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My neighbor received a call from a mortgage relief agency who said they could help prevent a foreclosure for a fee. I suggested they check into the company first and consider government programs. Was this good advice?

Yes. Homeowners struggling to make payments on their mortgages and other debts should beware of con artists and scams that promise to save their homes and eliminate their debts.

Scammers may call themselves foreclosure or mortgage consultants and may use public notices or lists of distressed borrowers purchased from private companies to find their targets. Scammers may advertise that they can "prevent" foreclosures or "rescue" desperate homeowners from foreclosure. They may email, call, or even visit distressed borrowers.

Financially troubled homeowners can avoid foreclosure prevention scams by working with housing counselors approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Assistance from HUD-approved housing counselors is free and available at an interactive voice system at (800) 569-4287 or at a housing counseling agency near you.

Last Reviewed: October 2020

Please note: The terms "bank" and "banks" used in these answers generally refer to national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches or agencies of foreign banking organizations that are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Find out if the OCC regulates your bank. Information provided on HelpWithMyBank.gov should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion of the OCC.

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