Beware of Scams
Scam artists are stealing millions of dollars from distressed homeowners by promising immediate relief from foreclosure, or demanding cash for counseling services when HUD-approved counseling agencies provide the same services for FREE. If you receive an offer, information or advice that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don't let them take advantage of you, your situation, your house or your money.
To determine if you are a possible victim of a scam, ask yourself these two questions:
- Were you told you had to pay a fee to obtain counseling services?
- Were you guaranteed a loan modification or asked to do any of the following:
- Sign over title to your property
- Redirect mortgage payments
- Stop making loan payments
Call 1-888-995-HOPE (4673) or click here to report a scam online (with your permission the complaint will be shared with federal and state law enforcement). For more information, please visit:
Here are some Tips and Warning Signs:
Help is free!
HUD-approved housing counseling agencies can help you negotiate with your lender or loan servicer. There is never a fee to get assistance or information from your mortgage company or a HUD-approved housing counselor. While some fee-based counselors are legitimate, be sure you know that free counseling is available and may be most suitable for you. Call 1-888-995-HOPE (4673) for free housing counseling.
Beware of anyone who says they can “save” your home if you sign or transfer over the deed to your house.
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.
Don't sign papers in exchange for a promise that someone else will pay off your mortgage.
ALWAYS be sure to read and understand all paperwork before signing to ensure that you are not unknowingly giving someone else ownership of your home.
Never submit your mortgage payments to anyone other than your mortgage company without your mortgage company's approval.
Scammers might ask you to make your payments to them; however, they pocket your payments instead of sending them to the mortgage company.
Beware of anyone who says that you don't need a real estate professional or title company when selling your home.
You should always have a real estate professional, attorney or a title company to help you with any transaction involving your home.
Know the person you do business with.
Before responding to any person or organization offering to "save" you from foreclosure, find out if the organization is HUD-approved. Find a housing counselor on the HUD.gov website. Your mortgage company or a HUD-approved housing counselor is the safest source of information and help.