Avoiding mortgage and debt relief scams

This little article in the New York Times caught my eye. It points out how some desparate homeowners are being scammed by companies claiming to be able to help with mortgage relief.


There is a lot of hype about mortgage relief. And there is a cottage industry of companies that promise to reduce your debts through negotiation (these are called “Debt Relief” agencies). The consistent thread I see is that it is hard to predict who gets what results from lenders and when. But here are some things to remember:

1. No lender is required to modify any mortgage or other loan. It is a contract. If the lender is going to give you something, they are going to want something of value in return.

2. Reputable professionals do not make promises of specific results when it comes to loan modifications. They can give you opinions on possible or likely outcomes.

3.  A licensed attorney in your state may require an up front deposit, but you are entitled to have a clear written explanation of what fees are going to be based on.

4. A loan modification may be the right move for you, or it may not. You need to explore all the alternatives.

5. Finding the right professional for you requires some research. Stay with recognized professionals with whom you feel comfortable.

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