Q: Do you know if President Obama’s Making Home Affordable plan requires an attorney in order to qualify for a townhouse modification?

One attorney’s office contacted me from California and asked for $3,500 to do all the necessary paperwork to get my Making Home Affordable loan modification application filed and get my payments way down.

My loan is currently at 6.25 percent and my mortgage company said they will not allow me to do a refinance because I do not have enough income to qualify for a loan under the new guidelines, even though my monthly payments would be less.

I’m not sure what to do. I am retired.

A: You do not need an attorney to do a loan modification. But if you’ve been turned down because you don’t make enough money, you might want to 888-995-HOPE, which is the HOPE for Homeowners hot-line. It is staffed with HUD-certified housing counselors who have backdoor channels to more than 40 different lenders. They are set up to help homeowners like you who need loan modifications.

This service is free and they’ll be able to help you figure out if you qualify for a loan modification and can provide guidance on submitting the necessary documentation.

For more stories on loan modifications, read the following articles:

Loan Modification Doesn’t Stop Foreclosure

6 Things To Do If You Are In Loan Modification Hell