KNOWLEDGE IS POWER: GET A LEGAL CHECK-UP
A Legal Check-Up is an interactive online interview created by the California Consumer Justice Coalition that gives you practical tips about how to deal with certain legal issues and gives you referrals to free and low cost legal services. The online Legal Check-Ups cannot replace the information and advice you get from discussing your situation with an attorney and are only meant to help you better understand the legal context surrounding the issue(s), as well as to help you understand steps you may take either immediately or in the future. At the end of the Legal Check-Up, you will have a chance to get an emailed copy of the questions, your answers and all the information we provide to you. You will need the most recent version of Adobe Reader to read what we send you.
If you need legal assistance, you can also go to our Legal Clinic Calendar for dates, times and locations of FREE legal clinics where you can talk one-on-one with a housing counselor and/or an attorney about loan modifications, problems with your mortgage company and related foreclosure issues. When you come to the clinic, bring your Legal Check-Up results with you.
You can also visit our Online Library for more information about a variety of legal topics, take our General Legal Check-Up to learn about other free legal services we offer, or take other mortgage related Check-Ups (Foreclosure Rescue Scams, Homeowner and Tenant Rights-Post Foreclosure).
APPLYING FOR A LOAN MODIFICATION
If you have fallen behind or are worried that you might fall behind on your monthly mortgage payments, you should find out whether you qualify for a loan modification that could reduce those monthly payments.
This Legal Check-Up covers the following topics:
- What kinds of relief are available for people who have trouble paying first mortgage, second mortgage or home equity line of credit.
- What kinds of information the lender looks at when evaluating whether you qualify for a loan modification.
- What to do if you are not on the mortgage but are on title or will inherit the property.
- What to do if you have already applied for or been approved for a loan modification in the past.
- What to do if you have received a “notice of default” or have a “sale date” set for foreclosure.
- How to find and work with a HUD-approved housing counselor.
DEALING WITH LOAN MODIFICATION PROBLEMS
This Legal Check-Up assumes that you have enough income to qualify for a loan modification. If you are uncertain whether you qualify, we recommend you take this Legal Check-Up and speak with one of our HUD-approved housing counselors.
The most common complaints we hear from borrowers who are in the loan modification process are:
- My mortgage company lost documents and/or asked me for the same documents over and over again.
- My mortgage company gave me confusing or conflicting information about what they want or expect me to do.
- I can’t reach or get answers from my contact person or contact team at the mortgage company.
- My loan modification was denied for improper reasons or for no reason at all.
- They went through with or refused to postpone the foreclosure sale, even though I had a pending loan modification.
- My trial loan modification period keeps going and doesn’t result in a permanent modification.
- My loan was transferred to a new mortgage company and no one told me or I got wrong information about the new company.
- My new mortgage company won’t recognize or accept my modified payments so now I’m facing foreclosure.
- My new mortgage company made me start the loan modification process all over again.
Depending on your situation, some of these actions may violate the Homeowner’s Bill of Rights and other laws designed to protect borrowers. If you qualify for a loan modification and are experiencing any of these problems, this Legal Check-Up is for you.
If you are not in the loan modification process right now but are having problems with the way your mortgage company is handling your loan, find out what you can do about it. Go to New Rules for Banks.
Understanding the Foreclosure Timeline
California is a non-judicial foreclosure state. This means that a mortgage company does not have to file a case in court in order to sell your house at a foreclosure auction.
- To understand the foreclosure timeline and what you can do at each stage of the foreclosure process, read our quick Foreclosure Timeline Guide.