Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Reporting Scams: One Important Thing Victimized Homeowners Should Do

By Marietta Rodriguez,
Director, National Homeownership Programs and Lending, NeighborWorks America

"Where do I report a loan modification scam? How do I file a complaint against a foreclosure rescue company?" Unfortunately, many homeowners have asked these questions when they realize the company that was supposed to help them actually scammed them instead.

Knowing the signs of a scam is critical, but reporting a scam is just as important for homeowners who believe they have been victimized. Whether they have been scammed or just approached by a scammer, homeowners should fight back and report these scam artists to authorities.

But many homeowners decide not to report. Why? They have used words like embarrassed, humiliated, and ashamed to explain why they didn't come forward. But remember, reporting scams to authorities is one of the best ways to get more scammers off the street and protect others. The higher the number of reports filed against a scam company, the better the chances that scammer can be out of business. Just last month, the North Carolina Attorney General announced that another foreclosure rescue company has been shut down.

The Loan Scam Alert website has four easy ways to report a scam:

  • By calling the Homeowner’s Hope Hotline: 1-888-995-HOPE (4673)
  • By filing a complaint online through the Loan Scam Prevention Network.
  • By calling the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or submitting the complaint online.
  • By contacting the state Attorney General or another local.

Homeowners can report the scams in multiple languages, too. Please visit and report these scams!