Unless you've been living in a cave for the past six months, you've probably been affected by the slowdown -- no, the utter crash -- in the mortgage, credit, and financial markets. Don't beat yourself up over it. They're certainly no shame in it.
If you're one of the millions of Americans who are starting to find that times are tight, and that your mortgage payment is taking just a little bit bigger chunk of your income than it used to, you've probably heard about something called loan modification.
If your research to date has left you with more questions than answers, believe me I know how you feel. When I first started looking into this topic I didn't feel like there was any single resource that told me what I needed to know.
So being a kind of do-it-yourself type of guy, once I was finally able to cobble together information from a bunch of different resources, I thought I'd sit down and put pen to paper and put together a little guide for all the other homeowners out there who are trying to make a smart decision about their family's financial future.
Let's talk about loan modification companies -- the three unbreakable rules of choosing
This is America. And if there's one thing you can count on, when a sudden need arises in the marketplace, and there is a serious lack of supply for that demand, you're going to get a lot of entrepreneurs thinking they can just hang out a shingle and make a time of quick money.
Problem is, all too often, we consumers suffer for that. This is because these newcomers often don't know what they're doing -- or least know any more than we do.
Loan modification companies are no different. There are some really good ones out there, there are some not so good ones out there, and there are some downright awful ones.
So let's take a look at three simple criteria that you can use to evaluate any loan modification company:
1. Do they offer a guarantee? It should go without saying that if you're confident and your ability to deliver on your promises, then you should back up those promises with a guarantee.
The best loan modification companies will offer you a guarantee. End of story. Unless they do, they're probably operating under what's known as a best effort rule. This means all they have to do is try and get you a long modification and they've satisfied their requirement for their fee.
Doesn't make much sense does it?
I don't want a surgeon who's going to try and fix my heart. I want a surgeon who is going to fix my heart. Same with loan modification. If they don't offer a guarantee go somewhere else.
2. Do they have evidence of past success? The best loan modification companies will have extensive records and proof of the loan modifications they've been able to perform successfully.
Ask to see actual resolution letters from their past clients so that you can see some results for yourself firsthand. If they refuse to produce these letters, again, walk away and go somewhere else.
3. What else do they do? Is the law modification company you were looking at going to start handling divorce cases instead when the economy turns around? Did they do personal injury cases three months ago?
With something this serious, you need a specialist. Just like with the medical example above, I'm not going to go to a brain surgeon to have my hip replaced. Nor am I going to go to the state's best divorce attorney to have him handle my loan modification.
Makes sense, right?
Now, these of course are not the be-all and end-all of rules to follow when hiring a lone modification company. However, if you can answer these three questions and be satisfied with the answers chances are whoever you're considering is the real deal.
I can't cover everything in one simple article, and that's alive provided some resources in the next paragraph that will provide some further -- and very important -- guidance.
Please check them out. And good luck!
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