Reported Foreclosure-Help Scams Up 60%, HPF Says

Foreclosure prevention scams have surged nearly 60 percent this year as new federal programs are launched or enhanced to actually help troubled homeowners.
Announcements of new aid programs for borrowers inevitably spurs an accompanying scam, according to the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF), an independent nonprofit dedicated to helping homeowners avoid foreclosures.
“Regretfully, every new government initiative spawns a slew of foreclosure avoidance scams, often from the same cast of characters doing business under various names to avoid easy detection and identification,” said Colleen Hernandez, CEO of HPF.
Hernandez said some of the fraudsters claim to offer the same services for a fee that HPF actually provides for free.
The organization’s counselors provide distressed homeowners with information to help them understand their options, prepare the necessary paperwork, and negotiate with their mortgage servicers.
The various government programs that have been launched or revised this year – and that are likely responsible for this increase in calls reporting scams – include the National Mortgage Settlement, expanded HAMP and HARP, and OCC Independent Foreclosure Review.
To learn about the six main warning signs of loan scams, visit HPF’s “Avoid Mortgage Scams” web page or call 888-995-HOPE.

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