On April 15, 2015 the Federal Trade Commission filed a Complaint against Hope Services also doing business as HAMP Services.
The Complaint alleges that Hope Services held themselves out as a non-profit with government ties that could secure mortgage modification plans. Hope Services advised consumers who were delinquent on their mortgage and/or facing foreclosure to make monthly “trial modification” plan payments. Unfortunately, it is alleged that the “trial modification” payments were not received by the lending mortgage companies and homeowners ultimately incurred additional penalties, interest, foreclosure fees and costs and even lost their homes by way of foreclosure sale.
While practicing mortgage foreclosure defense for over 10 years, I have heard similar horror stories regarding faceless companies that operate via phone sales or email only. Further, it is not uncommon for homeowners to contact our office the day before or the morning of a foreclosure sale in a panic and facing an imminent sale who were led to believe that they were in a mortgage modification program.
To avert any potential mortgage modification traps, I would highly suggest that whomever the borrower chooses to assist them in defending a mortgage foreclosure they have a face to face meeting and discuss all possible defenses to a mortgage foreclosure. A mortgage modification is just one option when battling a mortgage foreclosure and it is of the utmost importance that the foreclosure defense is comprised of the best strategy for the homeowner.
My office will be following the allegations in the FTC’s Complaint and look forward to greater regulation in the mortgage modification industry as a whole.
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