Hand-off Rip-off Scam

Have you ever received a letter advising that your mortgage is being transferred to another bank? This benign process is fairly common in today’s economy. However, scam artists are taking advantage of homeowners with the resurgence of an oldie but goodie.

This mortgage transfer scam has duped homeowners out of one or two mortgage payments before exposed. Thieves send an unsuspecting homeowner an official looking letter stating their mortgage has been transferred to a new bank with the new address to forward mortgage payments. In reality, the payments are shifted to the scam address, cashed by con artist, and the homeowner is left owning their original payment.

This is an under reported crime according to Jennifer Butts of the Mortgage Asset Research Institute. Homeowners can protect themselves by knowing the mortgage transfer process.

  • Your current lender will initially send notification of any upcoming transfers.
  • The new institution should notify you within a week of the first letter confirming the transfer.
  • Your loan number should be present on any mortgage transfer notifications.

When in doubt, always contact your current lender to confirm any upcoming mortgage transfers. These simple tidbits can help protect you from would be criminals seeking to upset your financial applecart.


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