Hope For Homeowners – Loan Modification Stories of Inspiration – Part 1 – Meet Conrad
By: Anna Cuevas; A Loan Mod Guru
Conrad has owned his home for over 15 years, he raised his kids here and is well established in his community. Conrad refinanced his mortgage a few years ago during the housing boom and his house was appraised at 100k higher than it is now. He took out some money to add on to his home to house his two sons along with his grandchildren. Unfortunately with this crisis came a hardship, the reality of a large income drop as Conrad is a Realtor and the Real Estate sector was hit hard. Conrad also worried and stressed so much about this situation that he became ill and developed cancer. These are the harsh realities of facing foreclosure. Stress and fear can manifest itself in your body as illness. This is why I stress taking care of yourself mentally and physically as your #1 priority during your loan modification journey.
You see Conrad was denied by his lender several times before finally getting approved and his last denial came in the form of a denial letter which arrived on Christmas Eve 2008. Could you imagine opening that letter before you have to sit down to Christmas dinner with your family and having to tell them you are going to lose your home. This fear was consuming Conrad and this fear almost froze Conrad into not taking further action. But you know what, Conrad somehow found the strength to fight even when part of him felt helpless and alone.
The trustee sale was only days away. Conrad was an emotional wreck, with good cause but this was not going to get him the success he was seeking in saving his home. You must pick yourself up out of the depths of despair that you are thrown into while going through this process, find that tiny glimmer of hope that is within you and find a way to expand upon that and find a new perspective of determination and positive energy. Immerse yourself with inspiration, and motivation. Live it and breathe it. Walk in nature, listen to motivational music, read inspirational books, surround yourself with positive people. This is what you must do to escape the perils of allowing yourself to be a victim. With commitment you can overcome any adversity.
This is when I met Conrad and he almost did not believe anything could be done. We sat down and reviewed his papers from at that time Downey Savings along with his denial. You see Conrad had done everything his lender asked him to do, they wanted all of his income documented he did that, they wanted to see cancelled checks from his son’s he did that, but they came and said he was denied because he had released all of his debts through a discharged Chapter 7 bankruptcy case and they said he no longer qualified for the then FDIC program because he had a bankruptcy on his record. This was outrageous and no where in the guidelines for that program did it say that a discharged bankruptcy would be a reason for denial, if anything it should help that he no longer had other debt to add to his household expenses.
So we began the fight starting with research on the program guidelines, next contacting everyone and anyone who would listen, government agencies and supervisors at the lender with our detailed hardship letter along including details of the injustices of running Conrad thru the mill and making him jump through hoop after hoop, straight and to the point and it included that their denial was wrong and there was no such guideline disqualifying Conrad. You see I was determined to keep Conrad and his family in their home. I fought for him with the very essence of my being and that is what you need to do too. We sent numerous letters and emails to everyone we could find and we first postponed his trustee sale, with determination you can accomplish this task. I would not stop calling and escalating this request to a manager until the trustee sale was postponed and verified.
There were several days that I had to talk Conrad off the ledge because doubt and fear would begin to set in his mind, but in my mind Conrad would be victorious but I also needed Conrad to believe that he would win this battle otherwise there are two conflicting forces of energy working against each other.
This is a fight that you must fight with faith, patience, a relentless determination and above all else a positive belief that you are going to make this happen. No matter how many denials you will try again and you will keep fighting for a way to not only make this work but to also come out of this a stronger person in many areas of your life including success at saving your home and at least the knowledge that you gave it your all, there is a lesson in this for everyone.
On March 10th I got verbal notification that the loan modification had been approved, I was not given the details over the phone but was told the agreement was being worked on and we should be receiving it shortly, when I called Conrad to give him the good news instead of being happy that he was approved he was full of worry and fear again that maybe the payment was going to be too high and he would not be able to afford it. Again, I told Conrad that I needed his positive thoughts to make this work for him. I told him to visualize the payment he needed Conrad told me he could make a $1500 per month payment. I told him to see the letter congratulate him on his approval with that $1500 per month number as if he held the letter in his hand. I also told him not to worry about tomorrow as tomorrow has enough worries of its own and many times we make ourselves sick with worry over things that NEVER come to be.
On March 13, 2009 we received the loan modification approval with his payment reduced from $1435.62 from $3500 per month along with a few other exciting term changes. Conrad was ecstatic when he saw the achievement of the incredible outcome of his loan modification after he had almost given up hope.
This approval came to us after we had together received another denial. Prior to getting this amazing approval we sat down and analyzed the reasons saw that there were again some errors by the lender this time to the calculations of income and expenses and we had resubmitted it this time with line by line explanations of each item and a completely organized package that also went to the same people and we were extremely victorious. It is easy to become disillusioned with the process and the system but the key to winning is determination and an anticipated belief of the successful outcome.
Good things come to those who wait. Maybe Conrad was not ready to resume his payments during all of the times he was denied, maybe better programs were being introduced that Conrad would now have available to him. We don’t always know why but everything surely does happen for a reason and in the end Conrad and his family got to save the family home. Like Conrad, many homeowners lose hope during the loan modification process many times because errors or clarifications that we sometimes are not made clearly aware of. One of the keys is to get the reasons and get to the right people that can help you accomplish your goal of saving your home along with your sanity.
Every lender has different ways of going about loan modifications, what they agree to do above and beyond the government programs is their own prerogative and varies from lender to lender, and case to case. Your loan may be owned by a different investor than your neighbors loan even if it is paid to the same servicer so outcomes can still be completely different.
There is hope. There are miracles. Take action. Are you truly Committed, what is your level of commitment? The worst thing you can do is nothing.
I am committed to advocate for the victims of foreclosure please be part of the solution please write to me about what you have gone through in this process with all the details, together we can make positive change a reality. If we do nothing, we will get nothing.
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