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COMPARISON OF SHORT SALE NEGOTIATORS

 Short sales are challenging. Lenders do not always agree to accept less than the seller owes. Unless the transaction and negotiations are handled by skilled and experienced professionals, lenders may choose to take the property through foreclosure rather than approve a short sale.
For that reason, it is critical that you select a short sale negotiator who can protect your legal interests throughout the short sale process. Not all short sale negotiators are alike. 
 
Hochman Legal Group’s No Hassle Short Sale Program
Other Law Firm Negotiators
Real Estate Agent, Escrow Company and Non-Attorneys
Legal Representation
Full legal representation by a law firm at no cost whatsoever. Complimentary legal representation.
Act only as a neutral third party. Will not    provide legal services or advice without a fee. As a result, they will not protect your legal interests.   
No legal representation. The law prohibits non-attorneys from giving legal advice. 
Initial Consultation
Complimentary initial consultation to see if you qualify. Also, a confidential online questionnaire is available for your use.
They’ll charge you a fee for initial consultations, even if you don’t qualify.
Not licensed to practice law. Any “legal” advice offered may be unlawful and should be relied upon at your own risk.
Cost to You
As a client of our No Hassle Short Sale Program, you’ll receive full and complimentary legal representation and pay no real estate commission and zero closing costs. No cost to you.
You must pay a fee to receive legal advice. No legal representation is offered, even though they’re a law firm.
You may be responsible for paying real estate commissions even if the transaction does not close.
Affiliated Businesses
Not affiliated with any title, escrow or mortgage companies.  We protect our clients’ legal interests at every stage of the short sale process.
May require that you use a title company or escrow company that is affiliated with the law firm. Could make sellers liable for criminal and/or civil penalties under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).
Real estate brokerages, escrow agents and loan originators often have affiliated business relationships with title, escrow and mortgage lenders. Under the law, these affiliated relationships must be disclosed in writing.
Ties to Foreclosing Lenders
We represent struggling homeowners. We do not represent banks, mortgage companies, loan servicing companies or anyone else in the banking industry.  . We never have a conflict of interest.
Often, they also represent lenders, banks and loan servicing companies and they help their lender clients to foreclose on struggling homeowners. This is a direct conflict of interest.
Their affiliated business relationships may include direct ties with lenders and mortgage companies who are foreclosing on you or other homeowners.
Negotiators
Only actively licensed and full-time Real Estate Attorneys negotiate short sales for our clients.
Negotiations are handled by non-attorney staff members or third-party processing companies.
Your short sale may be handled and negotiated by a person with no legal knowledge or experience.  
Ability to Threaten Your Lenders
As your attorneys, we can make legal arguments on your behalfduring our negotiations with lenders and threaten legal action if the banks don’t follow the law.
Because they do not represent your legal interests and act only as a neutral third party, these negotiators cannot threaten legal action.
No legal representation means they have no ability to threaten legal action.
Legal Professionals
Staffed by full-time Real Estate Attorneysand experienced legal professionals.
They do not offer complimentary legal advice and your short sale is often handled by non-attorney staff that has no legal training.
Staffed by individuals who possess no legal training or experience.
Getting Results for You
We are committed to helping our clients avoid foreclosure and prevent bankruptcy with dignity, respect and compassion. Our clients receive fast and meaningful relief at no cost.
They do not offer direct legal representation and are not bound by the Attorney-Client PrivilegeThey often tell homeowners to let their house foreclose, rather than fight to prevent foreclosure.
Short sales require unique expertise, a considerable time commitment and legal knowledge. Without these skills, homeowners will not receive the protection they deserve.
 
 We strive to provide all HochmanLegal.com readers with valuable information about ways to get protected at every step of the short sale process. We encourage you to research and find a local and actively licensed Real Estate Attorney who also possesses experience with the unique aspects of Mortgage Lending law and short sale transactions.

The information contained in this document is provided by Hochman Legal Group, PLLC for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be construed as legal advice or representation. Consult tax and legal professionals for advice about your specific situation. Reproduction or use on a website or in marketing materials is not allowed without written permission.QUESTIONS HOMEOWNERS SHOULD ASK BEFORE HIRING A SHORT SALE NEGOTIATOR

