Recently, we met with Brenda and heard a story we’ve heard all too often. Brenda had run into problems with her mortgage and was contacted by an out-of-state outfit which promised her for a few thousand dollars it could straighten things out and help her get mortgage relief. Even after she was sued for foreclosure by her bank, this scam outfit assured her it would help by hiring a lawyer to assist her through the legal process. In my experience from dealing with over a thousand homeowners in this area of the law, which I prefer to call “securitized mortgage loan defense,” whenever a homeowner is solicited by an out-of-state concern offering help in obtaining mortgage relief, he or she is being targeted by a predator that is attempting to take advantage of that person in a time of great vulnerability. This was exactly the case with Brenda.
As it turns out, however, Brenda is one of the lucky ones. That is because the court case against her had not gone to judgment, even though the scam workout outfit she hired promised to hire an attorney to represent her, a promise that was not kept. We will file an answer on Brenda’s behalf in the court proceeding, and will vigorously defend her. And the really good news? Our analysis of her situation reveals that she almost certainly qualifies for relief under the Home Affordable Modification Program, otherwise known as HAMP. Qualification will result in Brenda’s payments being lowered several hundred dollars per month, which will keep her safely in her home.
The real irony in the story is this – Brenda’s bank violated her rights under federal law by not qualifying her for HAMP long ago. In other words, not only was the foreclosure wrongful, the bank was able to come within a hair’s breadth of getting a judgment against her because of the lies the scam work-out outfit was telling her. Unfortunately, Brenda’s case vividly demonstrates the dangers that lurk in the greed-driven world in which we live, where a huge scam (securitized lending and foreclosure), has spawned many smaller in scale, but just as evil, cottage-industry scams. Beware the mortgage muggers! They are waiting to exploit any weakness they sense, without regard to the devastating consequences for their victims.
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Next week: Foreclosure settlement may help you!
Copyright 2013 Daniel L. McGookey