On July 23rd, the VA issued a Consumer fraud alert and published tips for avoiding VA home loan scams. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs launched a public campaign to combat this type of fraud. Patrick Brick, Carolyn Hahn, and Alberto Planas of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) suggested some tips for spotting and avoiding VA home loan scams.
“Many service members, Veterans and military spouses have been receiving fraudulent calls and mailers from companies who claim to be affiliated with the government, VA, or their home loan servicer. These calls or mailers often try to sway you to refinance your home, agree to a loan modification, or pay your loan via purchased money orders. They may also try to convince you that your home is facing foreclosure” the CFPB said.
Ten tips to watch for VA home loan scams
The CFPB suggests to be wary of any individual or lender that contacts you and asks or tells you any of the following:
- Asks you to pay fees upfront before receiving any services
- Tells you to cancel your mortgage payment and resend the funds elsewhere
- Asks you to make your mortgage payment via money order or gift cards
- Tells you to make mortgage payments to someone other than your current loan servicer
- Asks you to stop making mortgage payments altogether
- Represents that they’re calling on behalf of VA or another agency of the U.S. government
- Guarantees to get you a loan modification or stop the foreclosure process
- Asks you to sign over the title to your property
- Pressures you to sign papers you haven’t had a chance to read thoroughly or that you don’t understand
- Or other unusual offers or requests
Mortgage companies like ours, are not affiliated with any government agencies, including the VA or CFPB. Here at Fairway, we are proud to be a mortgage company that helps our Service Members and Veterans achieve the American Dream of homeownership. We help them do that by getting home loans backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA, that ) provide affordable home financing options for eligible Service Members, Veterans and surviving spouses.
To protect yourself, the team at the CFPB says, “Never give out personal information to a lender or servicer who contacts you out of the blue. Scammers can spoof phone numbers, so you can’t rely on caller identification. If you’re unsure, it’s always safer to hang up and call your loan servicer directly at the number on your mortgage statement.”
What to do if you’re the target of a scam
If you believe you’ve spotted a scam, the CFPB wants you to “first file a complaint with your State Attorney General’s Office . You should also report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint .”
What to do if you can’t make your mortgage payment
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic many Americans are facing financial insecurity. The CFPB says they can help, “If you can’t pay your mortgage or are worried about missing a mortgage payment, you have options. The first thing to do is call your mortgage servicer. Learn the steps to take, relief options, and places to go to get help with your mortgage.
Use our checklist for more information on how to avoid foreclosure.
You can also visit the VA website or call a VA Regional Loan Center at 1-877-872-3702 for more information.”
If you are interested in a VA loan, please contact your local Fairway mortgage professional.