No. Every mortgage company has its own program for administering requests for mortgage modification or hardship assistance, and most mortgages are serviced by a company that participates in the Making Home Affordable Program that was executed by the Obama administration (but actually created by Congress and George W. Bush just before Bush left office). The process is designed to be completely achievable by ordinary people. You just need a bit of time, persistence, and proof of your income and residency.
Of course, if you search Google for ‘professional’ help with loan modification, you’ll see about a hundred different companies that claim to be able to lower your payment, stop foreclosures, reduce your principal balance if you’re underwater, and all sorts of things that they utterly cannot guarantee. You know what those companies can do that you can’t? Absolutely nothing. They aren’t attorneys and they cannot really represent you in any sort of legal or administrative proceeding. All they do is fill out the paperwork that anyone can download from the HAMP website or the mortgage servicer’s own site and get the documents from you and make a few phone calls to the mortgage servicer.
Now don’t get me wrong: I’m all for helping out homeowners who don’t understand the paperwork. And some of these outfits do provide a service. But they charge you wayyy too much for it. Some of them charge as much as $3,000 or $4,000, and they’ll even tell you to pay them instead of your mortgage company.
You could get a real attorney to help you for half that price. Generally, in the initial application stage, there isn’t much an attorney can do for you that you can’t. Having an attorney becomes useful when things go wrong. If, for instance, they say that you make too much money when in fact you sent them a tax return showing that your mortgage payment was over 1/3 of your gross income. Or if you complete all three of your trial period plan payments on time and they still don’t give you a loan modification. Or if they foreclose on you before reviewing your application for loss mitigation options. Or when the mortgage company claims that they “didn’t receive” the required documentation when you know that you’ve sent it to them. These are the things that at attorney can help you with.
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