According to the Minnesota Association of Realtors we have a new set of
scams that are hurting our already flooded homeowners.
Recently we found out that we can refinance under a new program called the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). This is a program set up to help homeowners whose homes are mortgaged for more than they are currently worth. Often we call this “underwater”. Anyway, as with all new programs it has brought out a gaggle of scammers hoping to take your money.
If you suspect you have been scammed or have tried to be scammed please report this activity to the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org/us/scam-source).
If you are considering applying for this new mortgage remember to work directly with your lender and do not pay anyone except that mortgage company. Do not pay upfront fees for counseling, lawyers or be conned into believing that someone can help you stop the foreclosure process. These are typical scammer games that can cost you money and possibly the very home you are trying to save. One last tip they gave that made lots of sense was to watch for very similar website addresses as these people can be sneaky. Never give info over a website such as any of your private mortgage information or account information.
To find out if you might qualify for a HARP go to http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/programs/lower-rates/Pages/harp.aspx or by calling at 1-888-995-HOPE.
There is hope out there for homeowners and hopefully these tips will get you to the right space and scammers will find something else to do with their time.