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Is the Legal Advocate Network a Mortgage Modification Scam? – Bobbie

“Dear Steve,

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?

Bobbie”

Dear Bobbie,

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 Black Leather Flogging Whip and money on white background. Not iupfront 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.

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.

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.

  1. The Ultimate Consumer Guide to Checking Out a Debt Relief Company Before You Sign On the Line
  2. 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.

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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.
  • Rob

    I believe that we all need to draw our own conclusions on who we deal with in business. I would like to share my experience and let you, the reader decide if this company is right for you and your objectives. On July 22, 2013, I received an envelope via US Mail. There was no return address on the exterior of the envelope. However, they were able to fit in the “respond by 8/9/13 official business penalty of unauthorized use $300” Below that is has written “Package D-42″. Below that it is written in large bold letters ” OPEN IMMEDIATLY”. So I get this envelope with no return address, telling me to open immediately. For laughs, I opened the envelope only to again find no return address or identifier of who is sending this mailer. It did list a phone number of 1-866-460-7373. After some research, I was able to identify this outfit as Legal Solutions Advacate Network. I had this same issue with them last summer when I called them AND sent them a formal notice asking for them to please stobothering me. They decided to ignore my request and act on their own needs. I called them and spoke to “Joe” on 7/22/13. I asked Joe to please remove me from the mailer list and that I had made this clear last year that I was interested in their scam. He rudely said “Have a good day” and hung up. I called back within three minutes and spoke to another male who called himself “Miles”. After another request, he too hung up after refusing to provide both a physical address and why they hang up on their customers. I called back and got “Joe”. He decided to follow the same actions as his co-worker. He hung up and would not answer any questions about why they hide their address from the mailer and why they hide it on their web site. My only assumption could be so they can move their offices frequently as they get caught scamming. There is no other reason a reputable company wouldn’t communicate their physical address when asked or even provide their full name on a solicitation for business. It became clear to me that business practices like this one, would clearly prove they are not reputable nor are they someone anyone can or should trust. I contacted the California Attorney Generals Office and discussed this with them briefly. Their response was direct. It is likely they are operating without a license or they are a scam operation. I am in the process of validating their license to conduct business in the state of California. I have also filed a formal complaint with Calaifornia’s Office of Consumer Affairs in addition to my own state Offices who have oversight of deceptive practices. I invite you to view their website and see for yourselves that their is no physical address. I invite you to call them and ask why they hide behind their identity on their mailers. What are they trying to cover. Draw your own conclusions but mine is that this is a VERY bad company and I am going to do everything in my power to warn people to stay away..this is just the start.

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