Are you a hard working American in danger of losing your home? If you are facing foreclosure this can be a scary time; but it is also a time when you need to be on alert for the many scams that are designed to not just steal your money but your identity.
Mortgage relief scams
Scammers obtain your name from a public foreclosure notice and either sends you a letter or calls you on the phone to offer you fraudulent mortgage relief services. Some scammers place ads on the internet,TV,craigslist or use other forms of advertising promising to help you stop foreclosure.
When it comes to identity theft, one thing you need to remember is to be stingy with all your personal information, no matter who you decide to do business with. To help you avoid being scammed by an illegitimate mortgage relief company promising to help you avoid foreclosure keep the following in mind:
- Contact your lender directly to ask about your options to avoid foreclosure. For information and help, or if your lender refuses to work with you visit, http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/topics/avoiding_foreclosure/workingwithlenders
- Never sign papers no matter what you are told because fraudsters will try to get you to surrender the title of your home which could end up leading to identity theft.
- If approached by a so called mortgage auditor who promises to help you avoid foreclosure, keep in mind that there is no proof that such tactics work according to the FTC.
- Do a Scambook search on the company that approached you by visiting http://www.scambook.com/ You can also search the subject by typing in mortgage relief or avoid foreclosure.
- Do not stop paying your mortgage at the advice of such companies.
- Keep in mind that mortgage relief companies must disclose that they are Not part of the government and must inform you that your lender could decline your request.
- Never pay any company up front for any mortgage relief service until the company successfully helps you avoid foreclosure. According to the FTC, you should not have to pay one cent until you receive a written offer directly from your lender.
- Visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for information on your rights to avoid foreclosure by visiting, http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/topics/avoiding_foreclosure
Any business making false promises to you is a scam and should be reported to:
Federal Trade Commission https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/
Better Business Bureau http://www.bbb.org/us/
National Attorney Generals http://naag.org/
Any time a fraudulent or questionable company obtains your information, identity theft is a risk. If you are a Santa Ana resident, instead of hiring a mortgage relief company, visit the following website for information on local Santa Ana attorneys willing to help you avoid foreclosure at http://santaana.mcfarlinlaw.com/. You should also contact the Homeownership Preservation foundation for free help 24/7 by calling 1-888-995-HOPE. If you are a Santa Ana resident and you need to talk to someone in Spanish or another language, contact this hotline for free assistance to help you avoid foreclosure.
Thanks for your visit today as your readership is appreciated. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have a personal experience or advice you’d like to give and don’t forget to subscribe for the latest updates on identity theft.
FTC (2013). Mortgage relief scams Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information. Retrieved from http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0100-mortgage-relief-scams