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Loan Modification Scams On The Rise

Concerned homeowners struggling to keep their homes out of foreclosure aren't the only ones watching the news and paying close attention to legislative and lender action regarding loan modification programs. Criminals keep current, too, always looking for the next fertile field for scamming profits. Loan modification scams are on the rise, and those seeking such assistance must beware.

Reduce Vulnerability By Being Informed

Information is one of the best ways to prevent being taken advantage of by loan modification scammers. Information has the added advantage of reducing the paralyzing panic and depression that struggling homeowners can feel as they see the home they've worked so hard for slipping away into foreclosure, feelings that leave them all too vulnerable to a scammer promising rescue if the homeowner just pays the fees and signs the papers. Knowledge can give a homeowner the tools to craft a concrete plan to save their home, one that will bring results, rather than simply transfer precious resources to greedy criminals.

The form of the typical loan modification scam is a familiar one, with such now classic features as advance fees, often requested in the form of a wire transfer or cashiers check, asking that the homeowner channel all communications with lender through them, rather than the homeowner talking to lenders, and guarantees without regard to circumstances that the loan will be modified and the home saved. Always audacious, scammers will stop at nothing bolster the illusion of legitimacy they strive to project and those running loan modification scams will even try to insinuate that they are affiliated with legitimate government programs aimed at keeping hardworking homeowners in their homes.

Don't Fall For The Hype, Forget Grasping At Straws

With the efforts of the federal government, as well as the efforts made by lenders who would rather see homeowners keep their home instead of burdening them with the process of foreclosure and yet another property to dispose of, there are plenty of legitimate loan modification opportunities and homeowner assistance programs. Steer clear of aggressive marketing via television, radio ads, and e-mail or through the mail, fliers tucked under the windshield wiper, or handed out door-to-door. Resist the temptation to believe promises and assurances of results that are too good to be true and seem too simple and sure.

Instead, get active. Contact your lender directly to see what type of loan modification options may be available to you. If you are going to need more assistance than your lender is interested in providing, start at the top by learning about the various federal programs currently available and their eligibility requirements and work your way down through state and local programs. You can get legitimate, free help from such organizations as the HOPE NOW Alliance. If you are considering loan modification assistance providers, do the research. Check with the Better Business Bureau and your state agencies. If they claim to be affiliated with government backed programs, verify that.

Often those victimized by scammers use up precious time and resources that could have helped to save their homes. Becoming an informed consumer is the best way to protect yourself from loan modification scams. That knowledge can serve as a buffer between you and the fear of foreclosure, helping to ensure that you are not vulnerable to slick scammers promising a fast and sure solution, giving you the ability to find a legitimate opportunity to transform your current mortgage into something more manageable, an arrangement that really will save your home from foreclosure.