It is a scam!! Do not do it!! I went thru a Hope to Homeowners company thru a radio station website that charged $995 up front. Then I would pay the remaining balance of their $3500 fee once the refinance/modification went thru. Their offer was very appealing: You new mortgage loan would be 90% of the CURRENT market value and the excess of your mortgage would be forgiven. The 10% below current market value would then be a shared equity with FHA.
If you sold your home during year 1, FHA would get 100% of that 10% equity amount.
If you sold your home during year 2, FHA would get 90% of that 10% equity amount.
If you sold your home during year 3, FHA would get 80% of that 10% equity amount.
If you sold your home during year 4, FHA would get 70% of that 10% equity amount.
If you sold your home during year 5, FHA would get 60% of that 10% equity amount.
After year 5, FHA would get 50% of that 10% equity amount.
Not a bad deal.
So I signed up. I filled out all the paperwork showing my hardship and they had you complete a hardship letter explaining why you needed assistance from this program to avoid foreclosure. I did all the work and all the calculations on their worksheet. Sent it in. My "case worker" went on vacation so they had another rep charge my credit card before my file had even been reviewed. The very next day after they charged my credit card, my "case worker" was back from vacation and I received a call from her stating that I did not qualify for the program because my debt was too high!! Could not believe it! They did nothing on my case and charged $995 for nothing, then told me sorry, but you do not qualify for the hardship package because you are in too much of a hardship??!?!?!
Then they had the nerve to say, well we can try to negotiate with your bank to see if we can come to an agreement for a loan modification with them for the remainder of the $3500 fee, but again there is no guarantee. I asked them to stop everything and lose my file!! They did not do anything at all on my case except charge my card before doing anything, then called me to tell me I did not qualify!
A few days later I found out this "Hope to Homeowners" program never really took off and in fact had not been in force for several months. So there was no chance of me being approved regardless of my financial situation when they took my application since the program did not exist at that time.
I have since been negotiating directly with my mortgage bank and have been able to come to a modification agreement with them directly. I am currently trying to resolve my second. It has been a long and stressful process, but the best way is to deal with your bank directly. They do not charge you a fee and you get the same results as if you went thru a broker from what I hear. If anyone asks you for money to modify your loan, I would definately take a large step back.
I will call Nicholas and Butler per the above recommendation. They need to be stopped!