How do I find a Loan Modification Attorney?
A loan modification attorney works with clients who need help with their home mortgage. A loan modification attorney can help in the following situations:
– Advising homeowners who has an underwater mortgage or is thinking of abandoning their home
– Helping clients who have recently suffered an injury or change in circumstance which lowers their income and cannot meet mortgage payments
– Contacting banks and lenders on behalf of clients to negotiate lower mortgage terms for any number of reasons
A loan modification attorney cannot help all clients, however they can provide a chance at saving a home by working out new mortgage payments that can help both the homeowner and lender achieve the best possible solution.
What to tell your loan modification attorney.
A loan modification attorney will need to know all about your financial and mortgage status before they can help you. It is important that you provide as much detail as possible, so that the lawyer can quickly identify the best course of action to take on your behalf. Do not withhold any information from the attorney, even if you believe it will harm your case or is unimportant. Your loan modification attorney will be held to strict confidentiality and cannot disclose the information your provide them.
Where to look for a loan modification attorney.
In most places, many loan modification attorneys can be found through regional advertising or lawyer listings. While these sources can provide you with an idea of the names and locations of loan modification lawyers in your area, you should never use them as your sole source of information when selecting your lawyer. Instead, contact other people you know who have used the services of a loan modification attorney.
The internet can also provide valuable information when evaluating possible attorneys. This website can provide you with a good start, as there is a lawyer search function at the top of the page, or you can consult with a legal professional using the ask a question feature.
Do I need a Specialist?
Loan modifications and the rules and regulations affecting them have been in flux in recent years. Due to the large amount of foreclosures and loss of home values, the rules have been changed to help homeowners deal with these issues. Therefore, it is important to hire a loan modification attorney who can keep up with the latest trends in loan modification and is in constant contact with lending groups. Only use a specialist in the area of loan modifications.
Preparing for an appointment.
Before you meet with your loan modification attorney, ensure that you have all the necessary documents prepared and that you are ready to discuss your situation in detail. Bring with you any financial documents, mortgage papers, or correspondence with the lender that can help your lawyer understand your case. It will be just as important that you are prepared to discuss the details of your situation, being able to provide specific dates, times, names, and amounts as necessary. Review this information and write it down if necessary.
Preparing questions in advance can also help both you and the lawyer through the loan modification process.
Evaluating a Loan Modification Attorney.
Every lawyer must graduate from an accredited law school and pass the bar exam given in the state in which they practice. While these are the minimum requirements necessary to represent clients, you should always seek a lawyer who has significant experience in the area of the law in which you need help.
Make sure to discuss with the lawyer their previous experience handling cases, their outcomes, and whether the attorney believes you should seek a loan modification or if another course of action will best suit you.
Personality & Values
Experienced loan modification attorneys will have a strong understanding of the loan modification process, foreclosure laws, debt collection laws, and the tax consequences. These attorneys also should have developed a relationship with professionals who work in the lending companies and know who to contact and how to negotiate with them in order to get the best possible outcome for your situation.
While a qualified loan modification attorney will have these skills, it is also important that you and your lawyer have some common ground and can work in a professional manner. You may need to be in contact with the lawyer over the course of months or even years, depending on how long the lawyer’s services are needed.
Despite the common misconception, most lawyers are trustworthy professionals who will do everything they can to further your best interests. However, you must always be cautious and wary of the actions of your lawyer on your behalf. Always ensure that your lawyer is performing the work they are billing you for, meeting all necessary deadlines, and that they provide unbiased recommendations and advice. If you believe your attorney is acting inappropriately, contact the state bar association to protect your rights.
Rates, Fees & Retainers
Loan modification attorneys will typically charge their clients based on an upfront fee or an hourly rate, depending on the type of practice the lawyer has and the type of client. The reason most loan modification lawyers charge an upfront fee is simple: their clients are having trouble paying their mortgage, so it would not make good business sense to become another debt collector of their client.
Always discuss the rates and fees before agreeing to representation with your lawyer. Your lawyer should be upfront to discuss the benefits of representation while stating whether it makes financial sense for you to seek a loan modification. If you feel it does not make financial sense, in that you will lose more money than gain by hiring the lawyer, do not feel pressured to obtain the lawyer’s services.
Interviewing your attorney
When speaking with a loan modification attorney, consider asking the following:
How do you calculate your fees?
What other expenses should I expect?
Does it make sense for me to seek a loan modification?
Will a foreclosure be better for me?
Will I be able to sustain this new loan agreement in the long term?
What other options do I have?
When and how can I contact you?
When will you contact me about any proposed agreements?