Loss Mitigation options to stay out of foreclosure

Community Mentor
Rate This Article:
(Rated 4.8 by 5004 viewers)

If you are behind on your payments and facing foreclosure, you may need loss mitigation help. Loss mitigation options (forbearance, loan modification, etc) help a borrower avoid foreclosure by providing them with alternatives to pay down their mortgage. It also minimizes the lender's credit loss resulting from the borrower's inability to repay the loan.

How do I negotiate for loss mitigation?

Here's an overview of what you should do when you cannot keep up with your usual payments, how to negotiate with the lender, and what actually happens when you are considered for a loss mitigation/loan workout plan.

Contact the lender: Unless you've missed a few payments, some lenders will not negotiate with you for a workout plan. However, if the lender refuses to negotiate unless you're behind, you should keep trying. Contact the lender's Loss Mitigation Department and request a loan workout option to help you pay down the mortgage.

Hardship letter: Prepare a hardship letter including the specific date when the hardship started. Take a look at this Sample Hardship Letter. You should attach documents supporting your hardship claim. Learn more on how to write a hardship letter.

Lender's analysis of your loan: After the lender has agreed to discuss a loan modification, they will send you a packet of forms. They will want you to provide as much information as you can about your finances so they can evaluate your situation using their own calculations. The types of information they are looking for include:
  • 2 months of bank statements
  • Tax filings for past 2 years
  • Receipts of 4 months of regular monthly payments
  • Personal statement about your finances
  • Situation that made you delinquent
  • Paystubs for past 2 months (to check for current ability to pay off loan)
  • Name and contact details of borrower's current employer
  • For self-employed persons, last 2 years of tax information and year-to-date and profit and loss business statement for past 2 years
  • Recent utility bill
The lender reviews the above information, calculates how much you can afford to pay each month and calculates:
  • Monthly net income for past 2 years (adjusted to changes in income)
  • Monthly living expenses (under normal conditions) with debt payments (adjustments are made to reflect rise or fall in expenses for each of the first 3 months of the loss mitigation option)
  • Surplus income available each month by deducting expenses from income
  • Surplus income percentage by diving surplus income by total monthly expense
Based on the above calculations, the lender will approve you for a loan modification and make you an offer. If you cannot afford this offer, you should try to get help from a credit counselor who will be able to help you negotiate. Before sending any documents to the lender, you should make copies in case the documents are misplaced.

What are the loss mitigation options?

Here's a rundown of the workout options available to you in order to avoid a foreclosure.

Special Forbearance

Repayment plan for the borrower to cover the debt and get current on loan until you can make the usual payments through a structured payment plan or loan modification.
  • Suffered verified loss in income and living expenses have gone up, but has enough to cover the debt and become current on the loan.
  • Occupies the property as primary residence.

Delinquent for 3 months but not more than 12 months.

Property should not need repairs which may affect payment under forbearance.

Loan Modification

Permanent Change in terms of the loan - the debt is included in the loan balance and reamortized at a reduced interest rate.
  • Suffered verified loss in income or increase in living expenses but have stable surplus income to help pay at the modified rate and terms.
  • Borrower should remain as the occupant and property should be the primary residence.
  • Borrower having loan at above market rates, lower loan-to-value ratio, and mature terms (loan paid down for 10 years or more).
  • Someone who isn't delinquent but may soon default on the loan.

Behind on payments for 3 months or more and 1 year has passed since the loan was signed.

Property should be in good physical condition; otherwise costs to complete repair work will drain out enough cash and borrower won't be able to make payments under the modification.

Short Sale/ Pre-foreclosure Sale

Sell off property to pay off the debt, though property value has declined to less than the money owed. Know more…
  • Have a verified loss in income.
  • Having negative equity of not more than approx. 63% of the unpaid loan balance.
  • Occupies property as the primary residence.
  • Non-occupant may qualify but have to prove that the need to vacate is related to default.

One who is already behind on payments or likely to be behind soon.

No serious damage to property. Even if damaged, cost of repair should not exceed 10% of the Repaired Appraised Value.

