More home owners are falling prey to scams that promise to “stop the foreclosure” and “save your home.”

The Federal Trade Commission has released a report to help borrowers avoid falling victim to such scams, here are a few of its tips:

1. Watch for outlandish claims. Eliminate your debt! and We guarantee to stop the auction are too good to be true. If it sounds like an easy way out, don’t believe it, the FTC warns.

2. Don't pay up-front costs. Consumer investigator Dale Cardwell warns home owners to beware of any deal that requires you to pay up-front fees. Cardwell says you shouldn’t pay any business or person who promises to modify your loan because only your lender can do that.

3. Beware of those imitating government agencies. Watch out for scammers who may capture logos, names, photos, and Web sites to make it look like they are part of a government agency.

4. Make payments only to your lender, no one else. Never write a check to someone else instead of your lender for your mortgage. Scammers may present an official looking reinstatement package and tell you to pay everything to them. Send payments only to your loan servicer, experts recommend.

Source: “In Saving Home, Steer Clear of Scams,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Feb. 13, 2011)

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