I have a fixed rate mortgage at 6.8% on my home I live in. The amount owed is more than the value. $380K vs. $300?K. A radio ad here in the Chicago market recently stated a company could assist home owners who were under water to get a lower payment. Mine is currently sitting at $3100 including T&I.
I called the number and it is for a California Law firm called Granite Law LLC. www.granite-law.com After reviewing my situation they are promising to be able to lower my interest rate to a low 3 or maybe the high 2’s and be able to save me hundreds in my monthly payment. My loan is with Acqura (servicing compayny). Granite law wants to charge me $1700 to do this.
Can you tell me if you have heard of Granite Law and what you think of what they are offering? I really hate to dish out the money if they can’t do anything. Thanks for your guidance. BTW – My wife and I owned a business that went under in 2008 and using your advice we have now paid off 17 credit cards. More to go but we can see day light now.
These outfits are a dime a dozen and seemingly never deliver but charge and advance fee without a guarantee. In fact the Federal Trade Commission has rules against charging advance fees called the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule.
For free help with mortgage modification, talk to a HUD Housing Counselor.
What you heard was an advertisement for you to call so probably a salesperson could close you.
I took a look at Granite Law for you. Here is what I found.
The website says, “Granite Law, an industry leading national law firm.” – Source
They also say they are located at 7545 Irvine Center Drive, Suite 200, Irvine, California 92618. – Source
That address is actually a virtual office space with Regus. – Source
You would naturally think a leading national law firm would not operate out of a rented virtual office.
The Granite Law website is granite-law.com. They hide their domain ownership and that’s certainly not the hallmark of a leading law firm. The domain name was registered on June 24, 2011.
Granite Law says that the Irvine address is their corporate address.
A LinkedIn profile for a John VU says they are actually located in
FullertonIrvine, California. – Source
There is no corporation registered in California under the name Granite Law.
The only company with a similar name is Granite Law Group, LLC which is located in Utah but did not register with the state until April 11, 2012.
The Granite Law website says the company name is actually Granite Law California LLP. I still could not find anything under that name.
The BBB says the business is an attorney advertising company and not a law firm. They have only been a member since October 16, 2012. – Source
I did find the following statement on their website:
PAID ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT: This website is a group advertisement. It is not a lawyer referral service or prepaid legal services plan. Granite Law does not endorse or recommend any lawyer or law firm who participates in the network. It does not make any representation and has not made any judgment as to the qualifications, expertise or credentials of any participating lawyer. All case evaluations are performed by participating and licensed attorneys. An attorney responsible for the content of this Site is Adam J Gerard, Esq., licensed in California with offices at 7545 Irvine Center Drive, Suite 200, Irvine, California 92618. To see the attorney in your area who is responsible for this advertisement, please click here [NEED LINK] If you live in Alabama, Florida, Missouri, New York or Wyoming, please click here for additional information. Granite Law and the attorneys and/or law firms promoted through this website are federally designated Debt Relief Agencies. They help people file for relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. – Source
The website lists the following attorneys as “partners”: – Source
o Richard Charles Frier – Alabama
o Jeffrey Wells – Arkansas
o James Andrews – Arizona
o Robert Larson – Arizona
o Adam Gerard – California
o Loren Castro – California
o Allan Calomino – California
o Jamilla Moore – California
o John Dougherty – Colorado
o Joseph J. Pfeuffer – Connecticut
o Sheron A. Barton – District of Columbia
o Catherine Di Lorenzo – Delaware
o Andrew Steele – Florida
o Brad Bader – Florida
o Gary Carpenter – Florida
o Robert Dwyer – Florida
o Alvin Albert – Georgia
o Everett Walton – Hawaii
o Greg Dunn – Hawaii
o William Mitchell – Idaho
o Rusty Reinoehl – Illinois
o Eric Bohnet – Indiana
o Camron Hoorfar – Kansas
o James Hayes Lawson – Kentucky
o Julia Whisenant – Louisiana
o Amber Kovach – Massachusetts
o Daniel Ruggiero – Massachusetts
o Sheron A. Barton – Maryland
o Jeremey Miller – Maine
o Donald McGuigan – Michigan
o Jeffrey Cojocar – Michigan
o Howard Kleyman – Montana
o Camron Hoorfar – Missouri
o Stephen Cofin – Missouri
o John Windsor – Mississippi
o Keith Trader – North Dakota
o Matt Jenkins – Nebraska
o Jeremey Miller – New Hampshire
o Ivan Raevski – New Jersey
o Suzanne M. Carter – New Jersey
o Jennifer Tsai – Nevada
o Michael Terry – Nevada
o Ivan Raevski – New York
o Daniel Ruggiero – New York
o Lasheyl Stroud – Ohio
o Steven F. Stulhbarg – Ohio
o Ron Brown – Oklahoma
o Michael Sterner – Oregon
o Michael Siddons – Pennsylvania
o Daniel Ruggiero – Rhode Island
o James Steve Bruce – South Carolina
o Andy Oostdyk – Texas
o Barry Broughton – Texas
o Jack Walsh – Texas
o Jeff Wells – Texas
o David Hester – Utah
o Andrew Chen – Virginia
o Donald Park – Virginia
o Jeremey Miller – Vermont
o Christopher J. Mercado – Washington
o Richard Symmes – Washington
o Greg Straub – Wisconsin
Thanks for letting me know you live in Illinois.
Since you are located in Illinois the attorney that Granite Law lists as a partner in Illinois is:
Rusty Keith Reinoehl
Reinoehl Law Offices, LLC
119 W. Walnut Street P.O. Box 698
Robinson, IL 62454-2147
Please feel free to do your own checking up on them also.
I would recommend that anyone considering using such a company should read the following fee guides.
- The Ultimate Consumer Guide to Checking Out a Debt Relief Company Before You Sign On the Line
- 10 Must Do Steps to Find the Best Credit Counseling or Debt Settlement Company for You
- How to Check Out a Business or Company to Avoid Getting Scammed or Ripped Off
Be sure to first read How Not to Get Scammed by a Mortgage Loan Modification Company.
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.
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.
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.
Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.