As if all the trouble with unlawful foreclosures and mortgage debt relief scams haven’t caused enough trouble, a new scam is brewing taking advantage of those who already suffered at the hands of lenders or third parties. As the $25 billion mortgage settlement scam is just gearing up for distributing funds and making amends, scam artists are jumping on the chance to prey on eligible homeowners.
Qualifying For Trouble
Many homeowners are eligible to receive a portion of the mortgage settlement funds, but these same victims are being targeted for their restitution payments. A new scam is developing in which third party companies are contacting eligible homeowners to offer assistance in securing settlement funds. Instead of receiving help obtaining what is owed to them, homeowners are finding their funds are being stolen or their personal information used to claim funds without their knowledge.
This issue has become an increasing problem in California. The California Department of Justice is working to educate citizens of ways to spot a scam, encouraging homeowners to:
- Avoid anyone who makes an unsolicited attempt at resolving mortgage debts, secure loan modifications or assist with obtaining settlement funds.
- Keep personal and financial information private, never giving it to a third party company over the phone or in person unless they have been verified by the lender as a credible mediating agency.
- Never pay up-front fees for mortgage or foreclosure services.
- Only use a licensed agency, such as a foreclosure attorney or financial adviser.