Tips for Avoiding Scams When Seeking Help with Mortgage Payments
Sometimes unplanned events can make it difficult for homeowners to pay their mortgage. There are many options available to help, but it’s important to get help from the right resources. Many people have been victims of scams when they seek help with mortgage payments. GreenPath Financial Wellness offers these tips for avoiding scams:
- First, download this free step-by-step guide to learn about all the options for assistance. Several government agencies and bureaus worked together to create this simple guide. The guide explains the steps to get help, including free counseling from housing experts such as those at GreenPath.
- Second, homeowners should understand their rights. The Federal Trade Commission has a rule to protect homeowners called the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) rule. It makes it illegal for a company to collect any fees until the homeowner has received a written offer for mortgage modification AND has officially accepted the offer. The FTC website has a helpful article that explains homeowner rights.
- Third, be aware of some typical scams when seeking a mortgage modification loan. One involves a third party asking for a fee or payment ahead of time “guaranteeing” a modified loan. Another asks homeowners to surrender the title on their home with the promise of leasing it back to them.
- Fourth, call the HOPE Hotline toll-free at 888-995-HOPE™ (4673). The HOPE Hotline will connect homeowners to free, certified housing counseling.
“If mortgage payments are becoming a challenge, it’s important to reach out before the situation escalates,” says Kristen Holt, CEO, GreenPath Financial Wellness. “You’re not alone. Contact us at GreenPath.org, or call the HOPE Hotline today.”
GreenPath Financial Wellness is a national nonprofit organization that provides financial counseling, education and products to empower people to lead financially healthy lives. In working directly with individuals, and through partnerships with other organizations, GreenPath aims to remix the American dream so it works for everyone. Headquartered in Farmington Hills, Mich., GreenPath has nearly 500 employees and operates about 60 branch offices in 19 states. GreenPath is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA). For more information, visit greenpath.org.