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Foreclosure help is free, and scams are expensive

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If you’re having trouble paying your mortgage, we can help you get connected to a HUD-approved housing counselor at no cost to you. The counselor can help you work with your servicer or lender to try to avoid foreclosure, organize your finances, understand your mortgage options, and find a solution that works for you.

Get foreclosure help.

How to spot a scam

Mortgage loan modification scams are designed to take your money by making a false promise of saving you from foreclosure. Scammers may:

  • Ask you to pay high fees upfront to receive services,
  • Promise to get you a loan modification,
  • Ask you to sign over title to your property,
  • Ask you to sign papers that you do not understand,
  • Say you should start making payments to someone other than your servicer or lender,
  • Claim to be conducting a “forensic audit,” or
  • Tell you to stop making mortgage loan payments altogether.

Companies that offer mortgage relief services aren’t allowed to collect any fees until they give you a written offer from your servicer or lender that you decide is acceptable. A mortgage relief company must also tell you that:

  • The company is not associated with the government;
  • Your lender may not agree to modify your loan; and
  • If the company tells you to stop paying your mortgage, that you can lose your home and damage your credit.

If you think you have been scammed

File a complaint online or call us at (855) 411-CFPB (2372) from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday.

Share this with #ForeclosureHelpIsFree

It can be hard for people to talk about finances, especially if they’re in trouble. Even if you’re not facing foreclosure yourself, please share a link to this advice with your networks using the hashtag #ForeclosureHelpisFree. You’ll never know who you might be able to help.

Fair Notice on Fair Lending

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Millions of Americans rely on loans and other credit products to attend college, buy cars, purchase homes, or open businesses. For many of us, access to credit makes it possible to achieve the American Dream of a better life for ourselves and our children. All too often, credit discrimination stands in the way of this access. It keeps worthy borrowers from the tools they need to reach their financial goals.

Credit discrimination is illegal. Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), a creditor may not discriminate against you because of your race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, or age (as long as you are old enough to enter into a contract). It is also against the law for a creditor to discriminate against you because you receive public assistance income, or because you exercise in good faith any of your rights under the Consumer Credit Protection Act.

Discrimination is not always obvious. A borrower may not realize that she has been the victim of intentional discrimination on the basis of her race or sex. Moreover, lending policies that seem evenhanded can be illegal if they have a disproportionate, negative effect on a group that is protected under ECOA, such as women or seniors. Lending practices that produce these adverse effects are said to have a “disparate impact.” They are unlawful unless they meet a legitimate business need that can’t be met by an alternative that has a less disparate impact. Discrimination that disparately impacts borrowers in violation of the law hurts consumers and can threaten the economic stability of our communities. That is why the law has long recognized this form of unlawful credit discrimination.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is responsible for enforcing the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. The Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity at the CFPB helps ensure that all Americans have fair, equitable, and nondiscriminatory access to credit, and we will use every tool at our disposal to protect American consumers.

Today we are giving fair notice on fair lending. We are letting both lenders and consumers know that in our examination and enforcement work, we will combat unlawful, discriminatory practices—including those that have an illegal disparate impact on protected borrowers. We will look not only at mortgage lending, but also at other types of credit including student loans, loans for cars, and credit cards.

Access to credit is critical to a successful financial future. At the CFPB, we are committed to fighting unlawful, discriminatory practices and creating a fair marketplace for all consumers.

Patrice Ficklin is the CFPB’s Assistant Director for the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity.