May 7, 2012
- Be wary of those that contact you through advertising such as flyers, radio/television or the Internet with promises to modify the terms of your mortgage; if their promises seem too good to be true, they usually are.
- Be suspicious of loan modification services that require signing a contract or paying an up-front or monthly fee. Advance fees are generally prohibited by law. Loan counseling and modification services are generally provided free from your lender and/or a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) counseling center. Contact HUD’s toll-free 24 hour hotline at 888-995-HOPE (4673) to immediately speak to an expert advisor in more than 160 languages.
- Never transfer title of your property, make mortgage payments to someone other than your lender, or stop making mortgage payments altogether — these are guaranteed ways to put your financial investment at risk.
- Carefully inspect the names, seals, logos and representations made by mortgage rescue companies. They may be deliberately designed to deceive borrowers into believing an affiliation with a government agency exists. The purpose of this is to trick borrowers into believing they are entitled to the benefit of a government program rather than committing to a loan that must be repaid. A government agency will never require advance fees, or guarantee a specific result.
- Some scammers pushing reverse mortgage loans are in fact trying to unload other financial products on borrowers. Be careful to avoid brokers that want you to obtain a loan in order to buy other products such as long-term care insurance, annuities, or other investments.
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