Industry News

Loan modifications: salvation or scam?

Know basics to protect real estate clients

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Editor's note: Meet Bernice Ross at the upcoming Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco, which runs from Aug. 5-7, 2009. She will be available to meet with conference attendees from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Palace Hotel's Ralstom Room. Click here to send Bernice a message. Financially challenged property owners have become a huge target for scam artists. Loan modifications can be especially risky. As a responsible Realtor, what can you do to protect your clients? I recently interviewed Julie Harris, who trains Realtors on how to assist homeowners with the loan modification process. At the National Association of Realtors' midyear conference, the speakers on risk management insisted that Realtors who do loan modifications are illegally practicing law -- it is a practice to be avoided. Instead, they said clients should be referred to the lender, to a reputable loan modification company, or to an attorney.In contrast, Harris shared a number of ways that Realtors c...