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Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation

 

Attention Home Owners Facing Mortgage Difficulties

 

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Beware of 3rd Parties Offering Assistance in Obtaining Loan Modifications, Foreclosure Consulting, or Other Similar Services

You can obtain Free Help in Working with Your Servicer or Lender from Non-Profit Counselors
Call (1-877-462-7555) or visit MDHOPE

DO NOT PAY - WALK AWAY!!!

The Problem - The Commissioner of Financial Regulation is receiving a growing number of complaints regarding third parties who offer to "assist" consumers in negotiating with lenders and servicers to obtain a loan modification or otherwise prevent foreclosure, frequently in exchange for up-front fees. Investigations have shown that these providers often charge high fees, yet often provide substandard services, or no services at all, leaving the homeowner closer to foreclosure and in a worse financial situation. The Commissioner has also seen an increasing number of advertisements, direct-mail solicitations and other marketing offering these services - typically described as "loan modification," "loss mitigation," or "foreclosure prevention consulting" - in exchange for up-front fees.

The Law - Up-front fees are illegal under the Protection of Homeowners in Foreclosure Act ("PHIFA") and the Maryland Credit Services Business Act. ("MCSBA"). These statutes also mandate other consumer protections, including requiring such companies to be licensed as Credit Services Businesses, subject to certain exemptions.

If you are a victim of a loan modification scheme or any other form of mortgage fraud,
file a complaint with the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation.

Si usted o alguien que usted conoce a sido victima de un fraude hipotecario,
llame 410-230-6365 or 410-767-0392.

What is a loan modification?

A loan modification involves modifying the terms of an existing loan, typically to make it more affordable for a borrower. The terms commonly modified are the interest rate and/or the term of the loan. A loan modification is not a form of a mortgage loan refinance.

How do I avoid a loan modification consulting scam?

  • There is never a fee to get assistance or information about the "Making Home Affordable Plan" from your lender or a HUD-approved housing counselor. Approved, non-profit counselors can be accessed through 1-877-462-7555.
     
  • Beware of any person or organization asking you to pay up-front fees in exchange for providing mortgage counseling services or modification of a delinquent loan. Do not pay - walk away!
     
  • Do not believe guarantees. A reputable counselor will not guarantee that they can stop the foreclosure process, regardless of your circumstances. Working with a legitimate counselor can certainly increase your chances of keeping your home -- but be wary of people who promise a sure thing. Again, first get the details of your transaction and any related promises in writing before you enter into an agreement.
     
  • Beware of anyone who says they can "save" your home if you sign or transfer over the deed to your house. Do not sign over the deed to your property to any organization or individual unless you are working directly with your mortgage lender, or with your attorney.
     
  • Never submit your mortgage payments to anyone other than your mortgage lender without your mortgage lender's approval.
     
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you feel you may be the target or victim of a mortgage modification scam or of foreclosure fraud, trust your instincts and seek help. File a complaint with the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation. For tips on spotting scam artists, visit the Federal Trade Commission's website on foreclosure rescue scams or Neighborworks America's Loan Modification Scam Resource Center.

    Loan Modification Scam Alert website