The Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF), which provides information and financial education for homeownership, has partnered with NeighborWorks America, HUD, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law to help prevent foreclosure-rescue scams.
HPF and its partners are positioning the Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline (1-888-995-HOPE) Hotline as a central point of contract for homeowners who think they may be a victim of a scam. The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit foundation warns that homeowners may be unaware that their foreclosure information is publicly available, so they are often victimized by unscrupulous companies conducting mortgage loan modification and foreclosure rescue scams.
According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the most active scheme involves individuals or companies charging a fee for services not rendered. Other scams involve advance-fee loan modification and sales-leaseback schemes.
“One of the most devastating aspects of the current financial crisis for homeowners is the prospect of losing their homes to foreclosure, and to add to their distress, many homeowners have fallen victim to foreclosure help scams,” said Colleen Hernandez, CEO of HPF.
The hotline team is trained specifically to take information on reported foreclosure scams and work with homeowners to address any financial issues. The information is then used by local, state, and federal agencies to shut down these organizations.
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