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Friday, May 29, 2009

Loan Modification Scam Warning Signs

We are advising homeowners who are delinquent on their mortgage to be cautious about using the services of someone offering to help them work with their lender to modify the terms of their home loan.
Protect your home and your money by recognizing the warning signs of a loan modification scam and reviewing the tips on how to protect yourself.

Warning Signs Of A Possible Loan Modification Scam
  • Company operates out of state
  • Company is not licensed with DFI
  • Company claims license is not required because attorneys are involved
  • Out of state attorneys are not licensed to practice in Washington
  • Money is required upfront before any paperwork is reviewed or signed
  • Company tells you NOT to contact your lender
  • Company requires direct access to your bank account or credit card
Tips On How To Protect Yourself From A Loan Modification Scam
  • Work With Licensed Individuals & Companies
    Make sure you’re dealing with a licensed individual. Companies and individuals offering loan modification services must be licensed with the Department of Financial Institutions. Verify A License With DFI
  • If The Company Is Not Licensed In Washington, Check With Their State Regulator
    If you do choose to do business with a company from another state, contact the company’s regulatory authority in that state to make sure they are properly licensed, then check with DFI to verify the license status in Washington.
  • Verify An Attorney’s License
    If you're working with an attorney, verify their license with the Washington State Bar Association.
  • Read & Understand All Documents
    Be sure to carefully read and understand any documents you are asked to sign. Do not sign anything you do not understand.
  • Refuse To Allow Direct Access To Checking Accounts Or Credit Card
    Protect your money and refuse to allow direct access to your accounts.
  • Consider Your Options
    You can contact your lender yourself to seek a loan modification. Contact a HUD approved counselor. HUD approved counselors are available to help you obtain a loan modification.

    See a list of approved counselors on HUD's Web site.

    If your lender is a HUD approved lender, they are required by HUD to work with you to modify your loan. See HUD's Web site for more information or call the number below that pertains to your loan.

    FHA: (888) 297-8685
    VA: (800) 729-5772
    Conventional: (800) 569-4287