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Residential Law Center in San Diego Says They Can Reduce My Rate to 2%

“Dear Andy,

Physical and financial situation has prevented me from making mortgage payments. My wife had a stroke which left her with Aphasia and apracxia. She’s also partially disabled on the left side of her body.

A representative from Residential Law Center in San Diego CA has advised me that his firm may be able to analyze my case and if I qualify, due to my present financial situation he can present my case to my lender, BOA, and request that my loan rate be reduce to as low as 2% fix rate. There’s is a $3500.00 retainer fee, However they will only charge the fee after having their legal department and their underwriter review my file to make certain that I qualify for the prgoram. I hope that you can shed some light as whether this might be a solution for me as I wouldn’t want to loose my property, Thanking you in advance.

Luis”

The Answer

Dear Luis,

You can do a loan modification yourself and you don’t need to pay someone $3500 to do it for you. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t seek out the advice of an attorney but a few things you mentioned raise some serious red flags with me.

  1. Only charging you after “the legal team and underwriter review your file to make certain you qualify”. To me this doesn’t mean a thing. There is no way that anybody has the ability to look at your file and guarantee that you will get a modification, attorney or not. You could have perfect numbers to qualify for modification, but an investor guideline on your particular loan could make modification impossible, there’s no way of telling that up front. To me this is just a fancy way to make you feel secure in your decision to pay them.
  2. Piggy-backing on #1 is the fact that no matter how they word it, they are charging you an advance fee. As of Jan 31, 2011 a new rule created by the Federal Trade Commission bans the practice of charging advance fees for non-attorneys and attorneys are required to place any advance funds in their escrow account until those funds are “earned”. Not sure about you but I consider funds “earned” for a loan modification when the loan is in fact modified. If you’re still considering using them, ask them if they comply with the new FTC rule, their answer to this question will reveal a lot about them.
  3. The biggest red flag to me is telling you that you will end up with a 2% interest rate. Sure it’s possible and what I think they’re quoting you is the maximum interest rate benefit that a HAMP modification allows. There is by no means any kind of “requirement” that your lender offer you this plan and for them to sell it to you as such is deceptive.

If I were you I would seriously reconsider any involvement with this firm, or at the very least get a second opinion before you send them any money. You can check with NACA, a non-profit that may be able to look through your documentation and point you in the right direction. I would also suggest that you call your lender directly yourself and explain what you’re going through, they may have options to help you get caught up or keep you from falling further behind, while you wait on the modification review.

If you have any questions or would like to keep us posted on your progress please use the comment section below. I’m subscribed to this post a will do my best to respond promptly.

Best Regards,

Andy is a licensed real estate broker in Massachusetts and is the founder of Northeast Properties in Norton, Massachusetts. His brokerage is designed to help homeowners in today’s difficult real estate market, specializing in short sales. Andy speaks with Massachusetts homeowners every day, helping them to address their questions or issues with short sale or loan modification. He enjoys helping consumers arrive at the correct solution to their problem, and believes that the only way to correctly do that is by presenting them with all of their options in an un-biased manner.

If you have a mortgage, short sale, real estate, or loan modification question you’d like to ask just use the online form. I’m happy to help you totally for free.

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About Andy Faria

Andy Faria
Broker/Owner of Northeast Properties – real estate brokerage President/Owner of Northeast Settlement Group – performance based debt relief
  • Lynell

    Don’t do it!!  RLC took me for $2,700.00 in February of 2011.. I fired them in February 2012.. they slow down the process bank.. no progress is ever made.. but they will do this in a 3 month period.. lies!!  I spent over 11 months waiting for these attorneys?.. to assist me in this process.. they don’t know what format each bank’s documents are suppose to look like.. and believe me.. if your “t”s are not crossed and your “i”s are not  dotted.. you will not receive a home modification.. it took me over 4 years to finally get my modification.. I started at the end of Nov. 2007.. my hardships were many.. shooting on campus left me with PTSD and symptoms of agoraphobia in 2005..  I was forced to retire in July 2006.. after the shooting death of co-worker.. in January 2009 I was diagnosed with Chronic Myloid Leukemia.. and hospitalized.. the stress these people put me through exhauserbated my Scleoderma symptoms.. raising my white bloodcell count.. and keeping me ill..
    It is better if you do this by yourself..
    I still owe them $200.00 but I bet they won’t come after it.. it was illegal for them to charge me.. they also sent a Notary to my home.. and if I had her name I would sue her too..
    Good luck..
    Lynell 

