Mortgage Assistance Scams
Minnesota Attorney General’s Office
1400 Bremer Tower
445 Minnesota Street
St. Paul, MN 55101(651) 296-3353
TTY (651) 297-7206
www.ag.state.mn.usMinnesota homeowners are currently being targetedby companies offering mortgage assistance either inthe form of “foreclosure consultants” or “mortgagemodification companies.” Scam artists charge up-front fees and fail to deliver on promises to save ahome from foreclosure or to modify a borrower’sloan terms. No homeowner should pay fees up-frontfor mortgage assistance. There are non-profit orga-nizations that provide mortgage assistance for
as part of their mission.
PAY FEESUP-FRONT TO OBTAIN ASSISTANCE FROMA FORECLOSURE CONSULTANT. HELP ISAVAILABLE
FROM NON-PROFITORGANIZATIONS. CONTACT YOUR LENDERAND A
AT THEFIRST SIGN OF TROUBLE IN PAYING YOURMORTGAGE.If you are a homeowner that has fallen behind on yourmortgage payments, you are not alone. Millions of Americans may face mortgage foreclosure over thenext few years. Predatory mortgage lending, explod-ing interest rates, and the worst economy since theGreat Depression have contributed to a mortgage cri-sis that threatens to destroy the American Dream of home ownership for people across the state. If youare faced with resetting mortgage rates, mortgage de-fault, or foreclosure, arm yourself with information,get the
of help, and take decisive action toprotect your interests.
From the Office of Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson
THREE MORTGAGE ASSISTANCE SCAMS:
There are three types of mortgage assistance scamsthat can waste homeowners money and precious time:1) Foreclosure Consultant Scams, 2) Mortgage Modi-fication Scams, and 3) Forensic Loan Audit Scams.
1. Foreclosure Consultant Scams.
ForeclosureConsultant Scams typically target a borrower whosemortgage is in default or who is already facing theforeclosure process. Some organizations or individu-als may represent themselves as counseling agenciesbut are actually only out to make a profit off the mis-fortune of others. Typically, these entities will ask for up-front fees in exchange for “counseling” ser-vices such as financial advice, negotiating paymentsor other solutions with the lender, or exploring thesale of the property. These are services that borrow-ers can do themselves and may be offered for
byreputable organizations. Scam artists that collect up-front fees may not actually provide any of the ser-vices promised or may even disappear overnight.
Under Minnesota law, a foreclosure consultant isprohibited from collecting a fee until after it hasprovided a service to you.
Don’t be scammed byMortgage Foreclosure Consulting Scams!
2. Mortgage Modification Scams.
A new breed of predatory practice, spun off from the foreclosure con-sultant scam, has emerged during the foreclosure cri-sis: the Mortgage Modification Scam. The Mort-gage Modification Scam typically targets homeownerswho may not yet be in mortgage default or foreclo-sure but who are concerned about resetting interestrates or worried about their ability to continue mak-ing their payments in a troubled economy.Homeowners seeking legitimate assistance are tar-geted by mortgage modification predators that makeempty promises to save their home, modify their mort-gage, or provide other mortgage assistance, usuallyin exchange for the payment of hefty up-front fees.Don’t pay these up-front fees!