Now playing on YouTube: loan-modification advice
The variety on YouTube is pretty amazing, when you stop to think about it. Old music videos. Clips of random people making silly faces for your amusement. Whatever hot new visual meme is making the Internet rounds. And -- now up this week -- a Freddie Mac video for borrowers who are behind on their payments and want to request a loan modification.
Foreclosure prevention amid the pop culture.
Freddie Mac says in a press release that homeowners will have an easier time of it if they gather these documents before calling:
* Most recent monthly mortgage statement;
* Pay stubs or other documents showing their household's monthly pre-tax income;
* Most recent tax return;
* Second loan or home equity line of credit statements;
* Account balances and minimum monthly payments on credit cards, car loans, student loans or other debt;
* A short, concise description of the financial hardship that is causing – or leading to – a mortgage delinquency.
Fair warning: There's no guarantee it won't still be a difficult process.
And be wary of consultant-type firms promising to get you a loan modification if you'll pay an upfront fee. The New York Times notes in this story that you can end up closer to foreclosure and several thousand dollars poorer, even if you got a "money back" guarantee. The Federal Trade Commission is going after some companies for "marketing potentially deceptive relief programs," the newspaper reported.
For advice on avoiding foreclosure-prevention scams, check out the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation's foreclosure-help page.