Scam artists are stealing millions of dollars from distressed homeowners by promising immediate relief from foreclosure, or demanding cash for counseling services when HUD-approved counseling agencies proved the same services for FREE. If you receive an offer, information or advice that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t let them take advantage of you, your situation, your house or your money.
MDRS, in conjunction with the official City of Lynn foreclosure mediation program, will be mailing out information to Lynn homeowners in an easily recognizable gold envelope.
These bright gold envelopes will be easily distinguishable from other materials that may be received outside of the program. Homeowners should be vigilant of foreclosure rescue scams promising immediate relief from foreclosure.
How to Spot a Scam
Beware of a company or person who:
- Asks for a fee in advance to work with your lender to modify, refinance or reinstate your mortgage.
- Guarantees they can stop a foreclosure or get your loan modified.
- Advises you to stop paying your mortgage company and pay them instead.
- Pressures you to sign over the deed to your home or sign any paperwork that you haven’t had a chance to read and don’t fully understand.
- Claims to offer “government-approved” or “official government” loan modifications.
- Asks you to release personal financial information online or over the phone and you have not been working with this person and/or you do not know them.
Important Points to Remember
- There is never a fee to get assistance or information from your lender or a HUD- approved housing counselor. To find a HUD-approved housing counselor, visit http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/fc/.
- Beware of any person or organization that asks you to pay a fee in exchange for housing counseling services or modification of a delinquent mortgage.
- Beware of any person who says he or she can “save” your home if you sign or transfer over the deed to your house. Do not sign over the deed to your property to any organization or individual unless you are working directly with your mortgage company to forgive your debt.
- Never make your mortgage payments to anyone other than your mortgage company without its approval.
How to Report a Scam
- Visit preventloanscams.org and fill out the Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network’s (LMSPN) complaint form online and get more information on how to fight back.
- Call 1-888-995-HOPE (1-888-995-4673) and tell a counselor about your situation and that you believe you have been scammed or know of a scam.