Avoid Fraud and Scams
Be careful to avoid foreclosure prevention scams that charge large fees without helping and can even cause you to lose your home. Keep these tips in mind when you're looking for a counselor or any assistance:
- Do not pay up front for information or assistance.
- Beware of anyone who says they can save your home and asks you to sign over the deed.
- Never make payments to anyone other than your mortgage company without their specific approval.
- Also avoid unscrupulous "credit repair" or "credit reduction" companies that charge large fees and promise to improve your credit score or reduce your balance. Work with a reputable counselor or your credit union to protect your money and your credit.
Trustworthy, legitimate help is available. Use these resources to help you:
- 5 Tips for Avoiding Foreclosure Scams – The Federal Reserve Board provides these helpful tips. For more consumer tips, visit the Consumer Information page of the Federal Reserve Board's Web site.
- Federal Trade Commission's Note to Homeowner's (English); Español
- OCC Consumer Tips for Avoiding Mortgage Modification Scams and Foreclosure Rescue Scams – This Consumer Advisory, issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), describes common scams, suggests ways to protect yourself, provides information on U.S. government loan programs and counseling resources, and lists 10 warning signs of a mortgage modification scam.
- Homeownership Preservation Foundation – Independent nonprofit that provides HUD-approved counselors dedicated to helping homeowners
- HOPE NOW™ – Alliance between HUD-approved mortgage market participants that provides free foreclosure prevention assistance
- National Foundation for Credit Counseling – High-quality financial education and counseling services
- HUD: Don't Be a Victim of Loan Fraud – Eleven tips to help you make smart borrowing decisions
- HUD: Guide to Avoiding Foreclosure – Information that can help when facing foreclosure
- National Consumer Law Center: Concerns for Older Americans – Steps that advocates can take to help prevent foreclosure
If you suspect or know that you have been the victim of a scam, promptly report the scam it to the appropriate agency.
Mortgage foreclosure scam complaints
- Nationally – Contact the local office of the United States Trustee, a Justice Department official who monitors the bankruptcy system. Find the telephone number for your local office online.
- In Michigan – Contact the Michigan Attorney General online or call 1-877-765-8388 (toll free)
Complaints regarding a licensed mortgage broker or lender
- In Michigan – Contact the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation online or call 1-877-999-6442
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