But I wasn't ready to give up, and looked around for a company that could help me understand my qualification for a loan modification. Many of the companies and websites I found wanted to charge me thousands of dollars in consulting fees, and I didn't find a single one that would allow me to simply enter my financial data on my own to see if I prequalify. Considering that there are millions of homeowners out there who couldn't afford their monthly mortgage payments as it is (what more expensive consulting fees?), I thought it was absurd. So I decided to do something about it.
I learned everything I could about President Obama's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and private loan modifications, and how banks and underwriters decide on whether to short sell, foreclose or simply modify a homeowner's loan. Then, taking inspiration from the TurboTax tax preparation software, I created an online application that would walk users through an easy yet comprehensive qualification process.
Users, for instance, would need to complete a financial worksheet that will automatically calculate and determine if they're financially qualified for a loan modification, using an algorithm based on the U.S. Treasury Dept.'s HAMP qualifier. If they don't qualify, the system will provide them with alternatives. And since I believe in the importance of privacy, I also made it so users don't even have to put their name or social security number. All the system needs is information regarding their property, current loan, monthly income and expenses, and relevant assets and liabilities.
This online software as a service, which I call Caal, will be available online onwww.mycaal.com on 4/6/2011. Normally priced at $98 (discounted from $198), I am offering it for free to the first 50 users that register on the site. I'm hoping it will save homeowners like me time and money, as well as increase their chances of getting their loans modified by helping them understand the calculation process used by lenders in making decisions. If, by using the Caal software, homeowners see for themselves how lenders would qualify them under different loan scenarios, they'll have more realistic expectations and could negotiate better for a win-win solution, just like I did. (Yep, I reapplied and finally got Bank of America to approve my loan modification.)
The takeaway to all this? When your bank-or any other institution, for that matter-gives you lemons, don't just make any type of lemon treat. Learn the recipe that will win them over, then cook your heart out. I wish you the best of luck!
For more information please visit http://www.mycaal.com