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Can I Trust SC Law Group or Affordable Financial Solutions of America? – Jeff

“Dear Steve,

got behind on mtg payments & other bills, filed chapter 13 last year, but case has not been settled. trustee denies claim & then attorney refiles. all payments are being made to the trustee. mtg payments are also being made. we also have a rental property in the same situation, but has since been rented & mtg payments are also being made. we have been contacted by phone on mtg loan modification companies. SC Law Group being one of them. after reviewing your website they don’t seem very reputable. the other one is Source One Financial associated w/ the Friedman law Group in New York.

can a loan modification to lower interest rate & payments & either relieve back mtg payments or have them put on the back of the loan a reality? or is this a pipe dream? sc law group doesn’t seem to be reputable from the reports on getoutofdebt.org are there any reports on the friedman law group or source one financial? AFSOA.com was link from getoutofdebt.org are they reputable or does the same vetting process apply?

Jeff”

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The Answer

Dear Jeff,

First off, before you run out to do anything you need to talk this over with your bankruptcy attorney. You might also want to take advantage of all the free options you have to modifying your mortgage first since you are already cash strapped.

Mortgage Help

Be sure to first read How Not to Get Scammed by a Mortgage Loan Modification Company.

Debt-to-Income Calculator

First you’ll need to determine your current debt-to-income ratio. The target debt-to-income ratio under the Home Affordable Modification program is 31%. Use this free online DTI calculator.

Mortgage Modification Calculator

The mortgage modification eligibility calculator will ask you several questions and then show you which programs you may be eligible for.

The free mortgage modification calculator can be found here.

Free Mortgage Modification Help and Counseling

If you have questions about the process or eligibility you can call 888-995-4673 and get connected with an mortgage modification adviser for free. This help is provided by government subsidized HUD Housing Counselors and they can be a big help in navigating the modification process.

In order to assist you, the housing expert will need to gather some information from you. Have the following documents handy:

  • Information about your first mortgage, such as your monthly mortgage statement.
  • Information about any second mortgage or home equity line of credit on the house.
  • Information about the monthly gross (before tax) income of all household members contributing to pay the mortgage, including recent pay stubs if you receive them or documentation of income you receive from other sources.
  • Information about your savings and other assets.
  • Account balances and minimum monthly payments due on all of your credit cards.
  • Account balances and monthly payments on all your other debts such as student loans and car loans.
  • Your most recent income tax return.
  • It may also be helpful to have: A letter describing any circumstances that caused your income to be reduced or expenses to be increased (job loss, divorce, illness, etc.), if applicable.

You can also get free help and housing counseling from a local HUD approved counselor. You can find your local free housing counselor, here.

Contact Your Mortgage Company

Not sure if your mortgage company offers modification programs? Not all do. You can contact your mortgage company to ask them about mortgage modification programs you might be eligible for. Click here to find your mortgage company.

NPV Calculator

Want to know the net present value (NPV) of your home for the mortgage modification process? No problem, use the free NPV calculator to find out. The NPV calculator is right here.

The calculator can be used by homeowners who have been denied a HAMP modification because of their NPV result or can also be used by homeowners prior to applying for a HAMP modification to help them better understand the NPV evaluation.

No Advance Fees

The Federal Trade Commission has a Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule which prohibits advance fees for mortgage rescue services or mortgage modification help.

I think this was the first time I’ve heard about Affordable Financial Solutions of America and a visit to their site made me concerned. One of the big red flags I have is when a debt relief company that is charging fees, does not provide contact information about where they are located.

Can I Trust SC Law Group or Affordable Financial Solutions of America?   Jeff

In checking on their domain name they also have their ownership and location hidden. The domain name, AFSOA.com was only registered in October, 2011 for a period of one year.

The area code for their fax is 954 which is typically in Florida.

A search of Florida records found an Affordable Financial Solutions of America, LLC located at 330 N. Andrews Ave, #300, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301. The company was registered in Florida on February 16, 2012 and is actually a Delaware LLC that was registered on October 20, 2011. The managing member of the LLC is Maria T. Garcia. – Source

Another site lists the owner as Glenn Witmer. – Source

A search of The Florida Bar could not locate either Witmer or Garcia as licensed attorneys in Florida.

If I use the information attached to your email it looks like you live in a specific midwest state. Using that information I checked to see if the company was registered to do business in your state, they are not.

And then there is an odd occurrence on their site. If you click on the “success stories” tab it actually takes you off their site to a company called Prime Access Management (primeaccessmanagement.com) that claims to be located at 1000 NW St., Suite 1200, Wilmington, Delaware 19801.

Can I Trust SC Law Group or Affordable Financial Solutions of America?   Jeff

A search of Delaware records could not locate a Prime Access Managent that is registered to do business in that state. The Prime Access Management domain name was registered on June 5, 2012.

The link to Primae Access Management is really very odd. Is AFSOA using client testimonials of a company that is not registered to do business to support their claims? I’m sure the Federal Trade Commission would frown on that.

This is only a cursory look at the company. If you’d like to dive deeper, consider reading How to Check Out a Business or Company to Avoid Getting Scammed or Ripped Off.

If you go back to AFSOA, I’d be interested if you asked them for their success record. Maybe they will share with you how many clients they’ve enrolled and what the outcomes of all those clients was. Let me know what they say.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

Big Hug!

Can I Trust SC Law Group or Affordable Financial Solutions of America?   Jeff
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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Sharon Lloyd

    Prime Access management was originally Prime Legal Plans. They had to change their name because their clients were under the impression they were attorneys. So not to mislead them, they changed the name. They work with attorneys who are in New York who claim to have connections with a network of Attorneys all over the country. However, the paralegals at the law firm in New York send documents and communicate with the mortgage companies on the clients behalf, to try and get a loan modification. They tell the clients they are attempting to get the loan restructured, which is another term for loan modification. They are in Fort Lauderdale as well and the actual name of the Parent company is Back office support systems. They produce reports which are supposedly an in dept look into the clients mortgage. These reports are merely public record which can be retrieved by anyone with a computer or time to got to the county court house to get the documents. They also do a securitization audit which they claim can be used as fuel should the homeowners case make it to court. 90% of the people who enrolled in this program will either get a loan modification or be offered other options to turn over possession of the home to the bank. If you do not make the monthly fee they bill the, law firm will not work on your case. If you do not provide the documents requested, the law firm will not work on your case. If you have a court appearance and the law firm is not informed, they will not have an attorney appear on your behalf. The best thing for a person to do when it comes to this company is STEER CLEAR!!!! You would be better off trying to work with the mortgage company and make arrangements on your own. Prime Access Management works with several companies in Florida who get their leads thru public record and hound people until they signup for the program which DOES NOT provide the certainty that you will keep your home.

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