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 Real Estate Blog 
Monday, November 01 2010

With a national unemployment rate hovering around 9% and increased confusion in the marketplace surrounding foreclosure processing and bank foreclosure freezes, loan modification scam artists continue to adapt their messaging and high-pressure sales tactics to take advantage of home owners who are struggling or unable to make their mortgage payments each month.

“Loan modification scam artists are slick and relentless. They are using every trick in the book to prey upon home owners during a very stressful time,” said Eileen Fitzgerald, chief operating officer of NeighborWorks® America. “Consumers need to learn the warning signs of a loan modification scam, and report the scam artists that they encounter so they can protect themselves, and their friends and family, when seeking a solution to foreclosure or seeking a loan modification.”

Loan modification scam tricks aren’t always easy to spot. The warning signs include:

  • Asking for a fee in advance to work with your lender to modify, refinance, or reinstate your mortgage. They may pocket your money and do little or nothing to help you save your home from foreclosure.
  • They tell you to pay them instead of the mortgage. Never send a mortgage payment to anyone other than your mortgage lender. The minute you have trouble making your monthly payment, contact your mortgage lender.
  • A promise to stop foreclosure or get your loan modified. Nobody can guarantee to stop foreclosure or modify your loan. Legitimate, trustworthy HUD-approved counseling agencies will only promise they will try their very best to help you.
  • Claims that they offer a “government-approved” or “official government” loan modification. Your lender can tell you whether you qualify for any government programs to prevent foreclosure. Remember, you do not have to pay to benefit from government-backed loan modification programs.

Where should home owners turn when facing foreclosure or seeking a loan modification? HUD-approved nonprofit housing counselors in their community offer free help to home owners facing foreclosure.

Counselors work one-on-one with their clients to examine their financial outlook and determine the best option for the home owner, whether it’s a loan modification, forbearance, or any other tools that their bank currently offers to home owners in danger of foreclosure.

To find a nonprofit housing counseling organization in your community, visit or call the HOPE Hotline at 888-995-HOPE begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              888-995-HOPE      end_of_the_skype_highlighting (4673) to speak to a HUD-approved nonprofit housing counselor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in English, Spanish, and 20 additional languages.

For more information about loan modification scams, the warning signs of loan scams, and the Loan Scam Alert campaign, visit Consumers can also report loan modification scam artists on

The campaign web site is also available in Spanish at Campaign materials are also available in Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.

Source: NeighborWorks® America

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Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 10:16 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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