The Secret to Dealing With Banks When Having Mortgage Problems

The current real estate market is an utter mess, which is leading to a situation where many borrowers are in financial trouble. This brings us to the secret to dealing with banks when you are having mortgage problems.

Foreclosure. It is an ugly word. It used to be reserved for people that ran into major financial difficulties, which occurred fairly rarely. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. Millions have or are about to be forced into foreclosure in the current real estate market.

The reason is a combination of a variety of factors including price, valuations, resetting interest rates on loans and so on. We aren’t so much interested in what is causing the problem in this article as we are interested in what to do if you face this situation. Life can get very stressful when the lender starts calling, so what can you do?

The first thing to realize is your mortgage lender is in the business of lending money. It is not in the business of owning homes. Regardless of what you’ve heard, your bank does not want to foreclose on you. They don’t want to own the property. They don’t want a bad loan on their books. They just want to sit back and collect payments. Understanding this is the key to dealing with your potential foreclosure situation.

When confronted with a potential foreclosure, most people panic and freeze up. They can’t see any obvious way out of the problem so they do nothing. This is a huge mistake. The problem is not going to go away. If you get proactive, you may be able to find a way out of the problem. In fact, you usually can.

The first step is to contact the lender. Don’t treat them like an enemy. You need to tell them you are having problems. If you’ve missed payments, the lender already understands this. Discuss the possibility of going with a forbearance of payments for three to six months or a reduced payment schedule for a few years. The market is going to bounce back at some point, so you can try to ride it out. Alternatively, you can try to sell the home during the period you are granted relief.

What if the bank is unwilling to give you a break? Well, ask for approval to do a short sale. A short sale is simply the sale of the home for a price that is lower than what you owe on the home. The bank will usually agree to this because it receives a majority of its funds back and doesn’t have to deal with the cost and aggravation of foreclosure.

If you are facing foreclosure, do not stick your head in the sand. Get proactive and deal with the problem. Lenders do not want to own homes, so you have some leverage. Get creative and you’ll be able to get out from under the burden of your mortgage loan.


Things That Might Be Asked of You in a Job Interview at a Bank

If you are sending resumes to banks, there is some important information you need to know about the interview. Before we go into the questions you might be asked, you must know that banks are still conservative institutions. If you are already in banking, you know that. If you are a new grad, or thinking about transitioning into banking, then be aware that they are traditional in their expectations of attire. Even though your teller may be casually dressed, make sure you go to the interview in a dark-colored suit.

The other thing you need to know about banking, if you are new to the business, is that banks consider themselves retailers. We never used to think of them as such, but they sell products to the general public from readily accessible buildings, hence it’s a retail environment. Banks have goals of how many checking accounts are opened, how many loans are processed, how many savings accounts are opened and what types of products are sold in each category. That means that the bank interview questions you can expect to be asked will relate to customer service and selling skills.

One of my new college grad clients recently interviewed for a banking position. She shared a few of the bank interview questions she was asked and that you can expect to be asked also:

  • Have you ever sold anything? Tell me about what you sold.
  • Have you ever had a customer who was unhappy about their service? What did you do?
  • Have you ever competed in anything?
  • Did you ever work in a group project in college?

The first question is obviously about selling skills. Be sure to tell what you sold, how and what the result was of how much you sold. The second question is seeking to find out if you can handle upset customers without getting rattled. Next is to see if you are goal oriented. People who are successful in sales, love to compete and set goals. The next question is to see how you work with others and can you work in a team. It is also an opportunity to share your leadership abilities, if you took the lead when you worked with a group.

Those are just a few sample interview questions that you can expect to be asked when you go on a bank interview. Prepare in advance to talk about your skills and what you can do to sell products, and to provide top customer service.