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An uncomfortably large proportion of my mail these days is from borrowers with serious payment problems. In most cases, I can't help them for reasons discussed below. In a few common cases, I try. In one common case, the borrower has two mortgages, which add to an amount well in excess of the value of the property, and can no longer afford both payments. If the same lender holds both mortgages, and if the borrower can afford a reduced payment, his objective should be to persuade the mortgage lender to modify the notes to lower the payments. The burden of proof is on the borrower. He has to document that he will be forced to default on the existing mortgages but could afford the payment on a new mortgage that would cost the lender less than foreclosure. If the second mortgage is held by a different lender, the challenge is greater. The first-mortgage lender is unlikely to modify the note so long as the second-mortgage lender remains in a position to foreclose. I suggest that...