Too often homeowners seeking loan modifications find themselves in greater financial trouble after seeking professional help. In truth, fraudulent activity under the guise of offering financial help in the form of loan modifications is all too prevalent. So prevalent, in fact, that the government now offers warnings and loan modification tips on a website called MakingHomeAffordable.gov. If you are in financial distress and are looking at loan modifications online or through mail offers, bear in mind the following loan modification tips and warnings.
Avoid Paid Consultations
Loan modification consultations from reputable institutions are provided for free, most commonly on the phone, though you may also arrange a face-to-face meeting. If you come across someone who guarantees his ability to provide a loan modification solution in exchange for a paid consultation, do not deal with this person.
Are You Part of a Scam Target Group?
If you have already missed a few mortgage payments and are experiencing difficulty paying your mortgage on time, scam artists will consider you an easier target and will pray on your hardship. Sadly, the same occurs when you put your home on the market, giving the impression to scam artists that you might be unable to meet your financial commitments and would benefit from a loan modification that will allow you to keep your home. Be wary of any one presenting himself as a loan advisor who contacts you under these circumstances to offer some form of loan modification.
Get Free, Reliable Counseling
If you are leery of contacting a privately owned financial institution regarding a mortgage modification, consider taking advantage of the free counseling and assistance offered by a HUD-approved housing counselor provided through the government. You will receive up to date analysis of your situation and what assistance you can qualify for in regards to loan modifications. Sadly, such assistance is typically offered to people in great distress rather than people simply trying to avert disaster. However, it is worth obtaining this free and reliable information (here’s how).
Never Sign Over the Deed of Your House
A common tactic of scam artists is to pressure distressed home owners to sign loan modification papers immediately, as well as sign over the deed to the house. Such papers are geared at robbing confused homeowners and will place you in a legal bind where a scam artist can exhort money from you and even steal your home from under you. Never rush into signing anything, especially loan modification documents, and do not sign over the deed to your house.
Mortgage Payment Scams
Scam artists will often provide homeowners with new mailing and payee instructions for mortgage payments that have supposedly fallen under loan modification terms. Never pay your mortgage payment to anyone but your mortgage company unless you have come to an arrangement directly with them. Do not trust companies that will advise you to make partial mortgage payments to them instead of your creditor, while they supposedly hold the money for you.
To learn more about loan modifications and whether you are eligible for assistance under new laws, visit the Making Home Affordable government website and consult your current mortgage lender.
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