Homeport is joining government agencies and other non-profit organizations to promote consumer education during National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), March 4-10, 2012. Homeport’s Housing Advisory Center offers a variety of free programs to help Central Ohio residents avoid mortgage fraud and loan scams. Homeport Advisors provide helpful tips for avoiding scams and educate borrowers on their rights if they have been a victim of mortgage fraud. Check our web site for new tips daily during NCPW. For an appointment, call 221-8889, ext. 134. You may also visit ncpw.gov for consumer tips, materials and free resources.
Tip 1: If you are looking for a loan modification, avoid companies or persons who require an upfront payment to help you or who guarantee that they can save your home. There are no guarantees, and a scammer may steal your money. If you are having trouble paying your mortgage, call your lender. If you need help, free help is available from HUD certified counseling agencies such as Homeport.
Tip 2: If you are in danger of foreclosure, scammers may contact you and may offer to handle payments for you. Send your mortgage payments ONLY to your mortgage company. Sending the payment elsewhere may result in a scam artist stealing your money.
Tip 3: Don’t EVER sign papers you don’t understand, haven’t had time to read, or that have blank lines and spaces. HUD certified counseling agencies such as Homeport can help you review documents before you sign if you need help.
Tip 4: Report fraud. If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, contact the Federal Trade Commission, your state Attorney General, or the Better Business Bureau. Housing Advisors at Homeport are available to help you report the scam if you need help.
Tip 5 There are an increasing number of scam artists posing as legitimate government entities and offering loan modifications. Call your lender. Your lender will know whether you qualify for government backed workouts.