BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Jan. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Mortgage foreclosure rescue fraud is on the rise, says Judith Haney, a 26-year veteran real estate appraiser.
Scam artists are thriving by advertising mortgage rescue and mortgage refinancing/restructuring services on television, in newspapers, and on "We Buy Houses" signs posted in neighborhoods, says Judith Haney.
On her website, www.judithhaney.com, Judith Haney lists the Top 10 Do's and Don'ts for homeowners who want to restructure or refinance their mortgage. Her advice includes:
1. Do work directly with your mortgage company in negotiating the terms and conditions of your current mortgage.
2. Do contact Neighborhood Works America (http://www.nw.org) if you need assistance. Alabama homeowners should contact Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. at 205-328-4292 or Community Service Programs of West Alabama, Inc at 205-752-5429x231.
3. Do Not pay a fee in exchange for counseling service or modification of a delinquent loan because assistance from a HUD-approved counselor is free.
4. Do Not sign or transfer over the deed to your house to any individual or organization without discussing it with your mortgage company first.
5. Do Not make a mortgage payment to anyone other than your mortgage company.
6. Do visit Making Homes Affordable (www.makinghomesaffordable.gov) to learn more about the program and how it may help you modify the terms and conditions of your mortgage.
7. Do know the approximate value of your home before making a decision to refinance or restructure your mortgage.
8. Do file a complaint if you believe you have been a victim of a mortgage rescue scam. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) for assistance in English or Spanish.
9. Do file a complaint about any mortgage scam with your state attorney general and with your local office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
10. Do contact the Homeowner's HOPE(TM) Hotline at 1-888-995-HOPE (4673) for information about the Making Home Affordable Program and to speak with a HUD-approved housing counselor free. Assistance in English and Spanish, and other languages by appointment.
Homeowners can contact Judith Haney Certified Appraiser at the following locations: Birmingham 205-871-1181 Huntsville 256-536-0709 Montgomery 334-277-2998 Tuscaloosa 205-759-9077 Auburn 334-502-5099 Mobile 251-434-6414
SOURCE The Office of Judith Haney Certified Appraiser