When Do You Need a Loan Modification Lawyer?
Loan modifications typically refer to adjustments of monthly payments on mortgage loans. These may involve increases or reductions in monthly payment amounts or changes in interest rates.
They may also involve changes to the overall types of mortgages that are being issued. A loan modification is typically done when a borrower is having trouble keeping up with their current loan rates.
Loan modification terms are usually governed by contract principles. This means that both parties involved are required to agree to any changes that may be applied to existing payment arrangements.
If one of the parties violates the agreement terms, it may lead to various legal issues and can even result in foreclosure proceedings or other loan modification disputes, which may include:
- Unauthorized increases in rates: A dispute may arise regarding whether the lender was authorized to make an increase in monthly pay rates. The borrower usually needs to receive some sort of notice that the rates will change;
- Failure to pay: A loan modification usually occurs because a borrower has already failed to make some of their monthly payments. Failure to make payments, even following a modification, may lead to a lawsuit for breach of contract;
- Loan fraud: Using deception or misrepresentation of terms of a loan is illegal. Knowingly withholding important loan modification information from a borrower can lead to legal penalties, and, in some cases, criminal penalties, for the lender; and
- Coercion: A lender is prohibited from using force or threats of harm to coerce a borrower into agreeing to a loan modification.
In many cases, confusion regarding mortgage and modification terms may be used to resolve the issue by reviewing the loan documents signed by the lender and the borrower. If this review does not clarify the issue, it may be necessary for a party to file a claim in civil court, which may involve a lawsuit where one of the parties sues the other for economic losses.
Courts may also issue injunctions, which are orders that require one of the parties to take certain actions or to stop engaging in certain conduct.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Loan Modification Lawyer in the U.S.?
The cost of a loan modification lawyer in the United States will vary depending on many factors, such as:
- The location of the case;
- The experience and expertise of the attorney;
- The complexity or difficulty of the case; and
- How long the lawyer expects the case will take to resolve.
In these types of cases, lawyers usually charge hourly rates, which may range from $100 to $400, on average, depending on the location and expertise of the lawyer.
What to Look For in a Loan Modification Lawyer?
If an individual knows what to look for in a loan modification lawyer, it can help them find the best fit for their needs. Things to look for when seeking legal services include:
- Licensing: An attorney should be currently holding a valid license under their state bar association. Some lawyers may be licensed for practice in multiple states;
- Special education or certifications: Some lawyers practice in very specific fields that require additional education, such as tax attorneys;
- Track record: An individual may want to investigate the lawyer’s history of performance in cases that are similar to theirs; and
- Fees: Attorneys may charge fees differently from one another. For example, one lawyer may charge a flat rate, while another may use a contingency fee based on the amount of damages won.
It is important for an individual to find an attorney with whom they are comfortable working and whose fees fit in their budget.
How to Prepare for Your Consultation With a Loan Modification Lawyer?
When an individual is preparing for their consultation with a loan modification lawyer, there are two important steps they should take. They should gather any and all documentation they have related to their loan. If in doubt about a document, they should bring it for the attorney to review.
An individual should also make a list of any questions or concerns they have related to their case so they can ensure their lawyer addresses all of their issues.
Where to Find the Best Loan Modification Lawyers in the U.S.?
A loan modification may be very helpful for both the lender and the borrower, as these adjustments can help the parties maintain their working relationship. These modifications, however, can also result in legal disputes.
If you are involved in a loan modification dispute, it is important to consult with a mortgage lawyer for advice. To find the best loan modification lawyers in the United States, an individual can begin with LegalMatch to find a lawyer in their area.