If you paid attention to the news in 2007, 2008 or 2009, you might have heard about the housing bubble bursting. People were in houses they couldn’t afford otherwise thanks to no-doc loans, interest only loans and ARMs with super-low interest rates for the first five years that then ballooned and made the house payment unaffordable. That just contributed to other reasons people could no longer pay their mortgages, like job loss, student loan debt or credit card debt. More people than ever were seeking mortgage assistance.
While there were plenty of mortgage assistance relief programs that were legit, there were also scammers who saw an opportunity to make a quick buck and took it. If you are looking for help from a mortgage assistance program, avoid any companies that:
- Ask for money before anything has been done.
- Ask you to send mortgage payments to anyone other than your lender.
- Promise a money-back guarantee.
- Ask you to sign over your deed.
- Tell you not to contact your lender.
- Try to sell you participation into a large mass lawsuit against your lender.
- Try to sell you some convoluted way to hide your property.
If you need mortgage assistance, go through an agency that’s been approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and make sure they are compliant with the Federal Trade Commission’s Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) rule.