Identifying credible modification loans

Question:

I have received numerous calls and mailings to get a loan modification. How can I tell which are real?

Answer:

First, you should know not to pay for a loan modification plan. Under President Obama’s Making Home Affordable Program, your mortgage lender and HUD approved lenders assist homeowners with getting a loan modification for free. There is a campaign to help homeowners recognize the signs of a loan modification scammer. Here are some of the signs from the Loan Modification Alert campaign.

1. A company/person asks for a fee in advance to work with your lender to modify, refinance or reinstate your mortgage. They may pocket your money and do little or nothing to help you save your home from foreclosure.

2. A company/person guarantees they can stop a foreclosure or get your loan modified. Nobody can make this guarantee to stop foreclosure or modify your loan. Legitimate, trustworthy HUD-approved counseling agencies will only promise they will try their very best to help you.

3. A company/person advises you to stop paying your mortgage company and pay them instead. Despite what a scammer will tell you, you should never send a mortgage payment to anyone other than your mortgage lender. The minute you have trouble making your monthly payment, contact your mortgage lender.

4. A company pressures you to sign over the deed to your home or sign any paperwork that you haven’t had a chance to read, and you don’t fully understand. A legitimate housing counselor would never pressure you to sign a document before you had a chance to read and understand it.

5. A company claims to offer “government-approved” or “official government” loan modifications. They may be scam artists posing as legitimate organizations approved by, or affiliated with, the government. Contact your mortgage lender first. Your lender can tell you whether you qualify for any government programs to prevent foreclosure. And, remember, you do not have to pay to benefit from government-backed loan modification programs.

6. A company/person you don’t know asks you to release personal financial information online or over the phone. You should only give this type of information to companies that you know and trust, like your mortgage lender or a HUD-approved counseling agency.

Source: Loan Modification Scam Alert

ww.loanscamalert.org

www.makinghomeaffordable.gov

If you want answers to your housing questions please email them to [email protected] or visit www.realestateocona.com This information is for educational purposes only. Always seek a trusted attorney and/or U.S. HUD approved counselor for all major housing transactions call (800) 569-4287 or visit www.hud.gov to locate one.

More from Around NYC