FTC Halts “Preferred” Mortgage Relief Scam

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Behind on your mortgage and looking for help? Check out these tips and learn how to avoid mortgage relief scams.

If you’re hiring a company to stop foreclosure or reduce your mortgage payments, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t pay an up-front fee. Unless they’re attorneys following specific rules, it’s illegal for companies to charge you until they’ve negotiated a loan modification and you’ve accepted it. So, don’t pay them until they fulfill their promise.
  • If a company claims attorneys will be helping you, check it out. Make sure they’re licensed to practice law in your state. Some companies falsely claim to be working with attorneys to get your business and charge fees in advance.
  • Beware of companies that tell you to stop contacting your lender. You should always feel free to contact your lender directly to see whether they can offer you additional options. Companies that tell you otherwise are breaking the law.
  • Find free, reliable mortgage assistance. To contact a free, HUD-approved housing counselor, visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or call the Homeownership Preservation Foundation's national 24/7 toll-free hotline, 888-995-HOPE. An independent, non-profit counselor can help you understand your situation, identify your options, and try to find an alternative to foreclosure.

The FTC just sued Preferred Law, PLLC, ten interrelated companies, and three individuals, alleging that they made false promises of mortgage assistance. Why? The FTC says the companies claimed a nearly perfect success rate, promised that their attorneys would prevent foreclosure and get loan modifications to reduce consumers’ mortgage payments, and misrepresented that they were affiliated with the government or customers’ lenders.

What really happened? According to the FTC, after customers paid fees, the companies usually did not get mortgage loan modifications. People lost money – and in some cases, their homes too. In response to the FTC’s complaint, the Court shut down the companies and froze their assets. The FTC has asked the Court to extend this relief until trial.

For more information about avoiding mortgage relief scams, read our Mortgage Relief Scams article. If you’re the victim of a mortgage relief scam, report it to the FTC.

Note: This post was updated on February 1, 2018 to clarify that the 888-995-HOPE hotline is operated by the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (which is a nonprofit member of the HOPE NOW alliance of mortgage companies, counseling agencies, and other mortgage market participants).

 

Tagged with: home, loan, mortgage, scam

Comments

Thank you for your success with this awful company behavior. We lease our home; yet we continued to receive emails from the companies that are behind this scam. I was receiving up to 3-4 emails from these companies that would be sent to my junk folder. Nevertheless, I still had to be bothered by this obvious scam, if only to clear up my junk folder that has other types of exactly the same type of scams; and I am especially offended by the amount of porn that I receive in my junk folder too.

Happy for the people who you have helped with this issue. You have helped me on a few occasions with my specific problems. I hope that more people are receiving your email messages. You have been our heroes with our problems.

All the best,
Shambala

Stop all

I know it's not a happy ending for those that bought into these scammer's stories, but I love it when y'all catch the bad guys, close them down, and freeze their assets. Wherever there are people in trouble, there will always be those willing to give them a hand for a big price, and thank you FTC for being tireless and vigilant!

Thank you

how come its never that illegal county court and Jim Hood of Mississippi and after the judge order the damn federal lawyers steal all the money

We hired a contractor to repair the roof July 2016 and had not done the job.He was paid 4,980 and we dont know what to do as of now.

You could contact your state Attorney General, or the licensing office in your city or county.

My cousin paid an attorney $5,000 and did not get a loan modification. I did my own loan modification and saved a lot of money. Of course it took nine months but it was worth it. The loan went from $700,000 to $300,000.

thats. what I need. a principal reduction. I have paid. Owen. for. a home. 650.000 already. and its. only. worth. 300,000 They. want. a loan modification. for 475,000. They never. know why you are calling and can never. pull up anything on your. account. I. am not. going. to. do another. modification for. 475,000 please. contact me. and let me know how you did it , michwonders

Thank you

We had a similar circumstance happen while trying to have our mortgage modified, who would I talk with about this’s am that seem to go on forever with only more and more things needed in triplicate. Please contact at

We can't print your personal email on the blog, or contact you directly.

Read the FTC article about Mortgage Relief Scams to understand how different scams work. Read about your rights. If you think you are being scammed, please report it to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. 

If you want to talk to an independent, counselor from a non-profit agency, go online to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or call HOPE NOW’s national 24/7 toll-free hotline, 888-995-HOPE. A counselor can help you understand your situation, tell you about options, and try to find an alternative to foreclosure.

I am concern on this woman which I have been reading testimonies from several people on how she granted them a personal loan with running their credit is this a scam

Thanks for the information this is very good to know. Especially the part "it’s illegal for companies to charge you until they’ve negotiated a loan modification and you’ve accepted it."

Thank you so much.I have a lot scam emails.

nice

scary stuff righ there

Thank you so much blocking these aggravating calls. They call at all hours of the day up til about 8pm. I received 11 calls from the same number in one day. Keep up the good work very much appreciated.

(10)Fraudulent companies, Thank u for your assistance in this matter. KEEP up the GOOD work, FTC,...another 1 bites the dust. I'm sure they didn't expect you to freeze their assets....

I got burnt for $4,000 by Preferred Law - any way to get money back? Class Action?

You can report your loss to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint. The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC  uses for investigations.

To contact a free, HUD-approved housing counselor, visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or call the Homeownership Preservation Foundation's national 24/7 toll-free hotline, 888-995-HOPE. An independent, non-profit counselor can help you understand your situation, identify your options, and try to find an alternative to foreclosure.

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