Portland, OR – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley held a press conference in Northeast Portland today to help expose mortgage modification scams that are affecting homeowners in Oregon. Merkley was joined at today’s event by victims of mortgage modification scams who shared their painful experiences and urged Oregonians to be extremely cautious when companies contact them to offer help in securing a mortgage modification.

“The stories that I’ve heard today are heartbreaking and just plain wrong. We can’t allow our families to be taken advantage of when they are going through the mortgage modification process,” said Merkley. “We need to take steps to stop these scams but we also must make the public aware that there are con artists looking to take advantage of people.”

Oregonians shared stories with Senator Merkley about being contacted by companies who offered to help them negotiate with their bank for a mortgage modification. After requiring money up-front and promising that a lawyer would act on their behalf, these companies stopped returning calls and never contacted the bank. Many homeowners were left with thousands of dollars out of their pocket and further confusion and problems with their mortgage modification. 

Senator Merkley encouraged Oregon homeowners to be cautious when dealing with companies that offer mortgage modification help and, if Oregonians believe they are victims of a scam, to report their experience. To report a mortgage modification scam or to find out if you may be a victim of fraud, call both the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services at 1-866-814-9710 and the Oregon Department of Justice at 1-877-877-9392. For assistance through the mortgage modification process from a HUD certified housing counselor, please contact Hope Now at 1-888-995-HOPE.