Property should be able to be sold free and clear of liens.

Deed-in-lieu of Foreclosure

Borrower offers property to lender who sells it off to retrieve the unpaid balance. Learn more…
  • One who's unable to continue making payments.
  • Occupies property as their primary residence.
  • Non-occupant owner can qualify, but he has to prove that the need to vacate is related to the cause of default.

The loan is in default (that is, the borrower is more than 30 days late on their payments and the cause of the default cannot be eliminated).

Property should be free of any liens.

Property shouldn't have been used as rental property for more than 1 year.

Partial Claim

Placing your past debts into a subordinate 2nd mortgage (not exceeding 12 months of PITI) payable to HUD (2nd loan payment to begin only after first mortgage is paid down; there's no interest on the 2nd loan).
  • Those having FHA loans and mortgages offered by Freddie Mac approved lenders.
  • Unable to qualify for forbearance.
  • Use property as the primary residence.
  • Can prove that financial hardship is over.
  • May qualify even after bankruptcy filing but court approval required.

Delinquent for 4 months but not more than 12 months.

Property should be in good physical condition.
*N.B: The criteria and conditions stated in the table above may vary from one lender/mortgage company to another.

Of all the loss mitigation options, special forbearance is the best. It may be combined with loan modification when there's doubt about the borrower's income stability. Especially in these tough economic times, if you're unable to get a loan modification, your lender may be open to a short sale or a deed-in-lieu to avoid foreclosure. If you convince your lender to accept a deed-in-lieu you can even talk to the lender about rental options. Whichever option you decide is best to help you avoid foreclosure, you'll need to submit the same documents to prove your hardship.

Related Readings
Last updated on January 23, 2013

Latest Community Discussions
What is a loss mitigation?

posted on 2014-05-01 00:50:21
Has anyone had any success with getting a settlement offer from chase on a first mortgage? We have been trying to reach the correct pe...

posted on 2013-10-05 11:34:20
I need help saving my home. I live in Chicago, IL and my loan balance is 227,000 and the value of the property is 260,000. How do I
posted on 2012-07-17 03:42:38
We have applied for loss Mitigation program. Hoping to get loan modificat...

posted on 2012-05-07 10:23:05
For a lot of People in America, foreclosures has turned into a very real a part of their financial past or recent future. The economica...

posted on 2012-04-04 21:30:09

Latest Questions & Answers
Category: Mortgage Basics
posted on 2014-03-31 08:51:57
posted on 2011-08-23 22:57:55

Ask question to Author
Image Verification

Can't read the image? click here to refresh
Message body
Author Message


0.10 Dollars($)

Post     Post subject: foreclosure

i would like to know how much amount of money one has to come up within few time as the initial contribution for a repayment plan like forbearance or mortgage modification in oreder to avoid foreclosure process??
Mini Profile  jameshogg

Joined: 20 Dec 2005
Posts: 12157
Location: Nevada

1221.05 Dollars($)

Post     Post subject:

Hi Andrew,

Your question has been answered on this page, kindly have a look:

Real, Roger


0.10 Dollars($)

Post     Post subject: help me.

I have two months behind.
When I re-finance the house they told me
that the insurance in included in the payment.
Now they tell me that I have 2 years with out insurance and
they charge me $13,000.00 because they told me I had no insurance...so they put their own insurance, and I have 2 months behind. I would like to know what I can do to save my house .

Contact me at:
E-Mail: "Veronica132821@yahoo.com"

Thank you,

[Email address deactivated as per the forum rules]
Mini Profile  larry

Joined: 27 Jun 2007
Posts: 3322

474.68 Dollars($)

Post     Post subject:

Hi Roger.

Welcome to the forum.

Do you have any escrow account? You should inquire this to the Escrow Company? If you have Insurance then why would they ask you for another insurance?

As you are already 2months behind talk with your lender and go for forbearance and loan modification. Check out what is the option available to avoid foreclosure at http://www.mortgagefit.com/foreclosure/17ways-avoid.html

Best of luck.


