This topic is covered in a couple of threads over at Rain City. Real estate agents providing this service are most likely engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, IMHO.
Consumers can do loan modifications themselves with some assistance. The consumer must have the available time to spend on the phone and some determination. One of the reasons consumers fail is they do not know what to expect. I have produced free reports, tracking tools and resources to help borrowers deal with their banks and set their expectations properly. This is all for FREE!
Loan modification companies likely have a higher success rate but the fees off set the gain and it is difficult to know what companies are legit or not. I am still looking for a good local company to refer to but have found none.
As far as agents jumping on the bandwagon, well why aren't they doing short sales? Negotiating with lenders in either case is very different from the deal making activities the industry is used referring to as negotiating. As long as they are following the DFI prescribed requirements and are willing to work hard I'm sure some will succeed. $2,500 is actually not bad as long as it is paid for an modification that is acceptable to the customer.
I'd agree $2,500 is a reasonable fee, but I really don't see what a real estate agent brings to the table on doing a loan modification. It really seems totally outside the area of what a real estate agent does.
When we have clients that are buying property, we don't find them loans. We find them people that do that sort of work--loan originators.