Q: My husband has heard you on the radio and has asked me to contact you about our mortgage problem.

I am going through a non-profit housing agency and applying for the Making Homes Affordable Program. My own lender wouldn’t send me the application. They debited my bank account for the application fee but haven’t sent the application – go figure!

My lender just sent me a “Notice to Accelerate” because they say collections must proceed even while I’m working on the modification plan.

I had been making my payments until last month. I just couldn’t cope with the full amount. I’m scared that the lender will foreclose on me and I will need every cent I have to move if we are foreclosed on.

I am stuck between a rock and a hard place, making the payment would hurt me if I am foreclosed on and not making the payment may affect my modification plan.

I am just asking for the payments I am behind to be put at the end of the loan in a forbearance plan. I only owe $74,000 on my house and I just have 8.5 years left until the loan is paid off. I’m so close to paying off my house and don’t want to lose it.
Is there anything you can do to help me?

A: I’m not sure whether you’re getting the right kind of help and guidance. You say you’re with a nonprofit housing agency (you included the name of your organization in the email but I’ve removed it), the lender you’re with doesn’t come through for everyone and I’d hate to think you’re wasting precious time.

What concerns me is that you paid a fee. You should not have to pay a fee to obtain a loan modification. You may need to review your documentation to determine who received that payment and what the payment was for.

You can call the Hope for Homeowners hotline at 888-995-HOPE for assistance or contact a HUD-certified housing counselor at www.credability.org (formerly Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Greater Atlanta). You will get good advice from them, and they can also contact your lender for you.

If you want to stop the foreclosure, you may have to file for bankruptcy. That will stop all foreclosure action and it will buy you time to work with the bank to see if a modification is possible. But bankruptcy may only buy you some time and it may not prevent the loss of the home in a foreclosure.

The downside is that filing for bankruptcy will seriously hurt your credit history (and it will take you 7 to 10 years for your credit history to recover) and once you have filed for bankruptcy, the bank may not allow you to do a loan modification. It’s very confusing, I know.

You can file a complaint with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which regulates the big national banks, asking them to help push this through. Maybe you’ll get some action there. If you don’t like the response you get, you can file an appeal with the OCC and their lawyers will take another look at your case.

You might also contact the executive office of your lender. If you can get through to an ombudsman based in the office of the president, you might get some additional help.

It seems that foreclosure is proceeding extremely quickly in your case – some people get to stay in their home for a year or two before foreclosure starts. I hope you can figure this out before it happens.

© Ilyce R. Glink. All rights reserved. www.ThinkGlink.com