Loan Modifications are something you have been listening much about laately. Often, the people advertising these modifications do not explain the process clearly before they gather your information. Here is an easy to understand explanation of what a Loan Modification is.
Basically, a Loan Modification (called Loan Mod, for short) is a process that an attorney or other real estate professional will use to "modify" the terms and conditions of an existing loan. Currently, most of these modifications are being applied to mortgages, but could potentially be applied to any type of loan. This modification in terms generally only takes place AFTER the issuer of the loan (the lender) has granted approval to do so. Approval are generally based on comprehensive review and consideration of all material factors.
A common reason for the request and consequential approval of a modification arises from some sort of financial hardship that affects the borrower's ability to repay the loan. In the current economy, where layoffs are becoming more prevalent and more and more borrowers are entering the many stages of foreclosure, many borrowers are facing very real and legitimate hardships that severely impact their ability to repay their loan obligations.
When lenders are considering granting modification approvals, they will often consider the borrower's payment history and standing with respect to the subject loan. Most borrowers are diligent and make the appropriate payments in an appropriate manner. This will often help the lender to choose to allow a modification rather than institute a foreclosure. The foreclosure process is a timely and expensive method for recovering the property. Also, it should be considered that in the current market, lenders have many properties that are non-performing, which is to say that they have been foreclosed or abandoned, and modification may be the lender's only option to keep a borrower paying.
Another factor lenders considering in granting approvals is, should such approval be granted, will the borrower be able to begin and continue making payments in a timely fashion under the new terms. Generally, to secure a modification, a borrower must be able to demonstrate some ability to overpay the current financial hardship and ensure that he / she will be able to pay back the loan in an acceptable manner.
Modifications may take shape in different forms. Once a lender has decided to grant approval, this approval may be either to lower the monthly payment amount, thereby making it easier for the borrower to stay current. In this case, the difference in the amount of the payments will be added to the "back end" of the loan, thereby extending the term of the loan. Also, a lender may decide to lower the interest rate on the loan, thenby reducing the payment with no addition to the total loan amount, lowering only the amount of interest paid.