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Don’t be a Victim — Four Ways Protect Yourself from Refinance ScamsPosted by
Buying or refinancing your home may be one of the most exciting, yet complex, financial decisions you’ll ever make. Like First Class Mortgage, many lenders, appraisers, and real estate professionals stand ready to help you get a nice home and a great loan. Unfortunately, scam artists are getting smarter, stealing millions of dollars from homeowners by promising too-good-to-be-true financing, foreclosure relief, and refinancing programs.
1. Never, ever pay fees upfront.
If they ask you to pay a fee up front to refinance, a red flag should be going up in your mind. It is illegal to request or accept fees upfront of promised results.
2. Beware of unsolicited offers from strangers.
If you receive an email, phone call or letter from a bank, lender or loan modification company, don’t trust the display name. Use the “look, don’t click” method to explore the email. Hover your mouse over any links embedded in the body of the email to see if the link address looks weird. If it does look strange, do not click it.
3. Pause before signing or sending any payments.
When pressured to sign papers or send payment immediately, hit the pause button. Have a professional review the documents before you sign something you end up regretting. Remember that you can always Contact Us.
4. Seek help from a trusted partner.
Before refinancing or modifying your loan, give us a call to see what we can do to help. If you need to modify your mortgage because you’re struggling to make payments, or if you’ve received a foreclosure notice, your lender might work with you on negotiating repayment terms.
Think you’ve been a victim of fraud or identity theft?
First, file a police report with your local law enforcement agency, then contact the Federal Trade Commission, your state attorney general’s office, and the Better Business Bureau.
* Federal Trade Commission: www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0100-mortgage-relief-scams
* Federal Bureau of Investigation: fbi.gov/investigate/white-collar-crime/mortgage-fraud
* NeighborWorks ® America: www.loanscamalert.org