Tax Foreclosure Assistance
Scams & Fraud
Before seeking foreclosure assistance, it is important to understand the following:
- There is never an up-front charge for foreclosure prevention counseling. It is always confidential and free of charge.
- Foreclosure counseling is not reported to any credit reporting agency and will not impact your credit score
- Download Take Root Milwaukee’s Warning Signs & Steps to Take When Facing Foreclosure
Predatory Lending & Mortgage Rescue Scams
Predatory lenders often target homeowners with financial challenges and who might not be award of options. They will try to take advantage of your circumstances with tactics that convince you to take a loan that will make your financial problems worse and increase the risk of losing your home. They will often offer loans with:
- Higher interest rates than the rates for which you may qualify
- Excessive loan fees
- Unnecessary costs like prepaid life insurance
- Terms that will make it very difficult or impossible for you to repay the loan
Scam artists often target homeowners who are struggling to meet their mortgage commitment or anxious to sell their home. While all homeowners are vulnerable to these scams, scam artists tend to target people of color, the elderly and those with limited English.
“Rescue” scams come in many forms – this handout from the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council lists common scams, tips to avoid them and resources.
Avoid Commons Scams
- Beware of anyone who asks you to pay a fee in exchange for lowering your interest rate or modifying other terms of your mortgage, or for other help with foreclosure prevention.
- Never make a mortgage payment to anyone other than your mortgage company without the mortgage company’s approval. And beware of anyone who tells you to stop communicating with your mortgage company.
- Beware of anyone who guarantees their help. While organizations who provide this service have experience, there is never a guarantee that foreclosure mediation will work.
- Beware of people who pressure you to sign papers immediately or who try to convince you that they can “save” your home if you sign or transfer over the deed to your house.
Foreclosure Mediation for Homeowners and Lenders
Foreclosure mediation helps homeowners facing foreclosure work with their mortgage companies through the assistance of a mediator. The mediator is a professional who understands mortgage companies’ loan modification review process and who is trained to improve communication between the parties. The mediator helps them explore options to allow the homeowner to keep the property or plan a respectable exit strategy.
Understand Racial Bias in Appraisals
From the HUD Exchange Website: Learn about racial bias in appraisals, how it negatively impacts the ability to effectively advance property appraisal and valuation equity, and how to support those impacted.
About this Learning Pathway
This Learning Pathway helps fair housing practitioners and others learn about appraisals and appraisal bias, a pervasive issue that contributes to the widening wealth gap in many communities of color across America, and how racial bias in home valuations limits the financial returns associated with homeownership, thereby contributing to the already sprawling racial wealth gap. The National Fair Housing Training Academy (NFHTA) presents this Learning Pathway in line with bold efforts detailed in the President’s Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE) Task Force Action Plan.