Do's and Don'ts
DO call your lender or servicer the minute you think there might be a future problem with paying your mortgage on time. The lender or servicer is the first person you should talk to. They deal with these situations every day. They may not charge a fee to modify your loan if you are eligible and qualified.
DO call the Arizona Mortgage Foreclosure Help Line (1-877-448-1211) for a FREE bilingual connection to an Arizona counselor trained to assist you in working with your lender to modify your loan. Or visit them on the web at: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm
DO walk away from anyone that wants you to pay an upfront fee for their help. Call 1-877-448-1211 or click here to see a list of HUD-approved free counselors throughout the State.
DO be wary of anyone who says they can save your home if you will simply deed it over to them. Signing your home over to anyone can quickly lead to the loss of your home.
DO Contact your lender immediately to implement a "work out" program or a plan, if you fall behind on your mortgage payment. If you cannot bring your mortgage payments current, think about selling your home and keeping the equity you have built up.
DO get promises in writing. Oral promises are not legally binding.
DO NOT pay an upfront fee for loan modification services.
DO NOT sign documents with blank spaces or blank documents.
DO NOT sign any documents that you do not understand.
DO NOT ignore lender "warning letters."
DO NOT sign over your deed without consulting a trusted expert.
DO NOT file for bankruptcy to keep your home without first contacting a lawyer, it may stop foreclosure temporarily but eventually the bankruptcy court may allow your lender to foreclose. Beware of scam artists who file for bankruptcy in your name without you knowing, to temporarily stop foreclosure and give you the impression that they are negotiating a new payment with your lender on your behalf.
On February 9, 2012, a joint state-federal settlement was reached between Arizona and 48 other states, the federal government and the country’s five largest residential mortgage loan servicers – Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citibank, JPmorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. For more information please see the Arizona Attorney General’s Mortgage Settlements and Foreclosure Resource Center.
If you think you are a victim of a foreclosure rescue scam or a mortgage loan modification company, you should fill out and sign a formal written complaint form with the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions ("DFI")http://www.azdfi.gov/Consumers/Complaints/Complaints.html
If you believe you have been the victim of consumer fraud, you should first contact the company in writing and specifically request the relief that you feel is appropriate. It is often best to file your complaint directly with a state or federal agency charged with regulating the person or business who is the subject of your complaint. In addition to filing a complaint directly with the regulatory agency, you can also file a complaint online with the Arizona Attorney General's Office.