With Home Affordable Refinance Program extended into 2017, it also means that the threat of scammers pretending to offer government-sponsored modifications isn’t going away. Beware.
The threat, as mentioned in a blog piece from PennyMac, focuses on the Home Affordable Modification Program, which will still end at the end of the year, but borrowers should always be on guard for scammers.
PennyMac stresses that borrowers need to beware of fraudulent “Making Home Affordable” offers.
“Owning a home can be expensive and, as one of your largest assets, it’s important to protect. As a homeowner, you may receive hundreds of offers a year to refinance or modify your home loan, promising a lower monthly payment. Unfortunately, not all offers are legitimate,” the blog stated.
There are companies out there targeting homeowners with fraudulent offers. These scammers call and mail homeowners pretending to be your mortgage servicer or a representative from the Federal Government’s Home Affordable Modification Program. They prey on unsuspecting homeowners by offering fake loan modifications and “trial payment plans”, along with promises of lower monthly mortgage payments. And while these scammers may send genuine-looking letters with your mortgage company’s logo and account number, they also provide deceptive contact information in an effort to route your payment away from your servicer and directly to them. In fact, they may also call from telephone numbers that show up on caller ID as the homeowner’s actual mortgage company
If borrowers for any reason are uncertain about the offer, PennyMac urges them to contact their lender.
Unfortunately this isn’t the only account of mortgage scams happening, back in March, the Federal Trade Commission and the National Association of Realtors issued a warning to consumers, advising them that they could be the next victim of a mortgage closing cost phishing scheme.
According to the FTC and NAR, scammers were hacking the email accounts of consumers and real estate professionals to obtain information about upcoming real estate transactions.