Step-by-step Guide To Rental Property Loan Modification – Part 2: Document Checklist
The first step to start your loan modification is to prepare the following documents, preferably in a digital PDF format. These documents include:
1. A hardship letter
All banks will require you to provide some explanation of your hardship and why you need your loan modified. Explaining hardship is easier than you think, especially in this economy when many of your tenants may have problems paying rent, or when your properties sit vacant for extended period.
The reasons can include any of the following:
- Income Loss (Layoff, Paycut, New Job, Business Loss)
- Family Issues (Death, Divorce, Disability, Medical, Childcare/Parent)
- Rental Property Issues (Vacancy, Reduced Rents, Evictions, Damages)
- Loan Issues (Negative Amortization, Adjustable Reset, Interest-Only)
- Property Issues (No Equity, Can’t Refinance/Sell, Foreclosures in area)
- Other Debts (Credit Card, College Tuition, Liens/Judgments, Child Support)
Don’t write a long letter, as it’s usually not the main focus of your lender to approve or deny your loan modification application. Just type a concise, 1-page letter explaining your situation and how the lender can help you. Hardship letters should include Lender(s) and Loan Number(s), Property Address, and Signature(s) of all parties listed on the loan(s).
2. Financial worksheet
Most banks have their own in-house forms (or worksheets) that you can use to list your income, expenses, asset and liability data. It’s usually not required to use their forms, and often an Excel spreadsheet made by you will be sufficient. You will need to know what type of data your banks require, and come up with an appropriate spreadsheet. Loan Modification Self Help Kit includes the banks’ forms, as well as our proprietary spreadsheet to help you go through this process quickly and easily. The spreadsheet is customized toward each bank’s specific requirements and automatically computes the totals.
Your household income and expenses are the most critical criterion your lender will use to assess the available loan modification programs suited to your situation. On one hand, too much household surplus might disqualify you from their programs. On the other hand, they need assurance you have the ability to continue making payments after your loan is modified. Most household’s expenses are an estimation, and vary from month to month, and what you include varies depending on the bank.
Investors are required to report income and expenses from other rental properties, especially those that show on your credit reports. Do not include the figures of the property in question into your overall calculation. The bank usually doesn’t consider income from that property, and requires your other source of income be sufficient to support the modified loan payment.
Property expenses should include property tax, homeowner association dues, property insurance, property management fees and any other expenses that incur monthly. Some banks may allow maintenance/repair costs to be included. The amount you spend can vary from month to month. Therefore you need to take into account your overall income/expenses ratio to determine the right amount to report to the bank.
To make things even more complicated, each bank has its own criteria to evaluate modification possibility and programs available for your situation. Your case can be rejected if your financial ratio does not meet any of their system requirements. Remember your negotiator or processor, the person who was assigned to handle your case, depends solely on entering your financial data into their own system which then shows zero or multiple available programs for your situation.
Each bank has its own computer system which has different criteria. It’s critical for you to meet their system’s criteria. While this article will not list the criteria for each bank, Do-It-Yourself Kit: Rental Property Loan Modification will give you detailed specifics of what your bank is looking for in your financial data.
3. Bank statement
You will need to include two to three months of your latest bank statements. Be sure to include only checking account statements rather than any saving accounts that show large assets. You don’t want the bank to think you are too wealthy for a loan modification.
4. Tax return, W2s, IRS 4506T form
Use last year’s federal tax return, which includes form 1040 and all schedules. Do not include worksheets or any unrelated documents. Most banks also require W2s if you have them from the past year. 4506T form can be downloaded from IRS which allows your bank to request the tax return directly from IRS if necessary.
5. Income proof
For those who earn income from employers, banks will usually require two month worth of pay stubs. For those self-employed, you will include a monthly profit and loss statements covering three to six months.
If you collect unemployment or disability, can get a little tricky. Some banks require the income from the last six to nine months to be included as eligible income. Loan modification itself can take many months and make your originally qualified income become ineligible at the end. Some banks do not consider unemployment income at all regardless how much longer it will last.
6. Other rental property’s related documents
If you have other rental properties and they appear on your credit history, you will have to include your rental income from them. The banks will ask for the first and last page of your rental agreements, which show monthly rent. Some banks require rental agreements to have at least six months of the term left. You will also be required to submit property tax and insurance statements.
Rental properties’ actual monthly expenses vary from month to month. It’s up to your own interpretation the appropriate amount to report to your bank. These expenses often can make-or-break your loan modification effort. Be sure to back yourself up with enough knowledge about your bank’s evaluation criteria.
Continue to Read the Part III and more on RealInvestorTips.com Loan Modification – Part III : Effective Way to Follow Up with Lenders