Protect Yourself From Loan Modifcation Scams

How to protect yourself from loan modification scams in Maryland

Protection Under Maryland Law

Maryland has passed a new law to protect home owners from being scammed.  Much of the foreclosure process is public record, so when are falling behind on your mortgage, you become a target for foreclosure “helpers” of all kinds. You will probably get letters or see ads for “loss mitigation consulting,” “foreclosure prevention,” or “mortgage loan modification.” Many of these are from legitimate organizations but unfortunately, some are complete scams.  Before you pay anyone to help you with your mortgage problems, you should know the following:

The new law requires anyone who provides loan modification services to be licensed as a Credit Services Business (CSB), so ask to see proof of the license.

The new law prohibits the charging of fees up front or at any time during the loan modification process.  If they insist upon payment, look elsewhere for help.

The new law requires a written contract and must include a detailed description of the services to be performed and the results to be achieved by the CSB.

The new law gives you a right of rescission   You have until midnight of the third business day after you sign to change your mind and cancel the contract.

In addition to the above, you should also keep in mind these things:

Do not believe guarantees. A reputable counselor will not guarantee that they can stop the foreclosure process or get you a loan modification, regardless of your circumstances. Working with a legitimate counselor can certainly increase your chances of keeping your home — but be wary of people who promise a sure thing. Again, first get the details of your transaction and any related promises in writing before you enter into an agreement.

Beware of anyone who says they can “save” your home if you sign or transfer over the deed to your house. Do not sign over the deed to your property to any organization or individual unless you are working directly with your mortgage lender, or with an attorney.

Never give your mortgage payments to anyone other than your mortgage lender. Some scammers will get you to pay your mortgage directly to them and promise to pay the mortgage company for you.  Instead, they pocket the money and you end up in foreclosure.