After the news of more government shut downs of fraudulent mortgage relief companies has hit the airwaves, many Americans are left wondering if there really is any legitimate help available. Although there may be plenty of companies looking to scam innocent homeowners by offering foreclosure help, there are reputable agencies out there that can provide the relief you need. The trick to finding them is knowing what to look for and what questions to ask.
Mortgage Help The Right Way
The Federal Trade Commission has made it their mission in recent months to step up their efforts in educating consumers about their rights when it comes to mortgage relief services. Perhaps one of the most obvious signs of a non-reputable company is one that requires payment in full and up front. You should never have to pay for services that have not been rendered, or rendered appropriately. If you are pursuing a mortgage loan modification, you should not pay until you have (1) received a written offer from your lender and (2) accept the offer in writing.
Companies are also required to disclose certain information to all consumers. A reputable mortgage relief company will disclose the following information:
- They are not associated with the government, nor have their services been approved by the government
- They cannot guarantee your lender will approve of, or agree to, modifications to your loan
- They do not advise you to stop paying your mortgage; unless they also inform you that doing so could result in losing your home and damaging your credit
- They do not advise you to stop communicating with your lender
If you are working with a company that has not voluntarily disclosed any of this information or they have insisted on upfront payment, consult a foreclosure lawyer. A lawyer is a trustworthy advocate that can help you resolve your mortgage debts legally and safely.