Talking to Your Lender
If you are behind on your mortgage payments, or anticipate that you may not be able to continue making your mortgage payments, the first thing you should do is call your loan servicer to explain your situation and ask who the investor is and what options may be available to help you. Here are some suggestions for talking with your lender about the options they may be able to offer you: Note that some investors will not modify mortgage loans, some may only offer short term forbearance or repayment plans.
Before you call:
- Open and read all mail from your servicer.
- The phone number to call to reach your mortgage servicer will be printed on your mortgage statement or on a letter from your servicer. You can also get contact information for most loan servicers from the NH Banking Department.
- Have your loan number available so your lender can look up your account. Your loan number will be on your mortgage statement. Your name must be on the loan to speak with them. You can supply the servicer with an authorization letter that will allow someone else to discuss your loan with them on your behalf.
- Be prepared to answer questions about why you have missed (or expect to miss) mortgage payments. They may ask you to provide this information in the form of a letter often called a “hardship letter.” If you need assistance in writing a hardship letter, contact a housing counselor.
- Know how much your monthly household income and expenses are (a budget worksheet is available here). Your loan servicer may do a financial assessment to determine what type of workout options may be available to you. You may be asked to provide documentation like pay stubs or income tax forms. You may also need to contribute funds toward a loan workout, so you will need to know if you have any savings available. If you do not have any money saved, you may have to explain to your lender how and when you will be able to provide the money.
- Set aside enough time for the call. You may be placed on hold during your call until a service representative is available to speak with you – be patient.
- Have a pen and paper ready so you can take notes. You will need to be ready to write down names, date, time and everything discussed in the phone call.
When you call:
- Write down the date and time of the call, who you talked to and what the loan servicing representative told you.
- If you are not yet late on your payments, a Customer Service Representative may be able to assist you. If you are already late on your mortgage payment (or the Customer Service Representative could not help you), ask to speak with the “Loss Mitigation” department; this is the department that can talk to you about possible workout options.
- Get a phone number for the person you talk to in the Loss Mitigation department so you can call that person back directly.
- Tell the lender about your situation and that you want to work with them to bring (keep) your mortgage current.
- Answer all the lender’s questions honestly, and be prepared to fax or mail any financial documentation they request as soon as possible.
- Ask them what types of workout options are available to you. Get any proposed workout plan sent to you in writing before you agree to it.
- Don’t agree to or sign any workout plan that you cannot afford!
- If you have questions or want a second opinion, contact a housing counselor.