You Walk Away

Today, on Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis, Mike Shedlock posted about You Walk Away LLC, which is a California mortgage foreclosure consultant for homeowners who are underwater. Per Shedlock, You Walk Away LLC is the defendant in a class action lawsuit that asserts the company provides little practical advice to distressed homeowners and charges a significant fee for doing so. According to the company's FAQ page, for $1195 you are entitled to the following (my comments in red):

1. We provide a personalized cease and desist letter addressed to your lender to stop harassing phone calls. Under 15USC 1692c, the homeowner can do this. Here is a sample letter.
2. We will provide you with the amount of days you have to live in your house payment free. We stay on top of your walk away plan and keep you up to date with weekly progress emails.We also will notify you if the lender is taking longer than expected subsequently giving you more time in your home payment free. Get a calendar, a pen, and read this.
3. You get a personal consultation with a highly experienced real estate attorney in your state, making sure that you know your rights and that you are protected by the law. This might be useful, but unless the loan was fraudulently issued, I doubt the attorney will tell anything different from Item 2.
4. You will have an experienced YouWalkAway advocate available to answer any questions you may have during the entire process. In MD, this is provided by the state.
5. You will get a personal consultation with a CPA to go over any tax questions related to walking away. This could be helpful if you can afford to pay but choose not to or if you are trying to recover equity after an auction.
6. You get access to our attorney network to answer questions via email about your foreclosure throughout the entire process. E-mail? You might be corresponding with the law firm's restroom attendant.
7. You will be referred to a 3rd party BBB accredited law firm who has legally removed thousands of foreclosures. They sell your name to a bankruptcy law mill. You can probably handle this all by yourself.

You also receive a Walk Away Protection Kit, which provides the documents to accomplish the goals listed above. While the above "services" aren't entirely worthless, they are severely overpriced. Shedlock posts ads for You Walk Away, LLC on his site and defends their services. Shedlock is a knowledgeable and reputable blogger, so I was surprised to see him support them so adamantly. (In this age of unrestrained greed, I don't know why anything surprises me anymore.)

Regardless, You Walk Away LLC is charging a hefty sum to tell you what is easily discovered public information. At the end of the process, the homeowner still loses their home and gets their credit rating trashed, which is exactly the same outcome realized if the homeowner simply did nothing. Considering that $1195 is a potential house payment, I can't see how the You Walk Away LLC is nothing more than another sub-prime predator--Shedlock endorsed, or otherwise.

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