Third-Party Scammers

2012-11-18T00:00:00Z Third-Party ScammersWith Peter G. Miller CTW Features nwitimes.com
November 18, 2012 12:00 am  • 

QUESTION:

We paid a third-party loan modification company almost $1,300 to help prepare the paperwork for a Home Affordable Mortgage Program replacement mortgage. We have had nothing but problems with them: They advised us not to make mortgage payments for three months, have not filled out HAMP paperwork properly and did not put down that we have a second mortgage on the property. Our lender tried numerous times to get in touch but has not heard back. What are our legal remedies to get our money back?

ANSWER:

First of all, there is no charge to enter the HAMP. Anyone can get more information by going to MakingHomeAffordable.gov.

Next, borrowers should always make their loan payments. HAMP is for borrowers who “have a financial hardship and are either delinquent or in danger of falling behind on your mortgage payments (non-owner occupants must be delinquent in order to qualify).” However, the Home Affordable Refinance Program is arguably a better choice, and it’s only open to borrowers who are “current on the mortgage at the time of the refinance, with a good payment history in the past 12 months.”

If you don’t make mortgage payments, you cannot qualify for a HARP refinance, and a refinance of any sort will be more difficult. Why? Those who don’t pay mortgage payments have diminished and devalued credit. This will impact not only your ability to get a home loan but also other forms of credit such as auto financing.

As to reporting the second lien, that’s important for several reasons. First, it’s a debt and must be shown on any loan application. Second, it may be possible to modify the second lien under the Second Lien Modification Program.

Lastly, the FHA, VA and private mortgage insurance companies will all try to help with foreclosure problems. For mortgage insurance companies, ask about “claim advance” or “second look” plans. These are arrangements where the mortgage insurance company works with the lender to bring a loan current or reduce the interest rate.

If you cannot get your money back from the third-party modification company, speak with your state attorney general for advice and assistance.

Email peter@ctwfeatures.com. Due to volume, not all questions may be answered.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

activate-button-3
Follow The Times

Latest Local Offers

Need Your Drains Cleaned?

Jack & Vernon's Septic Service is here to help you out! We…

Featured Businesses

Poll

Loading…

Should the Indiana attorney general's office compel all Lake County municipalities to merge E-911 dispatch services?

View Results