Illegal Loan Modification Companies: Welcome to the hottest business since subprime!

Homeowner Alert: “Typically, the scam started with a flyer sent to the homeowner and many of these mailers look as if they may come from their lender or even the government. But, they are coming from scammers.”

Many of these mortgage brokers, loan officers and real estate agents literally make me sick. Not all of them, but the vast majority does. I have to let this out because it’s really an epidemic of mammoth proportions and I am going to be the person that brings this to the public light because I have an obligation to.

What is the hottest business since subprime and over priced homes bought with unaffordable loans? Answer: Loan Modifications!!!! Everyone is doing it. Well, almost everyone.

I don’t think there is one mortgage professional or real estate professional that is not performing loan modifications, short sales and even bankruptcy’s. Some legally, but most illegally and many have absolutely no idea what they are doing and it’s not about helping people, it’s all about the Benjamin’s.

But hell, they have to find some ways to pay that BMW 525 (they had to down size from the 750) and their also soon to be foreclosed homes because they are trying to get a loan modification too! So, the easy targets are the same people that made them thousands and millions.

The vulnerable and broken down consumers/homeowners are their victims.

“Loan-modification scams are becoming more and more prevalent across the country, particularly in California,” Brown said. “California homeowners should be aware of the warning signs of foreclosure scams, so they don’t fall victim to these cynical schemes.”

They went from selling you toxic loans and cancerous homes to helping you fix the defective products for which they have sold you. It’s a akin to having a serial killer help in the therapy of his victims and to assist in the clean-up of the crimes.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think CSI is going to hire Richard Ramirez or Charles Manson to help them solve crimes. Yes, they may speak with them or study their criminal minds, but they aren’t on pay roll.

Just this week California Attorney General Brown and the California Department of Real Estate shut down and or arrested two loan modification companies operating illegally.

One company, “The Firm” in Rancho Cucamonga California was subject to a Fox 11 News investigative piece e and just days later, the Department of Real Estate shut them down. See the Fox 11 LA News piece here.

“It’s appalling how these scammers took advantage of desperate homeowners and ripped them off for thousands of dollars,” California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. said. “Our campaign against mortgage scams masquerading as foreclosure assistance will continue and even intensify.”

California Department of Justice Special Agents of the Bureau of Investigation and Intelligence arrested Rosa Conrado of San Bernardino, Saul Amador of West Covina, and Jesus Flores of Baldwin Park, believed to be members of the fraud ring.

In addition, arrest warrants have been issued for Juan Perez of Grand Terrace, and David Giron of Ontario, who are also suspected to be involved in the scheme. The Attorney General’s Office filed a 39-count complaint that includes multiple grand theft, money laundering and conspiracy charges against these suspects.

The scammers falsely told homeowners that they would renegotiate their mortgages, reduce monthly payments, and transfer any delinquent loan amounts to the renegotiated principle. The company demanded an up-front fee, ranging from $1,500 to $5,000, to participate in the loan-modification program.

The company also told the victims to stop any mortgage payments or communications with their lender, claiming they would interfere with the company’s effort to negotiate the loan modification.

When victims complained that they were still receiving delinquency or foreclosure notices from their lenders, fraud-ring members told the victims that the mortgage loans had been renegotiated, but the lenders needed a “good faith” payment to secure the new accounts.

Homeowners made payments to accounts under business names such as “Reinstatement Department” or “Resolution Department” that made it appear as if the payment had been applied toward the loan. Bank records indicate that more than $700,000 was stolen from homeowners who fell victim to this scheme.


Posted in Scam & Fraud News | 134 Comments

134 Responses to “Illegal Loan Modification Companies: Welcome to the hottest business since subprime!”

  1. lar28 says:

    Moe,

    Thank you for posting this article. As the owner of a loan modification service provider, I think it is very important to address the differences between a legitimate service provider and the scammers that are out there. I frequently visit your site and have shared many of the sentiments that you and the other bloggers express. We are in an environment where the people of this country need as much help as they can get. We have too many other daily stresses in life to deal with ex-mortgage brokers who are looking for a quick buck!

    Our philosophy has always been to address the needs of our clients. We are not attorneys and do not provide legal advice; we simply assist and advise our clients through the modification process. Our firm has over 20+ years in the banking industry and we have managed to get a significant number of modifications through over the past few month. I completely agree with you that the environment is changing and the banks are coming around; I think this is in large part to Sheila Bair’s push with IndyMac. It will be the blueprint for the industry. Frankly, the greed of the scammers out there disgusts me and I can only hope that people can tell the difference. For instance, we would never advise a client to stop making mortgage payments or charge exorbitant fees up-front. In fact, our process is a low, simple monthly fee, charged as services are rendered and cancellable at any time. These scammers are preying on the panicked emotions that people feel today and it is so unfortunate. I believe that there are people out there, like yourself and myself, that always have others’ best interest in mind. So, thank you for creating this environment to educate everyone.

    If you would like to contact me to discuss our services, please feel free to email me personally. Thanks again!

    Regards,
    Laura

  2. madlender says:

    I could not agree more that many of the companies claiming to “modify” loans or help people to avoid foreclosure are scams….So why are you not informing the consumer on what to look for when searching for help…instead you are practicing self promotion!

  3. Moe Bedard says:

    MadLender,

    Yes, I need to do an article on this and this will be the first in a series where I will do that.

    I blog. This is my blog. I have written on the subject more than anyone and I think I have earned my keep as one of the good guys. You can call it self promotion, I CALL IT PASSION!

    Regards,

    Moe

  4. lousellsco says:

    Moe,
    I have uncovered several in CO, and when i do, I build a dossier on them, and report them and all of their shell corporations to the Atty Gen in my state and in their home state. I help people at no charge when they are in this position, whether it is via their own lack of knowledge, or if they suddenly got the urge to be floor traders with their home equity.

    I am also a licensed morttgage broker in CO, and Realtor, and my goals are to serve the client with education , before ever showing or listing a home. then, I can help them from a base of knowledge, and we can be better partners.

    it i appauling to see ssome of the things i have run across. Still hundreds of people are in their homes, because I negotiate with the lenders and servicers. I have now added a financial management class, soon to hit the streets, in which I will show people how to manage personal finances like a business. It takes nothing more than a 4 function calculator in the manual version, and I provide the worksheets for them, along with counseling services monthly to hel them curb rampant spending, and get their financial lives on track again. I charge for the materials, and the consultation. They get help for the price of a latte. That doesn’t cover the time and gas I use to help people recover from faulty spending habits. In fact, it only partially defrays my costs.

    I do some work for a loss mitigation service, which is reputable. Via their efforts, and my own it is gratifying to see many people keep their homes.

    Sadly, no amunt of government bailouts are going to remove the spreading mold of foreclosure. Most of the money will never find its way to the homeowner who needs it. That is why I am counseling people on how to work out their finances, and helping them work with their lenders. I also teach children in schools that value of money and financial management. I start with third grade, and up. I show them how interest works, and how it is better to get it compounded “in” than “out.” I teach in a local university, and my business students get a short course in financial management with my courses.

    I am on a personal mission to help people undertstand the time value of money, and how they cash flow in their personal lives. Most are out of debt in around 21 months. Others are in too deep. All of the people I have met in thousands of miles of driving, and phone calling need help. They really didn’t know what they were doing to themselves.

    I would be interested to know what you think of my activities, as I have described them?

    Over the last couple of years, I have helped hundreds of people across the state keep their homes. Would you like to guess how many hours I work per week?

    The why of it is that I made a mistake once with a ricky loan, and it almost cost me my home. I have been on my mission ever since.

    My best,
    Lou

  5. kaicay says:

    Moe, I just sent a query to the law offices of Griswold and Agdeppa on the eve of my mailing all of my paperwork to a loan modification company called The Loan Doctors, LLC. I have no idea if they are scammers or if they are legit. They might even be legit but I have no way of knowing that. But after reading your article, I decided not to mail my package to them. THen I saw the ad for loan modification lawyers on your site. If their contact info is on your site, then that means they are legitimate and reputable, right? Thanks for all you do on your blog. They are very informative and extend moral support to many.

  6. MNScott says:

    What the heck???!!! I just called a company called “American Loan Modification Services” on behalf of a friend, intending to help him check into modification options. I know some about this myself, but thought that a company who did this may be a stronger option than trying it myself. They advertised on Craig’s List, using an Arizona long distance phone # (1st flag…beware of a lack of 800#!!). A guy answered the phone “this is Michael”…not saying any company name or anything. I asked if I was reaching American Loan Modification Services? He just replied “this is Michael, who are you?” even before I finished asking my question, as if I was interrupting him. I said I would try back again when he is not in a hurry, and hung up. I was convinced he was a scam. This was confirmed 10 seconds later, when my phone rang. When I answered, it was Michael! He said “I own the fu**ing company, so don’t bother calling back. Goodbye.” I have to admit, I just started laughing! Not sure who they are, but they sure as heck are not a customer service company!! Beware!!!

  7. Moe Bedard says:

    Yes, there are A LOT of crooks running rampant out there and many have no idea what they are doing. Taking the money from struggling homeowners and running. Scary times we live in…

  8. Moe Bedard says:

    Kaicay,

    if its a lawyer, they have a fiduciary duty to take care of you and have a lot on the line if they try and “scam” you. Check their bar license and just make sure you feel comfortable with them and always get 2-3 opinions from lawyers and go with who is telling the truth and who feel best with.

    I wish you the best!!

    Lou,

    I am glad there is a fighter like you out there helping the cause. I think that mortgage and real estate professionals are a necessary evil, but it needs to be regulated 100% and fast!

    Best of luck to you!

  9. Louisiana loan man says:

    I am considering starting a loan modification company. I have been a loan office for nearly 7 years. Please post where I can find information to really help me get started. I have had to do a loan modification so I want to make sure people don’t get screwed. Next is this a hard business to get into. Are there any group that issue certifications?
    I look forward to any help in this business.

    Thanks

  10. Tracy says:

    I am a lawyer and it baffles me why more people don’t go to a lawyer before going to these loan modification companies. I know some are reputable, but it seems that the more slick the company, the more people want to hand their money over to them. Lou is right that as an attorney I have a lot on the line and thus would not intentionally risk losing my license to scam someone. By happenstance, most of my clients are people who were rejected for modifications. I was able to turn that rejection into an acceptance. I find that when I contact lenders, matters get resolved quickly, imho. I also charge lower fees for such people b/c their financial information has already been submitted. I direct the lender to use the financials already on file — but to consider the new arguments I am making on the borrower’s behalf. I also want to caution that people have to be careful with companies that are “attorney backed.” Often times the attorney just signs off on things but is not really involved with the modification. A lot of these companies can’t collect upfront fees so they try to associate with lawyers so they can get the money upfront. I am approached daily by these companies.

  11. iguevara1 says:

    I own a small loan modification company ( I do about 20 to 30 mods a month) and it drives me crazy when people tell you that you should only deal with an attorney when considering loan modification companies. I have been in the business for just under a year and a half (first six months I did it for free) and have a group of very seasoned and knowledgable “negotiators”. We are very legitimate WITHOUT an attorney and I and all of my staff work our butts off to try and get the borrowers the best terms possible. The only way to be up to date on what Lenders are really “qualifying” is to be “hands on” and on the phone every day with these Lenders. There are as many attorneys out there (not just ex-loan brokers and real estate brokers) that have no clue how to properly submit, process and negotiate a loan modification with these Lenders. Many of these attorney’s are also stealing the consumers hard earned money (by the way, they usually DO charge exhorbitant “up front” fees because of their exclusion as foreclosure consultants under 2945). I too have had to help many borrowers re-negotiate a bad loan workout because the attorney they had previously hired had absolutely no clue. I as a rule do not take any case where the homeowner has had an NOD filed because of 2945 and will refund the borrowers money if I can not get them a workout.

