Avoiding Foreclosure

Are you having difficulty keeping your mortgage current? Don’t panic, there are resources that may help you keep your home. Don’t wait—contact your mortgage representative!

  • You are regularly late (1 – 15 days) in making your payments
  • You are experiencing financial hardship (such as loss of income or medical problems) and worried that you will fall behind on your payments
  • You have received a letter from the mortgage servicer notifying that you are in default on the loan
  • The loan amount is adjusting and you will be unable to pay the increased payment

Woman on Phone

Avoid Foreclosure Scams

Be alert for foreclosure “rescue” offers! A typical story involves a homeowner who behind on the mortgage who is contacted by an individual or company offering to “refinance” the house or buy it to rent back to the family, promising (verbally) that it can be repurchased at a later date. The desperate homeowner unknowingly signs away the deed in a stack of paperwork, forfeiting all ownership rights without and right to repurchase.

The Maryland Attorney General’s office advises to beware if an individual or company:

  • Calls itself a “mortgage consultant,” “foreclosure service,” “foreclosure specialist” or something similar;
  • Contacts or advertises to people whose homes are listed for foreclosure, including anyone who sends flyers, mailers or solicits door-to-door;
  • Requires a fee before providing services to you, including offers to negotiate with your lender to delay foreclosure;
  • Offers to pay your mortgage and rent your home back to you;
  • Tells you to make your home mortgage payments directly to someone other than your lender without the lender’s prior approval (even if they promise to pass on the payments to the lender);
  • Tells you to transfer your property deed or title to the company.

Discussion in an Office Setting

Avoid Mortgage Rescue Scams and Fraud

  • Look for only these trusted sources that use the word HOPE in their name or advertising such as Maryland HOPE Initiative (877-462-7555), and Baltimore Homeownerhip Preservation Coalition (888-995-HOPE).
  • Never give your social security number or discuss personal financial information over the phone.
  • If an offer sounds too good to be true – it probably is!
  • Do not make a verbal agreement. Get all promises in writing and get full copies.
  • Do not sign a contract under pressure. Take the time to read and understand the contents of any paper that you are asked to sign.
  • Get expert legal and tax advice from trusted sources.
  • Do not pay your mortgage to someone other than your lender without the lender’s prior written approval.
  • Do not sign anything with blank lines or spaces. Information could be added later without your knowledge or consent.
  • Check the current license status, credentials, reputation and experience of any person or company that you may use, including people who claim to be real estate salespersons, financial counselors, mortgage lenders and brokers, title companies, and attorneys.

The following agencies all have information and resources to help struggling homeowners.