WASHINGTON (12/2/11)--The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the U.S. Treasury Department, and the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) on Thursday announced they have established a joint task force to combat scams that target homeowners seeking to apply for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).
The joint agency task force will investigate companies that charge struggling homeowners a fee in exchange for false promises of lowering the homeowner's mortgage debt or payments through HAMP, among other schemes. The task force said it would end these scams, and provide education programs to vulnerable homeowners.
SIGTARP Deputy Special Inspector General Christy Romero said these types of scams "prey upon the most vulnerable homeowners as they desperately hold out hope of saving their homes. SIGTARP, the CFPB, and Treasury want to make sure that homeowners know a scam when they see one and know where to turn for help."
CFPB Chief of Enforcement and agency director nominee Richrd Cordray added: "Mortgage scams harm not only homeowners but legitimate businesses and the market as a whole."
The agencies also warned consumers of these types of scams in a consumer fraud alert. The alert reminds homeowners that are struggling to pay their mortgage and are looking for relief that third parties are not able to guarantee or pre-approve HAMP mortgage modification applications. Mortgageholders should also beware of individuals or companies that offer money-back guarantees, or companies that advise them to stop making their payments or to not contact their mortgage servicers, the release adds.
The administration last year claimed that the HAMP program was on course to modify as many as 4 million mortgages by 2012.
For the full release, use the resource link.