Loan Mod Program Scam Alert

by Rodney Forbes on April 24, 2009

The recent law enacted by the federal government designed to help struggling homeowners stay in their homes by modifying the interest rate and/or term of the loan has spawned all sorts of bogus companies preying on unsuspecting homeowners.

Many homeowners who are behind on payments are now being contacted by certain “loan modification” companies who guarantee just about anything for a fee. Over 1,000 of these firms are now being investigated for fraud.

There are legitimate companies who work with homeowners to save their homes by modifying their mortgages. But who can tell the legitimate from the scam artists? The following are some warning signs.

* You’re asked for upfront fees.

* You’re guaranteed success.

* You’re asked to pay by wire.

* You can’t get them on the phone after paying.

* You’re told to stop paying your mortgage.

* You’re told not to contact your lender or attorney.

* You’re pressured into signing documents you don’t understand.

* You’re asked to sign over your house title.

A company who really can help you should only ask for payment once they have earned it…when the loan has been modified to where the homeowner can afford it.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Beach County area, specifically Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and West Palm Beach, please visit my Forbes Realty website. For frequently updated information on foreclosures, short sales, real estate news and market conditions visit my South Florida Real Estate Report blog. There are many free reports as well as free access to MLS listed properties.

Rodney Forbes is a licensed Realtor®, certified short sale/REO specialist and broker for Forbes Realty of South Florida Inc.

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