How did you find the lawyer? Was it in response to a solicitation? If so, and if the lawyer wants any money up front before the loan modification is a done deal, it may not be a scam but it sure is illegal. No one, not even an attorney, can receive any advance funds for a loan modification. If the attorney is willing to work on the modification without any advance payment, the attorney is probably legit.
Several of my clients have received modifications with the assistance of NACA. There website is here: http://www.naca.com. The services are free. You have to jump through a few hoops but you are able to deal directly with the lender, in person. I don’t know if that organization would be right for you situation but I mention them for what it might be worth to you.
The attorney you spoke with is correct: you can file a Chapter 13 after a Chapter 7 is closed to deal with mortgage arrearages. Whether this makes any sense to you, only you can answer that question. Good luck.
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Our office frequently negotiates foreclosure sale postponements with Wells Fargo when we are actively working on a loan modification. Filing bankruptcy again should be a back-up plan only if your attorney is unable to get the bank to agree to postpone the sale. Home equity lines of creidt are often easier to modify becasue they are in second position on the property. Becasue loan modification is based on your income and assets, I would need a few more details to give you comprehensive advice on your chance of loan modification success, but it is possible to get a loan modification even after having been denied. If you would like to come in for a free consultation to discuss options, I'd be happy to meet with you. Please feel free to check out my law firm at www.hlawinc.com.
There are attorneys out there that can help you with your situation. Be careful though, there are many people in the loan modification business that prey on people and offer little to nothing in return.