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Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 55595
Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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How do i know if a mortgage modification company is a legitimate

Customer Question

How do i know if a "mortgage modification company" is a legitimate company other than checking the BBB?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Richard replied 6 years ago.

Good afternoon. Most of them are not. Here's the way to tell. If their fee is based on performance...either only paid upon a modification closing or if paid early, placed in escrow with an independent third party to be released to you if the modification hasn't been accomplished within a specified period....then they are going to be legitimate. If they require you to pay them up front without your money being placed in escrow, then they are most likely not legitimate and you will have ended up paying for nothing.



I hope this has given you the guidance you were seeking. I wish you the best of luck!


If you have a follow-up question, please remember that there might be a delay between your follow up questions and my answers because I may be helping other clients or taking a break.


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If you need additional clarification on this question after clicking ACCEPT, please do not hesitate to click Reply and I will be happy to do what I can to help you further. Thanks for allowing me to be of service to you.


The information given here is not legal advice. As all states have different intricacies in their laws, the information given is general only. This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship with you. I hope this answer has been helpful to you.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your fast response! We're dealing with a company (which you may have heard of), out of Scottsdale, AZ. We haven't sent them any money yet thank goodness... i just had a bad feeling about it. Though my initial research on the company showed them as a "OK" company, digging deeper tonight i found that they recently changed their name due to bad ratings at the BBB and horrible reviews on many different blogs.

Unfortunately our bank is expecting a mortgage payment tomorrow and we're not able to make it. We thought we were going to use this company that promised us our mortgage would be modified and we were supposed to send them money instead of the bank. Do you have any helpful suggestions to get ourselves out of this mess??

Expert:  Richard replied 6 years ago.

Thank goodness you haven't sent them any money. You have a good bit of leverage with your lender because you are in AZ. Under AZ, the lender cannot pursue you for any shortfall if you let the property go to foreclosure, and the lender does not want to foreclose because they don't want to own real estate, so play hardball with them and negotiate the modification with them yourself.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Sorry for the misunderstanding, we live in Michigan and the company we were dealing with is in Arizona
How much are the banks able to move on negotiations??
This is definitely not my forte...
Expert:  Richard replied 6 years ago.
They can do anything they want to basically. Given that you are in Michigan, which is a deficiency state, the poorer you can make yourself look, the better chance you have of working out a payment reduction. In the end, they do not want to foreclose on property and only do so as a last resort.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Well my wife is working a lower income medical job right now...and i'm not currently working, so that shouldn't be too much of a problem. So do you suggest we call our lender and tell them what we're able to afford? Our lender has given us a temporary "adjusted amount" to pay for the next three months...then they will re-evaluate us at that it sounds to me like the payments aren't being applied to our mortgage.
Even at that, we cannot afford the adjusted amount that they want us to pay.
Expert:  Richard replied 6 years ago.
Yes, that's exactly what I suggest you do....when you get several months behind, they will start paying attention to you.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I'm not sure how much leverage we have at this point...we are two years behind on our mortgage. We have been on three hardship programs through our lender (PNC), and one other "adjusted amount" program. They have worked with us and vice versa, nothing is going anywhere. It's as though they're waiting for our income to go back to what it was so they can try to collect on all that's overdue.

Expert:  Richard replied 6 years ago.

Good luck to you with this.


I would appreciate it if you would please click the GREEN ACCEPT button so that I receive credit for my work; otherwise, though you have made a deposit, I do not receive credit.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
We qualify for the HAMP program and possibly the HHF program, how do we go about having our lender moving our mortgage in that direction??
Expert:  Richard replied 6 years ago.
I'm going to opt out and let someone else help you from here. Take care.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.