As anyone who has tried to secure a loan modification can tell you, the
process is not easy. On more than one occasion, I have referred to it
as "Kafkaesque." While there are some well-intentioned employees
in the loss mitigation departments at many banks, many just don't
Last summer, I
wrote about Bank of America's new online portal for accepting loan modification documents. It turns out that Bank of America
occasionally sends our loss mitigation department emails with useful tips
for submitting loan modification applications.
Since most people probably don't receive these emails, here are the
1. Always use the Hope Loan Portal (www.hopeloanportal.com) to submit your
documents. Fax remains B of A's second line of communication. Let's
face it -- it's much more difficult to lose documents that are faxed
in. Bank of America has been notorious for losing documents in the past.
Using the online portal at very least removes the human element from the equation.
2. Always submit a complete package. This is very important. When the bank
has to ask for additional documents, you increase the odds that previously
submitted documents go "stale" before you can get the additional
documents submitted. I normally avoid cliches, but, "measure twice,
cut once," is a good policy in this regard.
3. Call the bank every 7 days for updates on your file. Not only is this
common sense, but it also creates a paper trail. How does it create a
paper trail? Because you should be logging every call you make to the
bank on your own paper. Write down the date and time of your call. Also
note the name of the person to whom you spoke and that individual's
ID number, if applicable.
4. If you receive commissions or bonuses, and your paystubs show this,
then you need to submit a letter that explains these entries. The bank
will want to know how often you receive these payments. Are they weekly?
Monthly? Quarterly? Yearly? Banks count those payments as part of your
income, so it is very important that you are clear about how often you
Applying for a loan modification is a lot of work. Following these tips
will hopefully save time and effort.