Home > Avid Law Center, Loan Restructuring > Scams vs. Legitimate debt relief services

Scams vs. Legitimate debt relief services

Beware of Mortgage Relief Scams

The second largest scandal surrounding the current mortgage crisis, aside from the “robo-signing” scandal around foreclosures that came to light in 2010, is the increase in mortgage relief scammers pretending to help those going through very difficult times.

The Wall Street Journal has made it easier for homeowners seeking assistance to tell if they are being victimized, identifying different scams homeowners should be careful of. While we encourage all homeowners to do their research and we wanted to shed additional light on one of the topics discussed in the Wall Street Journal article.

Foreclosure Rescue:

According to the article, some fraudsters are peddling services such as preparing documents for a loan modification. They offer a service, take the homeowner’s money, then disappear. Because of this, homeowners should take caution when paying prior to services being rendered. There’s an exception, as pointed out in the WSJ article, for attorneys, causing some scammers to pose as representatives of law offices.

Legal services during this very stressful time can be an incredible asset to homeowners as the laws are constantly changing and dealing with banks is increasingly getting more difficult, despite government efforts to change the process since there are still no requirements that lenders participate. However, we at Avid Law Center, with over 30 years of legal experience, recommend verifying legal services with the state bar prior to retaining legal services – the State Bar of California maintains a database of California attorneys that can be searched online that also lists any actions affecting eligibility to practice law.

One thing to note about attorney fees, should you decide to retain legal assistance: attorney fees can be intimidating, especially if a homeowner is already experiencing financial hardship. Consider legal services that offer fixed fee pricing as opposed to being charged on an hourly basis that can lead to substantial legal bills. Given the amount of work and time that goes in to each file, fixed pricing is a tremendous value and provides predictability and up front transparency.


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