When Florida homeowners are unable to make their mortgage payments, they can begin to panic and look for a way to avoid losing their homes. It is this group of people that can easily become the target of loan modification schemes. Recently, two men were recently sentenced to prison for taking advantage of their victims’ fears, and four others are awaiting sentencing.
The two men, along with others, offered homeowners across the country the chance to modify their mortgage loans in order to keep their homes — for a fee. The men, who operated under a variety of company names, enticed homeowners with promises that they were already approved for a modification and even promised relief under the Home Affordable Modification Program and/or the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The offers came with a “guarantee” of a full refund if the deal fell through.
Of course, little of what homeowners were promised came to pass. Not only did were they out anywhere between $2,500 to $3,400, but they were still behind in their mortgage loan payments. It is estimated that over 1,000 homeowners were victims of the scheme and loss a combined total of approximately $3 million.
Individuals who receive a phone call or other communication promising to modify their mortgage loans should be wary. Florida residents who want to work out a loan modification with their lenders should do so directly. They could enlist the services of an attorney to advocate on their behalf during the negotiations with the caveat that no one can guarantee a mortgage modification. If a modification is not possible, the attorney should be able to provide homeowners with other options.
Source: wtnh.com, “Two men sentenced for mortgage loan schemes targeting CT homeowners“, Scott Powell, Sept. 1, 2016