Loan Scam Alert - What You Should Know
The Homeowner's HOPE™ Hotline is a central point of contact for homeowners who think they may be a victim of a loan scam. If you believe you are the victim of a scam, or you know someone who is, please help us prevent loan scams by calling the Homeowner's HOPE™ Hotline at 1 -888-995HOPE™.
Loan Scams aren't always easy to spot, but it helps if you know the warning signs. Here are six things to be aware of in order to avoid being scammed:
- A company/person asks for a fee in advance to work with your lender to modify, refinance or reinstate your mortgage. They may pocket your money and do nothing to help you avoid foreclosure.
- A company/person guarantees they can stop a foreclosure or get your loan modified . No one can make this guarantee to stop foreclosure or modify your loan. Legitimate, trustworthy HUD-approved counseling agencies will do their very best to help you avoid foreclosure but even they cannot make a promise on behalf of your lender.
- A company/person advises you to stop paying your mortgage company and pay them instead. Despite what a scammer will tell you, you should never send a mortgage payment to anyone other than your mortgage lender. If you have trouble making your monthly payment, contact your mortgage lender or call the Homeowner's HOPE™ Hotline at 1 -888-995-HOPE™.
- A company pressures you to sign over the deed to your home or sign any paperwork that you haven't read or you don't fully understand. A legitimate housing counselor should not and will not pressure you to sign a document of any kind.
- A company claims to offer "government-approved" or "official government" loan modifications. These may be scam artists pretending to be legitimate organizations approved by, or affiliated with, the government. Check to be sure by contacting your mortgage lender directly or by calling Homeowner's HOPE™ Hotline at 1 -888-995-HOPE™ to learn more about government programs for which you may qualify.
- A company/person you don't know asks you to release personal financial information. Check to be sure you are speaking with a legitimate company/person by contacting your mortgage lender directly or by calling Homeowner's HOPE™ Hotline at 1 -888-995HOPE™.
HPF is working with NeighborWorks America , HUD, Fannie Mae, the Department of the Treasury and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law to curb foreclosure rescue scams. As a result, HPF has seen an increase in calls to report being the victim of a scam. HPF has set up a dedicated team of foreclosure prevention counselors, trained specifically to take information on reported foreclosure scams and work with you to address any financial issues.