Mortgage Relief and Foreclosure Rescue Scams - Financial Regulation
There are state and federal laws to protect homeowners from companies and individuals that offer fraudulent mortgage relief and foreclosure prevention services. These companies use deceptive practices to prey on homeowners and often identify themselves as “mortgage assistance relief professionals”, “loan modification consultants”, or “mortgage analysis and document review experts”. They find their victims through emails, public files from local government offices, and unsolicited letters. Some scammers lure homeowners in through media advertisements on the internet, television, illegally posted signs, or phone calls. Below are tips to avoid becoming a victim of a scam.
- Do not pay advance fees for any mortgage default or foreclosure prevention service. Charging advance or upfront fees for these services is illegal in Maryland. There is never a fee to get assistance or information about foreclosure alternatives from your mortgage company or a state-approved housing counselor. Call the HOPE hotline at 1-877-462-7555 or visit the Maryland HOPE website for a list of housing counseling agencies near you.
- Do not believe guarantees. Reputable agencies will not guarantee that they can stop the foreclosure process or promise they can “save” your home, regardless of your circumstances. Be wary of those who promise a sure thing.
- Do not sign or transfer over the deed to your house. Do not deed your property to any organization or individual unless you are working directly with your mortgage company.
- Do not submit your mortgage payments to a third party. Never send your mortgage payments to anyone other than your lender or mortgage servicer, unless you have prior approval from your lender or servicer in writing.
- For additional information and tips, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s pages on mortgage relief scams and foreclosure rescue scams
If you believe you are the target or victim of a mortgage relief or foreclosure rescue scam, report it to the Office the Commissioner of Financial Regulation. Follow instructions on how to file a complaint with our office. Your complaint could provide vital information that will help put an end to these types of fraudulent practices.