Los Angeles Times recently published an article that outlines a mortgage scam currently affecting residents across the United States. According to reports by the United States government, the individuals running the scam are selecting current homeowners to whom they are sending letters. The letter explains that the homeowner’s loan payment needs to be mailed to a new address. The new location is not a legitimate company, but rather an address that gets the check to the scammers.
Those who have been affected by the scam may not recognize they have been scammed until months after sending payments to the false address. Often times, the discovery didn’t come until the actual lender contacted the homeowner and explained they had defaulted on their payment. By this time, the homeowner may have already sent several payments to the fake company.
There are times when a lender’s address does changes. Therefore, homeowners should take time to review any requests they receive regarding their payments to identify their authenticity. If the notification is legitimate, the lender will include the loan account number. If this information isn’t present, it is a good indicator that the request may be false.
One other red flag is if the letter is the only form of communication. Genuine requests are usually followed by another package within a week’s time. The package typically includes the homeowner’s payment structure, principal details, and unique escrow details.
Authorities have recommended that if a homeowner is unsure about a request, they should contact the lender directly to verify the request.