Foil 6 common consumer credit complaints

Foreclosure's poseurs
3 of 8

The offense: confusing mortgage and foreclosure-related fraud. The potential for problems begins the minute you start shopping for a home loan and continues for 30 years or until you pay off the mortgage, whichever comes first. Meanwhile, the recession has brought a record number of foreclosures -- and complaints about foreclosure rescue scams.

The defense: Shop around. You don't have to shop until you drop for a mortgage, but do enough comparisons to give you confidence that you're getting a good deal. Even government-sponsored programs like FHA can have varying fees from different lenders, says Standaert.

Read the fine print -- and the big print. Most importantly, read the summary page mandatory with all home-related loans, says Ruth Susswein, a deputy director with Consumer Action. It tells the rate and under what circumstances it can change.

What if you fall into foreclosure? Be careful who you ask for help. Find a HUD-certified counselor through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. If a foreclosure specialist asks for money upfront or instructs you to pay him instead of the mortgage company, go elsewhere. And don’t be afraid to ask your lender directly for a loan modification.




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