Ryan’s Mortgage Blog:
I just read news that there is a scam offered to homeowners related to the Community Reinvestment Act. This immediately grabbed my attention because our company works with programs that were based off of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Basically, the CRA was passed in 1977 by congress that encourages banks to help low-moderate income communities, as well as making sure customers are being treated fairly by the lenders.
My company works with lenders from around the nation that offer programs for low-income and/or certain geographic areas (low-median home prices) that help promote home ownership, which in turn may help residents take pride in their neighborhood. It is a form of “neighborhood beautification”. The programs I deal with are completely legit and can truly help people save money. The problem is they are harder to qualify for than it looks and a majority of the homeowners do not qualify for them. For the few people who qualify, these programs can help get them into a better program. I do not usually bring up these programs unless I have a client that asks me about them, or after analyzing their info I see they could qualify. They are pretty rare, so I wouldn’t get mad at your broker for not bringing it to your attention. They key is to find a broker that is knowledgeable on all the available programs on the market and who is able to analyze your profile/needs and determine which program(s) would best fit your scenario. Loan “A “may be great for one person, but no suitable for the next.
On to the scam…The Federal Reserve has recently made an announcement that there are mail solicitation scams that entitle homeowners to cash grants or equity payments based on the CRA. No such program exists. It is a case of false advertising. I am still looking into it, but I have also heard where companies offered similar CRA programs to sub-prime borrowers in exchange for large closing costs, but these programs were also bogus and just a way to squeeze unnecessary money from the borrower. So the point of the story is to be aware of mailings that claim you are entitled to money and also remember very few things in life are free anymore (I know, I know, not a very positive statement, but just trying to get my point across) and your mortgage is not one of them. The CRA was created to make sure people of the United States received fair lending practices…so if you feel you have been scammed you need to report it. I would report it to the US Department of housing and urban development (http://www.hud.gov/). If you have any questions regarding an un-fair situation you have encountered or of you think you were “scammed” on your current mortgage, feel free to contact me and I can try and help you get to the bottom of it. I can be reached at RyanBaker500@gmail.com or 805-540-0866.