Foreclosure Rescue Schemes, a form of Mortgage Fraud, are on the rise and take place in every state. It starts with a so-called licensed professional who offers to reduce your mortgage payment or save your home. They find their victims through public foreclosure notices in newspapers and public files at local government offices. They may reach out with claims of affiliation with a government agency and lure you with promises of ending your foreclosure troubles. In return, you pay high upfront fees while they don’t make good on any of their promises. (Source FTC.gov)
Be on the lookout for red flags of a potential scam artist:
- If a third party encourages you to cease contact with your lender, red flag.
- If you are asked to pay any fees upfront before services have been performed, another red flag.
- Be sure to thoroughly research all licensed professionals before you commit, including lenders, realtors and attorneys. Verify credibility.
- Avoid mailers that look like they come from government agencies and include phrases like:
o Official Business
o Important Notice From Your Mortgage Company
o Open Immediately—Important Financial Information Enclosed
o Government Economic Stimulus Act
Tools and information to help you avoid scams, get prevention resources, and find help if you or someone you know has already fallen victim are available in a free Mortgage Fraud Online Toolkit.