A loan modification is just what it sounds like. If the homeowner wants to attempt to keep their home, the homeowner can request a modification to the terms of the loan existing on their home, for example, interest rate, repayment period, and/or principal balance reduction. If these modified terms are agreeable with the homeowner, they can stop and cancel the short sale per the terms of the purchase agreement with the Buyer as contained in the Short Sale Addendum and Short Sale Information and Advisory. If you are the buyer who has submitted an offer on this home, please reread these two documents.
I hope this helps.
Erin L. Phillips
Keller Williams Realty
As Elizabeth stated, most lenders will not allow you to pursue both a loan mod and a short sale at the same time. They are both considered "Workout Programs" and most lenders will only allow one Workoiut Program in progress at a time.
In the order of "I want to try to keep my home" to "I'm ready to get ridy of my home", your options are (in order):
1. Loan Mod (this includes a variety of additional options depending on different variables)
2. Short Sale
3. Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure ("friendly foreclosure", benefits your lender because they incur no attorney fees)
If you are interested in keeping your home, I would try this link first: http://www.keepyourhomecalifornia.com/
Also, remember that HUD has many home loan counselors that advise for FREE and over the years have become much better at getting you to the right sources as well as determing faster where you stand.
If your home is listed in a short sale, you may want to contact your agent and advise them that you may be considering keeping your home and exploring a loan modification.
Hope that helps!
If you are attempting to work with your lender through the government's Making Home Affordable program, then the paperwork is the same. They will require that a loan mod be considered first under the HAMP program. If you don't qualify for that based on your financial ratios, or request the short sale, they will move you into the HAFA program to short sale your home. Kylee is right, most lenders do not want you in consideration for both at the same time. They're often two different departments and the file is in only one place for consideration at a time.
If you are in California, you might want to pursue what is available under the Keep your Home California program as well. that is also an additional program, depending on whether your lender participates in that, but it is a federal grant specific to California homeowners.