Mortgage Modification Companies: Scams or Saviors?

30 Mar Mortgage Modification Companies: Scams or Saviors?

New companies have sprung up all over the country, particularly in those areas where foreclosures have been high. These companies focus on helping a homeowner obtain a modification of their mortgage to avoid losing their home.

The problem is some of these “services” are simply scam artists trying to make a quick buck by preying on the unfortunate home-owner struggling to keep her home in this economy.

How do you know who to trust? There are a couple of basic rules to follow when seeking this kind of help.

1. First, check out the company. Have they been around for more than a week? Are the owners and managers trained professionals in the real estate or legal community? Do they have a bad track record with the local Better Business Bureau?

2. Make sure that whoever you are speaking with is more interested in learning about your loan and the financing of your house, than how you are going to come up with the money to pay them.

3. Get some deadlines. These kinds of modifications take time, certainly, but a reputable company should be able to give you some specific periods of action.

4. Follow your instincts. If the salesperson is telling you what seems too good to be true, it probably is – find another company.

Modifications are out there. They can turn around a nasty loan or difficult situation, but you need to be careful not to throw a couple of thousand dollars away on a “here today; gone tomorrow” company.

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Douglas Jacobs is a California bankruptcy attorney and partner in the Chico law firm of Jacobs, Anderson, Potter & Chaplin. Since 1988, Mr. Jacobs has taught Constitutional law and Debtor-Creditor/Bankruptcy law at the Cal Northern School of Law. He has served as Dean of Students since 1994. He is a frequent lecturer on the subject of consumer bankruptcy law, and has spoken at both state and national levels.
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