Many Texas homeowners who are struggling to make their mortgage payments month after month may consider working with their lenders in order to obtain loan modifications. While this can be helpful in some cases, homeowners need to ensure that the terms really protect their interests. And, borrowers also need to make sure that the modification is legitimate, because unfortunately there are a number of scams out there.
It has recently been reported that scammers are sending letters that look like official Wells Fargo documents to homeowners, offering them loan modifications. Homeowners who have responded to the letters have sent in thousands of dollars and private information in the hopes of securing their homes from foreclosure; but in reality they are becoming victims of fraud.
It does not appear that this particular mortgage modification scheme has targeted Texas residents, but it is something to be wary of nonetheless.
These fraudulent solicitations appear legitimate. According to a news report, one homeowner received a phony loan modification application that included the man’s actual Wells Fargo account number, and the correct terms and amount past due. It even contained information about the man’s income. The offer stated it would reduce the interest rate attached to the loan and lower the principal, reducing his monthly mortgage payment to $275.
It instructed him to send in a little over $2,000 as a reinstatement fee along with the completed application.
This is one of many fraudulent operations that are mimicking state or federal mortgage relief programs and bank loan modification offers.
Texas residents need to be aware that unsolicited loan modification offers may be scams. The scheme mentioned above even has a 1-800 hotline included on the offers – it looks authentic. Borrowers should not respond to these mail, email or phone offers with any personal information or money. Those who need to prevent foreclosure may benefit from talking to a reputable debt relief attorney about their options.
Source: Herald-Tribune, “Mortgage modification scam shows growing sophistication,” Josh Salman, Feb. 13, 2014