WASHINGTON – Sept. 29, 2011 – Some homeowners are tricked into a forensic loan audit – a new scam that targets struggling owners who hope a loan modification can save their home from foreclosure.
Several organizations popped up in the last two years. The usually link themselves to attorney and auditor organizations, and offer forensic loan audits. The Federal Trade Commission and Better Business Bureau say complaints about these “loan audit” companies have skyrocketed since the beginning of the year.
In the scam, the organizations say they’ll review a homeowner’s mortgage documents to determine whether the lender complied with state and federal lending laws. They then promise to get the homeowner a quick loan modification, and possibly a principal reduction, on their mortgage. Homeowners pay an upfront fee – usually about $3,000.
However, homeowners say that they aren’t getting a loan modification and usually nothing happens after the audit, even after loan document errors are discovered.
“They lure consumers to believe that by hiring them for a review of a loan modification package, they can expedite the process and get better results, or they make false promises that they can get a loan mod or principal reduction,” says Josh Fuhrman, FTC’s senior vice president of community affairs. “Homeowners are not typically getting any results. [Scammers] are just stringing [homeowners] along, or they disappear.”
Source: “Home Owners Beware: Forensic Loan Audit Scam,” AOL Real Estate (Sept. 26, 2011)
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