How to Avoid Mortgage Scams
Scammers are targeting people having trouble paying their mortgages. The Federal Trade Commission, the nation's consumer protection agency, and the Brea Police Department want you to know how to avoid scams that could worsen your housing situation.
- "We can stop your foreclosure!"
- "Guaranteed to save your home!"
- "97% success rate!"
Claims like this are the signs of a foreclosure ripoff. Steer clear of anyone who offers an easy way out. Don't pay for a promise. Don't pay anyone who promises to prevent foreclosure or get you a new mortgage. These so-called "foreclosure rescue companies" claim they can help save your home, but they're out to make a quick buck. Cut off all dealings if someone insists on a fee. Mortgage or refinance fees are typically paid through escrow at closing.
Imitations Create Frustrations
Some con artists use names, phone numbers, and websites to make it look like they're part of the government. If you want to contact a government agency, look up the web address or use a phone number listed on the agency website or in other reliable sources, like the blue pages of the phone book.
Send Payments Directly
Some scammers offer to handle financial arrangements for you, but just pocket your payment. Send your mortgage payments only to your mortgage service.
Talk to a HUD-Certified Counseling Agency
If you're having trouble paying your mortgage, consider seeking help from nationally-recognized organizations. Call 1-888-995-HOPE, a national hotline open 24/7, operated by the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, which is a nonprofit member of the 995HOPE. Free online help is also available from Making Home Affordable.