Fraudsters are advertising by mailings and phone calls, including a mailing titled “Payment Reduction Notification.” The scammers are using documents that have a Making Home Affordable logo and appear to set out a payment plan to reinstate the loan or modify the loan terms.
The homeowner is promised a lower home loan payment. The scammers tell the consumer to send money orders or cashier’s checks to an address in Long Beach, California and to make the payments to “US Recovery Program” or “Legal Department.”
A New Mexico homeowner was very recently offered this loan “reinstatement” by “US Recovery Program,” also using the name “Legal Department”. The Attorney General’s Office believes the mailed solicitations have deceived at least two homeowners so far. One consumer lost about $7,000.00 and failed to defend his foreclosure case due to the fraud (since he thought he was reinstating his mortgage). The AG’s office has located other consumers who have reported that they were victimized by a similar business with an address at a Mail Boxes Etc. store in Long Beach, CA.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is investigating this scam as mail fraud. Consumers should be wary of ever paying anyone other than their own home loan lender or servicer directly. It is generally unlawful for any firm or person to charge an up-front fee to help obtain a loan modification or loan workout for a consumer. Consumers who have questions or concerns can call 505-222-9100 to report the matter or call Assistant Attorney General David C. Kramer at 505-222-9000.