Choosing a Loan Modification Company - Perception Vs Reality

Current statistics show that one in four American homes with mortgages is either currently in foreclosure or imminently faces foreclosure. This 25% statistics is estimated to reach 50% by the end of 2011. The housing crises has reached every level of American society from school teachers to movie stars, from bricklayers to government officials. No one seems to be immune.

The problem for the troubled homeowner lies in securing real and legitimate help. Finding real loan modification help can be a lot like finding the queen in a three card monte set up on a New York street corner. The ratio of con artists to legitimate mortgage modification companies seems to be about 9:1. This disparity places serious odds against the homeowner securing honest help. Here is a bit of advice that may help the homeowner in the search for legitimate loan modification help.

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The first reality that must be identified before proceeding any further is that of Loan Modification itself. The question is: "Is loan modification a real solution?" The answer is a definitive "YES." Loan modification is an integral part of President Obama's economic recovery policy. It is a simple matter of fact, as well as public record, that nearly $75 Billion U.S dollars were earmarked in the TARP 1 legislative bill, passed in early 2009. This money was specifically earmarked to facilitate loan modifications for troubled homeowners. Loan Modification is a real solution endorsed and financially supported by the federal government.

The second reality that the homeowner must understand is that currently 90% to 95% of the advertising and web sites associated with loan modification constitute nothing more than marketing sleight of hand. The following information should help homeowners make informed decisions when it comes to choosing the right mortgage modification company.

Here is the most common con job currently used in the loan modification world:

"Attorney based" - Here is how this one works...

Perception -- The advertising/website will indicate that Attorneys are the only people who can legitimately perform mortgage modifications. The general message will be that the only "safe" route to a mortgage modification is through an "attorney based" company. The text of the website will continually carry on about how this "attorney backed" company will be looking for legal errors in the contract etc. etc. etc. The largest text on the website will tout the "Attorney Based" status of the company.

Reality -- This is the most common ruse in the industry. The reality is that "attorney based" "attorney backed" "attorney affiliated" in no way guarantees that an actual attorney is performing your loan modification. What it generally means is that an attorney, perhaps one that is not currently chasing ambulances, has leased or rented his license/name to a company so that a claim to "attorney affiliation" can be made. Don't believe me?- Try asking a couple of simple questions. First ask if the attorney is a real estate attorney. Ask if the attorney will actually perform the work. Ask to speak to the attorney. Ask how often you will be contacted by the "attorney." Ask how many files the "attorney" is currently working on. The homeowner may pay fees commiserate with "attorney" fees but there is very little real chance that an actual "attorney" will ever lay eyes on the file.

There may very well may be some legitimate lawyers or attorneys performing loan modifications but Research has indicated that the vast majority of "attorney based" loan modification companies advertising on the internet fall into the category described above.

Mortgage modification is a legitimate solution to a difficult situation. The abundance of con artists trying to make a quick buck have not made the task any easier for the American homeowner. The amount of negative press associated with mortgage modification has created a situation wherein those who could really use help are afraid to act.

Research is the name of the game when contemplating engaging a loan modification company. One of the best research tools is right at the homeowner's fingertips. Google provides a quick and easy research method. Simply type in the name of the modification company (or attorney) you are considering and then type in the words "scam" or "complaints." Hit enter and see what comes up. Good luck.

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