Ok, right out of the gate, let me make sure you understand this VERY important point:
It is not uncommon at all for me to work with individuals who have paid anywhere from $700 up to $2,200 to a slick company with some fancy name that makes you think they are affiliated with the government or an investor and all you need to do is pay them their fee and they will get you your modification. Bottom line is you are giving up valuable resources to a company that is having you do all the work anyway and is not bringing anything to the table that you aren't capable of doing. The other thing you should know is that there are many non-profits available to you that are legitimate and will handle this process on your behalf, and the best thing is, all the services are free! So back to what I stated above, you should never pay to have assistance with a home loan modification request. I support you utilizing assistance for a number of reasons, not the least of which is you will have someone experienced in working with these lenders and the process involved with each one, which should save you time and energy. Each investor has its own process and even its own forms, so an experienced person will know this and can be an asset to you. Below are some very helpful links to assist you in staying away from the companies that charge you a fee.
Requesting a home loan modification can easily take many months to work out if you don't know what you are doing or if you have never been through the process before. The clients I have counseled have been able to let go of this very emotional ordeal and let me handle the process for them. Additionally it allows them to no longer have to worry about avoiding or screening phone calls all the time. If/when a call comes from the investor and I have been authorized to work on their behalf, they can just tell the person calling that they need to speak with me and that is the end of the conversation.
One more way to help you manage your mortgage.
The government's main website for everything home-ownership and mortgage related is http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD
An easy to use tool to give you a list of government endorsed, non-profit organizations in your state and area. Again, these are the companies that will not charge you to help you with your modification request: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm
An instructional website that also provides you with documents you will need to have for your request: http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/get-started/request-modification/Pages/default.aspx
More links to follow.