I just spent 3 hours with a Bank of America loan modification specialist and I was armed to the teeth. The scenarios described in this article are reminiscent of what happened to me. You have to default, make trial payments for 11 months and longer, but the end result is your loan is not made permanent and you still go into foreclosure. Sal explained that defaulting on your mortgage in an attempt to get a modification used to be the case but is no longer. Also, the trial payments were out of control and should only have been for a period of 3 months. He's heard numerous stories just like mine.
He was very knowledgeable and his goal is to help. He's the first person at Bank of America that appears to have a clue. They offer numerous modification programs based on government guidelines but, in the end, the parties holding the notes have to approve of any modification and they don't always. There are no guarantees!