Is $1,500 the most you should pay for a loan modification? Is $3,000 reasonable to save your home from foreclosure? The most you should pay for a loan modification or to save your home from foreclosure is $0 – nothing.This answer may surprise you. If your mortgage is late, you should work with your lender or a HUD-approved counseling agency for free.
Did you know asking homeowners to pay for a loan modification or to stop a foreclosure is still the biggest sign of a scam?Yet thousands1of homeowners get scammed every year. It’sactually illegalfor a company or individual to ask you to paymoney before you have a written offer from your lender approving the loan modification or halting the foreclosure.It’s called the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) rule, administered by the Federal Trade Commission. More scam signs can be found at www.loanscamalert.org.
So if you’re struggling to pay your mortgage each month or you’re already getting delinquency notices, what should you do?Here are the top things you should do to stay in your home and avoid scams:
1. Contact your lender as soon as you get concerned about paying your mortgage.
2. Determine your options by speaking to your lender’s loss mitigation department.
3. Be patient but persistent with your lender, because getting a loan modification takes time.
4. Call the Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline at 1-888-995-HOPE (4673) to speak with a trained counselor 24 hours a day or to find a local HUD-approved counseling agency to talk to a counselor in person.
5. Avoid anyone who asks for a fee prior to providing any loan modification service, including companies, individuals and even some lawyers.
6. Avoid anyone who guarantees to get your loan modified or stop a foreclosure, because nobody has the power to make this promise.
7. Avoid companies that tell you to stop paying your mortgage and to pay them instead. This is a sure sign of a scam.
8. Report loan modification or foreclosure scams at any time by visiting www.LoanScamAlert.org or calling 1-888-995-HOPE (4673).
For more information related to loan modification and foreclosure scams, visit www.LoanScamAlert.org. Join us on Twitter at twitter.com/loanscamalert and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/loanscamalert.
Representatives from NeighborWorks® America have been educating homeowners about the warning signs of loan modification scams, a wave of fraudulent activity connected to the foreclosure crisis. The effort is an extension of Loan Modification Scam Alert, a national public education campaign to help homeowners protect themselves against loan modification scams, find trusted help and report illegal activity to authorities. The campaign brings together NeighborWorks® America, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD),the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and other government and non-profit partners including 235 community-based affiliates.