  1. Will you be able to protect my legal rights and interests?
  2. Are you an actively licensed Real Estate Attorney or Law Firm (licensed in WA)?
  3. Do you represent banks, lenders or in any way help them to foreclose on homeowners?
  4. What services do you actually provide?
  5. Is there a limit to the number of hours or amount of time that you’ll spend on a file?
  6. Which party to the transaction do you represent (seller, buyer, both, neither)?
  7. Will you provide the seller with legal advice, if requested?
  8. Do you use any third parties to perform work on the file (i.e., lawyers, processors, etc.)?
  9. Who handles the actual negotiations with the lenders and what are their qualifications?
  10. What is your fee?
  11. Who pays your fee?
  12. Do you accept all short sale files or are there certain criteria that must first be met?
  13. Do you have a system for handling short sales? What is it?
  14. How often will you provide me with updates regarding the short sale file?
  15. How will you communicate those updates to me (email, website, telephone, fax)?
  16. What services are NOT included (i.e., legal advice, stopping trustee’s sale, etc.)?
  17. Have you or has your company ever been subject to discipline by a governmental entity, association or organization to which you belong?
  18. When should I begin thinking about a short sale as an option (i.e., before I miss my first payment, when I receive a Notice of Default, just before the foreclosure auction, etc.)?
  19. Should I contact a negotiator before I list my home for sale with a real estate agent?
  20. Do you have any special training or qualifications to act as a negotiator? What is it?
  21. Do you or does your company ever act as an investor, buyer or “flipper” on short sale transactions that you handle?
  22. If you or your company acts as an investor, buyer or “flipper” on the short sales that you negotiate, then how can you ethically represent my interests in the transaction?
  23. Do you or does your company buy properties at foreclosure auctions? Do you buy any properties that were once owned your customers?

The information contained in this document is provided by Hochman Legal Group, PLLC for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be construed as legal advice or representation. Consult tax and legal professionals for advice about your specific situation. Reproduction or use on a website or in marketing materials is not allowed without written permission.SHORT SALE vs. FORECLOSURE AND BANKRUPTCY

It’s more important than ever to ensure that your credit score remains strong. Foreclosure and bankruptcy are two of the worst events to happen because they lower credit scores by so many points. The negative credit rating stays with the borrower for 7 or more years. This affects the borrower’s ability to rent a place to live, get credit, buy a house, obtain security clearance and even qualify for a job in some cases. It is well worth your time and energy to explore alternatives and to prevent foreclosure and bankruptcy from scarring your credit report.

One strategy to avoid foreclosure is to sell your property as fast as possible and before a lender can complete the foreclosure sale. Keep in mind, though, that the foreclosure can be completed very quickly in certain situations. For that reason, it’s important to act quickly.

Through the short sale process, home sellers have the chance to be released from all financial and legal obligations by every single lien holder. The same opportunity does not exist in a foreclosure or bankruptcy.

Junior lien holder rights are not extinguished by a foreclosure. Under Washington law, a junior lien holder keeps its rights to collect the full amount of the debt from the borrower, even after a non-judicial foreclosure. This means the junior lien holder can obtain a separate judgment and pursue collection of the debt for many years to come. Only through a properly negotiated short sale does a borrower have the ability to prevent that from happening.

To qualify for a short sale, the following must exist: COMPARE YOUR OPTIONS

  SHORT SALE FORECLOSURE or WALKING AWAY BANKRUPTCY CHAPTER 13
Waiting period to reestablish credit and obtain a loan from Fannie Mae 2 years 5 - 7 years 5 - 7+ years
Negative impact on credit score for 7+ years   X X
Ability to negotiate NO harm to credit score ✔    
All lien holder rights can be extinguished ✔    
Chance to avoid a collection lawsuit after the sale ✔    
Senior lien holders can file a lawsuit against you, obtain a judgment and enforce it     X
Junior lien holders can file a lawsuit against you, obtain a judgment and enforce it   X X
Makes it almost impossible to obtain credit, consumer loans and home loans for many years   X X
May hurt your chances of qualifying for a job, renting a home or getting security clearance   X X
Possible tax consequences for debt forgiven X X X
Can help to avoid Bankruptcy ✔    
Increases the risk of Bankruptcy   X X


The information contained in this document is provided by Hochman Legal Group, PLLC for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be construed as legal advice or representation. Consult tax and legal professionals for advice about your specific situation. Reproduction or use on a website or in marketing materials is not allowed without written permission.QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE HIRING ANYONE TO MODIFY YOUR MORTGAGE LOAN

Not all loan modification companies are the same. If you decide to seek the help of anyone claiming to have experience with mortgage loan modifications, then you need some good information BEFORE you make any decisions.

Choosing someone to negotiate with your lender about the possibility of making changes to your mortgage loan is one of those critical issues that can cost or save you thousands of dollars. At Hochman Legal Group, we provide you with specific questions you should ask to ensure that you get the best representation.

