Avoid rookie mistakes when preparing, submitting your document package
Using fax or certified mail: Make sure you have the correct contact information. Treasury provides addresses and fax numbers of every mortgage servicer. Certified mail is more reliable than fax, but neither guarantees prompt attention by the servicer, or even that the documents won't subsequently be misplaced or lost.
Using the DMM portal: The best way to deliver documents to servicers is to use the DMM portal, available through the DMM Document Wizard by clicking on "Submit," or visit www.dclmwp.com. I have no financial interest in DMM.
Using the portal, your documents are delivered to the servicer electronically, and the portal then becomes a direct communication channel to the servicer. The servicer uses the portal to acknowledge receipt of your documents and to request additional information or documents. You use the portal to make corrections, to send additional information, and to update yourself on what has been completed and what remains to be done.
Questions by you are automatically directed to the specific employee who can answer them. All communications are time-stamped and remain in the portal as a record of borrower/servicer exchanges.
Unfortunately, not every servicer subscribes to the DMM Portal. The list of those that do is shown on the DMM Wizard.
Follow up, and then follow up again
Because the process of modifying mortgages remains slow and error-prone, you may need to nudge the servicer. If you faxed your documents, you should follow up to make sure the papers haven't been lost and the case is in an active queue. But even if you use the DMM Portal, you should follow up with the servicer regularly to make sure your application is on track.
Next week: getting help with your modification without getting scammed.
My special thanks to Igor Roitburg for assisting in my research for this column.
The writer is professor of finance emeritus at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Comments and questions can be left at www.mtgprofessor.com.
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