It appears consumers are receiving calls from telemarketers claiming they are eligible to receive part of the $25 billion settlement a number of states reached with mortgage servicers and foreclosure servicers.
Callers are requesting the bank account information to direct deposit funds into the consumers account from the government settlement fund. It is a scam. Funds will not be deposited and in fact will most likely be withdrawn.
The Attorney General of Virginia has warned it is unclear if these scammers are posing as bank associates or as a third party company claiming to be working with the settlement.
“I cannot stress this enough: Never give out your bank account information-or any personal information for that matter–to someone who calls you. Instead, call a known number for your financial institution, so you are sure you are reaching a legitimate contact,” said Attorney General Cuccinelli. – Source
Other consumers are reporting receiving offers from scammers who say they will help recover money owed for a fee. These scammers claim they can speed up loan modifications or principal reductions that might be available.
Washington Assistant Attorney General Doug Walsh, who heads up the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division. “They offer to assist victims for a fee, when the services are actually available for free. Don’t take the bait. Distressed homeowners can get counseling and, where appropriate, legal assistance for no cost.” – Source
If you want to see if you are really eligible, borrowers should contact their mortgage servicer to obtain more information about specific loan modification programs and whether they qualify under terms of this settlement. The toll free numbers for the settling servicers are:
- Bank of America: (877) 488-7814
- Citigroup: (866) 272-4749
- J.P. Morgan Chase: (866) 372-6901
- GMAC: (800) 766-4622
- Wells Fargo: (800) 288-3212
The official website for information on this settlement is nationalmortgagesettlement.com.
The settlement provides assistance for:
Homeowners needing loan modifications now, including first and second lien principal reduction. The servicers are required to work off up to $17 billion in principal reduction and other forms of loan modification relief nationwide.
Borrowers who are current, but underwater. Borrowers will be able to refinance at today’s historically low interest rates. Servicers will have to provide up to $3 billion in refinancing relief nationwide.
Borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure with no requirement to prove financial harm and without having to release private claims against the servicers or the right to participate in the OCC review process. $1.5 billion will be distributed nationwide to some 750,000 borrowers.
Don’t be a victim of the telemarketer sales pitch to get your bank account information. If you did fall for it, read What to Do About Unauthorized Withdrawals from a Bank Account.