MINNEAPOLIS (March 2, 2011) – Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota is joining with federal, state, and local government agencies and national organizations to celebrate the 13th annual National Consumer Protection Week coming March 6-12, 2011. During NCPW, groups nationwide share tips and information that help consumers protect their privacy, manage money and debt, avoid identity theft, and avoid frauds and scams. Unfortunately, this year an estimated 4 million households nationwide are expected to face the risk of foreclosure.
Millions of homeowners will try to reduce their mortgage payments with a loan modification. The scammers know this.
Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota, a partner of the national Loan Modification Scam Alert campaign, has 10 tips to help Twin cities homeowners seeking foreclosure prevention assistance this year:
• Contact your lender first as soon as you get concerned about paying your mortgage.
• Determine your options by speaking to your lender’s loss mitigation department.
• Be patient but persistent with your lender, because getting a loan modification takes time.
• Call Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota, a local HUD-approved counseling agency at 612.374.4906 that provides loan modification assistance services for free.
Or visit www.LoanScamAlert.org.
• Meet with a counselor at Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota, where trained counselors are available to provide assistance in English, Lao, Thai, and other Southeast Asian Languages upon request.
• Beware of loan modification scams. Some companies and individuals are out to take advantage of homeowners seeking loan modifications.
• Avoid anyone who asks for a fee prior to providing any loan modification service, including companies, individuals and even some lawyers.
• Avoid anyone who guarantees to get your loan modified or stop a foreclosure, because nobody has the power to make this promise.
• Avoid companies that tell you to stop paying your mortgage and to pay them instead. This is a sure sign of a scam.
• Report loan modification or foreclosure scams at any time by visiting
www.LoanScamAlert.org or calling 1-888-995-HOPE (4673).
Loan modification scams are proliferating at a rapid pace—costing unsuspecting homeowners thousands of dollars and often their homes. To help combat this issue, Congress asked NeighborWorks America to launch a national public education campaign in 2009. Today, the Loan Modification Scam Alert campaign empowers homeowners to protect themselves against loan modification scams, find trusted help and report illegal activity to authorities.
For more information about the campaign, visit www.LoanScamAlert.org.
The Lao Assistance Center was formed by ethnic Lao refugees in 1981 and attained its nonprofit charitable status in 1983. It was founded to respond to the emerging needs of newly arrived Lao refugees who were not Hmong and provided services in Youth Advancement, Elder Empowerment, Adult Stability, Employment, Health Outreach Prevention and Intervention, Culture Engagement, Housing, citizenship, and Civic Engagement.
The mission of the Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota (LACM) is to increase the capacity of the Lao-American population in Minnesota by responding to community identified needs through developing programs and services that will promote the well-being of families and children while retaining their cultural heritage.
To find out more visit our website at www.laocenter.org.