Attorney General Lawrence Wasden today warned Idahoans to be cautious of scam phone calls and e-mails related to the recent multistate mortgage servicer settlement. Citizens throughout the country have reported to the multistate group that they have been contacted by callers claiming to have a list of consumers who are eligible for money from the settlement. The caller asks for the consumer’s bank account number, supposedly so the caller can deposit the money directly into the consumer’s bank account. Some callers have reportedly posed as bank employees or as third-settlement administrators.
“Consumers should never give their bank account or credit card numbers to someone who calls them,” Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. “The people and organizations who are part of this settlement will never call asking for a borrower’s bank account number.”
Internet ads or scam telemarketers may also offer, for a fee, to help borrowers obtain loan modifications through the national settlement. Charging consumers for loan modification services is unlawful under the Idaho Consumer Protection Act. Similarly, borrowers should not pay a third party to participate in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s Independent Foreclosure Review, which the OCC extended through July 31, 2012.
“Borrowers do not need to pay anyone to receive assistance with loan modification or refinancing programs,” Wasden said. “Information about the settlement is available through my office and directly from the participating servicers.”
Telephone numbers for the participating servicers are posted on the Attorney General’s settlement website at www.ag.idaho.gov. Borrowers can submit questions about the settlement to the Attorney General via an online form.
Homeowners who are having financial difficulties should contact their servicers or speak to a HUD-approved housing counselor as soon as possible. To locate a counselor, homeowners can call 888-995-HOPE. Consumers also can obtain a copy of the Attorney General’s foreclosure prevention manual from his website or by calling the Consumer Protection Division at 208-334-2424. Homeowners may call the Attorney General’s housing specialist at 208-334-4536 if they have foreclosure questions or if they are having difficulties with their loan servicers.