A successful relationship between a client and a law firm requires both parties to do their job. The firm may have the most work to do, but there are some things that only the client can do. Even the greatest attorney in the world can't get you what you want if you're not playing ball.
If you hire our law firm, take the steps below to ensure that you have the best relationship with us and the highest chance of getting the outcome you want.
1. Add our phone numbers to your contacts and return our calls.
Have you ever received a call from an unknown number and not answered it because you assumed that if the caller was important to you, you'd already have their number saved in your phone? Probably a telemarketer, you figured. Then you get a voice mail and realize that the caller was someone very important to you, but you didn't add their number to your contacts yet. Crap!
Don't let that happen with a call from your lawyer. Add our number to your contacts and answer when we call you -- it's probably important. If you're a client of our firm, you will be getting calls from 877-882-5338 or 866-558-2408. You might also want to add your paralegal's direct fax number, so you have it handy while you're doing #3 below.
If you miss a call or get a voice mail from our staff, don't ignore it. We don't call unless there's something we need, something you need to know, or something we need you to get to us that we can't get on our own.
2. Log into Qvault.
Communication is vital, and it doesn't just happen over the phone. Clients of our firm have access to a secure online portal called Qvault where every action that is taken on a case is entered and our paralegals and attorneys send messages back and forth with clients. It's a great system, and as a client, you should keep yourself in the loop by regularly logging in, and communicating with our staff here.
3. Send us documents when we ask for them.
In order to get a loan modification, which is often the only way a homeowner in default has to avoid foreclosure and save their home, you will need to submit an application that includes a number of financial documents. We do all of the work on the application that we can possibly do, but we can't get your financial documents (tax returns, bank statements, etc.) unless you send them to us, and an application can't be completed without those documents.
4. Send us everything your lender or their attorney sends you.
Even though we are attorney of record for our clients, and the bank is supposed send any documents to us, they may still send documents, like an escrow analysis, to you directly. If this happens to you, you should fax or email the documents to your paralegal ASAP.
5. Let us know if your billing info changes.
After retaining (hiring) our firm, you will pay a fee each month that we represent you. To keep our fees reasonable, payments are automatic, and typically charged to a debit or credit card. If there are any changes to your payment method, let us know immediately. If a payment is missed, our work on your case will be suspended. Foreclosure is time-sensitive and we can't risk losing time or missing deadlines.
It would be a shame to lose your attorney (and possibly your home) because you forgot to let us know that you have a new credit card number.
6. File your taxes.
Income tax returns are a required part of a loan modification application. After April, lenders will require the previous year's tax returns to be submitted as part of the application. We've had many clients whose applications couldn't be submitted because their taxes haven't been filed. It prevents the process from moving forward. If you want a loan modification, file your taxes.
Avoiding foreclosure and getting a loan modification is hard enough. Loan modification applications are frequently denied. Don't let a minor problem, such as a miscommunication with our firm or failure to send us a utility bill, jeopardize your chances of getting what you want. Take these steps to put the odds of success in your favor.
Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net