The California Department of Real Estate is receiving record numbers of complaints about unfair practices by for-profit loan modification companies, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported May 5. According to the article, regulators at the agency, which handles complaints about licensed real estate professionals, received complaints about few loan modification firms last fall. But this spring, after a record year for foreclosures in California, complaints have soared to include about 500 companies, requiring the department to add a dozen extra workers to handle those complaints. A spokesman for the department predicted in the article that it's likely to soon see "a whole new crop of victims."
Loan modification companies intercede on their clients' behalf with mortgage lenders, pushing for a loan workout The most common complaint the article noted was about up-front payment requirements; many consumers have complained that they paid thousands in up-front fees and got little or nothing in return. In fact, this is illegal for real estate professionals doing business in California, who may not charge such fees unless they are attorneys on retainer or have a special arrangement with regulators. There are ethical nonprofit organizations doing this work on behalf of consumers as well, the Union-Tribune noted, but many are overwhelmed by the number of homeowners who come to them needing help.
As Garden Grove loan modification lawyers, we're happy to see that the state is moving in to clean up the crop of sham loan modification companies that have popped up in response to the mortgage crisis. Some of these companies are legitimately trying to help, but many more are taking advantage of the desperation of homeowners facing default or foreclosure. Instead of helping these people, who are already financially distressed, the scammers take their money and stop answering phone calls, or provide services that are of little value. Regulatory action may get some victims a refund, but for many, it comes too late to stop a foreclosure.
If you need meaningful changes to your mortgage -- from a legally accountable professional -- the Anaheim law firm of Howard Law LLP can help. Unlike a fly-by-night loan modification company, we are an established law firm with a demonstrable track record of success negotiating workouts for our clients' mortgages. Our Los Alamitos loan modification attorneys have successfully lowered interest rates, changed repayment periods and converted exotic and variable-rate mortgages to more conventional forms for our clients. As attorneys, we bring knowledge about your legal rights to the table, along with negotiating skills -- which means banks pay attention to us. Where appropriate, we are not afraid to use evidence of predatory lending to get you a modification that keeps your payments reasonable, so you can stay in your home.
If you're at risk of default or foreclosure and your lender refuses to return your calls, Howard Law can help. For a free, confidential consultation with our Placentia loan modification lawyers, please contact us online or call us toll-free at 1-800-872-5925.