Most people are aware that an unsolicited foreclosure notification is serious business, but what about an unsolicited letter offering mortgage relief? One of the most notable signs of a mortgage scam is unsolicited contact from a mortgage service company or third party agency. While homeowners have been cautioned against following through with services offer without solicitation, there are some cases in which a lender may send a similar letter. The bottom line: knowing how to spot a scam versus when to take real action can be tricky.
Scam vs. Legitimate Lender
In addition to the unsolicited nature of a mortgage debt relief service, most scams will include several other components. First, they will be unable to verify that they represent or are associated with your lender. If you cannot verify with your lender the deal they are offering, it is most likely a scam. Second, a scam will involve some type of “pre-approved” or “guaranteed” solution such as a loan modification. Only your lender can approve a mortgage debt solution and there are no guarantees, ever. Last, charging upfront fees for services or offering to make payments on your behalf are another sign of a scam. Never give your bank information to a third party company unless you are absolutely sure they are reputable and associated with your lender.
Don’t throw away that letter just yet, there are instances in which a lender could send you an unsolicited notification of mortgage debt relief. Although it isn’t common, some lenders may send out letters to those they deem as a risk of defaulting before any payments are missed. Also, if you pay your mortgage online or haven’t read the fine print of your mortgage loan, you may be unknowingly signed up to receive such notifications. It is also possible that it is simply a mistake on their part. In any of these instances, it is a good idea to contact your lender to inquire about the notification and find out whether you are required to take action or participate in something.