Dec. 19, 2012
While the housing market is on the road to recovery, millions of Americans are still underwater on their home loans. Unfortunately, con artists have taken advantage of that fact.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced actions to stop two widespread “mortgage modification” scams, which allegedly targeted troubled homeowners and potentially stole more than $10 million from them.
According to the CFPB, these alleged scams charged desperate consumers for services that falsely promised to prevent foreclosures or renegotiate troubled mortgages. The two groups, both purporting to offer legal services and claiming to be affiliated with the government, are being accused of violating the Dodd-Frank Act and Regulation O (formerly known as the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule) which prohibit abusive acts and protect homeowners from this type of scam.
The complaints by the CFPB include allegations of the following violations:
What do you need to know? If anyone contacts you pretending to be from a government program, like the Home Affordable Refinance or Modification Programs (HARP or HAMP), and tries to charge you a fee for their services, that is a clear sign of a scam. These programs do not charge a fee for counseling homeowners or refinancing or modifying their home loans.