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Wells Fargo or Hells Fargo or posted this video and it is hilarious unless you feel like you are going through Loan Modification hell.

Unfortunately the same scenario of faxing and refaxing  and refaxing and waiting on hold long periods of time only to get a rep in another country who can’t speak English and has no authority or knowledge has been the story for most of the big lenders and servicers in the last several years.

When it comes to doing nearly any kind of loss mitigation or loan work out the task can be daunting. This news article just popped up on my radar: Foreclosure help often a scam.  Unfortunately the lenders inability and unwillingness to efficiently handle the process of helping homeowners has played right into the hand of the many scam artists out there looking to make a fast buck from people in desperate circumstances.

Here are a few signs that you are dealing with someone that is not actually going to help you:

  1. Money up front– You should avoid working with anyone who charges up front for services.  Many services are provided free and you shouldn’t even get a bill for them.  Loan modification help can be gotten from a non profit for free.  Attorneys who do loan modifications typically will charge up front for them and they deserve their fee.  But be careful of attorneys who specialize in loan modifications.  Many are losing their license and going to jail because it is so easy to collect money up front and do nothing and then blame it on the bank and keep the fee.  In many states it is illegal for an attorney to charge money up front for a modification.  As a real estate agent helping clients sell on a short sale I typically charge only what the bank will pay and don’t hold the seller liable for my commission.  If a borrower calls me I will direct them or refer them to a reputable person or organization that will assist them with their needs.
  2. Not local– Work with local attorneys, non profits, real estate agents, etc that you can go and meet and see that they are for real.  If someone knows you could show up at their office and rip them a new rear end they are more likely to shoot straight.  Just human nature there.
  3. No license or affiliation- I am not talking Better Business Bureau here.  I can’t tell you how many scammers started out with a positive BBB history but then quickly rolled out their scam on a massive level before their negative history could catch up with them.  I can think of two times that I was scammed by folks who before I was scammed had excellent BBB history.  Remember the BBB makes money by charging it’s members fees.  Often times scammers will show government agency logos in their marketing as an attempt to make you think that they are endorsed by these agencies.  Be wary of that as well.  You should look for the following: A state licensed attorney,  a state licensed real estate broker a HUD approved housing counselor.  These licenses, certifications or endorsements aren’t a guarantee that you will be helped, however they are the minimum you should look for when you are in a bind.
  4. Asks you stop communication with your lender- If the so called professional you are dealing with tells you not to talk with your lender, instead of following that direction you need to stop talking with that so called professorial.  You are simply going to get your self in more hot water.  Comunication with your lender is vital no matter what professional you are dealing with.
  5. They are reaching out to you- I have to be careful here because I send postcards to people who are in foreclosure.  I run ads directing people who are having a mortgage hardship to call me via TV, radio, Google and other medias.  Does that mean you shouldn’t call me?  No… but you need to be extra careful in evaluating those who reach out to you directly.    At least do a little search on Google to see if anyone else has has positive or negative experiences with the individual.

Know any other signs of a scammer?  Comment below.


Andy Morris is an Ohio real estate broker with an expertise in selling homes on a short sale. If your Ohio home is heading towards foreclosure or you owe more than your property is worth, please call Andy at 888-4-STOP-IT to see if you qualify for a short sale with your lender.  Are you not in my area?  His foreclosure answer service is free to you as well!

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