There currently is just no tool to force good faith mortgage modifications. The distressed homeowner is faced with proving the Net Present Value of their home (NPV) to the investors behind the loan servicers, and proving that the lender received the supporting documents, thereby making a foreclosure illegal until the mortgage modification negotiations are concluded. The courts will not permit an illegal foreclosure, and the REST Report has proven itself as the tool to demonstrate Net Present Value to the investor.
Until this past June, I represented a mortgage modification firm that used forensic loan audits specifically as a precedent for a mortgage modification negotiation. This firm spent much effort qualifying the distressed homeowner for a mortgage modification before taking any money up-front. It was a way to justify an up-front expense while negotiating the mortgage modification. Again, as the banks learned that there was no accountability no matter what to force good faith mortgage modification negotiations, it became impossible to keep the doors open. No firm can wait months and years for their fees while being sandbagged by the lenders. All of the professional mortgage modification firms I knew or could find have closed their doors.
A little known fact is that the Better Business Bureau is privately owned. Owned by one person, in fact. That one nameless person owns, or has significant interest in, a mortgage modification firm. That fact, plus having observed no relation between good ratings and bad ratings, and performance record; leads me to give absolutely no credence to any recommendation they might make.
The relationship between crooked forensic loan audits and lack of mortgage modification third party negotiation performance is unclear at this time.
The Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, decided long ago that they weren’t going to tolerate up-front fees for mortgage modification negotiations, thereby hog-tying any firm wishing to help. The FTC deserves absolutely no credit for assisting in the mortgage recovery, or lack of. Thankfully, the Financial Recovery Act signed into law a few moths ago, made the FTC efforts moot.
Of course there’s no proof that forensic loan audits contribute to a successful mortgage modification. The banks won’t release any figures. It’s like playing hide and seek by yourself.
Currently, there is no reason to pay a third party for any assistance in mortgage modification negotiations. No one can do anything to help you that you can’t do yourself. As stated at the beginning of the article, you can, and should, do your own mortgage modification.
Prove you submitted all documents by certified mail, return receipt requested; (Do not fax anything!) and get the REST Report.
The advice to consult a real estate attorney if one chooses to pursue a forensic loan audit in court is very well taken.
I am a proud vendor of the REST Report.
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This blog researches the convoluted and mis-reported distressed mortgage industry.
As of June 2010, the only efficient way to negotiate your mortgage is to get the REST Report. This software calculates the NPV of your home and tells your lender whether to modify or short sale.