When Indymac was taken over by the FTC, it was purchased by Michael Dell and George Soros who formed OneWest for the specific purpose of taking over the failed Indymac. They signed up with Treasury for the HAMP program, but the Treasury (US TAxpayers) also gave them a loss sharing agreement. They bought every loan for 60 cents on the dollar, and any potentail losses they incurr get pick up by the govt. Thye are on a deliberate campaign to foreclose on just about any delinquent loan in their portfolio, regardless of circumstance.
I work for www.CDAlawcenter.com, and we ar a reputable and ethical firm helping people with loan modifications, and we have a direct contact with the Office of the President of OneWest, and so far have gotten traction using this channel helping our clients save their homes. Good luck going through OneWest loss mitigation, as it just won't happen as the are pretty heartless in my opinion based on a great deal of personal experience. They and Litton Loans are the 2 worst banks to work with.
So you are clear, the only time it makes sense to hire an attorney is when the outcome of a matter is uncertain. I read this site, and many people are unhappy with their firms and call them scammers if they don't get a mod. You must understand, scammers take your money and then do nothing...there are many of those on this site too. If you hire a legit firm, you are hiring them to analyze your financials and prepare documentation and a proposed plan for your lender, but you are seeking a voluntary concession that the bank does not have to make. Congress, Treasury, and the President cannot make he banks modify, so your lawyer can only enter a Good Faith negotiation to work with the bank for a positive outcome for you. We are successful 80% to 90% o f the time because we are careful who we take as a client with respect to their financial situation. That said, we can spend 6-12 months negotating and the bank can deny your request. Be mad at the bank, not the people who you hired to help! ...unless of course they took your money and did not even contact the bank.
One other thing to note is the Federal HAMP program, although touted as a program to help borrowers save their home, is really not that. After working with it for 6 months +, we now know it was designed to help banks stem their losses, not to save a taxpayers home. It hinges on a "Net Present Value" calculation that redlines by your zip code, takes your credit into consideration (so the longer you wait to address the problem, the less likely you are to resolve it), and uses a riduclous Gross income calculation instead of your net income to determine if you qualify. If you have too much negative equity, you won't get a mod because the program deduces that at some point you will wake up to how buried you are, and walk from the house, so it is better for the bank to take it now then lose more money when you walk later. You must also be 60 days late+. Call us, we are honest, ehtical, and have modifed about 600 loans in the past year, and about 1000 over the past 2 years. That said, there is no guarantee as to the outcome as you broke your mortgage contract and no one can force the bank to change it. If we take your case, it means we believe we have a 70% or better chance of making the negotion work, based upon what we understand are the banks internal modification programs, as well as the federal programs.