When You Should Consider Hiring a Third Party to Help
Below are some situations where you should consider hiring, or at least consulting with, a third party..
You Don’t Know What to Do in Your Situation
If you aren’t sure what to do—say you’re facing foreclosure, but you aren’t sure if a restructure/modification is right for you—and want to know about all of your options, a third party can help you understand your rights and give advice about the best course of action in your situation. Depending on your individual circumstances, the third party might recommend:
pursuing a mortgage refinance/restructure/modification and/or
giving up the property in a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure.
You Don’t Know How to Fill Out the Paperwork
Hiring a third party may be a good idea if you want a mortgage restructure, but you don’t understand the application process or have a complicated situation.
For example, it might be worthwhile to hire a third party if you’ve spoken to your loan servicer about a mortgage assistance, but are confused about:
how to fill out the application
what documentation you need to submit along with application, or
how to explain your financial hardship or situation in the application.
A third party can help you fill out paperwork and make sure you present your situation in the best light possible. (Keep in mind you can also get free help with your application package from a HUD-approved housing counselor rather than hiring a third party to help you. Go to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s webpage to find the contact information for a housing counseling agency near you.)
Your Loan Servicer Violates Federal or State Loss Mitigation Laws
If your servicer doesn't comply with federal laws or any applicable state laws that govern the loss mitigation process, a third party may be able to help you recognize these violations and help enforce your rights.
For example, under federal law, the servicer generally can't start a foreclosure until 120 days after you default on the loan. This time period is supposed to provide you with sufficient opportunity to seek an alternative to foreclosure, like a modification, before the foreclosure gets rolling. So long as you send in a complete application, the servicer also can't start the foreclosure while your application is pending. If your servicer starts the foreclosure early in violation of the law, a third party can help stop it. (Learn more about when foreclosure may begin.)
Because it's very difficult to get your home back after a completed foreclosure, you want to deal with violations of loss mitigation laws before the sale. Having a third party on your side gives you a better chance of getting results before your home is sold.
Your Loan Servicer Violates State Foreclosure Laws
State law governs the foreclosure process. If your servicer violates state law while foreclosing on your home, your a third party might be able to use the violation(s) as leverage in getting you a settlement offer. Keep in mind that servicers make mistakes all the time when servicing loans and in the foreclosure process. A third party could help uncover errors that you won't even notice.
Your Servicer Denies Your Request and You Want to Appeal
If the servicer denies your request, in many cases, you’ll also get some time to make an appeal. A third party might be able help you in showcasing why the servicer made an error in denying your application so that you are more likely to get approved for the restructure/modification in your appeal.
When You Might Not Need a Third Party
You Have a Good Understanding of the Mortgage Assistance Application and Process
There's no requirement that you must have an a third party to get a Mortgage Assistance. If you've spoken to the servicer about getting a restructure, done your homework to educate yourself about the process, are confident the servicer hasn't violated the law, and feel you have a good understanding about what goes into the application, you likely can submit all of the necessary documentation and navigate the process adequately on your own.