Many struggling homeowners have turned to helpful options for assistance in keeping their homes, such as mortgage modifications and pursing bankruptcy options. Mortgage modifications have actually helped countless people who were and are behind on house payments. However, anyone in Florida who wants to pursue a loan modification should be aware of some potential scams that have costs homeowners millions of dollars.

Two Florida men were recently convicted of operating a scam via telemarketing. The pair would promise homeowners that their mortgage modification applications would be approved with no problems. They charged desperate homeowners a $2,000 up front fee despite the fact that applying for a home modification is a free service. The pair was able to bilk homeowners out of $4 million.

They were convicted of conspiracy, wire fraud and misusing a government seal. They were also ordered to pay restitution of $187,000 to victims who have not received restitution yet. They were given up to 20 years in prison for perpetrating the scam.

It can be difficult to spot any kind of scam when a homeowner simply wants to prevent becoming further behind on house payments. Anyone in Florida who is pursuing mortgage modification or any other means of keeping their home, such as bankruptcy, should make sure the process is legal. Any kind of outrageous fees may be an indicator of a scam. Seeking out the most up to date procedures and means of getting a financial fresh start can help those in need avoid being taken advantage of.

Source: The Boston Globe, Two Florida men sentenced in US District Court for mortgage modification scheme, Milton J. Valencia, Feb. 21, 2014