The Law Offices of ALG and Associates – Loan Modification
How Do I Choose the Right Law Firm for a Loan Modification?
The Law Offices of ALG and Associates is a Professional Law Firm – legal experts in Real Estate Law, offering Legal Representation of Non-Advanced Fee Loan Modifications, Commercial Workouts, Litigation, Short Sales, Bankruptcy, and Debt Settlement.
Many property owners realize they are in an unsustainable financial position and need a loan modification on their primary residence, second home or income property’s mortgage to retain ownership of the property. Many have heard the horror story of paying thousands of dollars to a “loan modification company” before any work has started and have never heard from the company again. So, how do property owners choose the right firm to represent you?
Questions to Ask
First, is the firm legitimate? A law firm that specializes in Real Estate Law is your best option. Are they in good standing with the state bar? Do they have any complaints or disciplinary actions against them? If there was a complaint, how was it resolved?
Does the law firm comply with all state and federal laws pertaining to loan modifications? Your first clue will be how the firm collects monies for its services. If they ask for any monies before some of the work has been completed, it is unlawful.
Second, can the firm provide strong experience and examples of successful cases they have completed? How many cases have they completed? How long have they been in business?
Third, does the firm have the resources to complete the job in a timely manner? Loan Modification cases typically take about 3 to 6 months to reach a settlement and require significant back and forth between the bank and the law firm. Do they have the critical mass of staffing to be able handle the case volume, negotiation and customer service requirements? Typically each case requires negotiators, processors, underwriters and case managers, in addition to the Attorney, to successfully achieve a modification for the property owner.
Fourth, does the firm set appropriate expectations? This depends ultimately on what is success for the property owner. There are many factors in what makes a case successful to a client and a reputable firm will set appropriate expectation on what can be reasonably achieved in a loan modification case rather than tell you what you want to hear to get your business. Whenever possible, it is recommended that the property owner meet with the prospective firm in person prior to retaining them.
Often, property owners will request a money-back guarantee for a successful modification. If the firm the property owner is considering offers a money-back guarantee, this should be a major cause for concern. The firm will act as the property owner’s representative or agent in a negotiation with the lender. The lender itself or a third party, called the investor, may own the mortgage. The party that owns the mortgage will makes the final decision on what new mortgage terms they will accept, if
anything. It is impossible to guarantee exactly what the mortgage owner will do. For a firm to represent to a property owner otherwise should be a cause of great concern to the property owner.
Elements to Negotiate
The usual parameters of a case are stopping a foreclosure sale on a property, negotiating missed payments, accrued interest, property taxes and late fees, transitioning the loan from an adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed rate mortgage, moving from an interest only payment to an amortized payment, reducing the interest rate, change the term of the mortgage, including property taxes and insurance escrows in the monthly payment instead of being paid separately by the property owner, settling second mortgages for less than owed, and reduction of the principal balance owed.
As one can see, there are several factors to negotiate with the bank and without appropriate leverage of full legal representation, a Forensic Audit, a possible law suit and years of expertise, lenders aren’t generally motivated to consider your case.
The banks and mortgage servicers work with hundreds of thousands of people at a time and handle every request in an heartless, robotic fashion to attempt to support the masses, not applying individual attention, creativity, or compassion into each borrower’s situation. So, working with the banks directly rarely works in the homeowner’s favor. We have clients who have attempted to work with their lenders for over a year with zero results before they retained the Law Offices of ALG and Associates.
Each lender has very specific guidelines they need to see in order to approve the loan modification. Unfortunately, most property owners do not have access to this information independently, and blindly submit and application, hoping for an approval. In essence, they are asking the lender to do them a favor. The financial information a property owners provides and how it is presented is vital to achieving an approval or denial with the lender and, through years of accumulated experience, the Law Offices of ALG and Associates knows exactly what each lender needs to see before we submit, which helps us achieve optimal results.
With proper research a property owner can find the a firm that is legitimate, complies with appropriate laws, can documents their experience, has the resources needed and sets appropriate expectations with the client. The Law Offices of ALG and Associates realize a Loan Modification is very important matter and the property owner definitely wants to treat it with urgency. We strongly encourage that property owner’s do thorough research and make sure the firm they choose is the right firm for them.