One of the things that sets Hanson & Payne apart from other bankruptcy attorneys in the Milwaukee area is our experience working with creditors. We have a strong relationship with many of the major banks in the great Milwaukee area because we have represented them in commercial loan transactions, bankruptcy matters, or insurance disputes at one time or another.
While some debtors decide not to hire us after finding out we work for both debtors and creditors, the smart ones realize the edge our diverse practice gives them at the negotiating table.
Over the years, we have developed strong relationships with the lenders and other attorneys whose cooperation and patience are a necessary component of any successful loan modification. We also know which lenders are willing to negotiate with a debtor in order to help keep a business afloat, and what sort of deals they have cut in similar situations. We put this knowledge to use for our business clients who wish to stave off bankruptcy and remain in business.
If you are interested in seeking a business loan modification or workout, you need to be proactive. Don’t wait until you are several payments behind before taking action. (If you are already in default, take action right away.) Lenders are more willing to work with “good” debtors who have been paying than those that they perceive as “bad” because they have missed a payment or two.
Preparing to Talk to Your Lender
Reinforce your lender’s opinion that you are being proactive and addressing your financial problems head-on by doing some advance planning before giving your lender a call.
First, gather up relevant financial documents:
- All the documents related to your current loan;
- Recent tax returns;
- Bank statements;
- Your current business ledger; and
- Anything else you think might be helpful.
Every lender handles their modifications differently, and one lender may require less or different information than another, but having as much information as possible on hand shows you are taking this seriously.
It is also a good idea to update your business plan. Be prepared to show your lender how you intend to address the issues you are facing and increase your profits over the long-run.
Finally, you will need a hardship letter explaining your current situation. This letter is something we suggest working on with someone who has loan modification experience. It needs to succinctly explain your situation, using facts and figures to bolster your request.
While we always recommend getting professional help if you are seeking a loan modification, we urge you to be cautious about who you rely on for assistance. There is a whole industry of “loan modification specialists” who make it sound like they are particularly skilled at modifications. The truth is, most of these people are nothing more than paper-pushers who serve as a middleman between you and your lender. They cannot offer legal advice, and their financial advice is suspect at best because they are not regulated or licensed. The worst of these folks are scam artists who are looking for easy identity theft targets.
Our firm has many years of experience seeking loan modifications on behalf of business owners in the Milwaukee area. If you are interested in seeking a modification, but you don’t know where to start, start by contacting our office to schedule an initial consultation.