Many people these days are trying to obtain a Loan Modification on their mortgages, often to stave off or stop a foreclosure of their home. We currently have the Making Home Affordable or HAMP Loan Modification program in place, and if you do not qualify for that, your mortgage servicer may, and that's a big MAY, decide to modify your loan according to some program that they have.

But whatever you do, don't hire some outfit that you find on the internet to help you get a Loan Modification. I have had clients that have paid thousands and thousands of dollars to some company that claims that they will get them a Loan Modification. There is no need to pay that kind of money!

The government subsidizes legitimate HUD-certified housing counselors to help you obtain a Loan Modification if you need one. To find a HUD-certified housing counselor, go to and click on "I Want to Talk To a Housing Counselor." The best part is, foreclosure prevention counseling and homeless counseling services are available free of charge through HUD's Housing Counseling Program.

I had a prospective bankruptcy client come in the other day, that had a home in California. They paid $1200 to a company that claimed they could get a loan modification for them. But then the company had the consumer move out, and the company rented the home out.

The company then collected $60,000 in rent over the next two years, and did not pay one cent of it to the consumer, or to the mortgage company. And obviously, they never got a loan modification for the consumer. It was a total rip-off. Folks, don't fall for such a scam. And don't stop paying your mortgage payments, if you are able to pay (if you want to keep your home).

If you want advice about obtaining a Loan Modification, contact a HUD-certified housing counselor. If you are posted for foreclosure and/or if you only had a temporary issue with your mortgage, and are now able to afford to pay regular payments, perhaps filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy to reorganize your debts, and allow you time to become current on your mortgage, would be the best thing. If you are posted for foreclosure or if you want straight advice about stopping foreclosure through Chapter 13, consult an attorney in your area that is experienced in these matters.

J Thomas Black
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Board Certified, Consumer Bankruptcy Law- Texas Board of Legal Specialization
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