This e-mailed advertisement for a “Foreclosure Relief Kit” clogged up a co-worker’s inbox. It looks like an attractively packaged rip-off, if you ask us.
First, check out the sender’s address: U.S. National Housing Authority. Last time I checked, there was no such “authority.” The real federal government agency is called the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development while local public housing authorities exist at the local level.
The ad indicates that you can save big bucks with this $39.95 do-it-yourself box. The seller claims government agencies don’t want you to use loan modification companies and that lawyers cost too much. A pop-up on the company's Web site offers you the chance to talk to someone about your loan modification.
But the ad fails to mention that HUD-approved counselors will help you free and that most , if not all, of this information is available from government agencies and nonprofit organizations. The seller also neglects to tell you that the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions requires that any provider of loan modifications be licensed here. Or that not everyone who requests a loan modification will qualify.
Loan modifications aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Get good advice for $0.00 at www.homeownership.wa.gov.