I came across an article where a local lawyer is charging people $40 for “mortgage meltdown advice”. I haven’t called the number nor spoken with Mr. Harper, but I suspect that he talks to many people every day about their current financial situation and what their options are.
According to the article:
Around Phoenix lawyers do not do free consultations. The going rate is usually around $200 to $250 for an hour of a lawyer’s time. “I was getting a lot of inquires and I had several people pay those prices for a consult. They were coming in with questions about foreclosure and what they face if the bank takes their property,” says Harper.
Taking that much money from people already in a difficult situation did not feel right to Harper. “So I decided we would set aside three or fours a week and we would do these consults for $40.”
A half day of Harper’s time is usually worth around $2500, so his contribution is significant. The problem is that there really is not much Harper can do. “Occasionally, we find out there is something else happening and we can help,” he says, “but for the most part we just give people some information to navigate the situation.”
What Harper usually finds is that, what people do know about their situation is that they have mortgage payments they cannot afford and they will likely lose their home. “They don’t know if they are going to have to pay the mortgage company for the rest of their life, they don’t know what other obligations they may have, or what the tax implications are or what is going to happen to their credit,” adds Harper.
He finds people are just lost and looking for information. “I do have a few clients that have came out of those consultations,” says Harper. “Sometimes I can negotiate deals with their banks, if they are in a position to do that.”
For $45, you can get an opinion from a lawyer of what your options are if you are currently struggling to afford your mortgage.
My advice is that you absolutely talk to as many people as you possibly can about your options, because in my experience, there is not one person who knows everything — and the more people you can talk to, the more options you have.
And $45 is less than the price of a tank of gas. I think it is truly a good deal.
The only better deal going that I am aware of to learn what your options are if you can’t afford your mortgage?
Talking to someone with an MBA who also talks to people every day who are in your same situation.
Its free! Call us.
It is entirely possible that one of our pieces of advice will be to spend $45 and call Mr. Harper.