    I do agree with all of you though that we need to weed out all of these bad apples because it affects all of us who are actually here to help people make their mortgage payments more affordable. Go to some of these consumer web sites BBB and “Rip Off Report” and run the name of the Company you are dealing with. If they have a bad grade or have complaints or reports filed against them with “no resolution” or are NOT even listed on any of the consumer web sites, tread carefully. Although being Incorporated guarantees nothing (just like a law degree) many of these fly by night scammer outfits only have DBAs filed. Most loan modification companies claim about 90% to 95% (which is decently accurate if you know what you are doing) success ratio. Ask them to show you some of the deals they could not get modified and have them explain to you what the circumstances were for their denial.

    With Best Intentions,
    Israel

  12. ritajenkins says:

    I read the blog from Laura on 11/7/08 at 12:19 a.m. and wondered who she was with. I really need to get a loan modification, but want to work with someone who is legit and not going to charge me $1500-$2500 to do this. Simply put, do not have that kind of money laying around or would not be searching for a solution. Please help. Thanks.

  13. azmortgage says:

    Israel- I have heard that the gov’t is cracking down on what they call illegal loan mod companies. do you know when they are considered illegal? is it when they take an advanced fee? thanks

  14. keriah88 says:

    I agree 1,000% of what is being said about fraudulent modification companies even though I do practice it myself. I originally worked for a company out of FL. I had a good friend who was using our service to modify her loan. When it came to the part of the money back guarantee well our company did not have one. I spoke to the owner he said if she was willing to pay more money (which her fee was being borrowed to begin with) that we can place her into another program. Another program? What the hell is that there is one attorney doing these modifications for the compaies so how is there another program. I advised her of the situation and told her I did not feel comfortable taking her cash. I told her to contact her lender and now they are doing her loan mod. See, if I was so crooked I would have just advised her to participate in this other program and pay more then I would receive my compensation. I did not do that and never would. I am on the up & up with my company. I owned a broker company for over 3 years and never scammed clients and I do not intend to now no matter how bad the economy is and I need the cash. So there are some honest companies out there. But, if you do not get a written money back guarantee and have daily contact as to your modification progression DO NOT PAY. There are other people out there who are worthy of your business. Also do not pay an outrageuos fee. Anything above $1,500-$2,000 is not worth it . I have a flat fee of $1,500 no matter if the loan is risky or not and I have a WRITTEN money back guarantee less $200 for my time and effort. You do actually spend a great deal of time communicating with the client and lenders. Good luck to everyone.

  15. dshepherd says:

    Moe – Can you recommend any reputable companies that take on affiliates? Or if there are any laws/requirements to starting a modification company? I called a few, and I felt their prices are RIDICULOUS! People can’t pay their mortgage but they should be able to pay 1% for a loan modification??? I live in Chicago, and people here are in dire need of help. As an ex-LO, I just feel bad for my community!

  16. melissa75240 says:

    Im glad that I came across this Blog. What I am wondering or looking for is, a legit company with a good rep in the OC area of California. I just recently went through this with 4 family members, and because I knew what was right and was was good, I modified their loans drastically. Now, I have a background in Sales and Marketing so the fear of rejection has never been an issue. Then I figured out that I actually like doing it and helping them. I would like to get into this but I do not want to be with a bad company at all.

    I guess the next question that I feel asleep thinking about last night was. If someone is about to lose their house because they can not pay, then why do companies charge them an upfront fee? How can that be reversed and how does the LO get paid off of the loan. Again, I just did this for my dad and family so I didnt get paid. Any information would be very helpful and very appreciated.

  17. patrickmastiff says:

    Has anybody had any luck getting a large, jumbo interest only loan (mine is 800k) modified?

  18. nanauhll says:

    I have always been a legitimate real estate broker. I do not work with those agents that are not on the up and up. I am putting my license on hold. My husband and I wanted to help people so we look at loan mod companies. We thought we had picked an ethical one. The last few days I do not think so. I would love to know the companies that are on the up and up on the loan mod. I know that several have asked but I can not find any answers. lousellsco I live in Co and would love to hear from you.

  19. Poor granny says:

    I am one month behind on my payment in October I made my full payment and my mortgage company put it into a misc. account. So that made me 2 behind now. I tried using a modification company called new hope but before I sent the papers a family member told
    me to check out there back ground which I did only to discover alot of unhappy customers who put out lots of money and got no help. So I declined their services. And boy did I get some rude messages from the guy I was working with. Needless to say he tried to take money out of my account a week after I told him I did not want his service. The problem is
    I live in Michigan and unemployed on a adjustable arm. I have been in my home for over 15
    years and would like to continue but there is no help for the unemployed. So not only do
    I not have a job but in 3 months my payment could go up again. What can I do?

  20. mparker78 says:

    I myself own a workout assistance company. Unfortunately there have been several companies that have made this industry look really bad. Making empty promises and guaranteeing low interest rate, they took vulnerable homeowners money and usually never from again.

    Throughout history, hot industries have always attacked a way to make a quick buck for the person with no morals. Nothing will ever change this. The best thing that the government could do to police this industry is to pass legislation that requires some sort or licensing. This will weed out the scam artist.

    When local governments pass legislation banning the practice of helping homeowners that are having difficulty with their mortgage(s), they are doing more harm than good.

    Here is why: Local governments will say that there are nonprofit organizations out there that offer help, which there. There is huge problem with non profit – they cannot hire the staff to work efficiently because of income problems. Anyone who tells you differently is lying.

    Legislation will say, “You cannot collect fees until the job is done”. This makes a lot of sense. Any who was every worked in the service industry understand how difficult it is to get paid once the job is done. Think about it, if you where a contractor and had to put all of your money and effort into a job but did not get paid until the job was done, what do you think your chances of getting paid are? You might get paid you might not. This is not practiced in the service industry primarily because you need a license to conduct work. If you do things that you should not be doing in the service industry you run the chance of losing your license.

    If you are a consumer and are contemplating hiring a 3rd party to work for you there are several tell tale signs that will distinguish a scam company from a legitimate company.

    First – if any tells you they have prenegotiated rates or are telling you what your rate will be after modification… THEY ARE LYING! The investor(s) that own the loans make these decisions.

    Second – If they guarantee a loan modification make sure that is clearly states in the contract. We guarantee a loan modification or forbearance agreement because there are way too many factors involved that will determine a modification.

    Third – Telling you your payments will decrease and you will not have to come out of pocket with any money for a down payment. Again, depending on your lenders/investor guideline, what type of loan you have, location, number of months behind, excess monthly cash flow it is impossible to clearly state the previously mentioned. Save as much money as you can during the process and expect to come up with a down payment so there are no surprises.

    My company currently does 50-60 loan mod/forbearance agreements a week. Last year alone we negotiated over 2500 plans with our client’s lenders. This industry in the hottest industry in the country right now so there will always be people jumping on the band wagon. To simply out the practice would be wrong. Make licensing mandatory and weed out the scam artist. It is really not that difficult of a procedure.

  21. Nova2009 says:

    Here we go with everyone saying that modification companies are the root of all evil. Here’s a hint for everyone….they are exactly the opposite. I myself run a small modification company based out in NY. We have about 10-15 loan modification applicants a month, whom are in real struggle, and need help. I asked my client, why don’t you go to an attorney specifically in order to get help? Client answered Attorneys have other important business to take care of, and devoting time to me would be very hard for them. I’m not saying that all attorneys don’t dedicate time to their clients. Modifications need hand on exp, and people calling every hour on the clock to check the status of each file. Each modification takes anywhere from 30-90 days to complete. Most Loss mitigation dept’s close at 8pm. I have 3 employees that specifically work with banks hand to hand, which makes sure that all documents are sent out and proper expenses have been stated. Once the banks receive all documents they will assign a negotiator, and that where the negotiating begins and 2 modification officers. Everyone needs to understand, there will always be people who are scamming others. Take for example Bernie Madoff, a well trusted man by his community and people for more than 25 years. Enough said. The best way is to check the company out, ask for proof that they have completed or even working on other files. Do your research before getting into business with any modification company. Remember, there are companies out there who really help clients with their mortgage, so look and feel positive when dealing with a Modification Company.

  22. Molly says:

    what are names of honest reputable modification companies?
    I am over whelmed and trusting no one.

  23. Jacques says:

    OMG!! I just read that about The Firm. Interesting because I was approached by a ‘screener’ from Safaie and assoc. I looked up the address from their website on google, wen to the street view, and sure enough, the sign on the building is ‘The Firm’. I looked into the The Firm a little and discovered the same people with this Safaie and Assoc outfit are related to them. They want me to give them $4500 up front with no quarantee of a mod. I was suspicious and this just confirmed that. The Owner of this so called ‘Law Firm’ is Majid Safaie (spelling?). He has had other companies, here and there and a I even found a duplicate website, only with a different company name.

    I thought something smelled fishy.

  24. WAS I SCAMMED? says:

    HELLO,
    I’M NOT SURE IF WE HAVE BEEN SCAMMED OR NOT WE PAID $2400.00 AND HAVN’T HAD ANY RETURN CALLS, THERE IS NO WEB SITE FOR THIS COMPANY, SAYS IT IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION, I CALL AND JUST RECEVIE THE SAME MESSAGE, HOW CAN I FIND OUT IF I HAVE BEEN SCAMMED?

    PLEASE HELP

  25. Poppy says:

    Is there a policy on this website against posting contact info? I am reading alot of people asking for info on reputable companies and not a single answer. Several people posted claims of being reputable Loan Modification Specialists, but provided no way for people to reach them. Oh, and if you are claiming to represent a legitimate, successful business and can not write a cohesive sentence, you are not inspiring confidence!

  26. Jennifer Vera says:

    I recently helped my friend whom was fell behind 10 months on her mortgage keep her home. She went from having a 6k payment which she couldn’t afford in any way to now having a modified 40 year loan in which the 1st year is 3.25% and the 2nd year is 4.25% and for the remaining term of the 40 years it is fixed at 5%. Not bad at all. Her payment is now $3,000. The lender is Washington Mutual. By the way, it did take about 40 phone calls with about a 45 minute duration each time and alot of persistence. I keep reading about scams and I hear similar stories from many. I am a financial consultant. The client has adjusted her lifestyle of fit a smaller budget as well.

  27. jacci says:

    What is this? an advertisement for Loan modification companies?
    The vultures have landed, to add insult to injury these subprimes were sold as fixed rate mortgages, which automatically deemed the homeowner as uncreditworthy locking them into a loan that would eventually strip them of all of their equity and then try to take their home from them, we are talking about criminals here, and loan modification is not the answer they need to by sued then lynched by a mob and made to pay back 3 times of the interest due on the loan as damages.

  28. There is significant amount of information on this site that is very good, as it is run by an attorney in Corona Ca who is quite reputable.

    I work for two attorney’s at CDA Law Center (dot) com, and our clients are retaining an attorney who will be hands-on each case, and who drafts the restructuring proposals for the lenders personally. We work extremely diligently for our clients to assure the best possible outcome of each negotiation, as their are many variables that can impact a loan modification negotiation.

    These “Attorney based” or “Attorney backed” companies are just fronts for mortgage guys looking for a quick buck and who are attemtpting to create a work-around of Dept. of Real Estate regulations that do not allow them to collect advance fees for loan modification(we hear the horror stories of monies paid and no service rendered or the company going out of business, daily). The CA DRE is cracking down on these companies very aggressively at the moment. Unfortunately, the client does not even realize they are not actually retaining an attorney for legal representation, and likely do not have an attorney actually working on their their case. Clients have almost no recourse if the company folds before the work is done. If they are “Attorney based” or “attorney backed” the attorney works for, or is “partnered” with the Loan Mod Company, and is not being retained directly by the client. They can only represent the loan mod company.

