I just got a call from an Oregonian who has owned a home in a lovely part of Oregon for over 40 years, but the third refinance, from 2008, has turned out very badly for this person; monthly income under $600, monthly mortgage $1300. The only thing that could make this difficult situation worse, in my opinion, is wasting the few remaining dollars at hand on phony foreclosure rescue schemes (which also wastes the energy that should be used in preparing a transition to a more affordable situation, if the money needed to maintain the present home is not assured). Thus, the letter below.
Thanks for your call to discuss the problems you are having maintaining payments on your refinanced home. I’m very sorry to hear of your situation, and I certainly wish I had a good suggestion for you; however, you told me that you had already exhausted assistance from the hardest hit funds and that your monthly income is far less than the monthly payment on your loan.
I want to warn you again about people who prey on those facing foreclosure problems; they offer lurid tales of fighting off banks, but these success stories are always impossible to actually verify. Frankly, except for HUD-approved housing counselors (whom you have worked with at NEDCO in Springfield), my opinion is that people who offer to solve your debt/foreclosure problems in a way that doesn’t involve catching up the payments are shady or worse. So tread carefully, and know that, at the end of the day, if there was a way for ordinary people to keep houses for long without paying the mortgage notes, banks would have their minions in Salem and Washington DC fix that at warp speed. So if someone asks you for money to show you the inside secrets that are supposedly going to help you keep your house without making all the payments, I would call the Oregon Attorney General’s Consumer Protection hotline at 877-877-9392 (especially if they have taken money from you).
In the meantime, this confirms that you called to consult with me but that you did not hire me, that we have not met, and that I am not your attorney and did not give you any legal advice. If you feel I can be of service to you in the future, I would be pleased to help you after discussing an engagement agreement at that time.