I was looking into a mortgage modification and my mortgage company said they can’t do one for us.
I received information for a mortgage modification from Legal Advocate Network. I can’t find any info on them and their web site has not address. When I called them all they would tell me is that they are in Orange County, CA. Have you heard anything about this company? Is it a scam?
Giving you an opinion if the Legal Advocate Network is a scam is a tough one because I don’t know what your definition of a scam is.
What I can tell you is generally the sales pitches by mortgage modification groups is bullshit. What they fail to tell you is the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule prohibits upfront fees. Instead they find a loophole to charge them. They also fail to inform consumers there is no requirement that any lender has to modify any mortgage for any reason.
If you choose to pay someone to do the work you can do yourself, well that’s your choice.
But just today I heard about yet another California attorney that was disbarred for ripping off consumers with mortgage modification promises. This is yet another on the growing list of disbarred attorneys. And today two California foreclosure rescue scammers pled guilty and are facing jail time for ripping off consumers. See Foreclosure Rescue Scammers Plead Guilty to Fraud.
Below you will find a list of mortgage resources you can use to pursue help for free.
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.
And if you do decide to hire some company to help you, for goodness sake, check them out first.
I would recommend that anyone considering using such a company should read the following free guides.
- The Ultimate Consumer Guide to Checking Out a Debt Relief Company Before You Sign On the Line
- How to Check Out a Business or Company to Avoid Getting Scammed or Ripped Off
Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.