Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

4 of 8
BACKNEXT
Burt Carlson, Phoenix, Ariz. - Success
A mortgage consultant whose business has been decimated in recent years, Carlson applied multiple times this past fall for the Hope for Homeowners program, which was set up last year to assist troubled borrowers lower their principal and monthly payments. He was turned down each time.

In February, he sent letters to his primary mortgage company, Aurora Loan Services, and the holder of his second mortgage, Washington Mutual, saying he would stop paying. Within a few weeks, WaMu sent him a package offering to lower the mortgage rate to 5% from 11 1/8%. (WaMu was taken over by JPMorgan Chase last year.)

Aurora was a tougher nut to crack, but it eventually agreed to lower his monthly payment to $1,400 from $2,000. He is currently in a three-month trial period, and if he makes all his payments, his modification will become permanent in the fall.

"Everything that they've done has been as advertised," said Carlson, who wants to stay in his home though it's lost nearly half its value since he bought it three years ago. "I'm much more confident about not losing the house."

NEXT: Still making payments? You are low priority

Last updated July 06 2009: 3:05 PM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
Banned! 10 things you won't find in China China says it wants to open its economy more to the rest of the world, but Beijing keeps a tight grip on technology and access to media. These 10 items are still off limits. More
A morning at the AltSchool, an education startup that Silicon Valley is crazy about The AltSchool is a system of "micro schools" and an education software maker that has raised about $133 million from investors like Andreessen Horowitz and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan's philanthropic fund. More
Coolest cars for $18,000 These are the best budget cars, according to the experts at Kelley Blue Book. More

Special Offer