Homeowners Warned Of Phony Foreclosure Prevention Hotlines

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.

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.
  • The National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER) is the nation’s oldest and largest higher education finance trade association. NCHER’s membership includes state, nonprofit, and for-profit higher education service organizations, including lenders, servicers, guaranty agencies, collection agencies, financial literacy providers, and schools, interested and involved in increasing college access and success. It assists its members in shaping policies governing federal and private student loan and state grant programs on behalf of students, parents, borrowers, and families.

  • Since 2007, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) has served as a trusted, neutral source of information for more than eight million homeowners. They are partnered with, and endorsed by, numerous major government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury.

  • The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market in order to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.