Arizona Mortgage Loan Modification Scams

Are there really Arizona mortgage loan modification scams happening?

Uh… yep.

I was in touch with someone yesterday who had just paid $5,000 up front to a loan modification company and he called me asking me if I thought that he had done the right thing.

He may have been somewhat surprised when I told him “don’t take this the wrong way, but I have never heard of the loan modification company that you are telling me about and $5,000 up front is a lot of money to pay compared with I see as a ‘normal’ charge.”

He then indicated that he thought something seemed a little strange when he tried to get a refund of his $5,000 and they were hesitant to give him one.

Check, check and check. It seemed to me like it had all of the elements of a scam.

Are you wondering who to call that can possibly help you work with your current lender to get your loan modified? We have started a list of Arizona loan modification companies that seem to be getting good results for their clients.

Oh, and I have actually heard of them and been to their offices before.

Comments

  1. PaulMolinaroEsq says:

    Words from a Very Outspoken and Opinionated California Litigation Attorney (like there’s any other kind)

    Here in California, our Department of Real Estate website (dub dub dub dot dre dot gov) lists the companies that have DRE “permission” to modify loans… add to this list any licensed California attorney, and that is where you should begin your due diligence search when you seek help in California. Other states probably have similar laws, so check with your own state DRE and state bar.

    My law firm has been getting more and more calls recently from homeowners that were victims of predatory lenders who put them into an unaffordable loan and now fell into the hands of those same people who sold the toxic loans but profess to be saviors… DON’T BE A VICTIM TWICE! What’s that they say, “Fool me once, shame on you, but fool me twice, and I’ll sue your butt!”

    Do your homework and THOROUGHLY investigate any firm before hiring them to save your biggest asset and the place you call “home.” Scammers are popping up like dandelions on a freshly mowed lawn in April. They advertise on the Internet, freeway billboards, radio, television, and print media everywhere, not to mention spamming your email box with those third-world widows needing someone to receive three million dollars for them. Make no mistake, in many cases, these “loan modification experts” are the exact same loan officers and mortgage brokers who fleeced homeowners the first time around. After losing their jobs with the crash of the mortgage industry, they have found a new way to make ill-gotten profits from hard-working homeowners through loan modifications.

    In California, with very few exceptions (and attorneys are one exception… no coincidence there… attorneys make the laws), it is against the law for anyone to take money up front for helping a homeowner who is in default. Don’t trust a company that begins its relationship with you by breaking the law.

    HERE’S THE BOTTOM LINE!

    Hire an attorney – and not just any attorney either – one with experience in mortgage law, not just one with real estate law experience but one with experience in both FEDERAL and STATE litigation against mortgage companies, one who doesn’t also do family law, criminal law, admiralty law, and immigration law as well, one who limits the practice to mortgage law (or at least a great majority of it), one who has the experienced staff, training, and know how to take on the big lenders and their top notch lawyers (lenders have attorneys – and darn good ones – check out their counsel on the web – big names top schools, shouldn’t you have a lawyer too?).

    We are not talking about a refund on your broken television here, we are talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars and your HOME – if you don’t think this is the time to hire a highly educated and experienced professional instead of a weekend schooled, almost out of work, broker slash loan officer slash “expensive water in a wine bottle with alleged magical curative powers” salesperson, I don’t know what would make you take things seriously.

    Of course, this is one obnoxious lawyer’s totally biased opinion, but one based on many many distressing calls to my office every day. And, yes, my firm loves taking cases against loan modification companies who have violated laws. This field is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing sections for our mortgage law firm.

    - Paul J. Molinaro, Esq.

  2. Paul,

    Thanks for sharing — hope you don’t mind – but I turned your words of wisdom in to a full blown post.

    http://www.arizonamortgageteam.com/loan-modification-words-from-a-california-loan-modification-attorney/

    If you do mind… please just email me before sending a “cease and desist”!

    Thanks again…

    Justin

  3. Thank you for posting it… the word needs to be spread about this new breed of scam taking place in every state. Not that there is ever a better time, but it is really sickening when borrowers who are already at the end of their financial rope become easy prey for scum. People need to be reminded that they are not alone, that there are legitimate places they can turn for information and help, and that there are places to go if they do fall victim to a scam.

    I urge everyone who seeks assistance from anyone on their home to do a lot of homework, research the crap out of anyone you plan to hire, quiz that person endlessly, have your uncle in real estate quiz them too, if it’s a lawyer, talk directly to the lawyer, if it’s not a lawyer make sure the person is truly what they promise. Do not act out of desperation, do not act out of fear, and when you think you are ready to hand over any money, check again. Then hand over the money.

    - Paul J. Molinaro, Esq.

  4. Paul J. Molinaro, Esq. “Here in California, our Department of Real Estate website (dub dub dub dot dre dot gov) lists the companies that have DRE “permission” to modify loans… add to this list any licensed California attorney…”
    The California DRE does not give “permission” to anyone, nor do they approve or disapprove of any individual or company conducting a modification. From the CA DRE website:
    “The Department of Real Estate does not approve, endorse, recommend or make any representations about any of the agreements or their terms, or any aspect of a licensee’s business activities”.
    The CA DRE is concerned with “up-front” or “advanced” fees. To that end, they may issue a letter of “no objection” once a qualified candidate has submitted an Advance Fee Agreement for Loan Modification to the DRE for review.
    Having received a letter of “no objection” or a law degree would in no way indicate the competency of the company, attorney, or individual attempting to modify a loan.

  5. PaulMolinaroEsq says:

    And that is why I put the word “permission” in quotes.
    - Paul

  6. Even if it’s an attorney, be VERY wary on who you trust… and $5000 up front is a heavy pile of cash to fork out for someone that doesn’t have a serious track record.

    I’m hoping that I’m not familiar with the unheard of company that you’re referring to above Justin… because if that’s the case, your friend is going to have a hard time getting his money back, as have several other people here in AZ.. It’s an AZ attorney

  7. Chris Miller says:

    Beware of David Newman in Scottsdale, Az. Phone number is 612-272-8080. This man took $3500 from me for securing me a loan mod and would not pay it back after he was unable to secure this modification. I have a contract that states my money would be refunded if he was unable to secure this mod and he still refuses to pay. He lied to me you about sending my money until I finally called his bluff. Now he will not return my calls.BEWARE of this scam! He will change the name of his company many time to avoid making good on his services.

  8. Beware of “Mortgage Relief Center, 14000 N Pima Rd, Suite 150, Scottsdale, Arizona 85260 who state back in January 2010 that they would guarantee a lower payment even though I was current with my mortgage, and if they could not, my money would be refunded ($3795), and when my mortgage company denied the loan modification and I requested my money back and called them, they told me to send a letter requesting a refund in writing and fax it to them. A week passed, I called again and low and behold the telephone number which was 877-409-2246 was not a valid number. I called information for the phone number of Mortgage Relief Center in Scottsdale, AZ and they gave me 480-624-6000 wich is the number for Pegasus Solutions and the very kind woman who answered the phone said the Mortgage Relief Company is no longer in that building. When I explained my situation, she said “I’m afraid you are one of many, I’ve been getting many calls about the same thing”! This is so disgusting.
    Looks like they’ve absconded with the funds and there is no recourse. At this point, money aside, I’d love to see these people put in jail!!!

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