Answers on Trial Period Plans

Jan 21, 2013

Fannie Mae Mortgage Help Center  advisors commonly field questions from homeowners about loan modifications. A modification is an agreement between the homeowner and the mortgage company to permanently change the terms of the mortgage agreement (like the interest rate or length of the mortgage term) to lower the monthly payment and make it more affordable.

Once a modification is approved, a “trial period plan” requires a homeowner to make three or four trial payments on time, and at the lower amount. At the end of the successful trial period plan, the lender can make the modification permanent. Here are some common questions we receive about the process:

Q: How do I accept the offer?

A: Follow the instructions on the letter sent by your mortgage company, and call them if you have questions. Your acceptance of the trial period plan starts when you send your first payment (at the new reduced payment amount) to your mortgage company.

Q: It’s been three months and I haven’t heard back from my mortgage company on whether or not we’ll get a permanent modification.

A: Contact your mortgage company and ask them to review your paperwork. If you don’t understand their process, or need our help, contact us. (Editor’s Note: Help at a Fannie Mae Mortgage Help Center is available only to homeowners with Fannie Mae loans.)

Q: If we are approved for a permanent modification, will the payment amount be the same as the trial period plan payment?

A: The trial period plan payment amount is the mortgage company’s estimate of what your payment will be. It’s not the final figure. The trial period plan gives them time to complete this calculation and have it ready for your review and acceptance. Permanent modification payments typically, but not always, are fairly close to the trial period plan payments.

Q: How do I know if a modification offer is legitimate?

A: A trial period plan would only come from your mortgage company (the company on your monthly mortgage statement) or a mortgage investor (like Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac). If you do not recognize the company making the offer, call your mortgage company to make sure the offer is legitimate.

Q: Can I still get assistance from the Mortgage Help Center during the trial period plan?

A: You’ll want to maintain open communication with your mortgage company at all times; however, we also are here to assist you until your mortgage issue is resolved and can help you with any questions you have during your trial period plan.