Many homeowners have tried to find legitimate ways to reduce their payments so they could weather the storm of the recession. One way that many have found is to seek a loan modification. With more than 250,000 lending home foreclosures in Florida alone, many have found being approved for a loan modification is the best way to keep their homes. However, scam artists have preyed on that vulnerability and desperation that some homeowners feel in order to get a lower payment.
A recent scam involving homeowners in southern Florida relates to scam artists claiming to be from Wells Fargo. The scammers send out paperwork that appears to be very legitimate. This paperwork calls for Social Security numbers, back account information and other personal information that can easily be used to take a homeowner for all they have.
In one instance, the scammers asked a homeowner to send a check for over $2,000 as a “reinstatement fee.” The scammers promised to help the homeowner lower his mortgage payments by about $275 a month. The address that the money was to be sent to ended up being for a P.O. box located at a United States post office, with no association with the real Wells Fargo Bank.
Many lenders caution desperate or struggling Florida homeowners to remember the old adage — if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. A legitimate loan modification can truly help many homeowners. However, before a homeowner agrees to any terms or payment plans, a thorough check of the bank would be wise. One may also wish to pursue the option of bankruptcy, which could prove to be the most beneficial.
Source: heraldtribune.com, Mortgage modification scam shows growing sophistication, Josh Salman, Feb. 13, 2014