the representative, and the outcome.
- Follow up any oral requests you make with a letter to the servicer. Send your letter by certified mail, "return receipt requested," so you can document what the servicer received. Keep copies of your letter and any enclosures.
- Meet all deadlines the servicer gives you.
- Stay in your home during the process, since you may not qualify for certain types of assistance if you move out. Renting your home will change it from a primary residence to an investment property. Most likely, it will disqualify you for any additional "workout" assistance from the servicer. If you choose this route, be sure the rental income is enough to help you get and keep your loan current.