In today's economy, homeowners are often looking for financial assistance in a variety of ways. As real estate prices have fluctuated across the country, and unemployment rates have become more of a factor, homeowners are turning to options that can help alleviate some of their burdens, such as a loan modification. Two Florida men were recently convicted of charges related to defrauding homeowners who were interested in the loan modification option.
The two men were defrauding homeowners while operating a company called Home Owners Protection Economics, Inc. The company promised homeowners that a loan modification could be obtained by utilizing their program. HOPE charged each homeowner a fee and then sent them a do-it-yourself packet of information. The homeowners were then expected to fill out all of the paperwork on their own but received no extra benefit from HOPE.
HOPE advertised itself as a non-profit organization that could guarantee a modification to the homeowner's loan through the Home Affordable Modification Program. However, most of the homeowners who applied for the loan modification had their applications denied. The two men were convicted on a variety of charges, including wire fraud and conspiracy, and their sentencing has been scheduled for a later date.
Many times it is difficult to recognize a cleverly disguised scheme when a person is desperate for assistance. In this case, these two Florida men preyed off the hope of homeowners who wanted a legitimate loan modification, as the application process with HAMP can be intimidating for many homeowners. Homeowners may benefit from assistance in navigating the process of applying for a loan modification in order to avoid a devastating foreclosure. Further, it would be beneficial to research how to prevent being taken advantage of in fraudulent schemes, and to know one's rights in such an incident.
Source: florida.realestaterama.com, Two Florida Men Convicted of Defrauding Homeowners in Home Loan Modification Scam, No author, Nov. 8, 2013