Thursday, September 6, 2012

6 Mortgage Relief Scams To Avoid

Homeowners trying to avoid foreclosure are stressed and scared. They have become a prime target of con artists who prey on vulnerable people. Nonprofit organizations and government agencies are working together to warn consumers of the danger of mortgage relief scams and how to avoid them.
Many mortgage scammers have been arrested, but plenty more are trying to take advantage of homeowners' financial woes. Here are some examples of common mortgage relief scams.

Scammers posing as official counselors

Several Florida men were arrested in August 2011 and charged with defrauding homeowners under the name of a company called Home Owners Protection Economics Inc., or HOPE, meant to mimic the name of HOPE NOW, a public-private alliance of lenders, nonprofit housing counselors and other mortgage-industry participants. The scammers claimed to be connected with the homeowners' lenders or said they had already been approved for a loan modification under the Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP. They demanded an upfront fee for their services.
Last year, a couple came up to an attendee at a homeowners assistance event and told here they had paid what they thought was HOPE NOW $4,000 to help them with a loan modification. The scammers had taken her (HOPE NOW's) documents and letters and reproduced them so they looked legitimate and used as their website.
Many scammers use similar names to government and nonprofit programs and even add their logos to their materials.
To avoid being caught by one of these scams, homeowners should find a legitimate, free (Housing and Urban Development)-approved housing counselor by going to It's important to realize that housing counseling is free.

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