Homeowners wishing to lower their mortgage payments through a loan modification must be careful who they choose to work with: loan modification firms are too often nothing more than scam artists who charge to provide services homeowners can get for free elsewhere. The federal government subsidizes mortgage counselors to assist borrowers free of charge, but too many borrowers still turn to fee-charging loan modification firms out of ignorance or hope for faster results. The California Department of Real Estate has over 300 approved brokers with advance fee arrangements which require all funds to be held in trust until the agreed service has been provided.

first tuesday take: Please see our article “Loan Modification Negotiations are the Domain of Real Estate Licensees“about attorneys offering these loan modification services without the benefit of a broker license.