Credit repair or foreclosure prevention? Never pay an upfront fee

The Federal Trade Commission says that more people than ever are being scammed by crooks who demand an upfront fee to repair your credit or modify your mortgage and never deliver what they promised.    In fact from 2008 to 2009, complaints received at the FTC on schemes like this more than doubled, from 17,000 to 41,000.

There is nothing complicated about the scam.  You need to get your mortgage modified, or your credit repaired, and you answer an ad from someone who looks quite legitimate.  They sound knowledgeable and claim they have helped hundreds (or thousands) of people in situations similar to yours.  All you have to do is write them a check.

Don’t do it.  They will cash your check, and if they do anything at all, they will never give you what they promised.  Your situation will be the same and you will be out whatever they charged you.

Instead of getting scammed, try one if the many government approved counselors who will work with you for nothing to prevent foreclosure and modify your mortgage.  A list of local counselors is available from HUD .  You can also get names of approved  counseling organizations from the Hope website or by calling the HOPE HOTLINE at 888-995-4673.  You can also call 1-877-894-HOME (1-877-894-4663).  The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation does this work too.

If you are right up against it, consult a bankruptcy attorney.  They can put a halt on things to give you time to work them out.

If credit repair is your problem, try a Consumer Credit Counseling Service agency.  You can get the name of your local non-profit service from the National Foundation for Credit Counceling.

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