Homeowners needing assistance are reminded to avoid companies selling “foreclosure rescue,” “securitization audits” and other home loan modification schemes.
In recent years, new companies have cropped up across the country aiming to take advantage of vulnerable homeowners and capitalize on all of the conflicting and confusing news and information relating to the mortgage crisis.
A potential new threat to Washington residents came to light when a staff member of the Attorney General’s Office received an unsolicited telemarketing “robo-call” on his work line from an out-of-state company offering “securitization audits” and other legal services promising to halt, and even reverse, foreclosures. Homeowners are cautioned to be especially skeptical of solicitations from out-of-state firms, which may not be familiar with Washington law or licensed to provide legal services in this state. Simply put: do not send your money out of state to get help with your mortgage problems.
Attorney General Rob McKenna issued the reminder.
“Free or reduced fee housing counselors are available nationwide to assist homeowners in working with their lenders, so there really isn’t any reason for a consumer to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for these services,” said McKenna. “Unfortunately, we continue to hear from homeowners who have lost their money after paying large, up-front fees to companies who ultimately did not deliver on their “˜foreclosure rescue’ promises.”
Homeowners needing assistance should contact the Washington Homeownership Information Hotline at 1-877-894-HOME (4663). Counselors there can discuss individual situations and circumstances, evaluate options, and explain assistance programs that may be available. Homeowners may also contact a Washington HUD-approved housing counseling agency.