Foreclosure rescue and mortgage modification scams are a growing problem. Homeowners must protect themselves so they do not lose money—or their home.
Scammers make promises that they cannot keep, such as guarantees to “save” your home or lower your mortgage, oftentimes for a fee. Scammers may pretend that they have direct contact with your mortgage servicer when they do not.
The Federal government provides free resources to get you the help you need. Homeowners can call the Homeowner’s HOPE™ Hotline at 1-888-995-HOPE (4673) for information about the Making Home Affordable © Program and to speak with a HUD-approved housing counselor. Assistance is available in English and Spanish, and other languages by appointment.
Tips to Avoid Scams
1.Beware of anyone who asks you to pay a fee in exchange for a counseling service or modification of a delinquent loan.
2.Scam artists often target homeowners who are struggling to meet their mortgage commitment or anxious to sell their homes. Recognize and avoid common scams.
3.Beware of people who pressure you to sign papers immediately, or who try to convince you that they can “save” your home if you sign or transfer over the deed to your house.
4.Do not sign over the deed to your property to any organization or individual unless you are working directly with your mortgage company to forgive your debt.
5.Never make a mortgage payment to anyone other than your mortgage company without their approval.
What to Do if You Have Been the Victim of a Scam
If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, you should file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) for assistance in English or Spanish.
More Tips to Avoid Scams
•Federal Trade Commission — Watch the Foreclosure Rescue Scams Video on the FTC ’s YouTube Channel.
•Office of the Comptroller of the Currency — The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency provides tips and materials to help homeowners avoid mortgage modification and foreclosure rescue scams. Find them here.
•The Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network — The Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network is a national coalition of governmental and private organizations created by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, NeighborWorks America™ and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law to provide resources to educate homeowners about the dangers of loan modification scams and support federal, state and local efforts to combat these scams. If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, you can report the scam through the campaign’s online complaint form.
•The Obama Administration has launched a coordinated effort across Federal and state government and the private sector to target mortgage loan modification fraud and foreclosure rescue scams that threaten to hurt American homeowners and prevent them from getting the help they need during these challenging times. Click here for more information
•Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force — The Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force maintains a wide list of resources and information dedicated to helping find and report suspected cases of financial fraud. Visit www.StopFraud.gov.