How Homeowners Can Obtain a Loan Workout From Their Banks

A loan workout sounds like a mixture between a yoga routine and a mortgage broker. In reality, a loan workout is what happens when a borrower and a lender agree to modify the terms of a mortgage in order to prevent a foreclosure. Basically, they are changing certain terms in order to make them more affordable for the borrowers, while still creating a profit incentive for the bank and investors, all while avoiding foreclosure.

Now, not every banks is willing to go through this routine with just anyone. The circumstances must be right for certain types of workout agreements to be in all groups best interests. And while the borrower may feel the need to know what the right combination is in order for this to happen, it may be impossible to know what will work for the bank and its investors until the homeowners begin negotiating.

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What needs to be in place for a lender to think about this option? First of all, the homeowner must be in a position where foreclosure is a real possibility. With millions being unemployed off and jobs scarce, this is not a hard situation to fall into. The borrower is likely behind on their payments by some months. And it usually means that the lender cannot expect to see the payments caught up anytime soon unless something occurs to make the situation more affordable.

However, the borrower must also be in a position where they can make some sort of affordable payments. If someone has lost a job and has not found one yet, a lender is going to be very unwilling to modify loan terms because repayment is not likely to occur. The lender needs reassurance that their efforts to negotiate a solution will pay off before they are willing to do a loan workout with the homeowner.

Now, some owners owe more than 20% over their property's current value. A lender is going to be very unwilling} to work with anyone in this situation. For a lender to be willing to do a mortgage modification with a homeowner, the amount owed on the property needs to be smaller to the lender. Equity is the magic word for this. If the home is valued higher than the amount due, then there is equity. With equity, the owner may see the prospects of a loan workout growing.

Do not be foolish to think that the financial institution is going to be nice to the borrower. In all of this, the lender is going to look out for its interests first. Foreclosure costs are one major aspect of the case that they look at, including how much it would cost to foreclosure and resell the home on the open market. Would it be cheaper just to foreclose on the home and try to resell it?

Be aware that foreclosure fees average over $50,000 per house. But if a property's value is so far below the amount owed on the mortgage, that amount of money may be less than the bank's loss. For lenders, the only thing that really matters is the bottom line, and lenders have their bottom line guaranteed by the government more and more these days. But a smart homeowner will be armed with the knowledge of what the mortgage company is going to be looking at before they request a loan workout.

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