Some companies may prefer that you don’t ask these questions, because the knowledge you’ll gain from their honest answers will give you a very good idea about what outcome you can expect from using the company to modify your mortgage loan. It’s critical that you make the right decision about who will negotiate with your lender about what is probably the single largest financial investment effecting your life today.
  1. Are you a law firm with experience in Mortgage Lending and Real Estate law?
  2. If so, for how many years have you been practicing law?
  3. If I hire you to negotiate with my lender, will our communications be protected by the Attorney-Client Privilege?
  4. In what groups and organizations are you a member that will provide me with more confidence and security in your ability to negotiate with my lender?
  5. Are you able to provide answers to my legal questions?
  6. Will I have direct access to an actively licensed attorney in your office regarding my loan modification?
  7. Will an attorney be available to answer my legal questions without any additional charge or cost?
  8. Have there been any disciplinary actions or investigations commenced against your company or any of its employees by any governmental entity, organization or law enforcement agency?
  9. Have there been any consumer claims or lawsuits made against your company or any of its employees?
  10. Is your company and everyone who will be working on my case licensed by the state to perform loan modifications?
  11. What agencies, associations and ethical rules regulate your company and the way it conducts business?
  12. On average, how long will it take for you to get my mortgage loan modified?
  13. What is your overall success rate at obtaining loan modifications for your clients?
  14. Will you provide me with a written analysis regarding my legal options?
  15. Will you be negotiating directly with the lender’s attorneys or with the same employees with whom I could talk if I called the lender myself?
  16. Will you be able to obtain a loan modification for me even if I haven’t missed any mortgage payments?
  17. Will you perform a Forensic Loan Audit and legal analysis of my mortgage loan documents?
  18. If it is appropriate or necessary for you to threaten my lender with legal action, will you be able to do so and stand behind your words with skilled attorneys who have courtroom experience?
  19. Are you licensed to provide loan modification services in my state?
  20. Is your office located in my state?
We encourage you to investigate your options thoroughly.


The information contained in this document is provided by Hochman Legal Group, PLLC for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be construed as legal advice or representation. Consult tax and legal professionals for advice about your specific situation. Reproduction or use on a website or in marketing materials is not allowed without written permission.COMPARISON OF LOAN MODIFICATION OPTIONS

Before hiring anyone to help with the modification of your home loan, it is very important that you understand all of the available options. Not all modification companies are the same. In fact, there are some significant differences that can effect your ability to obtain a successful result.

At Hochman Legal Group, we’ve created an impartial and easy-to-understand comparison of your options. We strongly encourage you to conduct further investigations and to talk with any person or company whom you’re considering to negotiate with your lenders about a loan modification.

Attorney and Law Firm Representation Modification Company Claiming to be Attorney-Backed Modification Company or Individual
Regulated by the Bar Association of the state in which they are admitted to practice law. Unregulated. In some states, must be licensed to perform loan modifications. Unregulated. In some states, must be licensed to perform loan modifications.
Direct legal representation by your own attorney and law firm. No legal representation. The attorney represents the modification company, not you. No legal representation.
You have direct contact with and access to an attorney who is handling your case. No contact with an attorney. Files are handled by processors. No contact with an attorney. Files are handled by processors.
Able to provide you with researched legal opinions and advice about your options. The law prohibits non-attorneys from giving legal advice. You cannot rely on any legal advice given by non-lawyers. The law prohibits non-attorneys from giving legal advice. You cannot rely on any legal advice given by non-lawyers.
Law firms can threaten your lender with a lawsuit for non-compliance, and can stand behind the threat if the law firm also has litigation experience. No legal representation means no ability to threaten legal action. No legal representation means no ability to threaten legal action.
Legal advice and direct representation by an attorney is included in the price. No legal advice given to the consumer because the attorney represents only the modification company. No legal advice available under any circumstances.
Law firms provide security and comfort knowing that you’re directly represented by a licensed attorney, preferably one who is experience in Mortgage Lending and Real Estate Law. Unregulated individuals and companies may have a history of consumer fraud and are routinely investigated by governmental agencies. Unregulated individuals and companies may have a history of consumer fraud and are routinely investigated by governmental agencies.
Staffed by full-time attorneys and experienced legal professionals. Often staffed by inexperienced individuals who possess no legal training. Often staffed by inexperienced individuals who possess no legal training.
Able to communicate and negotiate directly with the lender’s attorneys, often resulting in a faster and more successful modification. Because they are not attorneys, they have no access to the lender’s attorneys. Instead, they talk only with the same individuals who everyone can reach when calling the lender’s “help” line. Because they are not attorneys, they have no access to the lender’s attorneys. Instead, they talk only with the same individuals who everyone can reach when calling the lender’s “help” line.
Must comply with the Rules of Professional Responsibility for lawyers, which are approved by the State Supreme Court. No rules of conduct. No rules of conduct.

We strive to provide all HochmanLegal.com readers with valuable information about ways to get protected at every step of the loan modification process. Unlike other providers of loan modification services, lawyers are regulated by the Bar Association in the states where they are admitted to practice law and must comply with the Rules of Professional Responsibility that have been approved by the State Supreme Court. We encourage you to research and find a local and actively licensed attorney who also possesses experience with the unique aspects of Mortgage Lending and Real Estate law.


The information contained in this document is provided by Hochman Legal Group, PLLC for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be construed as legal advice or representation. Consult tax and legal professionals for advice about your specific situation. Reproduction or use on a website or in marketing materials is not allowed without written permission.