For the millions of Americans facing the possibility that sometime over the next 12 months they will lose their home, the one big idea put forth by the government and lenders to keep this awful inevitability from happening is the loan modification.

It seems like a good idea. A loan modification, as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is a permanent change in one or more of the terms of the mortgagor’s loan, which allows the loan to be reinstated with a payment the homeowner can afford.

Unfortunately, for one reason or another, from incompetence by the mortgage servicers to the system being overloaded by so many foreclosures to the lack of follow-through by homeowners, the loan modification process has more often than not proved endless and fruitless.

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