If someone who is not your mortgage lender promises to save your home and asks for you to pay money up front,
WATCH OUT. Fraudulent foreclosure consultants target homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments.
Here's what you can do to avoid becoming a victim:
- DON'T pay up-front fees. Foreclosure consultants are prohibited by law from collecting money before services are performed.
- DON'T ignore letters from your lender or loan servicer. Responding to those letters is your best bet for saving your house.
- DON'T transfer title or sell your house to a "foreclosure rescuer." Beware! This is a scam to convince homeowners they can stay in the home as renters and buy their home back later. It might also be part of a fraudulent bankruptcy filing. Either way, a scammer can then evict the victim and take the home.
- DON'T pay your mortgage payments to anyone other than your lender or loan servicer. Mortgage consultants often keep the money for themselves.
- NEVER sign any documents without reading them first. Many homeowners think that they are signing documents for a loan modification or for a new loan to pay off the mortgage they are behind on. Later, they discover that they actually transferred ownership of their home to someone who is now trying to evict them.
- DO contact a housing counselor approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), who may be able to help you for free.
For a referral to a housing counselor near you, contact HUD at (800) 569-4287 (TTY: (800) 877-8339).
IF YOU TRANSFERRED YOUR PROPERTY OR PAID SOMEONE TO "RESCUE" YOU FROM FORECLOSURE,
YOU MAY BE A VICTIM OF A CRIME. Please register a complaint with the Attorney General’s Public Inquiry Unit
or by calling (800) 952-5225 (TTY (800) 735-2922).