Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.
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Another Scam Mortgage Foreclosure Rescue Company

The Federal Trade Commission reported on Wednesday that they've charged a mortgage foreclosure "rescue" operation with violating the FTC Act by falsely claiming that they would stop foreclosure or fully refund the consumer's money.

A federal court ordered a halt to the alleged practices and froze the defendants’ assets pending trial. Many people who paid the company ultimately lost their homes to foreclosure, and others avoided foreclosure only through their own efforts. The FTC seeks to prohibit the deceptive claims and make the company pay consumer redress.

According to the FTC, National Foreclosure Relief, Inc. promoted its "Fresh Start Program" with mailed ads to homeowners who were behind on their mortgage payments and facing foreclosure.

One of the company's postcards states, "We are happy to inform you that you have been pre-approved to have your current mortgage, including your past due payments, wrapped into a new loan . . . Following final approval, our program may allow any foreclosure proceedings to be stopped.”

Another version of the postcard states, “It is required that you are notified of these options. We have attempted to contact you without success. Please contact us soon. Your time to enter a repayment plan is running out. Rights may include: 1. a repayment plan 2. putting your past due payments into the balance of the loan 3. paying your past due payments at the end of your loan. 100% GUARANTEE.”

Consumers who called the fraudulent organization were told that the company would begin negotiations with their lender after they paid a fee ranging from $300 to more than $1000, typically paid before the consumer even receives a contract.

But after receiving the consumer's payment, the company often didn't even return phone calls from the consumers. In the instances that consumers did reach a company representative, they were falsely told that negotiations with the lender were proceeding.

The FTC reports that even homeowners who did not eventually lose their homes to foreclosure were harmed by purchasing the company's services, due to the delays in starting negotiations with lenders while late fees and other costs accrued during the delay.

Many Americans are dealing with financial difficulty, and crooks have no qualms about kicking someone when they're down if it puts money in their own pocket. If you are having problems keeping up with your mortgage, please contact your lender directly.

For examples of many more types of foreclosure rescue scams and information about the HOPE for Homeowners program, link to the related article below.

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Thursday, 25 July 2024

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