There have been some great stories about how this recession has turned laid-off employees into entrepreneurs. We have all the admiration in the world for people who have taken lemons and turned them into six-figure income-generating lemonade conglomerates.
We have nothing but contempt, however, for the unscrupulous who are trying to gain at the expense of those hit hardest by this poor economy.
We warned you about the pitfalls of dealing with shady debt settlement companies. Now we’re here to tell you about misleading mortgage modification services. These are the people who call you and promise that they can negotiate on your behalf with your home lender to lower your mortgage payments.
Sounds good, right? You’ve gotten nowhere with the bank, and this person is rattling off examples of how he has saved other homeowners in your area thousands and thousands of dollars.
Hang up the phone. Chances are very high that it’s a scam. Your first red flag? If the person requests a fee upfront. These companies should only be charging a fee once services have been rendered, and for good reason. Corrupt mortgage modification services have been charging their homeowner clients thousands of dollars in upfront fees, promising them a refund if their mortgage payments aren’t lowered.
Time passes, and passes, and passes. The homeowners are told to be patient and wait for results.
Eventually, the results are that the mortgage modification companies convert your mortgage to an “interest-only” loan with low payments, that will reset at an exorbitant rate within a year. In response to the homeowners’ complaints and demands for a refund, the companies respond that they got what they wanted – lower payments in the short term. Keep in mind that these are the good results – oftentimes, the mortgage modification companies simply walk off with their clients’ money, or even the deeds to their homes.
These deceitful practices have become so rampant that the Federal Trade Commission has stepped in. Just last week, prosecutors nationwide filed 189 legal actions against mortgage modification consultants. The litany of charges run the gamut of fraudulent practices, from stealing clients’ fees, to forging signatures and falsifying documents.
If you’d like help with trying to lower your mortgage payments, your safest bet is to contact a counselor approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Assistance by these counselors is being offered for free, as part of President Obama’s new “Making Home Affordable” program. The plan is to help millions of families restructure or refinance their mortgages to lower their monthly payments. Best of luck!
For a free consultation or if you need any assistance from Las Vegas Bankruptcy Attorneys, or have questions about Las Vegas Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, or Las Vegas Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, or Las Vegas Debt Settlement, please call the offices of Haines and Krieger at 702-880-5554 today.