Is it a scam or do they just use scuzzy advertising? Either way, don’t patronize them.
Every once in a while somebody sends me a letter offering to “help” me with my mortgage.
Today’s came from “First American Mitigators,” which wants to charge homeowners $2,300 to essentially package a set of financial documents to send to banks. The advertising is exceptionally deceptive. It’s designed to look like a tax form. (“Form 1006: Mortgage Relief Notification.” Sequentially, it comes right after “Form 1005: A Form I Just Made Up to Dupe You.”) The “services” provided are simply an extremely expensive version of the housing counseling you can get for free at a HUD certified housing counselor.
I like to call the companies in question to see if they’re doing anything illegal—in addition to being extremely shady and predatory. It’s one of my favorite phone calls. In this case, First American Mitigators, LLC seems to be within the law. Barely.
If you’re looking for help reducing an unaffordable mortgage payment, try a non-profit housing counselor. Anybody calling themselves an attorney who charges a flat fee for services you can get elsewhere for free is probably not a great attorney.
Edit: It looks like they’re still sending out these deceptive ads. I really hope they stop. While the person I spoke to when I called told me they were a law firm, their website simply says they have “legal professionals on staff.” This sort of switch should make you extremely reluctant to believe anything their marketing people tell you. (Recent inbound Google hits suggest that a new version of the advertisement might use the title Form 1006M: Mortgage Relief Notification).