    The attorney who posted above is correct, attorney’s answer to the Bar and are held to a very high ethical and conduct standard, which is why our firm rejects over 50% of the clients interested in retaining us if we do not believe we can get them qualified for a loan modification. If you are dealing with a company who is willing to take your money prior to your full disclosure and a work-up of your income, asset and liability picture, as well as an analysis of your debt to income relative to your housing costs, you are likely dealing with an unreputable company. Always ask to speak to the attorney or see if you can meet with them or visit the office for another barometer to see if you are dealing with a reputable attorney.

  29. Steve says:

    Hey Guys,

    I can chime in. I did reverse mortgages and the owners decided to open a loan mod business inside. They first piggy-backed on a lawyer based system where the idea was the lawyer would review the loan documents with a forensic accountant, then send a letter to the mortgage servicer showing the mistakes and threatening legal action unless they were willing to modify the loan. That sounded pretty cool to me but it turns out it’s a disaster. They then spent some time with another mortgage company that’s been doing it for a year and is very successful at it. They copied this system (it’s a sister company) and started employing it. I was tired of reverse mortgages, and I had actually done 4 loan modifications for my clients (that’s a tough mod because they all have equity and you need to convince the servicer/investor to reduce principal. And the reduction can’t be so much that a foreclosure looks attractive. I only did one because I felt guilty because my borrower was so mousy that, upon my advice to withold her payment and call the bank and tell them that they have a hardship and are struggling, though they have financing arranged with my company if their principal balance can be lowered just $10K. When I called to see how she did, I found out the bank manager bullied her into driving down to the bank and making her payment. So I told her I will take over for her from then on and sort of learned as I went. I had an advantage because I was a lender and I had an approval in hand for a certain amount and could pay off the lender within 5 days. This is rare because most people needing mods or short payoffs don’t have any time of financing available, but reverse mortgages don’t require credit or income qualifications, so I could make that claim. After sending in a hardship letter letting them know that the borrowers are struggling and will probably have to go into foreclosure by summer or fall (I don’t think the borrowers were late, which makes it harder to show hardship, but at least they had missed payments in the past.) I also presented loan documents, though most lenders have no clue how to examine reverse mortgage documents. I also let them know what comparable foreclosure sales when for in the borrower’s subdivision, which were $20K less than my offer. It all came down to whether the investor believed that the borrowers were at risk. A month or so later, they approved it, much to my surprise. They didn’t even ask for a Hud 1, either, which almost all servicers require. Lucky for me because interest rates kept dropping, and the borrowers came out with over $3K. I did three more loan mods, and all were successful except the lady who was being foreclosed on by Saxon Mortage. They are impossible and perhaps criminally retarded. Look them to see if I’m mistaking. I was offering a better price than comparable foreclosures and the idiot was their negotiator (Chad is the moron’s name) finally answered two weeks before the auction and said they should get 90K at auction (I forget his three letter acronym) for this term. I informed him that my data was from the MSL and all were comparables in size and age, and that foreclosures increased 20% from one period to another and the neighborhood was in a negative transition (appraisers have a term for this, but I’m too tired to remember). But this jackoff Chad believed whoever gave him this info. – I’m guessing the broker responsible for sale and therefore be incentivized to inflate the price to win the business even though the price was ridiculous. But who would that a-hole Chad believe? So I told my borrower that I was sorry and Saxon thinks they’ll get 90K for it and we can only offer 70K, and I advise her to move out.

    About 3 days ago, my borrower called me and said the sale was canceled. They couldn’t get the price. I’m now going to email that Chad fool and reinstate my offer, though this guy is so incompetent, he will not remember me or my offer even though I emailed it to him and faxed it 10 times. If those idiots take my offer, then I’ll be 100% on loan mods/short payoffs, and most of them I gave myself and the borrower anywhere from 1% to 50% of sucess. One borrower was 15K short on equity, swore he never missed a payment, and could afford an appraisal, which is the only thing I require to make an actual offer. It’s a miracle that ended up closing last week, though EMC forced me to get an appraisal before they would submit it, and then it was time for my borrower to actually cough up some money even though EMC said it was a 50/50 shot that their investor would take the offer. Hell, I was worried that the appraisal would come in at what we were claiming. Bottom line, the guy got EMC to reduce the principal by 20% and the guy got his reverse mortgage, which helped him tremendously. The only that made it possible was that EMC lost one of his payments and he wouldn’t pay it again. Once I knew that, I knew that EMC would show him a month behind, which meant I could tell them that he was in hardship and would likely to lose the house soon. Anyway, I learned a lot about mods and what makes them work and why lenders will modify your loan. I’ll start a new post.

  30. I’m baffled by how little value people place on their home. Look, this is not returning a broken toaster for a refund. It’s a home, a very expensive home. If you do the loan mod job yourself, then make sure you really really know what you’re doing. If you pay someone, then make sure, really sure, that person or company really really knows what they are doing. This is no time to be lazy, to act out of fear or desperation, or to try to save a few bucks. Do your homework, use the internet, the newspapers, your friends, your family, your common sense. Find out everything you can, then make decisions based on fact and knowledge. And while you are waiting for me to tell you to hire my law firm, I won’t write it here, but I will write that… if the loan mod is not done properly from the beginning, it is a really mess trying to make it work. It saddens me to see a borrower who got taken for money by a scamster, but it makes me really sick when the borrower loses the house due to the scamster’s failures.
    - Paul

  31. navan says:

    Hi There,

    I am dealing with this company (SFV Financial) who are in CA for my loan modification. I am not sure if I have been scammed or not. I was asked to give them $2500 (Not Up front)after I get the approval from them. Please help!!

  32. Lisaw says:

    After reading all of the comments about all of the Loan Mod companies that are ripping off the distressed people who are already on the verge of losing everything that they have worked for, I am wondering why there isn’t someone that has had a good experience and results here to post so we can actually see that there are decent companies that we can use- I have done my research for the past 2 months and it is overwhelming! To get the information it requires that you put your phone number on the web and then you are bombarded by every company including the ones that are operating from their kitchen table- There is no way to know which ones are legit and which ones aren’t, but I found the general rule #1. if they ask for personal information before you have decided that you want to be their client #2. Money up front #3. promise to deliver results #4. call constantly trying to sell you.

    I found the Law offices of Fransen and Molinaro to be on the up and up!

  33. Alex says:

    Does anyone know if a loan modification hurts your credit score in any way?

  34. Roseann says:

    Anyone out there have info on Loan Litigators based out of Chicago???

  35. Moe Bedard says:

    Try calling Fransen & Molinaro on this blog and they may have co-counsel there or be able to locate a lawyer for you. You can try your state bar or http://www.naca.net/

  36. D. Nick Foster says:

    Does anyone know if FHA All Day in Boca Raton Florida a reputable loan modification company? They ask for $4900 upfront.

  37. Steve says:

    Can I just chime in here to counter what I think is bad advice being given.

    Companies that charge upfront fees are not necessarily scammers. In fact, the companies that have the highest success rates and volumes will charge upfront only. The reason why is because of risk. They don’t take any, and the customer that is the most qualified also happens to be the customer least able to pay back the fees for the modification, and unless these decide to become collection agencies as well as well as loan modification companies, then they will either have to continue to charge upfront fees or go after customers who aren’t as qualified. That means their success rate drops. It’s all based on risk, and the people that actually know how the industry works will know what I’m talking about, those that don’t will call me a scammer. So I’ll pose this question. How is it that some of these high volume companies can do high volumes of modifications and have a success rate above 95?

    The answer boils down to risk, and anyone not charging upfront is not managing theirs as ruthlessly as the upfront fee guys, and the risk will show up as a lower percentage of successful modifications as compared to the companies that charge upfront fees. Pretty hard to believe, isn’t it? It’s true though. Analyze the risk, then find out who the most qualified customer would be, and you’ll start to see why all the successful players operate this way. Unfortunately, I’m sure a whole bunch of scammers do too.

  38. Craig says:

    I understand that a loan mod does not have to mess with your credit as long as you don’t miss payments. Some sources say you have to miss payments to get a mod, but they are wrong. You do have to demonstrate a hardship, but you don’t have to miss payments.

  39. Sandee says:

    Your site is quite informative, and hopefully consumers will recognize the warning signs when they are approached by a company offering help. We have a very successful business and have helped dozens of clients with sound advise and loan modifications/ re-structures. We have two attorneys on staff, and we work hard for our clients, and care deeply about them. Lately we are hearing some disturbing stories from clients regarding people who contact them with a Keys for Cash program. While there may be legitimate programs out there, so far, I have found that these con artists are getting the keys to the house from the owner, while promising them large sums of money for “moving” expenses. the money never materializes, and the con artist actually had NO legal interest in the property, yet will rent it out to unsuspecting tenants then disappear with the money. If the tenants damage the home when they find out about the scam, the former home ower is the one on the hook because they were duped into handing over the keys to someone who had no business having them.
    I guess desperate times opens doors to new scams, but it isn’t right.

  40. Steve says:

    I didn’t believe it until I joined a loan mod company that does high volume, but not all lenders require you be behind in your payments, only that you can demonstrate hardship and that you will not be able to make payments in the near future. However, many do require you be late (Countrywide, Wachovia, Indymac) and it’s often hard to demonstrate hardship if you’re current on your payments. And typically the customer must choose between paying us and the mortgage, which is a conundrum. Pay to afford an unaffordable payment or go late and pay us, which feels like they’re stepping off the ledge. We just know that the fall is just inches when they think it’s miles.

  41. Christian says:

    Wait a minute! The banks have more to lose than the borrowers, especially in California where the current home values are half of what the outstanding principle balances on the loans are. So why is it that the banks aren’t incorporating the loan modification company’s fees into the modified loans and paying them when the negotiations have been finished and the modifications have been completed?

  42. Greg says:

    Christian,

    The servicers are completely unprepared to do the level of modifications necessary, and it’s further complicated when you add in the pooling and service agreements the servicers are obligated to follow, which often cause more confusion and delay. It would be nice if we (professional modification companies) were paid our fees from the lender and not the borrower since we’re essentially doing their job for them and saving them money. We only accept a client if we know it’s cheaper for the lender to offer the client an affordable monthly payment than it is to foreclose on them. The math isn’t that difficult.

    But will they pay us the fees? Nope. At least the Obama plan is putting money into the servicers. It won’t do enough to really make any difference, but it will at least let them hire some staff, which could help. I predict the onslaught of people rushing to apply for modifications will engulf all the lenders and delay the modification process for everyone, probably double the normal time (2 – 4 months for us at the moment). And I bet there will be a lot of pissed off people who find themselves being declined, lost in the shuffle, foreclosed while waiting, or getting a tepid payment reduction after all that time that does nothing to help them.

    It won’t be the fiasco the last two programs where (Hope For Homeowners and something else), but I think only a fraction of the 4 million people said to qualify will be helped. I hope I’m wrong, by the way.

  43. El Centro, CA says:

    Has anyone had any problems with
    First Premier Capital in Glendale,
    California. With a loan modification?
    They charge $2000.00 for this service.

  44. c in cerritos says:

    I haven’t heard of them but a quick google for “first premier capital glendale ca ripoff” returns 1,560 results. It appears that plenty of people are having issues with them. Apparently they take your money and then never return your calls. I’d stay away.

