I remember the day I signed the papers for my very own townhome. I was 23 years old at the time and it was just right before the housing market crashed. The next few years was a little scary. With all the scam phone calls about mortgage relief, it sure would have been nice to have a number to call for help.
If you have ever been a home owner then you will understand when I say that buying your own home is one of the most gratifying feelings in the world. Not simply because you know that you are financially stable enough as an adult to purchase a house, a place with four walls and a roof; but because you know and understand that you are about to create a generation full of memories with your family. What others may have overlooked, you saw as a chance to transform those walls into a place that is only yours.
Unfortunately, sometimes bad things happen – and you are left wondering how you are going to pay your mortgage. If this has happened to you – you are not alone! June is National Home Ownership Month, but many Americans are still struggling to make their mortgage payments. About 1 in 17 homeowners nationwide have fallen behind on their mortgage payments, putting them at a higher risk of foreclosure.
If you are in a situation where you need help, be cautious! Tactless foreclosure rescue and mortgage modification scams are a growing problem. Scammers will make promises that they can’t keep, such as guaranteeing to “save” your home or lower your mortgage payments, usually for a fee, and sometimes even claiming that they have direct contact with your mortgage company.
These scams could cost homeowners thousands of dollars – or even their homes. If you or someone you know needs help with their mortgage, please keep these things in mind:
• Through the federal Making Home Affordable program, many homeowners have received much-needed help to reduce their monthly payments, get mortgage relief, and avoid foreclosure.
• Telephone scammers often request payment by wire transfer services similar to MoneyGram, or completion of paperwork containing your Social Security Number. Do not make any mortgage payments by wire transfer, or provide any personal information, in response to these calls. If you receive unsolicited calls, always check with your mortgage company using the phone number on your mortgage statement, or call 888-995-HOPE™ (4673) to check its legitimacy.
• Beware of telephone calls urging you to take advantage of the Making Home Affordable Program. Beware of anyone seeking to charge you in advance for mortgage modification services. In most cases, charging fees in advance of a mortgage modification is illegal.
• Paying a third party to assist with your application may not improve your likelihood of receiving a mortgage modification. Beware of individuals or companies that ask you for payment, tout their success rate, or claim to be Making Home Affordable (MHA) or Home Affordable Modification (HAMP) experts.
• The Making Home Affordable (MHA) housing counseling experts at 888-995-HOPE™ (4673) are available around-the-clock (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), in over 170 languages, and at no cost. They will help homeowners understand their options and design a plan to suit their individual situation.
Homeowners who are struggling to make mortgage payments can call 888-995-HOPE™ (4673) or visit MakingHomeAffordable.gov for free resources and information to help them deal with their mortgage problems and avoid foreclosure.
Making Home Affordable is a free government resource that can help make paying that mortgage easier. Help from MHA provides incentives and flexibility that you might not have otherwise.
The program can help you identify your situation, explore program options, prepare what you will need to move forward and apply for the right solution based on your individual circumstance. Help from MHA provides incentives and flexibility that you might not have otherwise.