They will make you fill out a monthly budget form and they will verify your earnings with paystubs. Based on that, they will ask the note owner. Freddie/Fannie are lukewarm about modifying right now. Good luck.
It is against the law to charge upfront Civil Code 1695 and 2425 I think, as long as the property is in default (3 months or more behind).
Modifications are also handled for free by lenders, and yes there are issues, but a client can do these themselves. There is no such thing as a certified foreclosure consultant or similar.