Many homeowners are finding themselves facing serious decisions to avoid foreclosure. Bankruptcy can provide relief from the threat of foreclosure, but not everyone qualifies or would otherwise benefit from its protection. As many homeowners search for alternative means to help keep their house of the hands of lenders, many have fallen victim to non-reputable companies offering services under false pretenses.
Now that the government has begun to offer legitimate services for mortgage relief, scammers have become the wolf hiding amongst the sheep. Two of the most recent scams that have come to light are the National Mortgage Licensing Service and the U.S. Mortgage Relief Council. Both of these agencies are now at the forefront of complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission.
Consumers have begun reporting that the agencies have “deceived consumers by using multiple websites to impersonate federal consumer assistance agencies or pretend to be affiliated with them.” It is alleged that the agencies solicited indebted consumers and referred them to other companies, which then sold them mortgage, tax and debt relief services. These companies promised debt relief or elimination, which was never delivered.
The FTC is no stranger to consumer scams and these two agencies are just another name on the list of fraudulent entities. The role of the FTC is to regulate consumer services and have stepped up efforts over the years to help combat the evolving scammer market. These two agencies have been charged with numerous violations including misrepresenting affiliation with federal agencies, advertising on websites that are government-approved and making deceptive relief claims.
The FTC urges consumers to file a complaint against any company they feel may be acting fraudulently. They also suggest consumers contact their lenders directly when in need of debt relief services or use government approved agencies, which are listed on the FTC’s website. If a consumer has any question as to the legitimacy of a debt relief agency, they are encouraged to contact the FTC directly to confirm or deny the companies credentials.