The foreclosure crisis that has spread across the country is producing another epidemic: mortgage modification scams that have cost desperate borrowers thousands of dollars — even their homes.
“There are devastating consequences to this fraud,” said Christy Romero, deputy special inspector general who monitors potential fraud in the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
In early December, Romero’s agency, SIGTARP, joined the U.S. Treasury Department and the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to fight scams targeting homeowners seeking mortgage modifications under the U.S. Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).
A total of $29.9 billion in TARP funds has been set aside for the federal government’s foreclosure prevention initiatives, including HAMP.
Applying for HAMP is free, as is the loan modification advice of housing counselors approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
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