You should never pay up front for a loan modification. On the same note you should be just as cautious when you go to your lender for help and you're told they cannot help you unless you are behind on your loan or in foreclosure. That simply is NOT true. You must show you're in imminent danger of default (job loss, death of wager earner, divorce, illness, etc.)If you choose to work directly with your lender for a loan modification take note that for the most part your lender is NOT interested in helping you. I believe as soon as most borrowers understand that they're better off. Here are a few tips to help you along:1).Get a notebook and document every time contact is made with the lender. That includes phone calls. letters, faxes, etc. When speaking with the lender always get the name, ID number/Ext number of the person as well as their department. 2). Call your lender weekly to see what updates there are on the account. 3). After sending any documents always call them the next day to verify they were received (banks are notorious for losing documents). 4). When sending in a loan modification package be sure all paperwork has your loan number on it, all documents requiring a signature are signed especially tax returns. 5). At the begininng of every month fax current bank statements and pay stubs.
Hope these tips help. If you feel you need help please call your local housing counselor or legal services.