The Real Story talked with George Moody and Donny Isaak of RPM (Residential Pacific Mortgage), and got a clear warning for the consumer: if you are looking to get your loan modified, be careful of people or firms asking for upfront payment to start the process. There are a number of scams operating throughout the country right now, and since California’s foreclosure rate has been so high, its distressed homeowners are getting hit hard with phone and mailed solicitations offering to renegotiate the mortgage for an upfront fee (some of which equal a month’s mortgage payment).
The real story is simple: you don’t have to pay to get your loan modified. And you don’t have to look any farther than the company that services your loan—whether it be Bank of America/Countrywide, Wells Fargo, or another provider. They should be your starting point in getting the help you need. And don’t forget: the government has also set up more than 2000 non-profit, certified counseling offices through HUD. All you have to do is type in your location, and the website will pull up a list of offices near you.
Finally, if you want to get the straight scoop on mortgages—whether you are looking to buy a home or a piece of investment property, or refinance the home you are in—it doesn’t cost anything to talk to a professional mortgage broker. Really. Although the housing downturn has reduced the number of professionals in the business, you can make an appointment to talk to a mortgage broker, bring along all of your questions, and expect answers that are up to date with all of the new laws and regulations pertaining to real estate finance.