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Sep 2010

Paying for help with loan mods

Posted by / in Weekly Posts / 3 comments

Generally I don’t recommend paying for help with loan mods.  Two reasons.  I think people can do pretty well on their own.  And the professional loan mod business is filled with scams.  (Here’s an article about how Florida is trying to shut down scams.)

(When I say do pretty well on your own, that does not mean you will be approved the first time you apply, or the process goes without a hitch.   I probably know two hundred people who got loan mods, finally.  I don’t think any of them didn’t have all their paperwork lost at least once.)

Still some people ask me for a recommendation.   Here are two people you can talk to.

I believe these are honest people.  What does that mean?  I’m aware that both of these people, have told at least some people, “we can’t help you” and turned money away.  That’s different from the scammers who claim “100% success rate” and say “we guarantee you’ll get approved.”

So, I’m not in a position to say these people are always get results.  But I do believe they are honest.

The first is Compliance Counsel, headed by Dena Roudybush.   Ms. Roudybush is a lawyer.  In fact she was a lawyer for a large local mortgage broker–a company that I noticed was an unusually honest mortgage broker.

She did interview on News Channel 8 talking about who hard it is to try to compete with the scams.

Her number is (703) 261-7097.

The second is Fred Lear.  He operates as Vantage Negotiation Services.  Lear is a former loan officer.   His phone number is 703-447-8571.   He told me that he gets only a down payment of his fee upfront, and collects the rest when the loan mod is approved.

Again, I’m not in a position to judge how well these people do.  But I think they are both honest and do their best.

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Robert Weed has helped fifteen thousand people file bankruptcy in Northern Virginia. Robert Weed is a frequent panelist and speaker at the meetings of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. He is one of Northern Virginia’s most experienced personal bankruptcy lawyers. As an expert on changing consumer bankruptcy laws, Robert Weed has been interviewed on local and national TV and quoted in newspapers across the country.

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    Robert Weed

    October 5, 2010, pm31 12:49 PM

    Fred Lear called me up after he saw my post. He told me that he will often take loan mod clients for NO MONEY up front. He’ll collect his whole fee only if he succeeds. I wanted to pass that on.

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    Robert Weed

    October 11, 2010, pm31 8:08 PM

    Just today I met with a couple whose house–which they could easily have saved–was foreclosed because they fell into the hands of one of the internet loan mod scammers.

    They found the Jonathan Ellowitz Law Group on the internet and paid them over $3000 to help with a loan mod. This law group claims to be in California. “Turn everything over to us” was what they were told. And they did–including sending on the certified letters from the foreclosure lawyers.

    Result, the house was sold in June–they didn’t even know until they got an eviction notice.

    Here’s the lesson. The internet is fine for research and information. But if you are hiring a professional service, get someone who you can look in the eye. Somebody who is licensed in your state. and who has an address where you could send the cops if he steals your money.

    This link shows you a couple things. At the top, real reviews from people who were scammed. Below that, the phony reviews that they placed on themselves. http://www.trustlink.org/Reviews/Jonathan-R-Ellowitz-A-Professional-Law-Corporation-206070230. These scammers have lots of time to praise themselves on the internet, because they don’t actually do any work at all for the money they collect.

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    Robert Weed

    November 27, 2010, am30 11:55 AM

    Today’s Washington Post says new regulations by the Federal Trade Commission will ban mortgage modification companies–except lawyers–from collecting their fee before they have gotten a proposed mod from the lender. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/26/AR2010112601098.html
    That should shake out of the system the scammers who charge a couple thousand up front and do nothing at all. (Those scammers has had so much money to spend on advertising–since they don’t actually do any work–they pretty much pushed any honest people out of the business.)

    Allowing lawyers to still charge up front is based on the idea that the states disbar lawyers who are scamming people. Hope that’s true. (You’ll notice the scammer in my last comment at least pretended to be a lawyer.)

    My recommendations stay the same as they’ve been for a while.

    1. Most people can do as well on their own as they can paying someone.

    2. Don’t take it personally when your mod application is lost for the third time. I only know one person who got approved on his first try.

    3. Fred Lear, who operates as Vantage Negotiation Services, has already been not charging until he had an offer. To me, that was the mark of an honest guy. Lear is a former loan officer. His phone number is 703-447-8571.

    4. Compliance Counsel, headed by Dena Roudybush, is a Virginia law firm. That doesn’t mean they always succeed, but if they cheated you, you would know who to complain to and where to send the cops. (703) 261-7097.

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