OLATHE, Kan. -- More homeowners are getting help with their home loans, but we discovered the modification process is much slower and more frustrating than expected.
Missed timeframes are causing anxiety among homeowners who are desperate to save their home.
Two year old Christine is content playing at home, but her mother Melissa Landis worries her daughter's playground may change.
"I fear we will lose our house after all the effort we put forth," Landis said.
It's a fear shared by Leonard Morizzo.
"It's a lot of...." Morrizo says as he takes a deep breath trying to collect his thoughts after this long process. He continues, "It's a discouraging process but what alternative do you have -- it's cold outside?"
We began working with both homeowners when it was warm.
They'd been trying to modify their loans for four months with no success. In July we contacted Wells Fargo and after our calls both homeowners were put in a three month trial modification.
After the trial, their modification would be approved or denied.
"It was supposed to be permanent as of Dec. 1 so we are knocking wood that it is," Morrizo said.
Morizzo needs the reduced payment because his unemployment is about to run out.
A coupon book randomly showed up in the mail for a February payment so, "I'm somewhat optimistic," Morizzo said.
Landis is less hopeful.
Her husband's electrical business recently filed for bankruptcy, and she can't find out if her modification will happen.
"I have to call repeatedly to be told sorry we don't have any time frame to give you just keep calling," Landis said.
"It's just not happening they're not getting finalized," Housing Counselor with HomeFree- USA
Debi Peters said.
Housing counselors are as frustrated as homeowners.
The government extended the trial period to five months to deal with the backlog and is trying to simplify the process.
"We're still going back 10 years ago where we are faxing we're not scanning documents and putting them online," Peters said.
Counselors are seeing change, but will it happen fast enough for homeowners to hold onto their home?
Wells Fargo says Landis' loan modification is moving forward.
The bankruptcy filing held up the process temporarily but there is no timeframe on when the modification will be complete.
Through the end of November, Wells Fargo reported that 40 percent of homeowners who made all three trial payments had their modification finalized or it's in the process of being finalized.
"Another 10 percent will be ready to convert once the customer signs and returns the final modification agreement which Wells Fargo sent them. For 45 percent, the company still needs some or all the documents required. The remaining borrowers who have made three trial payments were determined to be ineligible for HAMP modifications after a review of the documents they submitted," the company wrote in a December news release issued after the Treasury released its last set of data
We should have updated figures this Friday when the Treasury releases modifications through December.
To get help modifying your loan, we'll have certified housing counselors
here Tuesday, Jan. 11 from 5 to 7 p.m. to get you started.