Rumors that interest rates may rise soon have some homeowners looking to refinance. Scammers are taking advantage of this interest by fooling homeowners with false promises and upfront fees.
How the Scam Works:
You receive an email, phone call or flyer offering you a great deal on refinancing your home. The company may promise you a low "guaranteed" interest rate or inform you that you qualify for a special program. With refinancing, they say, you could lower your mortgage payments by hundreds of dollars a month.
There's one big catch! The "company" needs you to pay a upfront in order to lock in your rate, sometimes as much as thousands of dollars. Once you hand over the payment, the "company" vanishes with your money.
Tips to Spot a Mortgage Scam:
Mortgage refinance scams take many forms. While the scam above can affect any homeowner, many con artists specifically prey on those who have fallen behind on payments or are underwater on their mortgages. Watch out for these signs.
If you need help:
If you are having trouble paying your mortgage or want to discuss refinancing options, contact your current lender first. The customer service number will be on your monthly statement.
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