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N.H. AG warns of mortgage/foreclosure rescue scams

CONCORD — Unfortunately, during this time when many New Hampshire homeowners are struggling with their mortgages or facing foreclosure, there are unscrupulous scam artists advertising on the Internet, through the mail and elsewhere seeking to take advantage of homeowners in desperate financial straits. 

Many of these mortgage/foreclosure rescue schemes promise assistance in getting the foreclosure or auction stopped or postponed. They may also promise assistance in getting your lender to modify or refinance your loan. 

They often create legitimate looking websites, letterheads and comforting telephone voices. All too frequently, they request a fee in advance before they will assist you. They may also offer complicated schemes, which result in obtaining the deed to your home and you paying "rent" to them. 

Too often, however, they simply take your "rent" and fail to make any payments to the lender. This can result in the loss of the "rent," foreclosure on your property, and the bank seeking to collect the deficiency balance on your loan from you, personally.

Beware of anyone seeking to charge you in advance for mortgage modification services-in most cases, charging fees in advance for a mortgage modification is illegal under state and federal law.

In the wake of media reports regarding the national settlement with the five largest mortgage servicers in the country, scam and con artists may seek to take advantage of homeowners who may legitimately be eligible for benefits under this settlement. 

The servicers involved in this settlement will not require an advance fee in connection with determining whether you are eligible for any benefits under the settlement. Furthermore, only your servicer has the discretion to grant a loan modification. 

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