By:The Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the U.S. Department of the Treasury
Armed Services Mortgage Fraud Alert
Mortgage modification fraud schemes targeting struggling homeowners and which exploit the federal Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) have become increasingly common, and members of the Armed Services community struggling to make their mortgage payments should beware of con artists and scams that promise to save their homes and lower their mortgage debt or payments.
For servicemembers having trouble paying their mortgage, free help is available. Advice from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-approved housing counselors is always FREE, as are mortgage modifications under HAMP. In most cases, charging fees in advance for a mortgage modification is illegal. HUD-approved housing counselors can help you avoid scams and better understand your options.
Consumer Fraud Alert – For tips on how to identify and avoid mortgage modification scams and to view the Consumer Fraud Alert issued by the HAMP Mortgage Modification Fraud Taskforce, visit www.SIGTARP.gov/documents/Consumer_Fraud_Alert.pdf.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – If you are an active-duty servicemember or veteran and have a VA loan, call the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at 1-877-827-3702 or visit the Loan Guaranty Service Home Loan Program Web site at www.HomeLoans.VA.gov.
Making Home Affordable Program – For free mortgage-related advice and assistance from HUD-approved housing counselors or to apply for HAMP, call the Homeowner’s HOPE™
Hotline at 1-888-995-HOPE (1-888-995-4673) or visit http://www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov. You can apply to HAMP on your own or with free help from a HUD-approved housing counselor. Applying to HAMP is always FREE.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – For additional help and more information about mortgages, dial 1-855-411-2372 or visit www.ConsumerFinance.gov/mortgagehelp.
Fannie Mae – If your mortgage is owned by Fannie Mae, for help and more information, dial 1-800-7Fannie or visit www.FannieMae.com/portal/helping-homeowners-communities/veterans-outreach.html.
Freddie Mac – If your mortgage is owned by Freddie Mac, for help and more information, dial 1-800-Freddie (option 2) or visit www.FreddieMac.com/avoidforeclosure/military_assistance.html.
U.S. Department of Agriculture – If your mortgage was issued by the USDA, for help and more information, contact the Centralized Servicing Center at 1-800-414-1226 or visit RDHomeLoans.USDA.gov.
Federal Housing Administration – If your mortgage is insured by FHA, for help and more information, contact the National Servicing Center at 1-877-622-8525 or visit www.HUD.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/nsc/nschome.cfm.
Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program – If you believe that you or someone you know has been a victim of a mortgage modification scam exploiting HAMP, dial the SIGTARP Hotline at 1-877-744-2009 or visit http://www.SIGTARP.gov/pages/hotline.aspx to submit a tip, which can be done anonymously.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – To report mortgage modification issues unrelated to HAMP, visit Help.ConsumerFinance.gov/app/mortgage/ask to submit a complaint.
The Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program investigates fraud, waste, and abuse in connection with TARP.
If you suspect that you may have been a victim of a mortgage modification scam related to HAMP or to report other suspected illicit activity involving TARP, dial the SIGTARP Hotline: 1-877-SIG-2009 (1-877-744-2009).
To receive alerts about quarterly reports, new audits, and media releases issued by SIGTARP, sign up at www.SIGTARP.gov/pages/press.aspx
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives. For more information, visit the CFPB Web site at www.ConsumerFinance.gov.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s mission is to maintain a strong economy and create economic and job opportunities by promoting the conditions that enable economic growth and stability at home and abroad, strengthen national security by combating threats and protecting the integrity of the financial system, and manage the U.S. Government’s finances and resources effectively. Treasury administers the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) which is designed to help homeowners prevent avoidable foreclosures.