16 CFR Parts 317 and 318: Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rulemaking
I have worked in the business of loan modification for a period of 5 months now. It was quickly apparent to me that the bulk of Americans are not getting the help that they need when it comes to Modifications. President Obama's plan is helping, but nothing is going to work fast enough to save everyone.
Within the first few months of my work, there was a lot of bad press for the process of Loan Modification. I would be on the phone with people who were in desperate need but did not know whether they could trust me, or what else to do. When I looked online, there was no way I could ascertain who was legit, either.
The press has created a panic, and the public is suffering. Certainly there have been those who have worked to mislead the public, but many of us work ethically and responsibly.
People need to know where they can go for help, a law firm- for instance- where an attorney oversees the process. If the public decides that up front fees should be illegal, then the only ones who can afford to give loan modifications is the government and banks that caused this issue originally- and from what I have seen- the problem is so large that a single family will have a difficult time getting the attention they deserve. The Government paints with broad strokes, and the banks are inundated with homeowners who are caught behind.
It would be a great disservice to stop all up-front fees. There should be transparency, and honesty. Most of the "scamming" I have seen has been due to unrealistic promises and guarantees. The process is a negotiation so nothing can be promised, and as long as the consumer knows that going in- allow them to receive the legal help they need.
Publicly announce that there ARE sources that can help, even companies that charge fees. How can so many people work and give a client the attention they deserve for free? We're ALL in this recession. Let people know that it is safe to hire an attorney versed in the process of Loan Modification- and it's safe to pay them accordingly.