Hiring an Attorney to Help Save You From Foreclosure – Is It Necessary?
When you hear the word loan modification, I bet the first thing that jumps into your mind is scams. Yes, over the past year or so, we have heard plenty of bad news about loan modification companies and seedy people taking homeowners hard earned money and disappearing without being heard from again. Since greed always has a way of tainting what should be seen as a good thing, let’s spring forward to the present.
Many states have passed laws trying to protect homeowners from further scams and like here in Florida, the only people who can help you modify your home are either HUD approved counselors, licensed Attorney’s or mediation programs provided by the state. If you have not heard the FTC has banned all loan modification companies or anyone from collecting upfront fees. However, this does not include licensed Attorney’s. So how do you find a respectful attorney? After all we have even heard scams about attorneys and so we are left to ask ourselves who can we trust?
Let’s take a look at some of the warning signs of a scam:
– Anyone stating they can guarantee a loan modification
– Asking for upfront fee’s
– Request for you to sign over the property to a third party
– Will tell you they will pay the mortgage for you
Common sense will tell you “if it sounds too good to be true” then it probably is. After all only the lender can modify your home and only the lender has the final say so. The idea behind asking for assistance isn’t for someone to say “yes you will get a loan modification”, but to guide you through the process and to assist you in understanding your options. So even if you are looking at hiring an attorney you should do your homework and know the laws in your state, get referrals from the attorney, look them up on the Attorney General website in your state, the BBB if they are participating and you can also find some good information on the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
; is another good source and is actually a service of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. According to HUD’s Brian Sullivan, the first thing a home owner should do is contact a HUD approved housing counseling agency before even considering hiring legal representation. However, if you are facing foreclosure or trying to fight foreclosure and the sale of your home, hiring a foreclosure defense attorney can benefit you since they would usually be schooled in the laws in your state. A nonprofit organization maybe able to refer you to an attorney, however, they do not reserve the right to give out legal advice. Those homeowners who decide to hire an attorney can also contact the local bar association to see if there is any pro bono attorneys available to assist. Do not forget about mediation program options as well, many attorneys may also participate to assist you with this option.