Having your loan modification case presented to a lender by a competent attorney can help your cause and bring more favorable results. The loan modification process is a complex legal process, and if not handled properly according to federal and state laws, things can get worse for you in the long run.
A loan modification attorney has valuable experience negotiating with banks and legal entities, and he or she understands state and federal law as well as lending regulations. He or she can potentially employ laws like the Real Estate and Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) to your advantage. In fact, several states are currently considering legislation which requires attorney involvement for loan modification requests.
Negotiating from a position of strength is what most attorneys strive to do. In the loan modification context, we seek negotiating leverage to help you avoid foreclosure and to keep your home with an interest rate and loan term that you can handle.
"Loss Mitigation" is a new industry and not adequately regulated. This situation has led to the creation of a number of unethical entities purporting to provide "loss mitigation", "loan modification," "note negotiation", and "stop foreclosure" services. In New York State for example, the Attorney General has recently stated that he is launching a nationwide investigation into 14 unscrupulous loan modification companies.
Homeowners should be aware that such companies really do exist and are advised to avoid ones that offer 100% guarantees or are "attorney-backed" where the attorney is not available. Ask to speak to the attorney and see he has the experience necessary.
Sometimes loan modification companies advertising contains the words "Attorney backed", "Attorney assisted" or "Attorney based." It is important to remember that for the most part, these attorneys are not your attorney and these companies should not mislead you or misrepresent the fact that they are a genuine law office and have the ability to protect your rights in a court of law. In fact, these companies often only obtain an unaffordable forbearance agreement from your lender – something you likely could have done yourself.
If you are approached by a "loan mod" or "loan modification" company to help negotiate your mortgage or stop foreclosure please be careful as to not fall victim and research them carefully. Ask to speak with an attorney as these companies may take upfront monies, a portion of which is non-refundable and there are no guaranteed results. Having examples or testimonials from past clients on websites are standard marketing strategies and should not be relied upon wholeheartedly. Make sure they have an approved contract on file with the state they are licensed in and are in good standing.
If you are one of the many frightened home borrowers and are seeking to have your loan modified, the best practice is to seek out the services of a qualified attorney who can protect your rights, give you some reliable advice, and help you make the right financial decision.
For more information regarding your particular loan modification matter, please call Jeffrey M. Binder, Esq. at 914-946-3191.