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'We Will Find You and We Will Punish You'

There was tough talk out of Washington yesterday aimed at loan-modification scammers. Attorney General Eric Holder had this message for people and companies ripping off homeowners on the verge of foreclosure: "If you prey on vulnerable homeowners with fraudulent mortgage schemes, or discriminate against borrowers, we will find you and we will punish you."

He also addressed fairness in loan modifications being made by legitimate lenders. Holder said the Justice Department is "hearing increasing concerns that not all distressed borrowers are receiving the same opportunities for loan modifications. We are also hearing that the terms and fees for such modifications are not being made available on a non-discriminatory basis."

He was joined by seemingly everyone in Washington who wasn't touring Europe with President Obama, including the heads of Treasury, HUD and the Federal Trade Commission, plus the Illinois attorney general, in announcing plans to coordinate efforts and crack down on loan-modification scammers.

From Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan: "The 24 lawsuits I have filed prove foreclosure rescue operators don't help. They don't call your lender, they don't modify your loan, and they don't represent you in court if you're in foreclosure. All they do is take your money."

For real help, free of charge, look for reputable mortgage counselors through the government's Making Home Affordable Web site. Or call the Homeowner's HOPE Hotline at 888-995-4673.

If you have experience with people pitching questionable loan-mods, write a quick comment below and share your experience with the rest of us!

By Elizabeth Razzi  |  April 7, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Foreclosure  | Tags: discrimination, foreclosure, foreclosure prevention, loan modifications, mortgage, mortgage fraud, scam  
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As Realtors and Certified Distressed Property Experts, we constantly see charlitans preying on people in difficult circumstances with loan modification scams. You are exactly correct, if someone asks for money from a distressed homeowner, now or later, they should move on as quickly as possible.

As you mentioned, there are abundant reputable mortgage counselors who charge no fees to the homeowner. In addition to the HUD approved list available through the Making Home Affordable website, we would also recommend "Legal Services of Northern Virginia" as well as the "Northern Virginia Urban League." They also are caring, compasionate and competent, non-profit organizations that people in distress can count on for help.

Clay & Kathie Kime

Posted by: TeamKime | April 7, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Granted, there are many scams in virtually every business known to man. However, if you believe you can effectively modify your own loan without the level of expertise to back up your discussions with a self-interested bank whose bottom line objective is to profiteer as much as possible from your debt, your delusional perception of our capitalist state is shameful.

Do you pay brokers for advice and servicing on your stock accounts? Has the government advised you to quit doing so because you could, hypothetically, do your investing on your own?

It's ludicrous to hang an entire industry out to dry, when many can and do help homeowners stay in their homes, reduce their debts and avoid re-defaulting on the new loans. It's ludicrous to assume that the same government that turned a blind eye to the mortgage and banking industry, allowing them to profit at the expense of the American people, will be very effective in delivering accurate information or actual assistance.

Please, dig a little deeper, ask a few questions and educate yourself on the how's and why's of the information you're receiving via big government media outlets.

Please, do yourself a favor and enlist the help of a qualified professional with a good reputation and plenty of references if you're planning on modifying, short selling, debt settling or loss mitigating. BUT make no mistake about the fact that there's nearly always a vested interest in the parties presenting information en masse in this country, and part of your duty as a responsible citizen of this great nation is to question and delve a little deeper than the daily digest of propaganda serving those in power who stand to gain something.

Check out a wonderful article online by Mortgage expert and advocate Mandelman entitled "What I Know About the Mortgage Industry", for further detail about why this new wave of non-profit and HOPE assistance may not be all it's cracked up to be. In fact, it may be nothing but a lot of hot air.

The mishandling of this crisis from start to finish is so staunchly un-American that it's difficult to consume the half-witted suggestions of an inept administration whose promises so far have been met with mostly negative results.

Posted by: TruthMongers | April 9, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Another tidbit.

A lot of lenders are doing a half-wit 'loan modification' of 3% for 5 years, but no principle writedown. In 2013, (5 years from now) another wave of homeowners will begin defaulting when these 5 year mod's reset.

Latest estimate reveals 10 million plus American homeowners are expected to lose their homes in this crisis.

Check out the BBC TV report, '$45 trillion Wealth Wipe Out'

The loan modification company witch hunt is just a PROPAGANDA trick to take the heat off the 'Bankster's' and limit the information and resources a homeowner can have when fighting the 'cold-blooded' lender for a loan modification.

Any homeowner thinking about having a fighting chance at a loan modification needs to consult with an attorney that specializes in this, just like getting an expert to handle a divorce, workers comp case, etc.

PROPAGANDA is the dissemination of information aimed at influencing the opinions or behaviors of people. As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda in its most basic sense, often presents information primarily in order to influence its audience. Propaganda often presents facts selectively (thus lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or gives loaded messages in order to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. The desired result is a change of the attitude toward the subject in the target audience to further a political agenda.


Posted by: aldiro | April 10, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

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