Easier path to mortgage modification?

We wrote on Tuesday about the federal Home Affordable Modification Program, asking aloud whether the benefits were worth the hassle and aggravation of working out a modification.

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Today, the Minnesota Home Ownership Center unveiled a new effort with mortgage giant Fannie Mae to make the process less intimidating.

The center, a non-profit that works to keep struggling homeowners in their homes, says a new partnership will speed the response time for Minnesota families struggling with mortgages owned by Fannie Mae.

Homeowners will be able to work directly with local Fannie Mae staff to get help and advice on keeping their homes and avoiding foreclosure.

Maybe the best news is the sanity of streamlined paperwork.

No longer will homeowners have to submit (and re-submit) different versions of the same documents. This all happens ONCE – on the front end and with the assistance of a Foreclosure Counselor, and is then submitted electronically to Fannie Mae staff right here in Minnesota.

It’s a free service, one that Fannie Mae is providing in other cities across the country.

You can find Minnesota information here.

We’re also definitely interested in hearing from people who’ve dealt with modifications — from both sides of the lending desk. If you’re a homeowner, lender, servicer or counselor, drop us a line and tell us what’s worked and what hasn’t when it comes to mortgage modification.

BONUS: Listen to MPR’s Dan Olson report on the new effort.

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