Greg Cowart on Zillow
Greg Cowart - Mortgage Broker or Lender at The Securus Group
Greg Cowart - Roseville Loan Guy

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Is the “loan mod” business dead? Is that a bad thing?

As of January 31, 2011; the FTC has banned consulting firms from charging up-front fees for negotiating modifications of residential mortgage loans. In Nevada, the Mortgage Lending Commissioner said the constraints of the federal rule “will have substantial impact” on the number of licensed consultants for mortgage loan modifications. His office counts 39 licensed loan modification firms with 185 licensed associates in Nevada (I would guess there was that many in the Sacramento area alone a year ago).

Critics say that the ruling favors large banks, which don’t want advocates representing homeowners. However while there might be a small grain of truth to that, the ruling really favors consumers in my opinion. As one would suspect, unethical mortgage modification firms often fail to do any work after collecting fees, and the FTC rule will prohibit mortgage modification firms from being paid in advance so this can not (legally) happen ever again. What some may not expect is the vast majority of these companies should be considered unethical. Most of them have little to no experience in the business and if they so it’s usually that they were mortgage originators for the predatory lenders than put so many people into very bad situations during the real estate boom of 2004-07, but couldn’t get the proper licensing required to originate mortgage loans in today’s regulatory environment. Taking advantage of people on their way in (giving them the predatory loan) and again on the way out (charging thousands up front to try and modify their mortgage)…

Greg

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