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Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Beware of Mortgage Modification Scams
Mortgage Modifications have gained popularity in recent years, but many Mortgage Modifications Company are in legal turmoil due to unfair business practices. Often they will promise to lower Mortgage payments but cannot deliver on those promises and leave Homeowners in a worse situation than before. Currently there are several Attorney Generals in various states who are pursuing Legal actions against these companies.
Advance fees and demands that a homeowner stop making payments are key hallmarks of a scam. A Federal Trade Commission rule that took effect last week makes it illegal for companies to tell consumers to stop paying their mortgage, unless they also tell them that they could lose their home and damage their credit rating by doing so. A federal ban on collecting advance fees under the same rule will take effect at the end of this month.
It is already illegal in Florida for a loan modification company to charge a fee up front, and the state attorney general's office confirmed to HuffPost that it is currently investigating NHR, partially based in Florida, for "unfair and deceptive practices with regard to collecting fees and utilizing a client contract."
FTC spokesman Frank Dorman said the volume of loan modification scams has significantly increased with the uptick in foreclosures in the past few years.
"While the scams have existed in some form for awhile, as delinquencies and foreclosure filings have risen the opportunity for loan modification and foreclosure rescue scams has increased," he said. "We advise people to avoid any company or individual that requires a fee in advance, guarantees to stop a foreclosure or modify a loan, or advises the homeowner to stop paying the mortgage company. Many of the complaints received by the FTC include not being able to contact the company after paying for mortgage refinance services, not being able to get their money back and not receiving proper help from the company after paying for services."
It is always recommended to that you get legal advise from an Attorney prior to entering into any Loan Modification agreement. Many Bankruptcy and financial services Law firm offer modification options as well. It is often better to hire an attorney's office to do your Modification because they have the backing of a real Lawyer. Many Loan Modification Companies are only loosely affiliated with an Attorney and many have no legal expertise or backing whatsoever.
The Carbone Law Firm has a Loan Modification Expert on staff and they have a better than average results when it comes to Modifying loans. Most Importantly we have been in business for over 17 years and are based locally in Wall, New Jersey, so you know who you are dealing with and where your money is going. For a free Consultation call us at 732-681-6800 or visit us on the web at www.cerbonelaw.com for more information.