I am behind on my mortgage and the bank called me to congratulate me on qualifying for a modification. Before talking to them, I went to the post office and found a package with a $100.00
reduction in my mortgage payment. when I asked if if did not have to give them information before qualifying, they said no; this was a "temporary modification" with a 3 month trial period and that their offer was based on the value of the property. When asked what was the value, they quoted it almost $50,000 over what it is really worth. I think even if the information about the modification was true, then the amount they are asking me to pay, if based on the value should be a lot less. I would appreciate your help. This loan was discharged in a Chapter 7, never re-affirmed and was transferred.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
I'm not sure why you'd complain about a bank reducing your payment $100 on a debt you can't be sued for, but if you suspect a catch, show it to a lawyer.
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To add to Mr. Ashman's usual excellent advice, I had the following thought: As the loan was never re-affirmed, it cannot, as Mr. Ashman said, be presently collected on. But if they can induce you to agree to a new "modified" mortgage, in which you sign new documents promising to pay, they can sue you for a deficiency judgment after foreclosure (which also may explain any inflated amount.) Also, they can turn around and revoke the "modification" after the trial period on one pretext or another. Or, maybe they bought the mortgage from the former lender really cheap, and really do want you to be able to succeed, as you have been behind.
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Since the loan was never reaffirmed, you have no personal obligation to pay it. However, if you want to keep the house you need to find a way to make sure the loan is being paid so that you can eventually have their lien removed. Working with the mortgage company is not a bad idea, but know that signing certain documents may reinstate your personal obligation. The fact that you did not ask for the modification is not unusual, in that you have a mortgage company who is somewhat hung out to dry and has every incentive to get you back in a performing loan. If this is an offer from someone other than the actual mortgage company, they are just trying to get your business and make money off the deal, so be very careful with that. The actual mortgage company has the final say in any modification. Finally, i have had mortgage companies tell my discharged clients that they would have to reopen their chapter 7 and reaffirm the mortgage before they would discuss modification. I advise my clients against this. Whatever you do, do not pay anyone money other than your mortgage company, do not stop making payments (as they will tell you you need to do to qualify but just puts you in danger of foreclosure), and read everything carefully (or take it to a lawyer to have them explain it to you).
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