Here in California, our Department of Real Estate website (dub dub dub dot dre dot gov) lists the companies that have DRE "permission" to modify loans... add to this list any licensed California attorney, and that is where you should begin your due diligence search when you seek help in California. Other states probably have similar laws, so check with your own state DRE and state bar.
My law firm has been getting more and more calls recently from homeowners that were victims of predatory lenders who put them into an unaffordable loan and now fell into the hands of those same people who sold the toxic loans but profess to be saviors... DONâ€™T BE A VICTIM TWICE! Whatâ€™s that they say, â€œFool me once, shame on you, but fool me twice, and Iâ€™ll sue your butt!â€
Do your homework and THOROUGHLY investigate any firm before hiring them to save your biggest asset and the place you call â€œhome.â€ Scammers are popping up like dandelions on a freshly mowed lawn in April. They advertise on the Internet, freeway billboards, radio, television, and print media everywhere, not to mention spamming your email box with those third-world widows needing someone to receive three million dollars for them. Make no mistake, in many cases, these â€œloan modification expertsâ€ are the exact same loan officers and mortgage brokers who fleeced homeowners the first time around. After losing their jobs with the crash of the mortgage industry, they have found a new way to make ill-gotten profits from hard-working homeowners through loan modifications.
In California, with very few exceptions (and attorneys are one exceptionâ€¦ no coincidence thereâ€¦ attorneys make the laws), it is against the law for anyone to take money up front for helping a homeowner who is in default. Donâ€™t trust a company that begins its relationship with you by breaking the law.
HEREâ€™S THE BOTTOM LINE!
Hire an attorney â€“ and not just any attorney either - one with experience in mortgage law, not just one with real estate law experience but one with experience in both FEDERAL and STATE litigation against mortgage companies, one who doesnâ€™t also do family law, criminal law, admiralty law, and immigration law as well, one who limits the practice to mortgage law (or at least a great majority of it), one who has the experienced staff, training, and know how to take on the big lenders and their top notch lawyers (lenders have attorneys â€“ and darn good ones â€“ check out their counsel on the web â€“ big names top schools, shouldnâ€™t you have a lawyer too?).
We are not talking about a refund on your broken television here, we are talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars and your HOME â€“ if you donâ€™t think this is the time to hire a highly educated and experienced professional instead of a weekend schooled, almost out of work, broker slash loan officer slash â€œexpensive water in a wine bottle with alleged magical curative powersâ€ salesperson, I donâ€™t know what would make you take things seriously.
Of course, this is one obnoxious lawyer's totally biased opinion, but one based on many many distressing calls to my office every day. And, yes, my firm loves taking cases against loan modification companies who have violated laws. This field is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing sections for our mortgage law firm.
- Paul J. Molinaro, Esq.
The loss of home is compounded where unscrupulous professionals have cashed in on the opportunity. An attorney who boasts about modifications at a time where very few exist is a red flag. What does any professional know that congress and the senate do not?
NOTE - Comments and a view ; I am not any way shape of form affiliated with any "Brokers" nor do I lay claim to "Know WHO caused this mess". Its unsettling to lay blame on anyone where ad hoc reasoning assumes and only is based on random assumptions - If African Americans lead the nation in Foreclosure.....then they a victims or what? I do want to rid the world of Real Estate and mortgage brokers if someone can conclusively determine they solely caused the problem. OTHERWISE THATS DEFAMATORY AND CAUSE FOR CLAIMS OF DEFAMATION AND LIBEL ACCORDING A CIVIL LIBERTIES INQUIRY.
The National Association of Mortgage Brokers WILL RESPOND to the strange comments listed herein if truley by a Lawyer. BEST ANSWER? It is shocking, unconscionable and defamatory. How one can single out a professional consisting of various races and ethnicity and label such as...... (read for yourself).
We have spoken to an Attorney General as a result of the void for attorneys understanding the complexity of the mortgage debacle and he agrees with the implication of securities fraud and violations of federal guidelines. He will pursue an action on anyoneâ€™s behalf if necessary where willful malpractice is evident.
But ongoing slanderous remarks made by attorneys and published repeatedly over the net against organizations like the NAR and MBA and there members is wrong Ouchhhh! This matter caused us to write the State bar about lawyers generating business out of fear for a profession and at the expense of others gainfully employed and against business for business sake. Where were these professionals when this mortgage deal broke out over 16 months ago? Where? Why they are suddenly eager to jump in. Ask them to file a suit and hopefully not just pick off a mandatory settlement you lender maybe offering.
But why now with settlement talk coming down the line. And if there are borrowers suffering from more trying instances of fraud how can they help? Litigators need to litigate and I commend those who risk the cost of action with Pro Bono and paid from settlement . But why now after the problems and the situation has become even more compounded.
Likewise be careful as we have seen a number of recent cases where the clients paid a ridiculous retainer and were left with nothing and lost their home. The arguments made in court were not what the understanding was. Just ask first - We are called constantly and elect not to interfere. But do ask:
1) Can an attorney boast of any recent experience or victories in court that would indicate they are in the know on a very difficult subject.
2) Has the attorney written a private placement memorandum
3) Can the attorney recite securities laws and provisions for a Pass Through Investment Trust to lose its Blue Sky
4) Where will the attorney take the matter upon retainer and is there a definite resolution
5) What confidence does the attorney have in the violations that exist and hidden causes for predatory lending. If the attorney does not have these answers will they have access to a qualified "Expert"
If you hired counsel and find yourself $15,000 in the hole - I donâ€™t know what to tell you other than find another attorney to handle the case.
In order for the plaintiff to establish that damages were suffered as a result of the alleged malpractice, depending upon state law, it is often necessary for the plaintiff to prove that, but for the malpractice, a favorable verdict would have been won or greater damages recovered. In essence, this is a retrial of the original litigation within the context of the malpractice action - a case within a case.
Attorney-Client Privilege: It is important to note that within the context of a legal malpractice action, a lawyer may utilize what were formerly privileged communications from the client in order to respond to allegations of negligence.
Fools and bigger fools
Funny where we (law firm) had a guy who we got $50,000 cash for keys offer- - - pending litigation right?
He loses the $50,000 and the house. Yes--does happen !
Another deal we got down to $ 250,000 on a $ 780,000 outstanding.
After wasting a 60 days short fuse he burned the chance.
It does happen and some lenders do try (when compelled.)
I know this is about 9 months later, but anyone else looking for answers can try http://www.hud.gov
and look for home counselors and have your clients talk to them.
The home councelor will not answer any questions if you are not the home owner.
Jes Sierra, B.Sc.
1. Tax returns from the last two years
2. Check stubs and w-2s
3. Bank statements (both savings and checking)
4. Hardship letter
5. Completed financial statement (probably included with your monthly bill)
6. The Customer Service telephone number which can be found in your mortgage statement
Call the number, listen to the messages and press the number that will direct you to someone who can provide you with a fax number for loan mod app.
Follow up, follow up, and more follow up...until you know someone is assigned and working on your file. More follow up...do it every other day and do it yourself.
Also make sure all pages your faxing have your account number written on the top or bottom of the page.