  • Mike Z

    RUN!  Sounds like a SCAM! they should have their doors shut down!  I see nothing good about them online, and after researching a few of their employees, i can see why.  They keep changing Phone #s and looks like they are not compliant at all, only a matter of time before they get shut down.

  • Mike Z

    RUN!  Sounds like a SCAM! they should have their doors shut down!  I see nothing good about them online, and after researching a few of their employees, i can see why.  They keep changing Phone #s and looks like they are not compliant at all, only a matter of time before they get shut down.  

  • Louisinsurance

    Thank you for your advice.
    I mailed Residentail Law Center and posted the following question to my rep. Charles Motten: “Will your law firm be complying with the new FTC rule while representing me to try and have my mortgage loan modified.” Immediatley after he received my email he called me on the phone to answer my question as follows: “We at residental Law Center comply with all of the Federal Trade Commission rules, Our main purpose is to help homewners. We do not charge any fee during the evaluation period, after the evaluation period, if we feel that your file meets our criteria we then send your file to our legal department and once they review it and determine that it merrits contacting the lender, then and only then will Residential Law commence to charge an attorney fee of $3500.00, whcih according to Charles Motten is earned regardless of the outcome and as he put it, “There’s no guarantee”. As to the question of depositing the funds into an escrow account until the modification is approved his answer was: “We are not required to escrow the fee as it considered to be “Legal attorney fee, fully earned”
    Needless to say he was very annoyed with me for asking the question and told me that on second thought if I wasn’t sure of what I was doing he would rather not do business with me. So infact this will be my last contact with them. I hope this info is of help to others in the same situation as me. Thanks again.

  • Louisinsurance

    Thank you for your advice.
    I mailed Residentail Law Center and posted the following question to my rep. Charles Motten: “Will your law firm be complying with the new FTC rule while representing me to try and have my mortgage loan modified.” Immediatley after he received my email he called me on the phone to answer my question as follows: “We at residental Law Center comply with all of the Federal Trade Commission rules, Our main purpose is to help homewners. We do not charge any fee during the evaluation period, after the evaluation period, if we feel that your file meets our criteria we then send your file to our legal department and once they review it and determine that it merrits contacting the lender, then and only then will Residential Law commence to charge an attorney fee of $3500.00, whcih according to Charles Motten is earned regardless of the outcome and as he put it, “There’s no guarantee”. As to the question of depositing the funds into an escrow account until the modification is approved his answer was: “We are not required to escrow the fee as it considered to be “Legal attorney fee, fully earned”
    Needless to say he was very annoyed with me for asking the question and told me that on second thought if I wasn’t sure of what I was doing he would rather not do business with me. So infact this will be my last contact with them. I hope this info is of help to others in the same situation as me. Thanks again.

  • Andy Faria

    It’s the lowest they can go on the interest rate with the HAMP modification waterfall before having to extend the term of the loan. They’re quoting best case scenario as a benefit.

    I’d say yes, the two are related in at least one big way …

  • Steve Rhode

    The 2% interest rate claim is interesting. It happens to be the same rate quoted by the mass joinder sales people. Hum, I wonder if these two pitches are somehow related.

  • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

    The 2% interest rate claim is interesting. It happens to be the same rate quoted by the mass joinder sales people. Hum, I wonder if these two pitches are somehow related.

    • http://northeast-properties.com Andy Faria

      It’s the lowest they can go on the interest rate with the HAMP modification waterfall before having to extend the term of the loan. They’re quoting best case scenario as a benefit.

      I’d say yes, the two are related in at least one big way …

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