It seems so obvious that it defies logic; most people – lawyers, various representatives of borrowers in default, etc. – do not totally grasp, understand and do what a workout requires.
Know the process and embrace the enemy. Cooperate with the system without violating your own terms. Return calls, deliver all requested paperwork, show your hand face-up. You have nothing to lose, or hide, and cooperation goes a very long way in effective resolution.
This does not mean you need to agree with them. This does not require you to pay over more than you can afford, but it does require full and complete cooperation with the process. Making the bank's job easy is a benefit to you in the long run and does not erode your position. Cooperation does not require you to deliver the conclusion the bank wants, only the procedures it requires. It is interesting to note that if one follows the process and cooperates at this level, the loan workout conclusion tends to be on your own terms — that is the secret.
We talk to many bankers who appreciate our deep understanding of the process and delivery as requested and required. They complain about lawyers and borrowers in default who make it more difficult than it has to be, people who resist providing information or cooperation and so impede the labor process thinking this is the way for them to succeed. Not so! Presumably, the inability to pay debt service or refinance is clear and absolute. So what is the issue in cooperating with the process? There is little to lose and much to gain.
The real issue is that most do not understand what the process is and how to take full advantage of it so they fail trying. It's unfortunate, as we see many loan workout efforts going up in smoke and resulting in massive loss and bankruptcy. This would be unnecessary if the players understood the rules of the game and worked within the system.
So I say, two of our secrets for success are:
1) Know the system, the rules and the requirements of the process.
2) Cooperate with the bank, fulfilling the requirements so a conclusion can be reached.
It takes experience and expertise to understand what the requirements are for implementing a successful loan workout and how to achieve this objective. Without this knowledge and experience, and then expertise, there can be no success. Understanding the system and being a willing to work within the system are two of the secrets we employ to reach the best result possible. It works.