Simply Money: Loan modification Q & A

Q: "A law firm contacted us to see if they can help us get our home loan modified with a 3-4% interest rate. We qualify for a government program, but the law firm wants a fee up front. Is this legit?"

A: I would steer clear of any firm or company that's mass mailing or cold calling you to offer mortgage modification programs in exchange for an upfront fee.

The legitimate programs through government agencies or your current mortgage servicer do not ask for money up front.

You should check out the federal government's Making Home Affordable program.

You can learn more about how to keep yourself safe from scams through the Federal Trade Commission's website, too.

There's also a national, nonprofit group called NeighborWorks America which is working to educate homeowners about fraud specific to loan modification programs.

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