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Government Mortgage Help prides itself as a useful mortgage assistance tool that focuses on the positive, on the solutions available to homeowners instead of focusing on the scams and less than reputable vultures that prey on those in financial difficulties. Fear mongering, although a great way of grabbing headlines, rarely provides practical help. However, sometimes we must descend into the underworld of loan modification and foreclosure prevention programs to warn homeowners about the risks of so called loan modification agencies and foreclosure avoidance agents.
If you want to learn how you can save your home from foreclosure, read our article: Is Foreclosure Knocking at Your Door? Fight Back, which is based on research provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
After the credit bubble burst in 2007 and new species of real estate consultant arose overnight throughout the United States: unethical foreclosure rescue and loan modification operators. These self-appointed experts come under a variety of names, such as foreclosure consultants or mortgage consultants. They prey on financially challenged households who are desperate to save their homes from foreclosure.
These consultants and their companies claim to have the “secrets” to assist homeowners and help them refinance or modify their mortgage, repair their credit or reduce their mortgage balance. The truth, of course, is they simply want to convince you to follow their bad advice so they can take your money or even your home.
Sadly, the scams associated with these “foreclosure rescue agencies” are too many to mention. They include getting you to sign off the deed to your house to the agency so they can better “fight off” the foreclosure process, asking you to make your mortgage payments through them, or they might even suggest you stop making payments altogether and use your money to pay for their services.
Be safe, be smart. If a deal seems to good to be true, assume it is. Avoiding these agencies is easy. Only deal with non-profit housing counseling agencies certified by the Housing and Urban Development Department. These organizations are sponsored by federal funds and will have your best interests at heart. Click here to find a housing agency near you.
If you think you have already fallen into a foreclosure rescue scam, you can still find help. Contact your local police station and explain your situation. If you need a lawyer and can’t afford it, click here to find free legal services in your area.
Free, accurate and useful information is available. You do not need to pay for it. Please find below a list of reliable (and free) resources you can use.
FDIC Foreclosure Prevention Website
(877) ASK-FDIC or 877-275-3342
Government-sponsored Mortgage Modification and Refinance Programs
- Making Home Affordable
Foreclosure Mitigation Assistance and Counseling
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
www.hud.gov/hopeforhomeowners/index.cfm or www.hud.gov
- Homeownership Preservation Foundation
- NeighborWorks America
Report Foreclosure Scams
- Federal Trade Commission
www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/ or www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/credit/mortgage.shtm
(877) FTC-HELP or (877) 382-4357
- State Attorney General Contact List
- State, County and City Consumer Protection Offices
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