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Don N Asked:

I own a single family home with a mortgage balance of approx $175K on a 6.25% FHA 30-yr fixed. The home's market value has declined steadily and is now worth approx $140K. I am not behind on any payments yet, and my credit is excellent with a current FICO of 768. I'm expecting a 20% reduction in work hours - and thus a 20% reduction in income - effective 1/1/09. This loss of job hours will inevitably result in falling behind on the mortgage payments at their current level. Will I likely be more successful in approaching the mortgage company for a loan modification for 1) a substantially lower interest rate on the current balance (propose approx 3%); or 2) reducing the balance to the realistic market value; or 3) some other measure or combination of the above? [Sparks NV]