Mortgage mods are touted by both the government and the so called "help" organizations. But are these mods really helping anyone. I think if you've read this blog for any length of time you know how I feel about this mod business. Mods are helping banks and that's it! All mods do is keep people paying for a an asset that is worth less than they owe on it. They become trapped by this debt.
Here is a perfect example of why loan mods suck for most people. I have one friend that did a short sale in 2008 to get out from under his upside down house. He is now free, happy and his credit score has fully recovered. He could easily buy any house he wanted (and could afford). I have another one that did a mod in 2009. He did the loan mod for a couple of reasons. He liked his house and had spend a fair amount of money upgrading (although he did use a heloc to do these upgrades). He also foolishly believed that prices would rebound enough to where he could sell if he needed to. Over 2 years later he still owes way more than his house is worth. Although he can afford the payments he now needs to sell and move due to an impending divorce. Unfortunately for him this means either a short sale or just letting the house go. The loan mod probably added a year or two to his marriage but it also trapped him in that house. So who is better off? Had he let the house go two years ago he would probably be single and free of debt, possibly able to buy another home already.
To anyone considering a loan mod I would encourage them to consider the possibility that they may want or need to move in a few years. If there is even a remote chance of that then don't do a loan mod. No matter how much you love the house, get the hell out of it. You can rent for a couple of years and then if you desire you can purchase another home that you will not be a thousand feet under water on.
The whole mortgage mod thing is absurd when you stand back and look objectively at it. Someone has sold you something at an inflated price, but because they are willing to change the loan terms slightly you agree to keep paying on that inflated price. That might be reasonable if you bought a TV (although even on TVs most retailers will give you a refund if you find that TV cheaper) but I digress we are talking houses here. We are talking about tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on how long you pay the note for. It's not an insignificant amount of money, yet most people only look at that monthly payment and that's about as far ahead as they look too. No thought is given to next year or 5 years from now.
Mortage mods will only serve to extend this fiasco of a market!