  45. c in cerritos says:

    I am not sure why we are all so shocked at the behavior or even existence of these predatory companies. This is the culture in the United States. We have recently become aware of the degree of evil that exists in the world in the form of predatory and heartless entities known as banks, insurance companies, mortgage companies, drug companies, etc. These loan modders are just the newest kids on the block.

  46. Marcela Abal says:

    It horrifies me how many companies are taking what little money these people have left and not even helping them to modify their loans. Loan Modification is a legitimate business if you have the experience and integrity. My company has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau and we charge NOTHING up front. All our underwriting is done for free. And once we approve you, our success is better than 97%. We also include a money back guarantee. Please feel free to puruse our website, you will not be sorry you did.

  47. anita hurt says:

    does anyone know if the afs fresh start is legit? Their attorneys name is Michael M. Yellin, but the Michaels yellins I pull up in the internet isn’t this person.

  48. Robyn Govert says:

    I hate hearing about the loan modification companies that are giving others a bad name. Why is it such a big deal if a company charges an upfront fee? My company is nationwide, works with attorneys, offers the money back guarantee, and gives 24/7 online access. We have to charge upfront because we spent way too much time SUBSTANTIALLY modifying a loan, saving our clients THOUSANDS of DOLLARS, then they didn’t pay us and we spent months, attorney time, etc. chasing the fee. Do most people get to try the food at the grocery store before they pay for it and take it home? Maybe on sample day. There are lots of legitimate companies. You just have to make sure that you do a little research. We’ve been in business for over 9 1/2 years. We can do jumbo loans as well. We are not illegal, shady, or illegitimate.

  49. Gary Cooper says:

    Is this, teh Federal Modification Co., a legitimate company?

    Thanks

  50. Michelle says:

    I think that everyone should do their research before spending money on a loan modification. There are a lot of companies that scam people in the worst ways at the worst time. I am a consultant with a consulting firm. Once our clients know their options, then and only then the clients can decide if they want to continue and “hire” a licensed attorney to do their loan modification. We offer free consultation… we don’t take every client just for their money, they information is collected, researched, and then if we can help we will do so. Before you call any company please get a pen and piece of paper out and write down all the questions and concerns you have, make sure the company is reputable. There is noting worse then kicking people when they are already down.

  51. AG says:

    Dear Editor,
    I am glad to find your informative site. How can I know a Loan Modification company is legal?
    I know one company that is doing loan modification to people who don’t even own a house…yes, I am aware of a case in particular. What can I do to stop this individuals who call themselves “consultants”? The owner works for Countrywide, runs a real estate and property management company when in fact has no DRE License…Regards.

  52. Dee says:

    I’m still trying to figure out why anyone would pay for a loan modification when the service is available for free from your local housing counseling agency?

  53. Gary says:

    No matter what market, if there are profits to be made, many people will enter that market and will either be incompetent or deliberately deceptive. That doesn’t make the market “wrong”. In fact, the number of people entering the Loan Modification market is a sign of the size of the problem. Millions of people have ARM’s that are adjusting, property values declining, and incomes disappearing. The problem is obvious. The answer is equally obvious – modify the existing loan. The methods are what is in question – money up front, questionable credentials, lack of experience, unscrupulous values. How do you find the “right way”. While the advice can be free, it can also take a long time.

    The government plan says that up to 7 or 8 million people can qualify for help, but they give only two phone numbers OR call the lender. While that is possible, it may be quicker and more effective if an experienced legal team represented the borrower. The lender might also want to deal with a legal entity to assure a thorough and unemotional transaction.

    We at Strategic Loan Mods in Seattle have the experience, the knowledge, and the ethics to support the borrower in engaging a competent legal team. We are honest and really want to help people. We also want to be profitable. That’s a good business model.

  54. Bret Lamprey says:

    To the people that say if they had the money to pay a loan modification company, then they would not be looking for help? I have helped many people do a loan modification. When it comes to you’re house and saving it, $2,500 to $3,000 is minimal. I have people that find a way to put together our fee to save their home. To say you would not need help if you had $2,500 is denying the fact that you are delaying the inevitable, and that is paying you’re high interest rate with that money instead of fixing the problem. Compare to a refinance that most people cannot do now. A refinance puts several thousands on the back of you’re loan amount. Plus you pay interest on those closing costs as long as you pay on that loan. Every one is trying to save a buck. Yes their are bad companies out there. It is too bad that the loan modification companies that really are selective with who they work with, are not getting the good press. But that is true in the world. Bad news travels faster than the good. Our loan modification save the hassle, the time, headaches, and always get better results than the actual lender. The lenders best interest is themselves always. Example. A person at a high adjustable rate, 8.9%, comes back 3-6 months down the road as: “We will fix the rate for you so you don’t have to worry about it being adjustable. We will put all the late payments on the back end.”
    This is just going to put you right back where you were. It is actually true that about 80% of people that did a loan modification on their own with their lender, go back in default on payments within a year. People do you pay to have someone change you’re oil? Do you pay someone first to get fast food? The point is, do you’re research on the company. Better business bureau, the FTC, make sure they are legitamite. If they are, they will get the job done the right way. Everything costs money. If you want to save the headaches, the time and money, and want better results, then hire a good loan modification company. Or try it on you’re own, but you will not be able to do a loan mod for another year. I have had people try a loan mod with their own lender by themselves. The results are ridiculous compared to what you really can get. You’re lender will never give you more leeway than they have too. I hope they find the bad ones, and lock em up. Their is always bad people in any situation. Do you’re research, do the homework. Hiring a loan modification company that has been doing it for awhile will get dramatic results. ” When faced with a challenge, look for a way, not a way out.” God Bless.

  55. Martin L says:

    stop trying to justify what your doing is right. You will be out of business in 3 motnhs. start looking for a new line of work. 3rd party loan mod originators are DONE.

  56. MarieT says:

    I have a question, if I am NOT behind in payments, is it possible to get a modification? Right now I’m on a 5 year interest only at 6.75%. I have never missed or been late with a payment in 10 years but I lost my job and I have had some health issues for the first 3 months of this year which prevented me from working. Making the house payment has been extremely difficult and I’m not sleeping anymore. Making the house payment has been my #1 priority even when I have had to put part of it on a credit card. Is there a limit – I owe over $600,000. Also, I did a streamline refi through my lender and have since discovered that I didn’t end up with what they told me and what was on the Good Faith Estimate. When I called to tell them and ask that the extra charges be taken off, they said that I had signed the closing paperwork (even though I asked and was told it was exactly what was discussed)and they wouldn’t do anything. I might be capable of doing this on my own but not sure how that will work when I spent 4 hours one day and 5 hours the next day being transferred and put on hold because my lender just wanted to get rid of me!!

  57. doj says:

    i’ll pay anyone or even double AFTER the success of my loan mod. i won’t give 2 cents till service is rendered and satisfied. then you can sue me. so please don’t ask upfront or during the process. no noble gesture can convince me at this stage of the game. it’s to early for track records.

  58. Rick says:

    Loan Modifications are a real thing!!! If you are hating on them, you obviously haven’t been put in a position of having to negotiate with a bank that will not listen – no matter what your hardship. This is the realtiy of the martket and the fact that most lenders are to overwhelmed to help borrowers efficiently. It’s true – you dont need to have a Modification company do this, just like you don’t need a lawyer to represent you in a court of law. If a homeowner wants to tackle saving his / her home, do the financials in a way that reflects what the particular lender in question is requiring ( all banks have different requirements ) and then be suprised that the modification request didn’t go through because something was done wrong – be my guest. I work for a company that does modifications and with everything – there is the good and the bad and unfortunately people lose their homes. It is a reality of the business and the situation that the originating bank and homeowners put themselves into – we, the ones of us that are doing it right – are just trying to clean up the mess. blogs like this are a dime a dozen and generally led by someone who wants to generalize and point out the bad rather then truly educating themselves on the process and pointing out the good that this service provides. I make no excuses for the 95% of the people that we have helped when no one else could and feel empathy for the 5% that we couldn’t help. It is just my hope that more people dwell on the good that can come of a good company, doing a good service and yes…getting paid, rather then dwelling on results and opinions of people and situations that had a bad experience and you truly have only heard only 1 side of a 2 sided story.

  59. Craig says:

    The numbers of people either in trouble or who will be in trouble before long is staggering. We are talking many millions. The government & the free community help centers are in no way staffed to help the numbers of people who will need to seek help or face foreclosure. The banks could make the process easier, but have not as of yet & probably won’t. People who refinance typically pay 2 – 3 points or 2 – 3% of their loan amount to reduce their interest rate 1 – 2 %. That might be $4000 on a $200,000 loan to possibly reduce their interest from 6% to 4.75% & save about $138 mo. I don’t typically hear people saying that is a rip off or I won’t pay, I can do it myself. What confuses people is that about 20% of those who have tried to do loan mods themselves succeeded in getting some reduction, 80% did not. They hear the stories about the people who succeeded, not the other stories. But of the ones who got a reduction, 1/2 were back in default less than a year later. Guess what, not enough of a reduction. Does that suprise anyone, that the banks would give a nickle where a dollar was needed if they thought they could get away with it? I saw a 475 page training manual to teach lawyers how to do maximum loan modifications, 475 pages.
    I’m with the guy who says, check out the companies & their credentials with places like the Better business bureau. Have you ever read the BBB code of business practices? If you need a loan mod & find a company in good standing with the better business bureau that does not have any unresolved complaints, I’d say its safe to trust your business with them. They will do the job right. If you spent $3000 for a mod that got you a $500 per month payment reduction, that would pay you back in 6 months, way better than the refi deal that took 29 months to pay back. And if you put it on a credit card & it cost you $50 mo to save $500 mo, you would be $450 mo ahead. Sounds like a no brainer to me. I get it that there are scamers out there, I do, so do your homework, check out the options, if you need a mod, waiting is costing you a lot more than modifying will.

  60. Antoinette Iannacco says:

    Check out Hawthorne Abstract Corp. they are great at getting anyone an illegal mortgage. We were forced to sell the house, because of all the damage they to get my in-laws an illegal mortgage. The lies and blank spaces on notarized documents that were also pre dated 22 days earlier. It was suppose to be a buyout,instead they did it as a refinancing,never telling us(one of the owners) that only two owners would get the money. Only recording the mortgage not the new deed. They needed my husband to approve it. So they just didn’t record the deed. They used an older one with errors on it,and addresess that were wrong or hadn’t lived at for over 10 years. Used these false addresses to get the mortgage and state one of the owners lived there to get a cheaper homeowner’s policy. It was a rental, second home,not a owner’s house.I can go on and on home many lies and forging of my husband’s name too,enough for now. I’m on a mission to find out why no one will help me for four years now

  61. Raj says:

    Has anyone heard about http://www.natloanllc.com
    they claim they are a LawFirm processing up to 1000 applications per day in loan modifications. They charge $2400 to modify the loan and will guarantee refund if your loan is not modified (wonder how they guarantee!!!) But if anyone has a good experience or recommend of their services, I will greatly appreciate your comments.
    thanks.

  62. ken says:

    There is a simple solution to all of this.
    If you live in a state where it is illegal to charge up front fees, you can either hire an attorney, but they usually charge alot. You can find a mortgage broker who is still a broker and does not do loan mods for a living as they have knowledge of loans and mortgages. They will usually charge less than an attorney.
    You can find a non-profit group, but chances are they are inexperienced and will not get much done. Seems like the best choice is an honest mortgage broker. if you offer to pay them $500 to $1000, they may be glad to have the income simply to negotiate for you, just like they do when closing loans anyway.

