Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) President and Executive Director, Colleen Hernandez, recently warned homeowners of fraudulent foreclosure prevention services and hotlines claiming to be affiliated with or dishonestly mimicking legitimate services offered by the Homeowner’s HOPE™ Hotline, 888-995-HOPE™.
Recent reports have described alleged scams carried out by companies using similar 800 numbers, such as 800-995-HOPE, that charge up-front fees and claim to be able to help struggling homeowners pay off their mortgages or work with their mortgage providers to save their home. Others are promising to pay off delinquent loans with money that consumers provide as “escrow”.
“The word “hope” is easily exploited by those seeking to mislead struggling homeowners in search of real help. Some homeowners have lost thousands of dollars to these unscrupulous and fraudulent “counselors” who claim to offer foreclosure assistance but who, instead, have merely taken precious dollars from homeowners already in financial distress,” said Hernandez.
The Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline is a free service that provides struggling homeowners with access to HUD-approved counselors. Money Management International is a member of the HOPE NOW Alliance.
Tips for homeowners:
-Avoid any websites, phone numbers, or companies and individuals requesting up-front payment of fees or claiming to be affiliated with the 888-995-HOPE™ or the Homeownership Preservation Foundation. Services provided by the Homeowner’s HOPE™ Hotline and our affiliates are absolutely free to consumers and accessible only by calling 888-995-HOPE.
-Never grant access to bank accounts, provide Social Security numbers, write a check, wire money, or otherwise pay for counseling sessions.
-Never turn over the deed to a home to people claiming to be “counselors” or sign legal agreements that you do not understand.
-Never pay money to a third party promising to bring a mortgage current or begin a repayment program. Such payments should only be made directly to a mortgage servicer.
-Contact local law enforcement or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) if you believe you have been the victim of scam foreclosure prevention operators.