Scam artists continue to prey on unsuspecting consumers.
As has been the case over the past few years, each new initiative to help homeowners means scam artists are also looking for ways to make a profit. That has government agencies, including the Texas Foreclosure Prevention Task Force urging consumers to exercise caution when refinancing.
Task Force Warning
“It’s getting harder to identify the good guys from the bad guys,” says David Long, President of the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation and Co-Chair of the Texas Foreclosure Prevention Task Force. “Up to this point we have told homeowners to be wary of any foreclosure rescue offers not directly initiated by them. However homeowners eligible for an independent foreclosure review may be contacted directly by their mortgage servicer. We worry that scam artists will see this as an opportunity and try to take advantage of struggling homeowners.”
Homeowners may find that they are being contacted directly by lenders if they are deemed eligible for relief under the mortgage settlement that was announced on February 9, 2012. What consumers should be aware of is that there is no cost to them to participate in the national mortgage settlement process or the independent foreclosure review. If a company or individual is seeking to charge a fee, then consumers should notify their state’s Office of the Attorney General or the national HOPE hotline at 1-88-995-HOPE.
As always, homeowners may contact a HUD-approved foreclosure prevention counselor if they are facing foreclosure or have any questions about these two initiatives.
Information about the review process can be found at Independent Foreclosure Review. That site reminds consumer that such reviews are free and offers additional information and links about preventing loan scams. You can also find a foreclosure counselor in your area, a professional who can help you avoid foreclosure.
Finally, consumers are advised to read up on the national mortgage settlement and its eligibility requirements something that they can do by visiting the National Mortgage Settlement website. There, you’ll learn that nearly $25 billion in relief is on the way for borrowers as well as for state and federal governments. You can learn what is being done to help consumers as well as a reading a reminder that borrowers who are seeking assistance will not immediately know if they are eligible for help.