Effective September 30, 2017, NeighborWorks Orange County is no longer able to assist homeowners seeking a permanent modification option. 

As a result, we have created this step by step guide that homeowners can follow to request a permanent modification from their lender (see below).  

If you need further assistance, please contact Legal Aid Society:

Homeowner Step by Step Guide (download PDF version here)

1. Visit their website: Before you call your lender you should visit their website and see if they have a page where they provide more information for homeowners looking to get a modification. On another page of this guide, you will find the list of websites for some of the lenders (if you do not see the name of your lender you can google it).

2. Prepare information and documentation: When you are finally able to speak to the loss mitigation department they will ask you for verbal information and you will need to have it ready to provide it to them. You will need the following information ready: loan number, the last four digits of your Social Security Number, last two months paystubs (for all borrowers), list of your monthly household expenses, list of your monthly bills i.e. credit cards, car payments, HOA, Line of Credit etc. 

3. Prepare a notebook: During this process, you will contact your lender several times, it is best you dedicate one notebook to documenting the following information: 


  • The date you contacted your lender's loss mitigation team 
  • The name of the person you spoke too in the loss mitigation department. 
  • The time you spoke to the loss mitigation representatives.
  • Notes regarding what was said to you and what you said to the representative.
  • Remember to write down as many details as you can in case you need to recap the
    conversation with a different representative.
  • Their call back number, it is important to get a phone number where you can call them back
  • The fax number and or email where you are to send in your request for modification/ request
    for assistance.

  4. Call your lender’s loss mitigation department: If you do not have a number for loss mitigation from the lender’s website, you may call the 1‐800 number listed on your mortgage statement and ask them to transfer you to the loss mitigation team. When you get connected to that team have them provide you with the phone and fax number to the department.

   • Be honest about the information you provide: When the loss mitigation department is obtaining information from you, please be honest. Remember you will need to provide supporting documentation for everything that you tell them. If there is no supporting documentation, they will not count that information in your file.

  6. Complete and send them all the documentation they request: after you have a phone conversation with your lender’s loss mitigation team they will request several documents from you, please send them (the will tell you if you should fax, email or mail your documents in). If you do not send all of the documents they will not process your modification request. Below you will find some tips as to how to send documents to them: 

  • A hardship letter.
  • Confirm the fax number where you are to send the documents too.
  • Be sure to send them clean copies of everything. If they cannot read a document they package will be considered incomplete and incomplete packages will not be processed. 

  A.  Put your loan number on every page you send to them. They will usually require this.

  B.  Bank statements: send them all pages even if the page is blank. Failure to do so will result in the package being considered incomplete and incomplete packages will not be processed. 

  C. Tax Returns send them all the pages not just some. If there are missing pages the package will be considered incomplete and incomplete packages will not be processed. Don’t forget to sign and date at the bottom of page 2 of your 1040 tax returns.

  D. If you have rental/boarder income, it will not be considered by your lender unless you provide a Rental Agreement signed and dated, and provide proof that you are receiving rent in the form of bank deposits into your bank account. Also please note that lenders may not count the full amount of rental/boarder income, they may only count a portion of it.

  E. Provide a “Hardship Letter” explaining your situation, this includes dates and a timeline of your hardship. This letter must be signed and dated. On another page of this document you will find a guide for how to write a hardship letter.

 F. If you are self‐employed you will be asked to provide a current Profit & Loss statement for the most recent 3 months. You must sign and date each page of the profit and loss statements. 


  7. Follow up with your lender 2 business days after you sent them the documentation they requested: After you send any information to the loss mitigation team you must contact the loss mitigation team to confirm they have received your documentation and have uploaded it into the system. Never assume that just because you sent it that they have received it, you must always confirm. 


  8. Send the lender updated information as you have it: In order to maintain your file open and active you must provide them with updated information. Every 30 days you should send them updated paystubs and bank statements (all pages and with your loan number on each page). You should continue to send updated information to the lender until they decide their file.

  9. Confirmation of decision: Once the lender has gone through the process they will give you a decision as to if you modification request has been approved or not. For additional information on this, you can see the decision tree on another page that will guide you through the process. Always get all information regarding the decision information in writing:

Things to remember: 


  • This process takes a lot of time and requires that a lot of documentation be sent. Be patient.

The Making Home Affordable Modification Program expired on December 31, 2016, and is no longer available, as such the lenders have their own internal programs they can provide. 


  • Only your lender can provide you with a loan modification, do not pay an outside agency that guarantees to get you a loan modification. 


  • For any general questions, you can email us at 

List of lenders and their websites: 

-  Bank of America:

-  Wells Fargo:‐account/payment‐help/home‐assist‐reference/

- Chase:‐assistance

- Citibank: 


        - SLS:

- Loan Care:

-  Ocwen Loan Servicing:

-  Suntrust Bank:‐mortgages/existing‐client‐support/mortgage‐assistance‐program

-  Caliber:‐hardship‐assistance/loan‐modifications

-  HSBC: ip/options_to_keep_your_home1.html

-  BSI Financial:

        - PNC:

        - U.S. Bank:‐loans/mortgage/mortgage‐help‐and‐repayment‐options.aspx

        - Cenlar:‐us/ 

Hardship Letter 


With your documentation, you will need to submit a hardship letter. A hardship letter is a one-page letter where you explain to the lender what happened and what you would like them to do to assist: 


  • Paragraph 1: This part of the letter is where you explain what happened. What was the trigger event that caused you to fall behind on your mortgage payments? Remember to give dates this is important. 


  •  Paragraph 2: Tell the lender what you are doing to try and fix your situation. Have you reduced expenses? Are you looking for a higher paying job? Give them a sense that you are doing everything possible to keep your home and that you need their help.
  • Paragraph 3: This is where you ask them what you want. Do you want a lower interest rate? Do you want a lower monthly payment? What are you hoping they can assist you with.


  • All borrowers on the loan must sign and date the letter. 

Decision Tree 


Lender approves loan modification

Lender will send you a formal final agreement with new terms and conditions. Please make sure to sign the agreement and sent it back to the lender 


Lender denies loan modification

when the lender denies your request for a loan modification you will then need to then consider liquidation which mean selling the home when you are at the point of selling your home remember to find an agent that can assist you with this. There may be programs available to assist you with relocation costs.


Before you send back a loan modification agreement remember to make a copy of the agreement with your signature and keep it for your records.