Are you facing foreclosure or mortgage payments you may not be able to afford? Here’s some useful advice to help you:
Do's and Don'ts
DO call your lender or servicer the moment you think there might be a future problem with paying your mortgage on time. The lender or servicer is the first person you should talk to. They deal with these situations every day. They may not charge a fee to modify your loan if you are eligible and qualified. Check out additional information from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) "Contact Your Lender to Avoid Foreclosure" web page.
DO call the Arizona Mortgage Foreclosure Help Line (1-877-448-1211) for a FREE bilingual connection to an Arizona counselor trained to assist you in working with your lender to modify your loan. Or get contact information about counseling agencies from the HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies web page.
DO walk away from anyone that wants you to pay an upfront fee for their help. Again, get help from a trained counselor from HUD at 1-877-448-1211, or from the HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies web page.
DO be wary of anyone who says they can save your home if you will simply deed it over to them. Signing your home over to anyone can quickly lead to the loss of your home.
DO contact your lender immediately to implement a "work out" program or a plan, if you fall behind on your mortgage payment. If you cannot bring your mortgage payments current, think about selling your home and keeping the equity you have built up.
DO get promises in writing. Oral promises are not legally binding.
DO NOT pay an upfront fee for loan modification services.
DO NOT sign documents with blank spaces or blank documents.
DO NOT sign any documents that you do not understand.
DO NOT ignore lender "warning letters."
DO NOT sign over your deed without consulting a trusted expert.
DO NOT file for bankruptcy to keep your home without first contacting a lawyer, it may stop foreclosure temporarily but eventually the bankruptcy court may allow your lender to foreclose. Beware of scam artists who file for bankruptcy in your name without you knowing, to temporarily stop foreclosure and give you the impression that they are negotiating a new payment with your lender on your behalf.
If you think you are a victim of a foreclosure rescue scam or a mortgage loan modification company, you should fill out the online complaint form with the Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions ("DIFI") Financial Consumer Assistance Section.
If you believe you have been the victim of consumer fraud, you should first contact the company in writing and specifically request the relief that you feel is appropriate. It is often best to file your complaint directly with a state or federal agency charged with regulating the person or business who is the subject of your complaint. In addition to filing a complaint directly with the regulatory agency, you can also "File a Consumer Complaint" online with the Arizona Attorney General's Office.