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There is a way that you can gain some control over the outcome of your loan modification and get the help you need and deserve.  You must decide to be as proactive and persistent as possible, after all you are fighting for you family’s home and the bank is not always going to be cooperative.  How can you make sure that you complete your loan modification application correctly and do all the steps the right way?  Here is a checklist you can use to get started.
Step 1:  Before you ever contact the bank to get the loan modification process started, spend just a couple of hours learning the basic guidelines for HAMP-the government bailout plan.  Why this plan?  Well for starters, it is the most aggressive and beneficial for homeowners as it features the lowest terms.  Also, the guidelines for approval are standard and they are published-we know what they are.  It just makes sense to know what you are trying to get approved for before you fill out your application.  Otherwise, how do you know if you fit into the guidelines or not?  This is not the time to “guess”-this is the time to be certain.
Step 2:  Gather all of the required loan modification forms, income documentation, bank statements, monthly bills, and any other paperwork needed to prepare your application.  Set aside several, uninterrupted hours to work on it.  You do not want to start and then have to stop while you search for something-that is distracting and will cause you to make mistakes.  You can follow a checklist of items need in The Complete Loan Modification Guide kit.  You will also learn how to write an effective Hardship Letter to include in your package.
Step 3:  Use all of your income, asset, and monthly expenses to prepare your own financial statement.  Now, this is where it gets tricky.  Your financial statement MUST be completed properly-this means that you have fine tuned your figures so that you know you fit into those HAMP guidelines-the mathematical formula involves your debt ratio, new target payment and disposable income.  How can you know you have done your figures correctly?  Well, you can take a lot of confusion out of preparing your statement by using a software program designed just for homeowners.  This program actually mimics the HAMP guidelines and all you have to do is input your monthly income and monthly expense-all the calculations are done automatically.  You see immediately where any adjustments might need to be made.
Step 4:  Fine tune your budget so that the calculator shows you are passing the HAMP guidelines-then prepare your financial statement using these figures.  Now you can be confident that your budget has the best chance of qualifying.  Follow the checklist to put together your complete, accurate and acceptable loan modification package.
Step 5:  Now you are ready and prepared-call your Bank and tell them you are facing financial difficulties and want to apply for HAMP.  You will be asked to provide your monthly income and expenses-no problem!  You have already done your homework and you can easily and quickly provide the information will need.
Step 6:  Be persistent and follow up at least once a day to make sure that your file is moving forward.  The new guidelines mandate that the bank must provide a final answer to applicants within 30 days of receiving a complete package.  So, now you will have your answer quickly because you knew how to prepare and submit a complete, accurate and acceptable Loan Modification application.