Refinancing one’s mortgage for more affordable monthly payments often enables a homeowner to retain their property. If you are considering this option, BBB suggests you shop around, compare prices and negotiate. But also move with caution when dealing with some lenders.
Common schemes designed to lower your available cash, not your interest rate include:
Direct mail solicitations often tout the Obama administration’s mortgage relief programs such as HARP or Making Home Affordable Plan. These solicitations often make exaggerated claims of savings, bear symbols which appear to represent government agencies and create a sense of urgency by stating “limited time offers.”
False mortgage refinancing ads can be found on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. These ads make phony claims of being sponsored by government rescue programs. They may include a website link directing you to an “online refinance center.” Many of these bogus sites request personal identifying information or may require upfront fees, which are not only illegal, but can result in hundreds of dollars being paid for a service never delivered.
To help you decide if refinancing is for you and to help you prepare to approach a financial institution, BBB offers these tips.