0.10 Dollars($)

Post     Post subject: whats best

We have a rental that we can no longer pay for. It is in a depressed area and we are over three months late on the paymnets because we can't rent it for the amount owed each month. My husband has taken a huge cut in pay just to have a job. What is the best move to make with the least amount of impact on our credit. we tried renegotioating with the lender but we are about 2500 a mont short fiancially. The lender sugested a tring to sell it as a short sale with a realator for a thre month periiod. If doesnt sell then ther do a deed in lieu. We could let it go into forclosure. Our other option is since we are 500 thousnd dollars in debt should we file bankrupcy. However we dont want to lose the home we live in or our cars. And we hate to have to lose our credit cards since we can make the payments if we could get out of this other home. My question is what is our best option, concerning our credit and tax ramifications. Can you give me some advice. Thanks Debbie


0.10 Dollars($)

Post     Post subject:

Hi Debbie!

I think filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will be a better option for you if you do not have the options of short sale and deed-in-lieu. It will help you to reorganize your debts which you will be able to pay within 3-5 years. Yes your credit score will be definitely affected due to this.


0.10 Dollars($)

Post     Post subject: primery residenc

If my secend home is forclosed do i lose my primery residenc to .We have two homes and we need to do somthing or we are going to lose everithing we have .Please let us know what we should do .
Mini Profile  jerry

Joined: 17 Oct 2005
Posts: 3249
Location: MICHIGAN

510.68 Dollars($)

Post     Post subject:

Hi didi!

You may not lose the first home, however, a lien can be placed on the property if you are not able to give the deficient amount to the lender.




0.10 Dollars($)

Post     Post subject: facing foreclosure

im not on the loan but im in the title as gift deed. i have 1st and 2nd mortgage ARM.im behind payment since march,2008 and received a notice of default. can you advise me on what to do? what are my consequences if any.
Mini Profile  jerry

Joined: 17 Oct 2005
Posts: 3249
Location: MICHIGAN

510.68 Dollars($)

Post     Post subject:

Hi neleh!

You are saying that your name is not on the loan but at the same time you wrote that you are late on payments. Are you speaking of a second property which has 2 loans? Or are you speaking of the gifted property which has two loans? If you are speaking about the gifted property, then I don't think your credit will be affected as your name is not on the mortgage. You will only lose the property if it goes into foreclosure.


need help


0.10 Dollars($)

Post     Post subject: loan modification/Loss mitigation

What exactly is the percent that the loss mitigation department is looking for you to have left over after they divide the income by the monthly expenses? Is there a certain amount of income that we need to have left over after all the debt is taken from our income? and what is that percent?
Mini Profile  Niicss

Joined: 03 Oct 2005
Posts: 5499
Location: New Jersey

601.94 Dollars($)

Post     Post subject:

Hi need help!

Your query has been answered by one of our community members. You can have a look at the answer in the given link:


Good is the Enemy of Great.


0.10 Dollars($)

Post     Post subject: Home

I am behind on my mortgage by two payments. If I get behind more than 60 days, they will move to foreclose.

I am in a bankruptcy and want to try for a loan mod but they'll won't consider while I'm in bankruptcy. I'm afraid to pull the mortgage out in case they don't approve me for the mod. What would happen then? I am open to selling my house, but the market is not good.

Do you have any suggestions?
Mini Profile  Caron

Joined: 19 Jul 2005
Posts: 1516
Location: florida

279.74 Dollars($)

Post     Post subject:

Hi Miffer,

What type of bankruptcy did you file? Is it chapter 7 or 13? if it's chapter 13, then you should have been making payments as per the repayment plan approved by the trustee.

The lender is quite justified in not allowing for loan modification as because you're in bankruptcy. And now if you dismiss the bankruptcy, things could get even worse. Do you have other debts included in bankruptcy along with the mortgage?

Mortgage Shopping made easy with booklet

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10  Next  
Page 1 of 10


Page loaded in 1.592 seconds.