Chapter 10. The Way Out of Mortgage Debt

I've got all the money I'll ever need, if I die by four o'clock.

—Henny Youngman, American comedian

Now that you've taken a good look at your mortgage debt situation it is time to develop a strategy. You should now contact your lender with the hope that they will agree to modify or refinance your loan. Beyond that, there are many federal and local programs available to help with loan modifications and refinancing. It's important to know what resources are available to you. Sometimes selling or leaving your home is the right decision, and we offer a few guidelines about that. If you need a refresher, look back to Chapter 8 to find out exactly what foreclosure is and some of the most common foreclosure rescue scams.

Modify Your Loan

Start with a call to your loan servicer so you have a contact name. The loan servicer's phone number and e-mail address is on your monthly mortgage bill or coupon book. You will have to be very persistent. People across the country continually complain about the difficulties they have with actually talking to a live person. Remember to express your desire to stay with them but stress that the payments as they are currently structured make it impossible for you to remain with them. Also, be sure to talk to the right person at the right mortgage servicer—the servicer that actually holds your loan. Push for the modification that best fits your needs.

Mortgage lenders and loan servicers are historically poor at working ...

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