During times of crisis, there is an increased risk of scams and fraud. There are many organizations that can help you when facing financial problems or foreclosure, but it is more important than ever to make sure you are dealing with a reputable organization before getting involved.
Any unsolicited help should be fully researched before accepting it. Protect yourself by asking questions, reading the materials provided to you and avoiding solicitations that require up-front cash payments.
How to identify mortgage fraud
Following are six red flags that may indicate you are dealing with fraud:
A company/person asks for a fee in advance to work with your mortgage company to modify, refinance or reinstate your mortgage.
A company/person guarantees they can stop a foreclosure or get your loan modified.
A company/person advises you to stop paying your mortgage company and pay them instead.
A company pressures you to sign over the deed to your home or sign any paperwork that you haven't had a chance to read and you don't fully understand.
A company other than your mortgage company claims to offer "government-approved" or "official government" loan modifications.
A company/person you don't know asks you to release personal financial information online or over the phone.
What’s happening today:
Here are some common predatory scams and other potential traps to watch out for:
“Call spoofing” scams: Caller ID or phone “spoofing” occurs when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID in an effort to disguise their identity while pretending to be someone else – often in order to get you to share your personal information over the phone. Learn more.
Foreclosure rescue fraud: In this scheme, someone may offer false promises of being able to save your home from foreclosure or guarantee a loan modification with a reduced mortgage payment. Learn more.
Title scams: When someone offers to give you a loan or fast cash in exchange for taking over your mortgage and title. They may allow you to remain in your home as a renter and promise you that you can buy the home back once you are on your feet, but once the deed is transferred, there’s no guarantee that you’ll ever own the home again.
Post-disaster insurance scams: In the wake of a disaster, someone may offer you money immediately in exchange for money you will get later from the insurance company. You end up getting much less from the individual than the insurance company actually would have paid you or your home repair contractors directly.