General Question

Zuma's avatar

What is the going rate to have someone negotiate a mortgage modification for you?

Asked by Zuma (5908points) October 24th, 2008

I’ve been approached by a company that negotiates home mortgage modifications. This is not a refinance. What they do is approach the holder of your existing mortgage and negotiate new terms—which, in my case, would to change my adjustable rate mortgage to one with a lower fixed rate (probably over 40 years).

Apparently, the sub-prime crisis is motivating a lot of lenders to restructure their loans on more favorable terms so as to reduce the risk of foreclosure. The catch is this company wants $4,000 to do something I could theoretically do myself. The thing is, I might not be able to get as good a deal as they can, since they do this all day long and presumably have some expertise. I suspect they might be willing to come down on their fee if I asked them.

So my questions are, 1.) Are these offers legit, or are they just another predatory scam? 2.) Do they really get you a better deal than you can get yourself? and 3.) If they can, what is a reasonable fee for this service?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

6 Answers

bodyhead's avatar

I locked in at a fixed rate of 6.37 earlier this week. It might have gone down from there.

I’m also refinancing thought so this might not be very much help.

What are the exact terms you are trying to get? I’d feel better about working with an actual bank in a refinancing capacity. What you are talking about sounds kind of shady.

jvgr's avatar

Any price is too high when paying someone to do something you can do for yourself.
How do you know they can achieve a better rate than you.?

bodyhead's avatar

It sounds like they are trying to weasel out of terms on a contract that you signed. Even if it goes through properly, what will that do to your credit score? It probably won’t look as good as a refinance.

Zuma's avatar

@bodyhead I am at 6.20% right now on my adjustable loan, and its going to go down further because the index it is tied to went way down last month. She gave me an indication that she might be able to get it down to 3.98%, which would be well worth $4,000 to me if she can do it.

There isn’t any “weaseling out” of anything. It’s pretty straightforward. They—or I—go to my lender and say my payments are too high and I need to get them down (or they could get stuck with a property which is worth less than I owe), so how about it?

This is not “debt counseling” where they go to your credit card companies and demand they settle for 20 cents on the dollar or else you walk away. That does ruin your credit, but this does not, since it is a modification of the contract, and does not involve debt forgiveness.

@jvgr I’m not sure I agree with your logic. I could give myself a haircut, but I generally find that hiring someone else usually works out better. I have no way of knowing how much better they will be than me. They presumably know what they are doing since that is what they do on a daily basis, whereas I have never done this sort of thing before.

bodyhead's avatar

If they can get it down to 3.98% it would be totally worth it (assuming your loan is still fairly large). You’ll save more then $4000 in interest payments easily. If it’s fixed, that sounds awesome.

Usually when I’m checking out a company (if that’s what you’re worried about), just google their name along with “problem”, “scam”, or “customer service”.

Like the following:
Microsoft scam
Microsoft problem
Microsoft customer service

You might stumble on some reviews that will tell you how well the negotiation company responds to customer service issues.

jvgr's avatar

MontyZuma: Not a good analogy, but:

There have undoubtedly been mortgage renegotiators in business for some time. This current fiscal situation has made a huge breeding opportunity for more to jump in to. This phenomen is fairly common – the lending industry is one recent example.

If your lender has no reason to refinance simply to lower your payments because you don’t like them, why would they? As long as the lender isn’t in jeopardy of ending up with a house to sell, the only motive they have to lower your rates is simply good will.

I’d want to know what this mortgage negotiater is going to use as negotiating tools before I hired them.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther