Here is the reader question:

Sean says:

“What relief (with the new mortgage plan) or options (without refinancing) are available to those of us out there that have good equity in our home, high beacon scores, and have made our payments on time?

I recently contacted Countrywide (my lender) and asked them this questions, unfortunately, they transferred me to their mortgage assistance line where I was told that if I was 2-6 months behind on my mortgage and if I could make all the payments at once that they would apply this to my principle.

It is just frustrating that those who are irresponsible or those that make poor decisions are getting assistance? Yes, there are “hard luck” cases that should get help, but what is there for those of us that have always been fiscally prudent and made sound decisions? Is there a way to get the mortgage servicing company to reduce my rate just by asking?

Thank you very much for your feedback and assistance and I look forward to reply.”

My answer:


According to the new Obama mortgage plan, those not in default or behind will be eligible for refinancing or loan modifications without the previous prerequisite of being behind on payments. The servicing company must establish the borrower is experiencing other “hardships” if the borrower is not behind on payments and is seeking a loan modification. These hardships include unexpected medical bills, a drop in income, or future automatic payment increases, to name a few. These guidelines will be used to demonstrate “need”.

But if any of these things didn’t happen to you, it begs the questions, “Why would a servicing company or lender agree to cut their income on a loan not in default or in danger of default? Is it even legal from them to do so? Why should the taxpayer support those who are not in trouble when so many are?

If you can’t demonstrate need for taxpayer assistance, you won’t (and shouldn’t in my opinion) get taxpayer assistance.

Thanks for the question!

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