Homeowner Leesa Patterson called Michael Shafran of the Mediation Resource Center in Macedonia.
Leesa Patterson: He told me that his standard fee was $700. He did say he would partner with someone like ESOP to get me help.
That was news to ESOP. Patterson was amazed that anyone would charge her $700 for a referral to an agency that offers free help. ESOP spokesperson Charu Gupta says the nonprofit isn’t sure exactly how many clients ended up at their nonprofit this way. Most recently, Gupta says one couple paid Shafran $700 only to be referred to ESOP. Shafran didn’t return calls for comment. For free referrals to housing counseling agencies in your area, call United Way’s First Call for Help line, 2-1-1.
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