15 Jun Beware of Loan Modification Scams and Swindles….
Loan Modifications have helped many homeowners and banks are approving modification requests more often. Many Banks have streamlined their process. There are several new programs including the HAMP program for loan modification and HAFA, a program to assist homeowners through the short sale process.
The Minnesota Home Ownership Center is a great resource website. They offer information and links to certified Foreclosure Counselors by county. In Dakota County homeowners can contact the Dakota County Community Development Agency in Eagan or the Neighborhood Development Alliance in St. Paul. Contact information is available through the Home Ownership Center’s website or you can contact my office for a confidential conversation and resources to help you.
The Home Ownership Center advises homeowners to avoid scams by watching out for the following warning signs:
1.Requests for your Social Security Number
2. Offers for a quick and easy fixes
3.Offers to lease the home back to you or let you buy it back
4. Requests to sign binding contracts such as a Power of Attorney
I’d add a few more warning signs to their list including:
1. Companies that contact you, unsolicited and encourage you to act quickly
2. Requests for Payment or Fees upfront
3. Guarantees they can stop foreclosure
4. Instructions to transfer your ownership to a company
5. Advise to stop paying your mortgage.
If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of companies offering to help you modify your mortgage, call or email me and I will be happy to find out if they are certified. You can also contact the Dakota County CDA or the Scott County CDA.
You can also call your mortgage company directly and request a HAMP application. The process can be long and frustrating but a successful modification could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars per month.
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