  63. Javier Garcerant says:

    RAJ,
    Check for the attorney’s information, in Florida is a problem for companies charging upfront fees, I checked their website, they do not have the attorney information if they are a law firm they MUST as per Florida bar show the attorney info, as far as processing a thousand MODS per day I honestly do not believe that, maybe they have affiliates all over the country sending them deals then I may believe it, even if they are processing that many, what really matters is how many are they modifying?
    In Florida the Attorney General is really coming hard on modification companies, also on an Ethics Alert memo by the Florida bar dated March 15th 2009 attorneys can not be hired by a company to assist homeowners on foreclosure, they can NOT work for a non lawyer, can not pay referral fees, they came up with many ethics rules that now has lawyers running away from this modification business, all this means that lawyers must own the company in order for the company to charge upfront fees legally, also there can be no partnerships between a lawyer and a non Lawyer.

  64. Has anyone heard about National Loan Restructuring? There website is http://www.sunbiz.org. They claim to be a group of attorney’s that guarantee to re-negotiate your loan by contacting your mortgage company to get you in a 30 yr. fixed, if you are in a interst only loan. The company also claim that you will receive 3.1 to 4.8% interest rate. Oh…..the cost for them to represent you is $2495.00, which is kind of a sham to me, especially if you are already struggling with paying your mortgage. Please comment.

  65. Loan modifications have become a burden I have been ripped off twice.And now I get in contact with National Loan Restructuring they want to charge me $2495.00 an they want $831.67 to start an the other payments in that order each month.I believe in no one at this point but God so Why are we asking each other? We are all in the same rut.The question is who can you trust? No one but God.

  66. Chris says:

    I love this blog and I thank you for it. People don’t have enough resources to figure out for THEMSELVES who to trust and not trust. I represent the input from the legitemate attorney services who are battling the banks on behalf of its Clients.

    So, if you don’t mind, I would love to offer some information for the people who read here on how to find the most affordable, honest, effective resource for loan modifications.

    Make sure that whomever you use to negotiate with the bank on your behalf offers you a contract that outlines what they charge, what the service includes and what the refund policy is. For instance, Platinum Legal Services offers a written guarantee that your modification will be completed to your satisfaction or you will be completly refunded 100%. Make sure that the refun policy does not include a partial refund. Also make sure that they will not ask for additional money at the end of the modification. We as American People need to help each other. We need to provide each other with any/all information we can to survive these horrible economic times. I would be happy to field any questions via e-mail or phone free of charge.

    Regards,

    Chris

  67. Derek says:

    Oh, man…all the nonsense here. Barack Obama worked for a Law Firm that charges upfront fees. That make him a scammer? You get what you pay for. Naturally, people need to do their due diligence, but the idea that homeowners who are ALREADY not paying their bills will somehow get licensed and experienced professionals to spend time and money on performance and then hope they get paid is laughable. All attorneys charge retainers. My doctor charges for his time as well — whether he gets the diagnosis and treatment right or not. Spend 5 minutes talking to all the ill informed homeowners out there who are hung up on by their banks, and have no information or anyone to turn to, need help by a professional now, and you will not think that charging $2500 to market to and find these people, educate them on what is actually out there for them, hand hold them through the process, negotiate with the lenders, and pay for overhead like any business — is anything but a fair price for service rendered.

    If all the third party loan mod companies and attorneys out their disappeared, most homeowners wouldn’t be able to do a thing for themselves and each month that passes by they would oversepnd on their mortgage and be that much closer to losing their homes.

    I work for an actual attorney. I see how much effort goes into the process even before the negitiations begin, just getting half educated people to collect the right paperwork and follow basic instruactions.

    These homeowners desperately need help. That help is never for free. if it were, the banks would be GIVING them the loan mods to begin with…

    Obama and gang have been feeding the public a whole lot of nonsense. Real Estate attorneys are the supreme licensed professionals out their for handling a loan mod. If you are going the Obama route, and using an unlicensed professional, who has no legal right to represent and does not have to be recognized by the banks, you are hurting yourself.

    Fact is, Obama Inc is now partners with the banks, If everyone got the mod they deserved the banks would go under. There just isn’t the funding. Sheile Blair, the head of the FDIC, said that Forensic loan audits were ideal but not practical for everyone. No, not when you are telling people they can get a service that requires credentials, trianing, and lots of manpower hours, for free, it isn’t.

    If you DON’T pay upfront for a loan mod you are getting screwed. Simply, check out the bar license of the attorney taking on the case, and then go for it.

    Or get what you deserve — mooches — nothing but lies from a government who is partners with the institutions that screwed you to begin with…

  68. ABLE says:

    You people are idiots, the bank has pulled the fast one on you, they have every body running in circles blaming each other my company runs a loan re-strcture company and we are taking these fraudulent Banks to court, I am not a attorney but as a citezen I am going to do every thing in my power to help homeowners (sheeple} to wake up and empower the people to hire companys that have enough balls to take on these Billion dollar companys and win in court.

  69. Trina says:

    What banks did not provide proper disclosures?

  70. Diane says:

    I hear all your negative judgments and opinions on Modification companies, but have you ever tried to do one yourself???? The time spent being left on hold can amount to days, and “god for-bid” you can ever get the same person on the phone who tells you the same thing within the bank, is a JOKE on us. Without companies assisting our attempts of doing a modification, the burden of doing it yourself is a “WASTE OF TIME” the banks could care less for us and I’ve learned that having a professional on my side was worth it in every way!!!

  71. David says:

    I am an attorney in Southern California’s great “Inland Empire,” and I have almost as many inquiries about suing “loan modification companies” that didn’t help people, as I have queries as to whether I do loan modifications (I do).

    My clients deposit funds – up front – into a trust account (all Cal attorneys who accept fees up front must have one), but I also state specifically how (and when) I earn my fees. I do not “give refunds,” I only return unearned fees. If I do the mod, I earn the fee, plain and simple.

    There is no “satisfaction guarantee” with loan mods. Those attorneys are cherry picking their clients. Who do you know that has a “$13,000 monthly mortgage payment”?

    And how do you define “satisfaction”??

    I have a client right now whose loan was modified from $2400/monthly at 7.9% with no impounds to $1900/monthly at 3.5% with impounds. A total savings of nearly $800 per month… Yet he is not “satisfied,” because he wanted to pay only $1500/month.

    But despite his “satisfaction,” I will call that contract “fully performed” and my fees “earned.” Whether he signs on the dotted line or not.

    The law protects you from fraud and misrepresentation, but not from your own stupidity or from making a bad business deal.

  72. V says:

    DAVID,

    What is the name of your company?

  73. Linda says:

    I have been a licensed real estate broker in Colorado for 22 years.

    I have a friend who was six months behind in payments. When he tried talking to his bank about a modification, they basically just kept trying to talk to him about adding the payments to the end of the loan but nothing ever got done, and he would never get calls back from the person assigned to his case. This went on for months. They would not steer him toward the application for the loan modification, even when he asked about it.

    I got involved and contacted the mortgage company as his designated agent. Without a lot of effort, I was able to obtain the necessary application for the loan modification for him.

    I can see that having a designated agent is almost a necessity to establish the right kind of communication with the lender. Although the banks do have an obligation, they seem to try to avoid the loan modification until a second party got involved (at least in this case).

    My friend has, since, filled out the application and faxed everything to the lender. He is now on reduced payments for three months and at the end of the three months his loan will be modified at approximately the same payments he was given for the next three months, which brings his payment from about $1500 per month previously to approximately $1000 per month with the modification.

    It was actually not very difficult. I can’t see charging $5000.00 for something like this. Yes, I do believe that charging a fee is necessary for the designated agent’s time and efforts, but a much more reasonable fee. After all, people needing a loan modification are in a financial crisis situation. Charging $1000, divided into two or three monthly payments seems much more fair for this service, in my opinion.

    I have thought about offering this service to borrowers who need assistance. That is how I happened to stumble across this site.

    Please note that designated agents assisting borrowers in the loan modification process do not have to be licensed real estate agents. Acting as a designated agent in this capacity is not an act under a real estate license and therefore is not limited to helping clients in a particular state.

    If I can be of assistance to you or anyone you know, please contact me at removed

  74. star mendoza says:

    There is a lot of scammers out there but there is many people out there that really and trullt want to help! I do loan modifications myself for people. I dont charge up front until i come to an agreement with the bank, Im working, and want to help the desperete homeowners that are losing there homes. I have gotten the experience thru my full time job.

  75. Brenda says:

    We tried to work with an attorneys firm in California to help get a loan modification……….well they wanted 1800 split up in 3 payments and after we paid 2 payments they told us they saved us over all 300 dollars which ended up being 50 dollars off our house payment for so many months. When we complained we were brushed off basicly until they recieved the last payment. WE DID NOT PAY IT AND NOW THEY WONT CALL US BACK!

  76. maria says:

    Is it illegal for a realtor “loan modification expert” to charge you upfront ($3,500.00) for a loan modification? It’s been 7 months and my file is stagnant at WAMU, now Chase. Now he’s advising it might be time to start missing mortgage payments to “step it up” so Chase will look at our file. I don’t feel comfortable with this and I think it’s unethical that he would suggest it. I feel like reporting him to the Real Estate Board and Attorney General’s office. I am so upset that I’ve wasted 7 months and $3,500.00 . I plan on filing a small claims case to get my money back.

  77. Christopher says:

    I am reposting a question from Cynthia McClan on 4/22 concerning National Loan Restructuring (www.natloanllc.com). I didn’t see a response and I also am considering a proposal from National Loan Restructuring. In summary this organization claims to have attorney’s that guarantee to re-negotiate your loan by contacting your mortgage company to get you in a 30 yr. fixed. The company also claim that you will receive 4.0 – 4.5% interest rate. The cost is an up front fee $2,495.00 with 100% reimbursement if they fail to obtain the proposed rate reduction.

    I researched them in the BBB.org and was linked to Atlas Financial Inc. which has an “A” rating.

    Any guidance on this company would be appreciated.

  78. I am responding to the woman who is frustrated with how long it’s taking 7 months by the modification company. Our company won’t accept money from you until you’ve been accepted by our attorneys to go to bat for you. Most modifications get completed with in 60 days and never more than 120 days. It can be up to the lender to drag out the process when you are not truly represented by an attorney. There are some lenders who will not work with you unless you are behind, you are the only one who can make that decision. It most definitely should not have taken you 7 months. An ethical company who knows what they are doing and is following their State’s DFI guidelines should have refunded your money back 100% to you if you don’t want to miss a payment and hurt your credit. We wouldn’t have charged you a penny for what has cost you so much time and energy. We submit on your behalf and have an answer back to you within 48 hours if we can get you a modification which follows a 97% success rate. Our fee of $2695 is well worth it! On average our clients are recouping their fee with in 3-6 months just from the savings we get them on their new monthly mortgage payments.
    I’m sorry that you are having so much trouble.

  79. To Christopher. No one can guarantee a certain interest rate. We do loan mods through a legitimate attorney based platform also and do guarantee 100% refund but would never be able to “guarantee” the terms although most do result in 30 year fixed but some have also been at .75%. It depends on the case. We’ve done a ton of R&D with adherence to State DFI Guides and that’s a promise that can’t be made. My company is Strategic Loan Mods and we have a lot of information we share with the public to avoid being tricked.

  80. Meg81 says:

    Does anyone know of a legitimate modification company that is hiring? Or how I can go about helping these people in need with my own company.

    I recently worked for a company for about 5 months and in that time, I was never paid. I collected $1895 and never saw my commission. I think it’s insane to charge these types of fees when people are having a hard time making their bills let a lone a modification. I tried to convince the person I was working for to let them make payments so they can try and stay in the home – nope boss wouldn’t move.

    I’ve been in the foreclosure game for 10 years and it’s my turn to give back -which is why I want to help and start my own company, charging only $500 to do the whole modification and if I can’t get it done offering $250 back to the borrower. If anyone has any ideas, I’m open to hear them. Thanks!

