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Piggybankblog posted on 02/07/13
Cross linked with ftc.gov
Fraudulent foreclosure “rescue” professionals use half-truths and outright lies to sell services that promise relief to homeowners in distress. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, the latest foreclosure rescue scam to exploit financially strapped homeowners pitches forensic mortgage loan audits.
In exchange for an upfront fee of several hundred dollars, so-called forensic loan auditors, mortgage loan auditors, or foreclosure prevention auditors backed by forensic attorneys offer to review your mortgage loan documents to determine whether your lender complied with state and federal mortgage lending laws. The “auditors” say you can use the audit report to avoid foreclosure, accelerate the loan modification process, reduce your loan principal, or even cancel your loan.
Nothing could be further from the truth. According to the FTC and its law enforcement partners:
- there is no evidence that forensic loan audits will help you get a loan modification or any other foreclosure relief, even if they’re conducted by a licensed, legitimate and trained auditor, mortgage professional or lawyer.
- some federal laws allow you to sue your lender based on errors in your loan documents. But even if you sue and win, your lender is not required to modify your loan simply to make your payments more affordable.
- if you cancel your loan, you will have to return the borrowed money, which may result in you losing your home.
If you are in default on your mortgage or facing foreclosure, you may be targeted by a foreclosure rescue scam. The FTC wants you to know how to recognize the telltale signs and report them. If you are faced with foreclosure, the FTC says legitimate options are available to help you save your home.
Spotting a Scam
If you’re looking for foreclosure prevention help, avoid any business that:
- guarantees to stop the foreclosure process – no matter what your circumstances are
- instructs you not to contact your lender, lawyer or credit or housing counselor
- collects a fee before providing any services accepts payment only by cashier’s check or wire transfer
- encourages you to lease your home so you can buy it back over time
- recommends that you make your mortgage payments directly to it, rather than your lender
- urges you to transfer your property deed or title to it
- offers to buy your house for cash at a fixed price that is inappropriate for the housing market
- pressures you to sign papers you haven’t had a chance to read thoroughly or that you don’t understand.
Finding Legitimate Help
Housing experts say that when you’re behind on your mortgage payments, maintaining communication with your lender is the most important thing you can do. Contact your lender or servicer immediately if you’re having trouble paying your mortgage or you have received a foreclosure notice. You may be able to negotiate a new repayment schedule.
Call 1-888-995-HOPE for free personalized advice from housing counseling agencies certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This national hotline – open 24/7 – is operated by the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, a nonprofit member of the HOPE NOW Alliance of mortgage industry members and HUD-certified counseling agencies. For free guidance online, visit www.hopenow.com. For free information on the President’s plan to help homeowners, visit www.makinghomeaffordable.gov.
If you think you’ve been dealing with a foreclosure fraudster, contact:
- Federal Trade Commission – www.ftc.gov
- Your state Attorney General – www.naag.org
- Your local Better Business Bureau – www.bbb.org
This article was previously available as Forensic Mortgage Loan Audit Scams: A New Twist on Foreclosure Rescue Fraud.
John Wright from Piggybankblog: I have also received information on 01/30/13 that the Bloomberg Terminal is no longer available to people who do these loan audits. The Bloomberg Terminal was a powerful tool that many of them used to do the search. It is apparently only available for the banks to use now.
It should be known that it is not my opinion that all the people doing the searches are fraud. It is only my opinion that your attorney knows where to get a search done if they want one. This means you should probably avoid the ones that are mass marketing out there. Otherwise — it is a “Buyer Beware” situation if they are not referred by your attorney. This is because there are many that have figured out that there is gold in them there hills with this crisis.
That is why the Martin Andelman Scam Prevention Podcast is a MUST HEAR! This is especially true for those who are thinking about purchasing a Forensic Loan Audit.
Transcript from interview:
Martin Andelman: “Is there ever a time when a homeowner goes out on their own — buys some kind of forensic loan audit or securitization audit – or — I have seen credit default swap audits – crazy things ….. is that ever a benefit to do that?”
Attorney Matt Weidner: “Absolutely not! Florida has some very strict laws against these kinds of things. I wish they were enforced more. But the reality is that consumers should not be paying anyone any money for these kinds of products that promise or suggest any kind of results that are useful to them. This is because – frankly – if it is not admissible in court — it is of very little or no value at all.”
In conclusion — it is still okay to keep your eyes on the stars. Yet be sure to still keep your feet firmly on the ground while you do so. Otherwise — you might be setting yourself up to become a victim of something other than the banks. This is because wherever the carcass is! The vultures shall gather! The simple fact is that some of them are simply wolves in sheep’s clothing. — SCAM PREVENTION PODCAST: What Isn’t Working for Homeowners Facing Foreclosure Today?
Let them who have an ear! Let them hear what the Spirit has to say!
“There is gold in them there hills!”
Other Blog Warnings about forensic loan audits below..
My name is John Wright AND I AM FIGHTING BACK!
All Rise! .The Honorable Judge Wright has left The Courtroom of Public Opinion!
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