As you spend your life planning, working, and doing the things you love – you are also building a home. Not just a house or a place to hang your hat. Life is pretty great right? You have a good job, you have a home, and things are sunny. Until disaster strikes. No one wants to think about it, but it can happen to anyone. Yes, I am talking about the nauseating word, foreclosure. Although, you thought you had it all together, and you probably did, anything can happen. Job layoffs, illness, injury. So many variables. If this has happened to you or someone you love, you are probably feeling like you do not know where to turn and feeling utterly alone. But that simply should not be the case at all. There is help out there. June is National Home Ownership Month, but many Americans are still struggling to make their mortgage payments. About 1 in 17 homeowners nationwide have fallen behind on their mortgage payments, putting them at a higher risk of foreclosure.
Unfortunately, foreclosure rescue and mortgage modification scams are a growing problem. Scammers will make promises that they can't keep, such as guaranteeing to "save" your home or lower your mortgage payments, usually for a fee, and sometimes even claiming that they have direct contact with your mortgage company. These scams could cost homeowners thousands of dollars – or even their homes.
- Through the federal Making Home Affordable program, many homeowners have received much-needed help to reduce their monthly payments, get mortgage relief, and avoid foreclosure.Homeowners who are struggling to make mortgage payments can call 888-995-HOPE™ (4673) or visit MakingHomeAffordable.gov for free resources and information to help them deal with their mortgage problems and avoid foreclosure.
- Telephone scammers often request payment by wire transfer services similar to MoneyGram, or completion of paperwork containing your Social Security Number. Do not make any mortgage payments by wire transfer, or provide any personal information, in response to these calls. If you receive unsolicited calls, always check with your mortgage company using the phone number on your mortgage statement, or call 888-995-HOPE™ (4673) to check its legitimacy.
- Beware of telephone calls urging you to take advantage of the Making Home Affordable Program. Beware of anyone seeking to charge you in advance for mortgage modification services. In most cases, charging fees in advance of a mortgage modification is illegal.
- Paying a third party to assist with your application may not improve your likelihood of receiving a mortgage modification. Beware of individuals or companies that ask you for payment, tout their success rate, or claim to be Making Home Affordable (MHA) or Home Affordable Modification (HAMP) experts.
- The Making Home Affordable (MHA) housing counseling experts at 888-995-HOPE™ (4673) are available around-the-clock (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), in over 170 languages, and at no cost. They will help homeowners understand their options and design a plan to suit their individual situation.
Going through the stress of potentially losing your home is hard enough as it is. No one should EVER be faced with going through that alone, but many do feel alone in what they are experiencing. That is why the Making Home Affordable (MHA) program provides free resources and assistance for distressed homeowners who are working hard at juggling expenses to makes ends meet. There are more options available for struggling homeowners today than ever before, and MHA works to provide them with the mortgage solution that is right for them. Visit MakingHomeAffordable.gov to read about available programs to help with mortgage payments. If you or someone you know is struggling, there is help.