With many people in a financial crisis and possibilities of foreclosure, there are many scams out there taking advantage of financially stressed homeowners. It helps to know who you can trust and what to look for.
There are two primary types of foreclosure rescue and loan modification scams:
- Advance-fee loan modification scheme: This occurs when you are asked to pay a fee ahead of time for the promise of a guaranteed loan modification.
- Sales-leaseback scheme: There are several versions of this scam, but the main idea they try to sell is they ask the homeowner to surrender the title to his/her home in exchange for being allowed to continue to occupy the home as a renter, buying the home back over the next few years. Once the title is turned, however, the scam artist forces the homeowner out of the home.
Here are six warning signs that you are being scammed
- A company/person asks for a fee in advance to work with your lender to modify, refinance or reinstate your mortgage. Such fees are prohibited by the FTC and most likely this company/person will most likely take you money without doing anything for your mortgage.
- A company/person guarantees they can stop a foreclosure or get your loan modified. NO ONE other than your lender can guarantee they can stop a foreclosure process or modification of your loan. NO ONE!!!
- A company/person advises you to STOP paying your mortgage and pay them instead! Under NO circumstance should you ever stop sending your mortgage payment to anyone BUT your lender.
- A company/person pressures you to sign over the title to your home or sign any paperwork that you haven’t read or don’t fully understand. A legitimate housing advisor should not and will not push you to sign any document of any kind.
- A company/lender claims to offer “government-approved” or “official government” loan modifications. Many scam artists pretend to be affiliated with the federal government. Be sure to check their credentials by contacting your mortgage lender or call the Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline 888-995-HOPE to learn more about government programs that you may qualify for.
- A company/person you don’t know asks you to release personal financial information. ALWAYS confirm that you are speaking with a legitimate company/person, always call your lender directly!
Now these are just a few guides that HPF suggest, as always trust yourself and if it sounds too good to be true, most likely it is!! Always call your mortgage lender if you ever have any doubts in a possible scam.
For more helpful information please see HPF’s website.
If you have any questions please call or email us. If you would like to complete a secure online loan application please click here.
Summit Mortgage Corporation
303-779-0591 ext. 101