If you believe you are the victim of a scam, or you know someone who is, please call the Homeowner’s HOPE™ Hotline at 888-995-HOPE™ today to report the scam. We can help you – and you can help others from being victimized.
At HPF, we are on the front lines of what’s really happening across the country among distressed mortgage homeowners. We’ve seen an alarming uptick in the number of callers who, in addition to dealing with the stress of possible foreclosure, have been victimized by some type of fraudulent activity. That’s why we have partnered with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and NeighborWorks America, among others, to curb foreclosure rescue scams.
In February 2011, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a rule prohibiting the payment of any up-front fees to negotiate mortgage-reduction payments on behalf of a homeowner. Nevertheless, an untold number of companies and individuals continue to openly violate the rule, asking for an average up-front fee of $2,589.58 to modify a mortgage. Without exception, callers said that no mortgage reduction was achieved or no meaningful work was ever performed.
Mortgage scam artists seem to prey on minorities in particular. Virtually half of the potential scam calls fielded since our hotline was launched have been from homeowners who voluntarily identified themselves as African-American, Hispanic or Asian. The same population groups that were disproportionately targeted for predatory lending during the housing boom are now bearing the brunt of an unusually high percentage of mortgage scams. Senior citizens across all demographics are also particularly vulnerable.
Many of the callers to HPF’s Homeowner’s HOPE™ Hotline who were victimized by a scam artist didn’t realize they had been conned. Anti-scam counseling has now become a critical part of the service we provide to all callers and we have trained a team of anti-scam experts specifically to serve homeowners who may be victims of a scam. We educate homeowners about common scams and the red flags to look for so that they aren’t victimized in the process of trying to resolve their mortgage problems. In some cases this counseling is, unfortunately, after the fact, but in most cases it is a preventative intervention.
Do you know the warning signs of a potential mortgage scam? Click here for critical information.