As the housing market recovers, many homeowners in Nebraska continue to struggle to identify ways to reduce their monthly mortgage payments. These folks are prime targets for scammers pushing home loan modifications. Barbara Floyd Jones is the senior manager with National Homeownership Programs and says there are only two ways to go about this.
Floyd Jones says, “You should first work with your lender. Your lender is the entity that approves the modification so you should start there. Second, you should reach out to a HUD approved counseling agency. They have a wealth of information and also know about local programs that may not be available through the lender.”
Do not pay any money before you confirm a loan modification has been approved by your lender. Attorneys may charge fees but the funds must be placed in a client trust account. Do not stop paying your mortgage or talking to your lender. Being told to stop paying or to send payments to anyone besides the lender is a sign of a scam.
Floyd Jones says also avoid companies that offer “official government” loan modifications. They are more than likely a scam. Again, contact your lender or a HUD approved counseling agency at 1-800-995-HOPE to see if you are eligible for federal programs like HAMP or HARP, which end in December of 2016.