Don't be a Victim of Loan Fraud

Avoid Loan FraudWhen it comes to securing a mortgage, the process can be difficult enough without having to deal with a mortgage scam or some type of loan fraud. Understanding what kinds of scams you may encounter during the lending process can help you avoid getting scammed. Knowing what to avoid when it comes to predatory lending practices and other mortgage loan fraud can provide peace of mind that you’re making the right decisions as you move forward in securing a new mortgage.

If you’re getting ready to take out a new mortgage and you have questions about the lending process, call Consolidated Credit today at 1-800-435-2261 to speak with a HUD-approved housing counselor. Our housing counselors can help you understand the mortgage lending process and what to look for so you can avoid predatory lending practices.

Protecting Yourself from Predatory Lenders

Buying or refinancing your home may be one of the most important and complex financial decisions you’ll ever make. Many lenders, appraisers, and real estate professionals stand ready to help you get a nice home and a great loan. However, you need to understand the home buying process to be a smart consumer. Every year, misinformed homebuyers, often first-time purchasers and seniors, become victims of predatory lending or loan fraud.

Don’t let predatory lenders and real estate fraudsters take advantage of you!

What is Predatory Lending?

In communities across the U.S., consumers are losing their homes and their investments because of predatory lenders, appraisers, mortgage brokers and home improvement contractors who:

What Tactics Do Predators Use?

The following list provides details about some of the most commonly used predatory lending strategies:

11 Tips for Being a Smart Consumer

The following tips can help you avoid predatory lending practices and other unethical tactics in the real estate industry:

  1. Before you buy a home, attend a homeownership education course offered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-approved, non-profit counseling agencies.
  2. Interview several real estate professionals (agents) before you start working with a realtor. Always ask for and check references before you select a realtor to help you buy or sell a home.
  3. Get information about the prices of other homes in the neighborhood. Check the average price per square foot for properties in that area. Don’t be fooled into paying too much.
  4. Hire a properly qualified and licensed home inspector to carefully inspect a property before you are obligated to buy. Determine whether you or the seller is going to be responsible for paying for the repairs. If you have to pay for the repairs, determine whether or not you can afford to make them once you buy the property.
  5. Shop for a mortgage lender and compare costs between different lenders. Be suspicious if anyone, including your realtor, tries to steer you to just one lender.
  6. Do NOT let anyone persuade you to make a false statement on your loan application, such as overstating your income, lying about the source of your down payment, failing to disclose the nature and amount of your debts, or extending the length of time you have been employed. When you apply for a mortgage loan, every piece of information that you submit must be accurate and complete. Lying on a mortgage application is fraud and may result in criminal penalties.
  7. Do NOT let anyone convince you to borrow more money than what you know you can afford to repay. If you get behind on your mortgage payments, you risk losing your house and all of the money you put into your property. You will also ruing your credit and could face severe financial distress.
  8. Never sign a blank document or a document that has any blank information. If information is inserted by someone else after you have signed, you may still be bound to the terms of the contract. Insert “N/A” (i.e., not applicable) or cross through any blanks.
  9. Read through everything on both your offer and your mortgage agreement carefully and ask ALL of the questions you have. Do not sign anything that you don’t understand! Before signing, have your contract and loan agreement reviewed by an attorney skilled in real estate law, consult with a trusted real estate professional or ask for help from a housing counselor with a HUD-approved agency. If you cannot afford an attorney, take your documents to the HUD-approved housing counseling agency near you to see if they can review the documents or if they can refer you to an attorney who will help you for free or at low cost.
  10. Be suspicious when the cost of a home improvement goes up if you don’t accept the contractor’s financing.
  11. Be honest about your intention to occupy the house. Stating that you plan to live there when, in fact, you are not (because you intend to rent the house to someone else or fix it up and resell it) violates federal law and is a crime.

"We are really proud to recommend Consolidated Credit" Kathleen Cannon, President & CEO of United Way of Broward County. Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc. is pleased to announce our partnership with the United Way as a United Way Chairman’s Circle Organization.

"We are really proud to recommend Consolidated Credit" Kathleen Cannon, President & CEO of United Way of Broward County. Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc. is pleased to announce our partnership with the United Way as a United Way Chairman’s Circle Organization.

All Consolidated Credit counselors are certified personal financial counselors (CFC) We've helped 5 million people get out of debt! Call us today and see what we can do for you.

Consolidated Credit is honored to receive the 2012 Excellence in Financial Literacy Education (EIFLE) Nonprofit Organization of the Year award. The EIFLE awards acknowledge innovation, dedication and the commitment of organizations that support financial literacy education worldwide. See what Consolidated Credit can do for you.

Consolidated Credit is honored to receive the 2012 Excellence in Financial Literacy Education (EIFLE) Nonprofit Organization of the Year award. The EIFLE awards acknowledge innovation, dedication and the commitment of organizations that support financial literacy education worldwide. See what Consolidated Credit can do for you.

The National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling are a set of guidelines for quality homeownership and counseling services. Industry professionals who adopt these standards can be trusted to provide consistent, high quality advice.
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Consolidated Credit Consulting Services, Inc. has been verified as the owner or operator of the Web site located at www.consolidatedcredit.org. Official records confirm Consolidated Credit Consulting Services, Inc. as a valid business. Call us today and see what we can do for you.

Consolidated Credit is a Certified ISO 9001 company, as verified through Bureau Veritas Certification.

Time tested and customer trusted. Consolidated Credit Counseling Services has been a BBB Accredited Business since 1998 and has a current A+ rating. Call us today and see what we can do for you.

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Time tested and customer trusted. Consolidated Credit Counseling Services has been a BBB Accredited Business since 1998 and has a current A+ rating. Call us today and see what we can do for you.

View the Consolidatedcredit.org review status

Consolidated Credit is proud to be an ANAB accredited member. Accreditation by a recognized and respected body such as ANAB ensures the impartiality and competence of our company. To see what we can do for you, give us a call.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. Consolidated Credit is proud to be a member of HUD and also part of the Hope Now Alliance.

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