Although the economy does seem to be making some improvements, the numbers of people facing foreclosure is still huge and that provides a great opportunity for scammers. In my “scam of the day” of April 6 and April 16th I warned you about some of these scams, particularly as they related to the national foreclosure settlement with some of the major banks. But scammers have other scams they use to take advantage of people facing possible foreclosure. Often they scour the newspapers for foreclosure notices to find potential victims. Other times they may even advertise their services on television, radio or the internet. It is important to remember that merely because you see an advertisement on a legitimate television station or other legitimate media, it does not mean that the ad is not a scam. Many of these scams “guarantee” results and generally they all require up front payments.
Remember no one can guarantee results when it comes to mortgage foreclosures. In addition, the Federal Trade Commissions Mortgage Assistance Relief Services rules make it illegal for a company to require an advance payment. They cannot require a payment until they provide you with a written offer of loan modification or other relief from your mortgage lender and you accept that offer. Anyone asking for money up front should be avoided. If you are having difficulty with your mortgage, there are plenty of free housing counselors who can help you. Contact your state Consumer Protection Bureau for the names of some reputable companies.