Know How to Spot a Mortgage Relief Scam
If you’re having a hard time making your mortgage payments, we have some advice on what to do next. We also want you to know that there are companies out there who will say they’ll help but are out to take advantage of you.
Today the FTC and California’s Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) announced a lawsuit against Home Matters USA, Academy Home Services, Atlantic Pacific Service Group, Golden Home Services America, and their owners for illegally charging people thousands of dollars up-front for the false promise that the company would negotiate lower interest rates or monthly payments on a person’s mortgage.
According to the FTC, Home Matters also led people to believe the company was connected with government mortgage relief programs and COVID-19 relief programs that the company said it could enroll them in. The company also told people to stop paying and communicating with their mortgage companies for the estimated three months Home Matters said it would take to get the modification.
But in many cases, the company never got the promised modification, and people not only lost the money they paid Home Matters, but also had to pay their mortgage lenders more to avoid foreclosure. Many people ended up with lower credit scores, with homes placed in foreclosure, or even losing their homes entirely.
If you’re having trouble paying your mortgage or you’ve gotten a foreclosure notice, reach out to your mortgage servicer, even if you’re already in foreclosure. You also have the option to talk to a certified housing counselor for free. Find a list of approved housing counseling agencies at hud.gov.
If you’re targeted by a mortgage relief scammer, tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
Read Mortgage Relief Scams to learn more about avoiding a mortgage relief scam.
For information on legitimate mortgage relief in Iowa, please read our blog Mortgage Help.