  81. Patty says:

    I have been searching and searching for a legitimate loan modification company and decided to read all of the wonderful comments here. I bought my condo in 2006 and would like to have my loan modified. I have heard several tips, good and bad, and at this time I am completely confused. Most companies want fees up front, $2,000 to $5,000 before they even want to know me or my situation. Please, if anyone, I would appreciate any help. I speak to several modification companies daily, but do not feel comfortable starting the process with any of them. This is truly a difficult decision.

  82. al says:

    Has anyone heard of the Loan Doctors in Orange Calif. being a scam?

  83. noman land says:

    wow…. woow….. woau… no wonder the loan mod biz is so jacked up!!.. can’t even spell and doing mods….

  84. Jason says:

    I read some posts regarding a company out of Florida called National Load Restructring and wondered if anyone has used them? I checked them out with the Better Business Bureau and they listed with Atlas Financial Inc. which has an A rating. I have spoken with someone from NLR and they seem very informative and helpful. They charge $2495 with a money back gaurantee minus $495 for processing costs. I don’t mind spending the money if it saves me $500 per month which a payback of 5 months. not to mention it is much cheaper than a refinance. That is a great payback in any business but I am leary when it comes to handing over the check. It sounds like there are a lot of scammers out there and just wondering if anyone has experience with this company.

    I realize that I can do this on my own but I know of a few people who are going through that process and don’t seem to be getting anywhere. Any suggestions would be helpful.

  85. Larry says:

    Hi and thanks for all the info,It really made me stop and try to check them out.Ever heard of (The Olive Foundation) out of Owings Mills MD.Strange it only took them 2 min. to tell me my payment could be droped from 1600 per Mo. to about 500 per Mo.??????????
    Hope I didn’y blow the deal of a life time HELP PLEASE!!!!!Larry
    I forgot it would only cost me about 1,500 all they need is my Acc. #
    What do you think

  86. Tommy S. says:

    http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/the-at-ease-program-offered-to-troubled-military-homeowners,914253.shtml

    There are good companies out there who really want to help. If you look at business and industry in general not just mortgage companies; there are bad apples every where. But then it seems that every aspect of life in today’s world in some way or another is harmful. Some times you just have to take a step back and look at the good people are doing for one another, and do your best to put all the negative thoughts some where else. Here is an example of something that is good and helpful to our community. Loan modification is a good thing and it truly does help people, and that’s what really counts.
    2nd corinthians 8:21 The apostle Paul states;” For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of god, but also in the eyes of men”.
    Living to do my best, to do as much good as I possibly can, brings me peace. Now I am helping people save their homes for a living. Don’t listen to all the hype. My industry is a very very good thing, and I am very good at it. I don’t do this to get rich because god knows I wont. I do this because it is the right and good thing to do.
    Tommy S.
    unitedmortgagesolutions.org

  87. Giz says:

    I did my own loan modification after pursuing my lender several times without any success. I finally got my rate reduced from 6.675% to 3% for 5 years on a investment property. Not bad at all. I currently work for a loan modification company with top of the line negotiators. The truth is that, not everyone will get a loan modification, but it will be not wise to try to get one through a good reputable company.

  88. Carl says:

    If you are dealing with anyone other than an attorney firm you are shooting yourself in the foot, good god people you are dealing with the root of your life,”YOUR HOME, YOUR FAMILY, YOUR DIGNITY” if you want an honest company, doing a 96% loan success rate, Then please call me immediately Carl Hayner, if you are a realtor, a broker, or an attorney with a client base wanting our processors to process your clients loan modifications call now. We guarantee 100% money back guarantee signed and notarized, i.e. legal ~~~it is better to bruise your credit than, foreclose, bankrupt, or rent a home on the same street where you once lived or move in with a family member. Call now with any question, get the answers you need, the honest ones. Carl

  89. byron melgar says:

    can you help me with my loan modification. I was made believe that some one who was supposed to do a loan audit and then force the bank to get me a modification. Well i keep calling the bank and they said that they had never recieve any calls from this person. Can you still help me i am about to lose my house.

  90. Rachelle says:

    my husband and i started the process of a loan mod with an attorney about 6 months ago and have yet to see results. We paid $2500 up front and feel like we may have been scammed. They tell us to “trust them” and not contact our lender at all; it could cause a decline. Our financial situation has now gotten worse and need to think about filing BK. The mod attorney says not to cause it will effect their process they’ve began and even lengthen it. The BK attorney we talked to says it wont hurt and may even help the mod attorney. In your experience, if a mod process has began already and BK is then filed, what are the effects that we could possibly have if any? I just need a straight answer from someone please…

  91. Fernanda says:

    Rachel,
    I understand how frustrating it is to have to wait for a loan modification and get no answers or results. The fact of the matter is that not “everyone” is going to qualify for a loan modification. In my experience, Bankruptcy is definitely the last option anyone should consider. Bankruptcy will not STOP the foreclosure, it will only delay it. And if you owe more than what your property is worth then there’s no money to liquidate the debts. We are licensed real estate professionals with years of foreclosure and pre-foreclosure experience. Our main focus is to help homeowners avoid eviction and foreclosure and assist with the successfull short sale of their home. Thanks to the years of experience of of our real estate litigation staff and in-house processing team who have established close relationships with lenders, we’ve helped many homeowners accross the country move on with their lives and get a fresh start. Afterall, a Foreclosure has been proven to have a much greater affect on credit than a Short Sale. With the propper guidance, homeowners will once again be able to purchase a home in as little as two years at a price they can afford. Now that’s something to look forward to. Fellow Agents, Brokers, Attorneys and Loan Mod Agents, let’s help these homeowners the ethical way and be the leaders of your community. Let me know if I can be of futher assistane. :)

  92. Fernanda says:

    P.S. No cost.

  93. Leslie Wilson says:

    I would like to thank Moe and all of you for your posts. I went to Mod By Lawyers (aka The Firm) last week and I have to say they were very convincing. A few red flags caused us to do some internet research before handing over the cash though. My husband was ready to walk out as soon as we got there and found out that it was not the bank, as was stated in the letter that we received, but we decided to stay to hear our options. Finding out that they were lawyers helped to convince us to give them a chance. Then during the session, I asked for a blank copy of the contract. He said that his computer program does not allow him to print blank contracts (strange right?) and he offerered to show me someone else’s contract. I told him “no” since I didn’t want to see anyone else’s confidential information and he then handed me another couple’s file and showed me their contract. I was pretty shocked as I work with confidential files myself and would never in a million years hand a confidential file to another client. Then as I’m looking at this other couple’s file, he goes on to tell me that the files are confidential and they are required by law to keep them locked up. Hmm. So I googled the lawyer’s name and bar # that he gave me (Majid Safaie #185129) and came up with this site. I then clicked through to the Fox News report and “The Firm” from that report is the very same building that I went to. So thank you Moe for your article. I’m sure that it saved us a lot of money and grief.

    Leslie

  94. Moe Bedard says:

    Thanks Leslie and I am so glad that you found my website. I commend you for educating yourself by researching on the internet.

    I am not sure if this new company is operating illegally or what. I just find it quite peculiar that they are still in business, just under a new name.

  95. charlene Minnich says:

    Hello Moe,
    I just started reading some of your blogs and when I saw the HOPE NOW one my interest peaked. Let me give you a background of the hell I have been through. We were current on first and second until March 09. the medical after medical with poor insurance then laid off 5 weeks STD paid nothing. husband 4 days instead of 5 working. 3 kids one in college. Then I go back to work a week a surgery more medical bills. In april found a loan mod company called Young and Young Mortgage and the where on the Hud approved list . And I spoke to Darrell young the owner too. The loan Mod company was called nationwide funding said for $500 a month for only 6 months will take on both mortgages other companies wanted $3000 up front. I talked to darrel l Young again was reassured. so process began They started with my 2nd mortgage 12% 669.00 monthly owe $59000 drive by apprasial by then bank one and over apprasied home turned it over to Mortgage 1st out of Utah. My loan Mod negotaiter had no luck with a Tony Martinez owner of 2nd mort aprivate lender was not doing loan mods even though I got a email back in march they were sending out documents to customers for Loan Mods. He would not modfiy the loan wanted to forceclose even though he only would get maybe a 1/4 of what we owe him if lucky. So Nationwide funding reduce my fee 2 $300 cuz they couldnt do a thing . Instead I had to beg and plea to Mortgage 1st that we arent selling we will try to make payments once back to work so he upped our montly payment and kept 12%.
    Now back to Bank of America(owe$101000 house mite be worth 120,00 2 135,000) faxed same items at least 5 times to load mod at nationwide he put package together with W2 s budget ,pay stubs bank statements. We had a loan ret person fom bank of amerrica handle the mod turned down 1st time said to do a forbearance never once said loan was invested by Freddie Mac. said we had all the wrong figures and when she left messages to me I could not call back BOA # would just thank you for being in program then dial tone.!!no response closed the file. So again had to refax new documents basically the same now pay stubs had a forclurse date aug 3rd sale date sept 13. Now I’m panicky and I see what you mean thick skin!!!! BOA sent a letter that they recieved info and Nationwide doing most of the talking to BOA. Then the shock we got same loan modifier that closed our file from BOA again!!!! Il et my guy talk to her and they still needed recent pay stubs of mine. Which back on August 3 I told my guy that my work hours now cut permantly so a difference of $200-400 in loss amonth. BOA had my pay stubs from the surplus hours I had after I went back to work middle of june.
    So Lauryn form BOA informs my guy we do not qualify for the making HA plan cuz our own loan is invested by Freddie Mac!!! isnt that one of the qualifications for the Obama prrogram??? so their offer was first pay up fron t $4800 with in 10 days of signing the Mod and payment beginning 12/1/09 would be $966 with taxes insurance as previous payment . so a savings of a whopping $113 a month that instead of our 22 year loan its now a 40 year loan!!! If the $4800 is the arrears on our mortgage and it is now a $40 year mortg why didnt BOA add to back of mortgage?? I will be dead by then I’m 49. And if I had the $4800 to pay up front dont you think I would be paying my mortgage. That is why I sent a hardship letter and BOA made descion before they received my updated pay stubs each biweekly one, were $100-200 lower. So if they made their offer before receiving the decreased wages which is now written in stone( my hours at work). Is there something we can do . I know the sale date is postpone it may even be lifted. but that loan mod is a joke. Is it a fair one a legit one??? I aslo called Hope hotline I was refered to a non profit organization called Money Management International and my counselor there said she woud do a 3 way call with Bank Of america to get a better offer can this happen. Is this company legit? Then I called Hope now again and the young college student could not or would not help me!! but the first one I spoke to gave me the money manangment group. What should we do?I even spoke to a chapter 13 lawyer in case home did get close to sale date to stop it. Any advice Mr Bedard??. You can email me thank you for your time
    maybe you are the wild card in this disaster I need info from.
    Charlene

  96. mike says:

    Has anyone used legal loan bailout in sandiego,ca.

  97. JustPray says:

    Seriously, this is a joke. The loan mod companies coming here to say that they deserve to be paid upfront for a modification are a joke. Do NOT pay a mod company upfront fees for something you can do yourself. I worked for one of these companies and I can assure you they do NOT do anything special. They sale you by claiming they’ve got the right combination to the lock, and that their expertise will get you the mod. Homeowners are so desperate to save their homes they pay a few thousand up front with no safety net to catch them should the mod fall through.

