March 26, 2009 in Business

Apply2Save loses BBB accreditation

Firm renegotiates mortgages
By The Spokesman-Review
 

Apply2Save Inc. has lost its accreditation by the Spokane Better Business Bureau, which has fielded more than 2,200 inquiries about the Coeur d’Alene mortgage modification company this year.

BBB regional president Jan Quintrall said her office has also received 90 complaints against Apply2Save in the last year. Although company officials have responded to every one, the volume and the company’s inability to meet BBB customer service standards resulted in an “F” grade and a decision in February by the organization’s board of directors to revoke accreditation, she said.

“They’ve always been great to deal with, but they’ve got to get their business under control,” Quintrall said Tuesday.

Apply2Save had until Tuesday to appeal but did not, she added.

The company did not return calls seeking comment.

Apply2Save helps homeowners renegotiate mortgages with their lenders. According to the company Web site, potential solutions include revised payment plans, temporary forbearance or, if there is no way to keep the owner in the home, a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure.

A company spokesman said in December the preferred solution is a 30-year mortgage with a fixed-interest rate of around 6 percent.

Clients are charged a fee up front and another when acceptable terms are negotiated.

Idaho and Washington officials, as well as the Federal Trade Commission, have advised caution when dealing with mortgage modification specialists. They say many are taking advantage of desperate homeowners who might be able to do for themselves what third parties – some of whom charge fees in excess of $3,000 – claim they can do better.

The BBB rundown of complaints against Apply2Save includes many successful resolutions, outcomes rejected by clients and many cases in which clients did not respond.

Quintrall said many Apply2Save clients have put themselves in circumstances where they probably cannot be helped by anyone. “They’re looking to be rescued,” she said.

Quintrall said she hopes Apply2Save will continue to respond to complaints submitted to the BBB despite the loss of accreditation.

“I wish they would get those numbers down,” she said.

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