Beware of Foreclosure Rescue Scams
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
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. It is likely a foreclosure scam if you are being asked to pay money up front to negotiate a loan modification on your behalf if the company is not a law firm or a DRE approved Real Estate Broker.
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. Banks do not send Realtors to your home to list your home for sale. You own the home you pick the realtor. The bank is not allowed to give information about your situation to the public including telling you what agent to use. That agent is a scam.
4. 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.
5. It is likely a foreclosure scam if someone offering you a deal tells you that a real estate agent or title company is not required in the transaction.
6. 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.
7. It is likely a foreclosure scam if someone says they can cancel your mortgage all together and stop foreclosure due to an error in your loan documents.
8. Finally, it is likely a foreclosure scam if the buyer tells you he will buy your house for the sum of the mortgages you owe and an additional amount of money which he will pay in cash.
9. It is likely a foreclosure scam if you are told that the buyer will be taking over the payments of the house
10. Never make a mortgage payment to anyone other than your mortgage company without their approval.
12. Agents or investors that want you to sell your home directly to an investor without putting the home on the MLS. Lenders want to see the home marketed to the public to obtain the highest and best offer.
13. Banks do not send Realtors to your home to list your home for sale. You own the home you pick the realtor. The bank is not allowed to give information about your situation to the public including telling you what agent to use. That agent is a scam.
If you believe you have been the victim of mortgage fraud, contact the Attorney General’s office in your state of residence.