Financially Strapped Homeowner Duped Out Of $1700 By Loan Modification Scam That Utilized Official-Looking Letter Simulated To Be From, Or Approved By, HUD
In West Palm Beach, Florida, WPEC-TV Channel 12 reports:
- CBS 12 has helped uncover details about an emerging mortgage scam that's being viewed as a cruel cash stealing system.
This type of fraud attacks a homeowner when they're at their weakest point and feel like they're cornered with nowhere to turn.
Lake Park resident Annette Coates doesn't just feel like she's been scammed out of thousands of dollars, it’s something much deeper, more like a personal attack on her and the home she's has lived in for over 20 years.
It all started earlier this year when a letter landed in her mailbox. Coates admits she, like many, has fallen on hard times and tell us she had not made a mortgage payment on her house for a year and a half. Foreclosure notifications started to pile up.
The fine print on this letter says if Annette would shell out two payments of $1,700 that the warnings of foreclosure would stop. The letter she received appears to be certified by the “United States Department of Housing and Urban Development” ((HUD)).
All good right?
Well looks can be deceiving and this is where the scam rears its ugly head into the picture.
The phone number on the letter is bogus, a clear sign something was fishy, the letter was a smokescreen for fake company pretending to be HUD. It was too late to stop the scam; Annette had already sent the first payment of $1,700 to some unknown PO Box in California.
Her money that she thought she was using to end foreclosure notifications quickly landed in the hands of a scammer who used a devious way to make a quick buck.
We called up the legitimate officials with HUD speaking with public affairs specialist Brian Sullivan.
Sullivan confirmed that the document had fraud written all over it, he then described how these phony companies trick a weak homeowner into forking of big bucks that they will never see again. In this case Annette’s foreclosure process fell into the wrong hands.