When people sign home loan agreements in good faith, they do their best to make every mortgage payment on time. But when they suffer a job loss, business reversal, prolonged illness or divorce, they may suddenly struggle to hold onto the home they love. If you’ve tried to work out your mortgage issues and your lender has been unreasonable, it’s time to call the Law Offices of James Jean-Francois, P.A. For more than 15 years, I have helped homeowners seek loan modifications for mortgages that no longer work due to changed financial circumstances. I work directly with you and your lender so I can advocate strongly on your behalf.
A loan modification is essentially a re-writing of your mortgage so that you can make lower monthly payments over a longer period of time, often at a slightly higher interest rate. During the housing crisis, it was relatively easy to obtain a modification because lenders were dealing with huge volumes of distressed property, so they were hesitant about foreclosing if a loan workout was possible. Lenders were also aggressively shopping for responsible homeowners to improve their balance sheets, so they were offering attractive refinance deals to basically take good customers away from other lenders.
The federal government also supported struggling homeowners by passing legislation to help them refinance their mortgages. Unfortunately, the Making Home Affordable Program stopped accepting applications in December 30, 2016. Currently, your options are to negotiate a modification with your lender or find a new lender to offer a better deal. To negotiate with your lender, you must draft a detailed letter explaining that you are experiencing financial hardship but are determined to keep your home.
Drafting a hardship letter and negotiating terms for a new loan are not tasks you should undertake yourself. Many homeowners think that they have a relationship with their lender, and they can simply go see the loan officer who approved their loan and talk things through. However, they are quickly disappointed. First, the lender may have sold the loan to another institution, so there’s no longer any personal relationship between them and the lender. Second, the lender may have assigned the matter to another officer within the bank who has no relationship with them.
As an experienced real estate attorney, I know the information lenders are looking for and how the information must be presented. I pore over your financial documents, including your credit card bills, medical bills, household expenses, tax returns, bank account balances, pay stubs and other financial assets, to get a comprehensive picture of your finances. Then I compose a letter that presents this information in a compelling manner.
I also know the market for homes like yours and current mortgage rates. I can review your mortgage to see if it qualifies as a “predatory loan,” which would give you an advantage if the case ever went to court. I also understand the other legal alternatives you can use to keep your home and can use those as leverage to negotiate a fair deal.
It is always better to consult an attorney before attempting to negotiate a modification on your own. But if you have tried, and you’ve received a rejection, I can help you appeal and get the fair result you deserve.
The Law Offices of James Jean-Francois, P.A. provides personalized and professional representation for homeowners seeking loan modifications throughout the Hollywood area. To schedule a free consultation, call me at 954-780-8505 or contact my office online. My Hollywood office is conveniently located at 6100 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 211, between Florida’s Turnpike and South State Road 7.