Loan Modifications: Don’t Be Scammed
On April 6, 2009, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced the formation of a multi-agency task force to shut down so-called “loan modification” scams. Federal and State agencies nationwide have brought civil cases and criminal charges against several companies that purport to specialize in “loan modifications.” Attorney General Holder cautioned homeowners not to pay up-front fees to any company that promises to modify home mortgages, or that “guarantees”lower loan amounts. Attorney General Holder stressed that assistance for homeowners is available at no cost to homeowners at www.hopenow.com.
Here are signs that you might be the target of a loan mod scam:
- You are asked for upfront fees.
- You are guaranteed success.
- You are asked to pay by wire.
- You cannot get the “loan mod” company on the phone after you have paid them.
- You are told to stop paying your mortgage.
- You are told not to contact your lender or attorney.
- You are pressured into signing documents you do not understand.
If a service seems suspect, it probably is. Visit the Federal Trade Commission website for more helpful information.