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Mortgage/Foreclosure Rescue Scams & Fraud

Foreclosure Rescue Scams

  • Did you know that state and federal laws prohibit people from charging you for help with foreclosure prevention, or with lowering your interest rate? Collecting your money first, before help is provided, is illegal and a scam.
  • 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, the scam artists are especially targeting people of color and people with limited English skills.
  • To report a suspected rescue scam and investigate whether you can get your money back, notify the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council at 414-278-1240.  There is no charge for the Fair Housing Council's help.
  • "Rescue" scams come in many forms - this handout from the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council lists common scams, tips to avoid them and resources. 
  • Read more about "rescue" scams and how they impact people here: "Foreclosure rescue scams often target Latinos" (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 4/28/14)

Recognize & Avoid Common Scams

  • Beware of anyone who asks you to pay a fee in exchange for lowering your interest rate or modifying other terms of your morgage, or for other help with foreclosure prevention.
  • Never make your 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 morgage company.
  • Beware of anyone who guarantees their help.
  • 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.
  • Learn about recent success stories of consumers who got some of their money back, with assistance from the Metro Milwaukee Fair Housing Council: Click here

Predatory Lending Schemes & Fraud

Predatory lenders often target homeowners with financial challenges and who may not understand their 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.

Predatory lenders 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

If you are in a financial crisis or facing foreclosure make sure you work with a reputable nonprofit organization.  Fraudulent schemes offered by predatory lenders often sound good, but ultimately their goal is to take your home, not help you keep it. 

If you think may have gotten a predatory loan, or would like advice about the appropriateness of a loan you are considering, please call the the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council at 414-278-1240.

© 2010 Take Root Milwaukee. Take Root is a service mark of Freddie Mac.

The consumer information on TakeRootMilwaukee.org is used with permission from Freddie Mac. Freddie Mac offers extensive, regularly updated consumer information about buying and owning a home on its website, www.FreddieMac.com, in the “About Homeownership” section. Freddie Mac is not responsible for content errors or omissions on TakeRootMilwaukee.org.

The funding source of this activity is the Milwaukee Homeownership Consortium and Freddie Mac.