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Foreclosure rescue and mortgage modification scams are a growing problem that could cost you thousands of dollars – or even your home. Scammers often make promises that they can’t keep, such as guaranteeing to “save” your home or lower your mortgage, usually for a fee, often pretending that they have direct contact with your mortgage servicer.
If you think you've been scammed, file a complaint today.
Tips to Avoid Scams:
Homeowners struggling with their mortgage payments should beware of con artists and scams that promise to save their homes and lower their mortgage debt or payments. If you are struggling to pay your mortgage, keep the following tips in mind:
- You can apply to the federal Making Home Affordable (MHA) program on your own or with free help from a HUD-approved housing counseling agency. For more information and help with your application, contact the Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline at 888-995-HOPE (4673). To find a HUD-approved housing counseling agency near you, access HUD’s database for Foreclosure Avoidance Counseling.
- Only your mortgage servicer has discretion to grant a loan modification. Therefore, no third party can guarantee or pre-approve your HAMP mortgage modification application.
- Beware of anyone seeking to charge you in advance for mortgage modification services. In most cases, charging fees in advance of a mortgage modification is illegal.
- Paying a third party to assist with your application does not improve your likelihood of receiving a mortgage modification. Accordingly, beware of individuals or companies that ask you for payment and tout success rates or claim to be experts in MHA’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).
- If an individual or company claims to be affiliated with HAMP or displays a seal or logo representing the U.S. government in correspondence or on the Web, you should check the connection by calling the Homeowner's HOPE Hotline at 888-995-HOPE (4673).
- Beware of individuals or companies that offer money-back guarantees.
- Beware of individuals or companies that advise you as a homeowner to stop making your mortgage payments or to discontinue contact with your mortgage servicer.
- Do not sign over the deed to your property to any individual or organization unless you are working directly with your mortgage company to forgive your debt.
- Contact the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) Hotline for HAMP-related scams by calling 1-877-SIG-2009 (1-877-744-2009) or using the SIGTARP online Hotline form.
- Call the Homeowners's HOPE Hotline at 888-995-HOPE (4673) to report a suspected scam and to get mortgage help.
- File a complaint online with the Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network. With your permission, the complaint will be forwarded to law enforcement agencies for their review and any action they deem appropriate.
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the nation's consumer protection agency. If a business doesn't make good on its promises or cheats you out of money, the FTC wants to know. File a FTC complaint today.
- Submit a CFPB complaint online with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), or call 1-855-411-CFPB (2372).