Foreclosure prevention: No need to pay anything for help

Cable TV has many ads for organizations that say they can help modify your mortgage and prevent foreclosure.  We went to one web site we saw advertised and found a deceptive pitch.

First they did not mention that they charge a fee and they gave only very limited information unless you give them details about your situation.

By digging around, I found this under a section that warns you about scams.  While warning you against “lawyers” that charge a percentage of what they save, they slip in that it’s OK to pay “one fee.”  Here is how they put it.

Beware of cunning and unscrupulous attorneys that have hidden clauses buried in the fine print that require a certain % of savings, as high as 30% as an example, if they successfully modify your mortgage to a lower payment. You should only pay one fee–otherwise you could be forced to pay potentially hundreds of dollars a month for the life of the loan. Always read the whole contract in full or have a professional, family member or friend assist you if you are unable to.

I would change the middle sentence to “There is no need to pay a fee of any kind.  There are literally hundreds of organizations that will do exactly the same work for you, free.  No percentage.  No single fee.  No charge.  Free.”
A list of local counselors who will help you with foreclosure prevention at no cost is available from HUD at www.HUD.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm.
You can also get names of approved  counseling organizations from the Hope website at www.995HOPE.com or by calling the HOPE HOTLINE at 888-995-4673.
The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation does this work too.  They are at www.NACA.com.

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