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What is a complete application for purposes of a mortgage modification?

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Information on what you must submit in order for your loan modification application to be "complete."


My house is about to go into foreclosure, but I’m hoping to get a mortgage modification from my bank to make the payments more affordable. I called to ask about how to apply for one and the representative gave me a list of items to send in. He also told me that I should be sure to submit a “complete” application. I’m not really sure what this means. What is a complete application for purposes of a mortgage modification?


Basically, a “complete” application means that you have submitted everything that the mortgage servicer (the company you make your monthly mortgage payment to) requires to evaluate you for an alternative to foreclosure. such as a mortgage modification.

Generally, this includes:

  • an application and financial worksheet
  • your two most recent pay stubs that show year-to-date earnings (or your most recent quarterly or year-to-date profit/loss statement, if you're self-employed)
  • proof of other income (such as social security, disability, pension, public assistance, unemployment, rental, alimony, or child support)
  • a signed IRS Form 4506-T or 4506T-EZ (which gives permission to your mortgage servicer to request a copy of the most recent tax return transcript you have filed with the IRS)
  • your two most recent bank statements
  • your money market, mutual fund, stock, and bond statements
  • your divorce decree or separation agreement (if applicable)
  • your most recent federal tax return, and/or
  • information about your hardship.

Additional documents (such as proof of payment of homeowners association dues, property taxes, and homeowners insurance) may be required depending on your personal situation.

Why a Complete Application Is Important

The reason it's important to submit all  of the required documentation is because the servicer is generally not required to take certain actions (such as evaluating your application) or stop certain actions (like a foreclosure) until it receives the complete application.

For example, under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) mortgage servicing rules that went into effect

January 10, 2014, if you submit a complete application before the servicer has made the first notice or filing required to initiate a foreclosure process, it may not start the foreclosure unless:

  • the servicer informs you that you’re not eligible for a workout (loss mitigation) option and any appeal has been exhausted
  • you reject all loss mitigation offers, or
  • you fail to comply with the terms of a loss mitigation option (such as a trial modification).

If the foreclosure has already begun and the servicer receives your complete application more than 37 days before a foreclosure sale, it cannot move for a foreclosure judgment or order of sale, or conduct a foreclosure sale, until after it evaluates you for a loan modification and other options. (Learn more about the CFPB’s mortgage servicing rules .)

Tips to Ensure You Submit a Complete Application

Below are some tips to ensure that the servicer considers your application as complete.

  • Be sure to fill out all of the application paperwork (do not forget to sign the application) and attach any and all documentation that the servicer requests. (For example, if the servicer requests copies of your two most recent pay stubs, this means you must actually send your latest pay stubs. Do not send two random pay stubs that you just happened to have handy.)
  • When sending items such as copies of your bank statements, be sure to send copies of all statement pages -- even if they’re blank.
  • Send all of the forms and supporting documentation at the same time. (This way it is less likely that any of the items will get misplaced.)
  • If mailing your documents to the servicer, be sure to send them by some method that you can track (FedEx, UPS, etc.)
  • Be sure to write your name and complete loan number at the top of each page.

Failing to do any of these things could delay the processing of your application or ultimately could even result in a denial of your modification request.

Category: Credit

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