If you’re struggling with your mortgage or trying to get your mortgage reduced, you can find help, free of charge, from HUD-approved counseling agencies. Visit our network directory to find one near you.
To speak with a housing counselor 24 hours a day or find a local agency, call 888-995-HOPE (4673).
Loan Scam Alert PSALoan-modification scams take many forms: Some mimic government foreclosure-prevention programs, others guarantee to stop foreclosure for a significant fee, and still others strip the homeowner of equity or of the home itself.
- Call the Federal Trade Commission at 877-382-4357 or submit your complaint online.
- Contact your state’s attorney general or another local authority.
Were you scammed by a lawyer? If you lost money to a lawyer who promised to get you a loan modification or save your home from foreclosure, you may be able to get your money back.
Every State Bar has a client security fund. This fund reimburses clients (up to varying amounts) for being victims of dishonest licensed/state barred attorneys. Find the client security fund in your state.
6 Ways to Spot a Scam
1. They ask for a fee in advance to modify, refinance or reinstate your mortgage.2. They guarantee they can stop a foreclosure or get your loan modified.3. They tell you to stop paying your mortgage company or tell you to pay them instead.4. They pressure you to sign over the deed to your home or sign any paperwork that you haven’t had a chance to read and don’t fully understand.5. They claim to offer government approved or official government loan modifications.6. They ask you to release personal financial information online or over the phone.
9 Most Common Loan Scams
Phony counseling or foreclosure rescueFake government modification programsForensic loan auditMass joinder lawsuitBait-and-switchRent-to-own or leaseback schemeVariationsShort sale scamBankruptcy to avoid foreclosure
Working with Lawyers
Working with your lender or a HUD-approved counseling agency for a loan modification or to stop a foreclosure is free. But if you prefer to pay a company, know the warning signs. Watch out if the company name or company website suggests it has lawyers or provides “legal” help.
There may be times when you want to pay a local, licensed lawyer to represent you. But ask questions first and AVOID any company offering legal help if:
- You have not met with the lawyer.
- The company’s office is not in your state, or you don’t know where it is located.
- The lawyer is not licensed to practice law in your state, or you haven’t checked where he or she is licensed.
- The lawyer does not represent you in any legal proceedings or you cannot verify it.
- You are told to send your documents to a company office in another state.
- The person offering legal help guarantees you will get a loan modification.
- A lawyer you don’t know reaches out to you and wants you to hire him or her.