Loan Modification Scam Artists Are Latest Threat to Homeowners in Northern Virginia

Just when you hope that we’re seeing the decline (and fall?) of unscrupulous practices in the mortgage industry, along comes another scam to threaten homeowners.  Fraudulent companies offering to help renegotiate loans, or “loan modification” are on the rise in Northern Virginia according to government officials and housing advocates.

Although there are legitimate companies that offer this service, the fraud is perpetuated when clients are urged to stop paying their mortgage and instead pay upfront fees for services they could get for free.  Maryland already has a law against this practice and just this past week, Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine signed a bill into law that clarifies that the practice is illegal.  The Virginia bill does allow though for legitimate companies to be paid after they help save a home.

We are particularly sensitive to this subject because of a do-it-yourself loan modification workbook put together by friend and fellow Realtor Rocky Rockwood.  In addition to being a real estate agent in Southern California, Rocky had also invested in a number of properties over the years.  But he, like many others,  found himself in a precarious financial position this past year.  Rather than going to a company, Rocky decided to tackle it head on and his 60 Minute Loan Modification Workbook is the result.

We’ve written about Rocky before but this latest article in the Washington Post was just one more reminder of how careful homeowners need to be about paying “up front” for goods and services.

Thanks for stopping by,

Michael