Bank warns homeowners of foreclosure scams

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:27

    First Hope Bank officials are warning customers to beware of fraudulent foreclosure rescue offers and loan modification schemes that ask for a fee in exchange for housing counseling services or modification of a delinquent loan. Donald D. Somma, Senior Executive Vice President for Retail Operations/Senior Lender for First Hope Bank said, “Walk away from anyone offering to ‘save’ your home if you sign or transfer over the deed to your house, and never submit your mortgage payments to anyone other than your mortgage company or bank.” Somma said reputable financial institutions offer free consultations to homeowners with questions about their mortgages. “During the past several months, we have helped many consumers switch from adjustable rate to conventional, fixed mortgages.” The Federal Trade Commission, Somma said, recently surveyed online and print advertising for mortgage foreclosure rescue operations nationwide and identified 71 distinct companies running suspicious ads. “The Treasury Department’s FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) has alerted banks to the prevalence of these home rescue scams so that we can in turn help our customers identify ‘red flags’,” Somma said, adding that banks file suspicious activity reports to help catch these unscrupulous companies. Homeowners wanting a free review of their current mortgage with a Home Loan Solution Specialist from First Hope Bank can call 908-459-4121/813-3119 or 973-729-8333. For current mortgage rates, visit