What Are the Dangers of Loan Modifications?

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Cathy T


Mortgage Negotiators out of Huntington Valley, PA had a 100% money back guarantee, but they took my $1000 and disappeared. This after my mortgage company told me they could do nothing for me. I too, reported them to the BBB but was told they couldn't find them-duh.I called the free government help line and after staying on hold 33 minutes did finally talk to a live person; he gave me some step by step instructions of what questions to ask the mortgage company to make sure our house wasn't in foreclosure, but I didn't really get a lot of helpful advice. I FINALLY got my mortgage company to lower my payments myself-by a whole $50. Not a lot of help, but I was able to stay in my home.



Bill Nordbrock, You said you know one good loan Modifica- tion com. Could you share that one with us.

Donna Martin


I have been scammed by Mortgage Auditors of America aka County Loan Modification in Michigan. I, too would like to know if restitution is possible.



i am 1 1/2 pAyments behind on my mortgage. Asked lender to help modify it for lower payment they send me a letter saying i have to much unresolved debt now i have no other option but to file chapter 13 or is there another option?

Bill Nordbrock


Most loan modifications companies are really bad. I only know of one good one and have heard horror stories about dozens of others. At the same time I have heard the same lack of results and attention to detail about the non-profits that are supposed to help people with this. If you need help, find a proven company that offers 100% money back guarantee in writing if not successful. You would not expect a doctor or contractor to work for free would you? It is a LOT of work successfully negotiation a loan modification. Try to reduce the balance too, not just the payment.

Debby Gilreath


How does one get restitution from one of these scam companies? I've been scamed by a New York Life, LLC company. Filed BBB complaint & nothing happened! (their out of Florida) I live in Indiana.



BAC is full of lies and false help. I have two disabilities in our home and need help on loan modification and they put all by interest, lawyer fees, payments, late fees onto the new loan and won't agree to remove this to help our family. We have so much medical and were going to lose our home and BAC, HOPE, HUB didn't do anything. Now we have a modified loan offer and it is to hang us out until we die, we can't refinance nor sell home and if we do they want 98,0000 dollars at time upfront, impossible! they are not out to help you but to screw the nails in your coffin. We have not decided to die with them or take my family with MS and another disability into the streets to live and suggestions for me?

Wendell Wesley


We have been screwed by Wells Fargo, H.O.P.E./MMI, and Midland Mortgage no one has helped us even though we've successfully paid three forbearances, still we have no modification offered to us.

Gayle M


I modified my loan by myself working directly with the lender (Wachovia), plus I reduced the principal by about $85K. It was hard, demoralizing work and I received a lot of "no's" but I was persistent. Supposedly, since my income was down about 60%, I didn't qualify for modification. But after I stopped making payments and listed my home AT MARKET PRICE as a short sale and brought the lender five offers AT MARKET PRICE, I got their attention. Then I asked why, if they would accept a short sale, wouldn't they work with me...they said of course. My bad dream is over, it's been about a year! Moral to the story: Once you get around the "gate keepers" and present a scenario that can only be answered by the decision makers, you can work things out. I am a real estate agent and it probably helped a bit that I knew the lingo, but otherwise there was nothing in the process with which a "regular" person cannot contend. Unless you are unemployed, you don't need a professional modifier. Do it yourself - for free. All it takes is a bit of your time and I promise, it's worth the effort.

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.