Homeowners who were unsuccessful with Bank of America at either acquiring a trial modification or those who may have been in a position where their trial modification was canceled did see some positive news in terms of the number of alternative modifications that were made for individuals in these categories. Yet, not all homeowners did see improvements in the area of alternative modifications, despite the fact that these options are still available in some instances with a variety of servicers, as homeowners may be able to take advantage of private modification plans available directly from servicers like Bank of America.
However, homeowners who were not accepted for a trial modification saw a decrease of a little over 100 total alternative modifications that have been tracked between May and June, but for homeowners whose trial modification was canceled, the program total in this area saw that alternative modifications increased from 69,950 in May to 70,679 in June. Again, not all homeowners experienced success when it came to getting these modifications from alternative programs, like modifications directly from Bank of America, however there are still opportunities for homeowners who are unsuccessful in the Making Home Affordable Program, as there are some instances where a modification is simply not right for a homeowner.
As an example, we have seen historically that when a homeowner is unemployed and their only income is unemployment benefits this can create a problem when it comes to paying a mortgage payment due to the fact that some homeowners may not draw enough from their unemployment insurance to pay even a modified home loan and since this income is not stable, there has been problems when it comes to homeowners defaulting once again when their unemployment insurance is exhausted.
In cases such as this, Bank of America may opt to use programs like unemployment forbearance plans available from initiatives like the Home Affordable Unemployment Program, but there are also some states that are offering assistance to homeowners with Bank of America and a variety of other servicers who qualify for Hardest Hit Fund plans. Again, there are no guarantees when it comes to modifications nor are homeowners always going to qualify for these alternative foreclosure prevention assistance plans, but they do need to be aware that even when we see drops in certain areas with specific banks, this does not mean that these forms of assistance are no longer available on rather it could be the case that homeowner simply did not qualify or benefit from one type of foreclosure prevention aid or they opted for another program outside of the modification entirely.
As always though, homeowners need to give themselves enough time between when their financial distress arises and when they begin to look for solutions to their problem, as some may delay the process of exploring these foreclosure prevention efforts to a point where their financial life suffers a setback. Many homeowners are aware of resources like housing counselors that are currently available and these homeowners are also being urged to make sure that they use these as sources of information as they can better help homeowners discover the right plan for their situation.