March 3, 2010

More on loan mods - beware of scams

Well it looks like someone is getting the message - The Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network is a consortium of organizations trying to get the word out on the proliferation of scammers trying to take advantage of borrowers who are in trouble.
The lead organizations of the effort include Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers' Committee) and NeighborWorks America, among others, with representatives from key governmental agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Treasury Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and state Attorneys General offices, as well as leading non-profit organizations from across the country.
Visit their site for more information:

As we've been warning for many months, anyone who knows the least little thing about mortgages and is willing to cheat people is coming out of the woodwork to try and make money off of victims of the subprime mortgage schemes and frauds.

Some of them are even being prosecuted and sentenced to jail time but it's like trying to stop a flood while the rain is still falling up-river.

And Google isn't helping anything. A search for "mortgage modification help" brings up mostly lead generation sites for entities who allegedly provide assistance. Titles like "Government Mortgage Bailout" with lots of red white and blue and a bald eagle to boot (with only a tiny disclaimer at the very bottom) and "Fed Mortgage Loans" with a picture of the White House and links to various government sites (and no disclaimer at all) are nothing more than lead harvesters.

Some are clever enough to conceal the fact that they aren't associated with an actual attorney. Others are similarly clever enough to imply they are - when they aren't. Some have ceased operations but still show up in the searches.

The worst of the worst lead borrower victims into the conspiracy-driven "debt elimination" schemes and the world of anti-government so-called "sovereign movement."

While government agencies are often monolithic and unresponsive, in this opportunistic environment we are suggesting that after you do a little research at the above mentioned prevention site that you then start with HUD rather than risk being lured into a scam on the 'net:

Find a HUD Counselor

The only other option we would recommend is your own, trusted attorney - but the reality is, they aren't having a huge amount of success, either.

In any event, other than paying your attorney a retainer, don't pay anyone in advance for help with your mortgage. And don't expect things to happen quickly, especially if you don't have an incredible amount of documentation in-hand and are prepared to demonstrate with detailed proof that you can afford to pay for the house.

Craig and Dave

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