If find yourself in foreclosure, behind on your mortgage or approached by an individual or company that suggest they can help in any way with your mortgage you need to be very cautious. In an article that appeared in the Tampa Tribune, I am quoted warning about several clients who paid many thousands of dollars to companies that promised they could get their mortgage modified or stop the foreclosure. The full text of the article can be found here.
When the article was written it was not expressly illegal for such companies to take money up front from consumers, but since the article was written, the Florida Legislature passed the Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Prevention Act, which makes charging an upfront fee illegal. New laws take effect January 1, 2010, that prevent anyone other than those covered by the Act from either charging a fee or being involved in the loan modification process.
Despite these laws, which carry with them some fairly significant penalties, Florida consumers will continue to be preyed upon by con artists and shucksters out to take advantage of their situation. The problem is so widespread that the Florida Attorney General has set up an entire website. Consumers are urged to visit the site to see whether individuals they are working with are violating the law.
For more information visist my website at www.mattweidnerlaw.com