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How do I know if a mortgage modification program is legit?

Q: We received a letter in the mail stating to contact a law firm to see if they can help us get our home loan modified. The name of the firm that was given to us was Prudent Law Group. They said they can get our interest loan down very low, to 4 or 3 percent and that we qualified for a government program, but we have to pay a fee up front for their services. How would I go about confirming they were legit?

A: I would steer clear of any organization that is mass mailing you or cold calling you to offer mortgage modification programs with upfront fees for their service. *

The legitimate programs through government agencies or your current mortgage servicer do not require upfront fees. There are legitimate resources available to research your options, like the  federal government's "Making Home Affordable"  program at http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov. This resource offers extensive information about finding the right program for your situation.
 
You can also learn more about how to protect yourself from scams through the Federal Trade Commission's website   with Consumer Alerts at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre42.shtm

You can also visit the NeighborWorks America site which is a national, nonprofit organization created by Congress at http://www.loanscamalert.org/default.aspx

*This information is meant for general illustration and/ or informational purposes only and it is not to be construed as tax, legal, or investment advice. Although the information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, the information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.

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