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Avoiding problems with loan modifications

By KSL.com | Posted - Oct. 14, 2010 at 8:00 a.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY -- As people across the country have lost their jobs and realized they can't make their mortgage payments, many have worked to get loan modifications.

But some people, including several Utahns, say they never received the modifications they paid for. One Utah man, Daney Pryor, says he thought he did everything right.

Loan modification suggestions
Do
  • Make sure company is licensed
  • Talk to lender early
  • Only pay service or lender
  • Don't sign until understanding
  • File complaint if you suspect a scam

Don't
  • Don't ignore lender/service
  • Don't stop making payments
  • Don't pay upfront fee
  • Avoid fake government-looking programs
  • Don't sign warranty deed

Pryor went on short-term disability after knee surgery a couple of years ago and realized his reduced wages were putting him behind on his house payments. So he sought out a loan modification, hired a lawyer and started making payments. But soon Bank of America wouldn't accept them.

He says by his third payment, in January, the bank told him he was in foreclosure and they couldn't take his payment.

"When you send me that letter saying my loan modification was successfully done, I'm thinking that means everything's fine. Apparently it wasn't," he says.

By March, he received a notice telling him he was in foreclosure and Fanny Mae was going to buy the house.

"OK, so we've got to work with Fannie Mae now. So what does Fannie Mae want us to do? Make your payments to the courthouse," he says.

He says he paid in April, May, June and July. "Between those times, I got notice after notice after notice on my door," he says.

"They agreed for us to stay in the house," he continues. "'Yeah, make your payments here. We'll work through this.' After making our payments and working through it, ‘Oh, we want you out!'"

Deanna Sabey, the director of the Utah Division of Real Estate, spoke on KSL 5 News about the problems with loan modifications and how to avoid them. Play the video to see the interview.

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