we are 5 months behing on our mortgage and I received a letter stating the foreclosure process has begun. it was dated 1/26/10 on 2/1/10 I called and asked for the full amount so we can pay off our balance in full since we are getting our tax return & will be able to be current on our mortgage. sale date is 3/2/10. received the bill but I was wondering if the $989.16 in attorneys fees are justified for a weeks worth of work. what is the average or is there a percentage that is charged. can I ask the lawyer for maybe a 20% reduction in fee? my mortgage payment due to be current is a total of $3765.96 that would be about 25% MORE!. i just want to know if this is standard practice, or if they increased the fee because I agreed to pay in order to be current. is this how they help homeowners?
before I get some angry emails, I'd like to state that If this IS a fair price and IS what's usually charged, then that's fine. but I would guess that like any business, if the bank has a lot of forclosures, they'd offer their client (mortgage co.) a wholesale price. This mortgage co. says they will do whatever they can to help homeowners, but IF they're letting attorneys get away with fees that are market price when they could have extended the origional fee to the homeowner, then that's not morally correct in my opinion. thanks to you all for your advice!
It's not an unreasonable amount, and the fees were not increased because you called to pay the mortgage current. Neither mortgage company nor the attorney are "helping homeowners." They are simply collecting on the mortgage.
It sounds like your assumption that the fees are too high is based on the number of days between the letter and your call. Legal fees are usually based on either an hourly rate for the work, or a flat fee for the work. Both can vary quite a bit, but it's not hard at all to do more than $1000 worth of legal work in a week. You should also realize that at least some of the work was done before the letter was sent - it's necessary to review the documents and prepare the letter, prepare and file a Notice of Foreclosure in the county real property records. There was probably a title check to confirm other liens, especially tax liens, (since these require separate, additional notices) and most likely at least some of the documents necessary after the foreclosure were drafted.
Hope this answers your question.