Under HAMP guidelines all verifiable household income is counted. That being said - you state that with both incomes you won't qualify - I don't understand the question on "requiring" your wife's income. HAMP loan mods are very time consuming and more often than not do not lead to a loan mod. I suggest you get to a knowledgeable lawyer and get a review of your situation.
Legal disclaimer: This is not legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The post is only an opinion. You should speak to an attorney for further information. The poster is licensed only in Illinois. Please visit www.bernardjconway.com for more information about our services. If this post is useful to you, please remember to upvote it.
Yes, you are required to include your spouse's income. The best tool banks have to avoid approving modifications is to delay, delay, and delay. Most people, during the delay, will find themselves at some point in a similar situation to yours, in which they don't qualify. Keep in mind, more non-HAMP modifications are done than HAMP, today. Just because you don't qualify for HAMP doesn't mean you don't qualify for an attractive loan modification. Of the hundreds of modifications we've done, only about half have been HAMP. My advice is to 1) Don't try this by yourself. You've already experienced the usual result. 2) Find a good lawyer who does loan modifications and foreclosure defense and has a high success rate. 3) Don't give up.
I agree that you should retain a lawyer (specifically, a lawyer whose practice is concentrated in loss mitigation and foreclosure defense) to assist and advise you. Sadly, only about 10 percent of HAMP applicants are successful on their own.
Moreover, HAMP is just one loss mitigation option. There are, and always have been, in-house modifications, which in many cases contain terms that are more favorable than those found in HAMP. There are also other options for which you may qualify.
This post is for general purposes only and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult an attorney for specific legal advice for your situation.