When the mortgage crisis hit American homeowners full-force, companies offering “foreclosure rescue” and “loan modification” sprouted like weeds. Most promised troubled homeowners quick fixes for high fees, and failed to deliver after collecting their money, leaving families poorer and closer to homelessness.
The new flood of loan audit companies is fueled by the spread of loan modification companies in an attempt to side step the upfront fees that the states have prohibited these companies from charging. They’re the proverbial “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
For over 30 years, Lex Consulting has provided litigation support to attorneys, helping them break into new areas of practice, or providing specialized advice for complex cases requiring novel approaches to the law. Due to the recent housing crisis, a team of specially trained attorneys called the Mortgage Fraud Examiners were assembled, providing borrowers and the legal community with comprehensive assistance to help them keep them in their homes.
“Although forensic examinations of mortgage transactions can be of substantial value to a homeowner, regrettably, most companies providing these so-called ‘loan audits’ are nowhere near qualified to do so,” explains Mortgage Fraud Examiners CEO Storm Bradford. “They are performed and sold by persons with no legal training, such as, former real estate agents, mortgage brokers, or loan processors, who input data into some software program.”
Bradford says these audits are strictly cosmetic, offering no true relief to troubled homeowners. Using critical legal knowledge, Mortgage Fraud Examiners evaluate each case to reveal a defense for homeowners to keep them out of foreclosure.
“Mortgage Fraud Examiners helps me identify contract defenses, torts, regulatory violations and other types of legal anomalies,” says Jonathon Moseley, an attorney specializing in foreclosures who employs the services of Mortgage Fraud Examiners. “The value of a thorough examination of the mortgage transaction is that the examination is done right — with legal accuracy and depth.”
How does a consumer spot a legitimate loan auditor from an untrained one?
“Ask the right questions,” Bradford advises. “Ask how they do they conduct the audit- is it software, or are there specifically trained attorneys spending real time examining the documents looking for contract defenses? If they’re not performing a forensic appraisal that should be a clue.”
Mortgage Fraud Examiners report the finding of appraisal fraud in four out of every five mortgage transactions they examine. Bradford warns to be weary of vague claims like ‘attorney back’ or ‘certified loan auditors,’ as these procedures are either conducted by legal professionals or they are not.
“There really are many legal options available to homeowners facing foreclosure,” Bradford concludes. “But there are no shortcuts to finding them. Every claim has unique facts, every claim has different applicable law, and only a legal professional is going to find the answers to help each individual borrower stay in their home.”