Homeowners cautioned about new mortgage scam

For homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payments, an offer to lower their monthly bills no doubt can sound pretty enticing.

NM AG OFFICE 01-28-14That’s the response scam artists count upon when they periodically roll out these schemes — and they now appear to be surfacing again in New Mexico.

On Thursday, Attorney General Gary King issued a warning to homeowners to beware of mailings and telephone calls that promise mortgage relief — in return for sending money in advance, of course.

Using terms such as loan “reinstatement” or “payment reduction notification,” the fraudsters promise to restructure mortgages in return for payments made to a bogus “US Recovery Program” or “Legal Department” in Long Beach, Calif.

So far, at least two New Mexico homeowners have fallen victim to this scheme, including one person who lost roughly $7,000, according to the AG’s office.

Homeowners are advised never to give money to anyone other than their mortgage lender or the company servicing their loan. In most cases, it’s also illegal for an individual or company to request an up-front fee for a loan modification program.

For more information or to report a scam attempt, consumers are asked to call Assistant Attorney General David Kramer at 505-222-9000 or the Consumer Protection Division at 505-222-9100.

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