Washington law requires that one be a licensed loan officer in order to do mortgage modification, except that attorneys are exempt from this requirement. 

Many companies doing mortgage modification are from outside Washington. It is illegal for them to do mortgage modification in Washington unless they are licensed loan officers or members of the Washington Bar.

I am both a member of the Washington Bar (WSBA # 8103) and also a licensed although inactive loan officer (NMLS # 64871), although I am not required to have a mortgage license to do mortgage modification work.

The next question is whether licensed Washington loan officers should be doing mortgage modification work. The answer is yes, that it is legal for them to do so,  but should avoid such work because there are too many legal issues involved. 

And why would you hire a non-attorney to do attorney work? The non-attorney mortgage modification companies do not charge any less than the mortgage modification attorneys. They are often brazen in their overcharging.

They do not know what I know as an attorney to deal with modification situations. Clients often have questions about second mortgages and judgments. Often clients have debts which they should discharge in bankruptcy, and they need to know which chapter they should file under and when they should file.

It is important to look at all sides of a borrower’s situation. For example, maybe a second can be discharged in a Chapter 13. Maybe it can be negotiated away for a greatly reduced payoff.

When you ask a non-attorney a question, he or she will often tell you that they cannot answer legal questions. 

And there is a practical reason for hiring a mortgage modification attorney: Lenders will take you more seriously if you are represented by an attorney.

The next question is whether you should you try to modify your loan on your own? Most try on their own and some succeed. But in my experience, those who do get a modification on their own receive an inferior modification, one with a higher interest rate.

Virtually all of my modification clients tried to modify on their own and were turned down. Servicers will turn a borrower down and not tell them why.

There are many tricks and techniques which we have learned with are not commonly known. 

Yes, many borrowers do succeed with their modifications, however, many just get the run around. Most borrowers do not have the time to figure out all the technical rules, so hiring legal counsel can be a wise move.

I do not want to take on a modification case unless the numbers look right and I am convinced that there is a high likelihood that I can succeed. I do initial telephone conversations for no charge to determine whether success is likely.

My point is that just because a lucky few can do their own modifications for free does not mean that everyone should avoid hiring an attorney who has worked on hundreds of these.

If you hire an attorney, it should be an attorney in the state where your property is. We can work on non-Washington properties only if you already have an attorney there. Your local attorney would sponsor me – and check on local real estate laws, which vary from state to state.

Bankruptcy attorneys are not always the best qualified to handle modifications. They often focus only on bankruptcy as an option, and maybe bankruptcy is not necessary. Actually, many clients need both a bankruptcy and a modification, so the two attorneys can work together.

If you call me at 425-771-1110, I will talk with you for no charge to determine if I might be able to help you. If the odds look good, I will invite you to collect all your paperwork and come in for an initial consultation. The typical fee for the first meeting is $350. During that first meeting I may be able to quote you a flat fee.


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