If you are a duplex owner in Minneapolis, St Paul, or anywhere else in Minnesota, and are struggling to make payments or facing foreclosure, there is a wonderful new resource available to you through the Minnesota Home Ownership Center (MNHOC).
MNHOC has teamed up with Fannie Mae and thirty-nine non-profit agencies throughout the state of Minnesota to not only sort out your options, but also potentially perform a squeeze play on the bank servicing your loan (which is usually perceived as the lender), forcing it to work with you toward a solution that works for everyone involved; a solution which is often a loan modification.
The non-profit counseling agencies, which include entities like Lutheran Social Services and Habitat For Humanity, help duplex owners complete a comprehensive application that covers anything the lender would need to know in order to make a decision whether or not to agree to alter the terms of the loan.
While most of us perceive the bank we make payments to as the lender, they are often, in fact, simply taking care of all of the paperwork for an investor they sold your mortgage (along with hundreds of others) to. Often, these loan servicers simply do not have the authority to negotiate or agree to terms of a loan modification.
In Minnesota, Fannie Mae is the investor in at least one third of duplex mortgages. As such, they DO have the authority to renegotiate the terms of your loan.
The non-profits agencies, which are under the umbrella of MNHOC, then take the completed application and submit it directly to two Fannie Mae employees who are now working permanently out of MNHOC’s offices in St Paul.
Since Fannie Mae is the investor in the duplex mortgage, they have leverage with the servicer.
As a result of having Fannie Mae involved in the process, some duplex owners are receiving loan modifications in as little as ten days.
According to Ed Nelson, marketing director for MNHOC, Fannie Mae is taking similar steps in six or seven other states in the country, but only Minnesota has a coordinated, statewide effort in place.
So what if you don’t live in Minneapolis, but are delinquent on your duplex mortgage?
Nelson says it’s important to verify the authenticity of any company or service that promises to help you with a loan modification. If they are legitimate, they should be a part of HUD’s Counseling Agency Network.
Members of this network can be found at www.findaforeclosurecounselor.org and lookbeforeyouleap.org.
The Minnesota Home Ownership Center can be found at www.hocmn.org.
No matter where you live, it’s important to know that regardless of however bleak your circumstances seem to be, you do have options. Options help grow hope, and once you have that, everything else can change.