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How to steer clear of foreclosure rescue scams & protect your identity

Don't let a foreclosure rescue scam shatter your dream home!
Don't let a foreclosure rescue scam shatter your dream home!
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

If you are having trouble making your mortgage payments and you fear you are headed for foreclosure, its important to know what scams to watch out for. Money problems are unfortunately the worst and most stressful time, but it is best to stay calm so that you can make the best decisions.

According to the Department of Treasury & Housing and Urban Development (HUD), scammers may contact you offering guaranteed help saving your home by lowering your rate, or through a loan modification, for a fee. Sometimes these scammers will tell you they are in direct contact with your current lender; but do not believe them. Identity theft protection requires you to question everyone.

Public information & foreclosure

The Federal Trade Commission says fraudsters go through newspaper articles and public records in search of foreclosure records. Some will send you a personalized letter claiming they are affiliated with your lender, while others will use an email or other online ad with catchy phrases such as "Stop foreclosure now, 100% money back guarantee or Keep your home, we know your home is scheduled for foreclosure!". The FTC also says to beware of phony counseling outfits that offer to stop foreclosure for fee. Some will even go so far as to tell you to pay them your mortgage payment while they help you.

Loan modification to stop foreclosure

Identity theft is a strong possibility whenever you trust the wrong person or organization. According to HUD, paying a third party to assist you with a loan modification will not increase your chances that you will get help. Hud advises that it is best to go directly to your current mortgage servicer who is the only one who can grant you a modification. If for some reason you are unable to obtain a loan modification through your mortgage company, you can apply for the federal Making Home Affordable (MHA) program for free by contacting the Homeowner's HOPE Hotline at 888-995-4673.

When it comes to identity theft protection and help on how to stop foreclosure, be sure to research the many government agencies that are there to help you. Again thank you for your visit today. Be sure to forward this article to your friends and family to help raise awareness.

Help to stop foreclosure

If you are on the verge of foreclosure and you live in Santa Ana or elsewhere in the U.S. visit the Foreclosure Avoidance Counseling site at

If you have been the victim of identity theft or other foreclosure scam, visit the Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint center at

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