The mortgage lending industry can be a dangerous place these days. While many homeowners are simply fighting to avoid foreclosure and secure relief from their mortgage debts, many companies have been engaging in fraudulent practices to take advantage of desperate homeowners. Unfortunately, it isn’t just third party companies that have preyed on homeowners, but many big lenders have been found guilty of foreclosure scams as well.
Know What To Look For
As part of their efforts to protect consumers, the Federal Trade Commission has published information to help educate consumers on what to watch out for when pursuing a loan modification or foreclosure alternative. First, avoid anyone that offer a “guarantee” to save your home or lower your monthly payments. Only your lender can approve and finalize such a transaction and it must be in writing to be considered legitimate. Second, never pay upfront for mortgage relief services. Any company that takes your money before rendering successful services should be considered a red flag. Last, never allow a company direct access to your bank accounts to pay the lender on your behalf. There is no need for anyone to make your payments for you and it is important you are an active member of the process.
Know Your Rights
Dealing with lenders can be stressful, which is why people tend to gravitate towards third party companies to help. However, remember that you have the right to negotiate with your lender directly. If you are having trouble negotiating with your lender after you have made several good faith attempts to secure a modification, contact a foreclosure attorney to help represent you. If at any time you feel abused or neglected by your lender or a third party company, report them to the Federal Trade Commission for investigation. You have the right to be represented and to protect yourself.