    I will say this again, DO YOUR OWN MOD. Call the bank YOURSELVES. Don’t be led to believe that these people can work their magic to make it happen, or have some insider information that you are not privy too. THEY DO NOT. This industry is too new for them to claim such a thing. UNLESS they are willing to do this for a MINIMAL down payment, and ONLY collect on the back end if they are successful should you ever consider using their service. They do nothing more than call on your file once a week or so to check status and possibly fax over missing docs, etc if need be. They have no power to negotiate a “better” loan mod. Basically, you get what you get IF the bank decides to modify. TRUST ME, it is not like they look at the banks offer and then get on the phone for your behalf and negotiate for something better like some power brokers. They will pass the mod along to you, even if it is crummy, and act as if they really worked hard for you.
    DO IT YOURSELF! OR go to a company that isn’t going to take thousands out of your pocket up front!

    END THE END, YOU will fight for your home like no one else can. You and only you. Believe in yourself, you can do it!

  98. Myrna Banaag says:

    I’m dealing with this company (Nationwide Mortgage Solution .Org)
    who are in Ca. for my loan Modification.I started this process six months ago and paid them $2500 up front. They tell us to trust them and not contact my lender. Since then I always calling them and they always promised me that my loan modification will gonna approved soon and just wait. For the weeks I called their company and nobody answering the phone and I left a lot of messages and never return my call. Pls help me how to get my money back.
    Thanks.

  99. Kerri says:

    I just left American Loan Modification office and I need to know if they are for real or scammers?

  100. Rick says:

    Does anyone know if the company Homesafe Legal Network is for real or a scam?

  101. Christina says:

    I did not read all of the comments but the ones I did read tell me AMERICAN LOAN MODIFICATION is a SCAM! My husband give them $3,500 up front Aug 11, 2009. I knew it! I have been investigating on my own and I see all these comments. My husband made a big mistake! now we are paying for that and now going to work directly with our lender. I am going to report AMERICAN LOAN MODIFICATION to the Attorney General. The guy took off with his money but kindly left a message to my husband that if he needed anymore assistance to call the office. When my husband called the office they want him to refax ALL the documents he had already given this guy named George. Nice business cards and everything. BEWARE LAS VEGANS!!!!

  102. Ed says:

    I’m currently in discussions with a company called National Loan Restructuring, LLC out of West Palm Beach, Florida. They are asking for $3500 up front to do a financial audit on my mortgage. They are claiming that they will be able to negotiate a reduced principal balance (about $30K off of the principal) and a reduced interest rate (from 6% to about 3%) for the next 5 years. They are indicating that it is guaranteed, or money back!! Does anyone have any experience with this company? Is it worth it?
    Thanks,
    Ed

  103. If you truley would like some positive results from a Home Loan Modification, feel free to visit our website and do your homework. We only want the max available outcome for our clients. Well take care and God Bless, hope to hear from those who want help.

  104. Lydia says:

    My husband and I paid American Loan Modification 3500 to get our loan modify, they told us it will take 60 to 90 days, well it has been almost 6 months and now they need us to resubmit the paperwork meanwhile I got a notice of trustee sale because American loan modification told me not to make my payments to speed up the procces, if the mortgage company saw the payment were made they will not modify it. Anyway now after calling them every day they told me that is nothing they can do and ” good luck on trying to get my money back.

  105. Performing due diligence is the key to securing a Loan Modification company that will represent and negotiate on your behalf.
    Unfortunately integrity is a quality that cannot be purchased. One negative experience affects the entire industry.

    I employ twenty people that had to undergo background checks. The management is the key to how the employees conduct themselves.

    The lending institutions who have received bailout money are the ones who are abusing the customers. They are still attempting to collect arrears on customers trying to receive a loan modification. The customer is forwarded to the collections department when attempting to process thier own modification.

    Check the facts.

  106. cici says:

    PRODIGY LAW GROUP FROM IRVINE, CA IS A SCAM. THEY IGNORE THEIR CALLS, NEVER FINISH A MODIFICATION AND DON’T SEEM TO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING AND DONT SEEM TO CARE EITHER. MANY CLIENTS ALMOST LOSE THEIR HOME AND HAVE TO CALL THE LENDER TO SAVE THEIR HOME THEMSELVES!

  107. Franco says:

    Can anyone confirm that Platinum Legal Services is on the up and up? Are they legitamate?

  108. rose says:

    Dear Moe, My advice to all who read this would be to beware of anyone claiming that they can do better then you at negotiating with your lender. I paid $3,000 to “Help Modify Now” out of Newport Beach, California last April and am afraid that I have become yet another victim of the ultimate rip off. This company is part of a law firm that specialized in dept consolidation, bankruptcy and other consumer law services. Another name they are using is “Consumer Resource Law Services”. I was referred to them by someone I trusted and was told that they could negotiate with my lender. They guarenteed me that they would get results or refund my money. What a joke that turned out to be. For the last 6 months I have been given the run around and like the nice understanding person I am, I have been waiting patiently. That is until on October 3rd, when after not hearing anything for several months, I sent an email asking for an explanation of what was going on. I was told by my worker, Jaci, that the lender was having technical difficulties with the software for the new program she wanted to qualify me for and that she would be trying again in 2 weeks. I had spoken to Jaci, exactly 3 times in the past 6 months and this was basically the same thing she had told me each and everytime. So I sent her a reply saying that I didn’t pay her company $3000 to get the run around and that I wanted someone to call me. Her response was that my lenders inability to follow through on what they tell her has kept her from moving forward with the modification and that I should call my lender to see if there were any updates. (Isn’t that what I was paying her to do?) I sent another email telling her I needed a phone call and that I needed results or I needed my money back. Guess what, that was the last I ever heard from her again. I have tried repeatedly to reach someone at that office. I have left messages on the general mailbox, the customer service mailbox, Jaci’s mailbox and no calls have been recieved by me from anyone. And that person I trusted who referred me to this company, well he and all his contacts have left the company. What does that tell you? Yeah, well it looks certain that I’ll be saying bye bye to that $3,000 bucks. But there are other ways to skin a cat. Complaints to the State Bar Association and the Federal Trade Commission are but a few.
    So now that I have fired “Help Modify Now”, I did call my lender and after just one phone call I am way ahead of where I was and am being qualified for one of their programs.
    My advice to everyone, don’t pay for loan modification until you have first tried every recourse with your lender. Even legitimate modification companies have a full work load and will put you at the bottom of the pile. If you do it yourself it might take some work and a try, try again attitide, but it will save you from falling victim to one of the many vultures who prey on the down on their luck homeowner.

  109. kim says:

    I went threw a loan modification company in march pd 2900,00 and still no word on our modification .. they keep telling me it takes time 8 months and still waiting is it because i live in michigan ,,, this company is really making me mad and they have been in contact with my lender . what i don’t understand is why so long they have every thing !!!!!!

  110. Bob Collins says:

    There are many companies making claims to fight for you. The fact is you either fit within the program or you don’t. docprep usa helps homeowners do that without sticking their hand in your pocket. They are results driven. Yes it does take months to get a Modification completed with some lenders however if the numbers aren’t disclosed correctly you will have spent thousands of dollars, with those companies that make false claims, to find out you are not able to get modified. This is the problem most consumers have, first the infomation provided to the lender is either overstated or understated, second sometimes homeowners can cut back on expenses to make sure they qualify. I suggest that if a homeowner has been quoted an enormous fee for that companies services, they should move on and find a company that helps them understand what is required for the homeowner to have a positive outcome.
    I did my modification on my own home and had a great outcome, I cheated, I have been in real estate for over twenty years, a real estate broker and been in the mortgage field just as long. That’s why I recommend DocPrep USA.

  111. may says:

    has anybody heard of SAVE A HOME PROGRAM???? A loan modification company is offering to have a lawyer negotiate my loan in HALF but asking for $4k upfront. HELP!!!

  112. Paul says:

    I’m putting together a list of successful companies and not so successful companies so I can post it in my blog.

    So far I’ve gotten 2 bad and 1 good.

    I only want the names and locations of companies that have modified your personal loans. (Not your brothers or cousins)

    You can email me at irisphx@yahoo.com

    So far I found one ethical company I’ve come across that holds “A” rated BBB company named, Mortgage Assistance Group out of Glendale, Arizona.

    They are entering their second straight year of loan modifications locally and nationwide.

    They have real testimonials on their website http://www.mag-az.com and handle all aspects of the loan mod process in house with an on staff attorney for compliance.

    Can I get some names, numbers and horror stories folks?

  113. Operation sunflower inc. says:

    I own a 501c3 how can I get government grant for-non-profit to help with the loan modification crisis?

  114. Kam says:

    I do understand there are unscrupulous modification companies and attorneys. However, I have noticed a few comments or misperceptions that I wanted to address.
    1. Resending documents to either the mod company or the lender is NORMAL. The lender must be able to verify proof of income by requesting bank statements, pay stubs, P&L, etc. If the lender requested these documents initially and the file took 4 months to get assigned to a negotiator the documents will be requested again and again and again in some cases.
    2. Modifications are a process. Unfortunately some lenders are getting 50k plus modification request per month. Obviously, the homeowners who are in default or have a pending sale date will get first priority, as these homeowners are “at risk”. The homeowner that has not received a Notice of Default or Notice of Sale does not get priority.
    3. Now that the law has changed there should be little confusion as to weather or not an agency or law firm can accept upfront funds. However, many of these modification agencies were not under the jurisdiction of the DRE….meaning, they were not realtors or brokers therefore could not request an Advance Fee Agreement even if they wanted to.
    Yes, there are agencies and attorneys that scam or at the very least misinform their clients as to what to really expect while going through the process of a modification or short sale. The fact is it could take months and months. I have clients that we have had for 12 months for one reason or another. The majority of clients we have seen have only come to my company after they have unsuccessfully tried to modify with their lenders on their own. I actually prefer a client who has tried to modify and been declined as they (in most cases) better understand the process and what is and will be required. However, I have had to ask myself on more than a few occasions why do people seek outside representation in the first place. The fact a person needs a modification is a consequence of something that most likely had nothing to do with the agency or attorney sought out for assistance. My company (or was, as we are now out of business) started processing modifications over 3 years ago, before people knew what a modification was and before all the “Bad Press”. We were not realtors or broker who had a failing business and needed quick cash (as many of these guys are). We were a successful investment company that purchased non performing notes on the secondary market that one day decided to help a few folks and one thing led to another. Unfortunately, after 3 years of only taking a limited number of clients per month, NEVER turning any client away if they could pay our fee, we have been served a Desist and Refrain from the DRE (who incidentally are aware we successfully modified all of the people listed on the order) and are in court every month defending our agency from lying clients stating one a several things but I only list a few:
    1. We did not do what we said we were going to do
    2. Pain and suffering because the mod the bank offered still wasn’t affordable even though they have not paid their mortgage in a year and have been working the entire time
    3. The value of the home isn’t worth them living in the home and even though my company got the modification the homeowner needs their money back so they can move…even though they have not paid their mortgage in a year.
    My company does not and did not advertise our services, had no website nor did we solicit in any way. We were 100% referral based and still came across these problems because some of our clients were realtors, brokers and attorney who referred business to us and over promised services (we do provide a 14 page contract which was more often than not never read even though every page is explained and gone over before a client signed on with us).
    The Bottom Line is. YES, you can get a modification on your own and no one ever said that wasn’t possible. When Pres. Obama Home Affordability and Stability plan was offered, 1 person in the first 6 months received help. Less than 10% of the people who go to their lenders receive a modification much less any long term solution. When you cal your lender you are immediately directed to HUD. Why would your lender direct you to an outside organization when they have the power to help you right then and there? I won’t answer, but I believe the question deserves some food for thought.
    Good luck to those who will deal with your lender directly. While dealing with your lender be prepared to sit on hold, be transferred, disconnected, redirected and repeatedly fax the same stuff you have been over and over. Word to the wise….Do Not provide financials that show a deficit because all you are doing is showing the lender /HUD you cannot afford your home.

