I am a very CALM person, but these scammers really make me MAD! In these tough ecomnomic times, with so many people struggling, it seems particularly cruel to rip off families who are in danger of losing their homes.
There are a lot of resources available to help distressed property owners with loan modifications, and options to avoid foreclosure. But be aware that not everyone is looking out for your best interest. Here are three tests you should apply to any offer of help that is offered to you:
1. Am I being asked to pay money up front? Most resources are FREE so if you are being asked to pay up front, this is a big red flag.
2. Am I being asked to sign a document that changes ownership of my property? Many scams involve transfer ownership to a third party. NEVER sign anything unless you understand it completely.
3. Does this seem too good to be true? Unfortunately, in some cases, foreclosure cannot be avoided. But be very careful that you do not make a bad situation worse by becoming victimized by a scam.
Where can you go for help? Here are some great resources:
* Visit the Making Home Affordable site at http://www.MakingHomeAffordable.com
* Call 1-888-995-HOPE speak to a HUD counselor or visit http://www.hopenow.com/ for online advice from HUD.
* Read the bulletin released by the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre42.shtm
* Read the bulletin provided by Arizona Foreclosure Task Force or contact them at 877-448-1211.
* Contact your mortgage servicer directly.