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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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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.
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