  115. Joe says:

    I need some help getting a home loan modification. I have been working with First Franklin and getting nowhere. Does anyone know of good companies to work with that can help with loan modifications?

  116. Z. Burkett says:

    I feel your pain, all of you. I was fortunate enough to find a company that is legitimate. Now I know that the banks the news and government say we shouldn’t go to any company that charges, that the banks will modify your loans for free. Well, how many of us on here have had our loans modified by the banks?

    A lot have lost their homes, and lot more still will unless you do what’s necessary to save your homes from the banks. I went through what most of you have, I was there. Then I was referred to Corey Lassiter of Clear Image Financial Group. They saved my home.

    I know I would have lost it to Wachovia if it wasn’t for him, Tasha, Denise and the rest of the people who work there. Got me caught up on my mortgage 1st & 2nd, lowered my interested rate & payment, and secured me a 50k principle reduction.

    Before anyone else on here loses their homes you need to give them a call 877-940-1477 ext 231. Corey Lassiter. Don’t be afraid of hiring a loan modification company, be afraid of the banks, they are the ones who are taking our homes!

    I know they get the job done. News and TV made me afraid to even consider a loan modification company because they are all scams and my lender will do it for free (wrong). There hasn’t been not one story about a good company and when I tried to contact my local news channel they told me that my success story wasn’t news (What!)

    So, I am making it my mission to spread the word on this GREAT company!

  117. kris diezman says:

    Hello,

    Over a year ago, I contracted with Michael Yellin’s law firm under the “guise” of “A Fresh Start, (AFS) mortgage modification
    specialists. I had a 45 min conversation with Michael Yellin who assured me he would accomplish getting my mortgage payment lowered. At this time I was not late on my payment, but knew I was facing that fact going forward. Mr Yellin told me once I was behind three months, they would step in and start the work to modify my loan. He then asked me for a payment of $250.00 which he debited from my bank account immediately. This was the last time I spoke with him. I was contact by a person named Brady who represented himself as an attorney in the Yellin law firm.

    To make a long story short, they did nothing and my home has gone into foreclosure and I am filing bankruptcy. Every one that contacted me from the Yellin firm told me their services were 100% guaranteed and that they had worked with my mortgage company, Wilshire in the past.

    What has came out of this is FRAUD! MichaelYellin and his team members as liars and they are predators on people facing difficult times. I am reporting this to the bar association, and the better business bureau. I was compensated for that they have caused me and put me through over the past year.

    Kris Diezman
    330-626-5592

    My attorney is John W Demyan

  118. steven ruza says:

    i am a board certified attorney in michigan. i fight for the consumer against the banks

  119. steven ruza says:

    they should force the banks to reduce everyones balance by 100,000 dollars everywhere

  120. Ruth Vazquez says:

    I used to work with First Premier Capital for a few months as there receptionist.
    It didn’t take long for me to catch on that they were a scam.
    Jodi Gonzalez the COO of the company was a B****.
    All the phone calls I ever picked up were nothing but complains of the costumers. She always refused to speek to them. All she wanted was there money.

  121. Come on Ruth! says:

    Ruth, what was your last level of school completed?
    “there recptionist” their
    “the complains of the costumers” complaints of people who dress others, or do you mean customers?
    “There money” their.
    I’m not going to even get into what you can and can’t start a sentence with.
    Ruth, you may have a valid point, but when you look this ignorant, it’s hard to get past your writing.

  122. Juan says:

    Bottom line, if you descide that reaching out for help from an agency or law firm is your last ditch effort to save your home, please be advised;

    If in the consultation you recieve from this place, the representative says the word gaurantee, or promise? Red Flag!!!! Their are NO gaurantees in this industry! PERIOD!

  123. SOMAD says:

    I gave a $2500 retainer to the LAW OFFICE OF JAMES CIOFFI. An educated used car salesman that works for this firm ( Joe Prince) talked me and my husband into the deal. He assured and promised us (via phone and email) that we would not loose any money. After we paid, we found out that we were victims of the bait and switch scam. The “processor” stated that we couldnt do a modification and there were no refunds of the retainer allowed. Well… we lost all of our money that we had in our savings account. Now, we are still struggling with a baby on the way. DONT DO IT!!!

  124. Ron says:

    Sadly, I paid $2495 to a company in Florida called National Loan Restructuring. After a year of bad advice, delays, and even outsourcing my work to a third-party company, they reneged on their Money Back Guarantee when the bank declined our application for a loan modification.

    Their agreement said, “We offer a Money Back Guarantee of the client fee in event that the loan modification is declined.” My application was declined because it was an FHA loan, a fact they should have known before we even started. They claim they have expert attorneys but I never heard them speak of attorneys after the initial sales call. They refused to give me a refund and fabricated a laughable excuse.

    I feel ripped-off by this company and would never recommend them. Their CEO, Robert Ready, was touted to be a pillar of the community, but he wouldn’t even answer my email when I tried to appeal the company’s decision. I will be filing a complaint with the Florida State Attorney General, the Better Business Bureau, and anywhere else I can find to stop these people. I was trying to help a struggling single mom with four children and this company took their money without providing any value. It is a shame.

    Now that I am a little smarter, I would recommend calling your bank directly or utilizing some of the other resources to see if you qualify. If you feel you need professional services, use a local company whose office you can walk into. These people know it would be too expensive for me to take legal action across country, so I am stuck. Don’t let this happen to you. STAY AWAY FROM THESE GUYS!

  125. Brenda Vasquez says:

    I was a client of Strategic Loan Mods in Seattle. They misrepresented all they would do for me, had fake “cases” on their website, and had a money back guarantee that they now say they don’t do anymore. They said they hooked everyone up with attorneys, but they hooked me up with someone that wasn’t. They charged $2500, and $900 was paid to the attorney. They omitted the part that the contract was with the attorney and not them, and so I was only covered for the $900 dollars and I had to go get my money back. Which of course never happened. Very deceptive practices. Also, they really didn’t know what they were doing. The attorney didn’t either. Now they have changed everything on their website to reflect their “learning” experiences. Bottomline this operation was dishonest, and did absolutely nothing to help me out.

  126. Jill J says:

    To: Lousellsco
    Help we’re almost into a refi with a not so reputable company, we need and have to get a refi so we can afford the house we can’t sell and the house we bought. I know, stupid, but we’re giving it every thing we know and nothing is selling the house and we want to keep the house we’re in. We’re down to paying the payments on the home equity loan we’ve had for years and still no house sold without going into short sale. Maybe getting it rented is the answer but still in the same situation got to refi it off of a 5/year and get the payment down, the rental market sucks too. Can’t find renter for the amount we owe in mortgage.
    Can anyone help? Would like someone local in CO if possible.
    Thanks
    Jill

  127. Monkey girl says:

    All of the information on this blog has been very helpful. But, now I’m very confused about whether or not a loan modification is the way to go?
    Can anyone tell me of a good loan modification company or lawyer in the state of Missouri? Thank you and Good Luck to all!

    Monkey girl

  128. Kelly says:

    Has anyone heard of Client Legal Services out of Juno Beach, Florida?

  129. Bill Baskin says:

    It is important to note that the FTC passed the MARS Final Rule that went into full effect January 31, 2011. Under this new Federal Law, only Attorney’s can collect fees for loan modification work, subject of course to more restrictive State laws. It is important to note that the Attorney must be licensed in the State that either the Borrower or the property resides, so out-of-state attorneys would be in violation of the FTC rule were they to offer their services. Mortgage companies, Financial Service companies, loan modification companies, or individials can no longer charge fees until the borrower signs their modification agreement.

    Since this law went into effect, we have had a number of Clients who reported being contacted by firms offering $3000 to $5000 to join their “Financial Services Club”, which offers a free Loan modification to members. We found others promising to get your house free and clear within 90 days, if the borrower would agree to pay 25% of the home value if it happened,and there was a $5,000 fee to “join”. We report any and all “Scammers” like this, or any firm not owned and run by licensed Attorneys to the California Attorney Generals office, or to the AG task force. Forensic Loan audits are also precluded from being sold by anyone except an Attorney, so be careful of these scams as well as they provide almost no value to a consumer and should cost less than $1,000.00. Speak to an Attorney so you understand what impact, if any, a Forensic Loan Audit may have on your case. I see all these names from recent posts like “Strategic Loan modifications” and know they are not law firms….Perform your due diligence on any firm you are considering hiring. Check out their attorney and ideally set up a call or better yet a meeting with the attorney who is in charge of your case before signing or paying any monies. If they stall or are unable to do so, run, as likely no Attorney is present. One other red flag I would look for is any firm that overstates what they can do and does not advise you that you are seeking voluntary concessions that the lender does not have to provide. The outcome of any loan modification case is uncertain at best. A full financial review and underwriting analysis should be performed before anyone can tell you if they believe you “qualify”. My mobile phpne gets cold called every day by some scammer who guarantees me a 2% rate and/or a principal write-down (an unlikely outcome), before they know the first thing about my situation or finances. great website BTW!

  130. Eileen Holly says:

    Has anyone heard if Novation Law Center is a reputable company for a loan modication? They are asking for $3,500 up front.

  131. HL Kligne says:

    I have been in phone conversations with a NY firm that I felt uncomfortable with so I ceased my direction with them. They were in voice telling me they would give a refund IF they couldn’t get my loan modified. But when the paperwork arrived nothing of that is referenced. So I pulled back.. Now they are sitting with all my social security information / loan information .. thank goodness I didn’t give them my banking info….

    Are there honest and repriable loan modifying companies out here. If so HOW DOES ONE FIND THEM…..

    Thank you in advance for your input…

    Sincerely,

    Heinrich

  132. HERMAN SOTO first contacted me. I guess CERTIFIED PROCESSING uses him because somehow he sounds like he has a conscience. Well I got ripped off . I was kind of in doubt so I sent 300.00 of the 595.00 required. They at first would call me on a daily basis. After depositing the money I could not get any return calls or emails. finally when I did they pretended to be working on sending documents to the lender.I spoke to AKA.Herman Soto, Angelique and Star Lisko. Angelique had reviewed all docs. and said she would take care of it late friday. Nobody At Certified Processing seems to work as a team. It seems that nobody knows whats going on. Well that monday after little time for due process, some sleezy smooth talking Christian Troy Calls me And tells me to Deposit $2498.)) everything has been taking care of and the loan mod is in force. He could not tell me who they had spoken to at the mortgage co. After I spoke with the mortgage co. I found out they had made no contact with them. I never received return calls from them again I am in shock that they did not behave at least until the got the $295.00. DON’T SEND CERTIFIED PROCESSING ANY MONEY.

  133. I was ripped off not knowing that Defense Law Group was not license in Michigan and that an out of state office was not ALLOWED to charge a client for a loan modification for out of state location. Tammy Soule 3/28/11 told me to stop paying my mortgage and could get me a loan modification it would cost me 2500.00 and 90 days it would be all set, I had Shannon Becker Senior Loss Mitigation Specialist from 4/22/11 until 11/3/11 then Martha Guerra 11/8/11 until now. Almost one year later still in review with Wells Fargo, my property has been postpone a sale date 5 time since Oct 2011 and still no results. I had to hire another Lawyer in the State of Michigan to handle my case costing me another 1600.00 to be informed that Defense Law Group illegal took money from me being an out of state case and knowing since Feb 2011 the new law was if the property is not in the state that you hold a license with then you are not allowed to charge a client.. This is outrageous that a so called law firm can operate like this an ripe people off.