Mortgage audit letters are more hype than savings

BALTIMORE - Who wouldn't want a break on their mortgage payment? That's the hook of a letter that's making the rounds in the Baltimore area.  But don't believe the hype about the savings they're offering. 

It's one of the hardest checks to write each month.  Your mortgage payment is a real shot to the pocketbook.  But if you're paying too much because of a problem in your paperwork, could you get money back?  That's a question many in the Baltimore area are asking after receiving a letter in the mail.  Angie Barnett with the Better Business Bureau says, "If they tell us how much money we're going to save, we want to fall for it."

Barnett warns people are falling for mortgage audit letters that have been showing up all over in our area.  They claim your mortgage may have been miscalculated and you could get a refund from your lender.  The Federal Trade Commission has issued similar warnings.

According to the letter we've seen, the average refund is more than $1,400.  Barnett says, "People receive these letters and what they're lead to believe is that there's likelihood that there was a mistake made and they can challenge that mistake."

But the BBB says even if a mistake is found in the papers for your home, it doesn't mean you'll get cash back from your lender.  Barnett explains, "You could sue them but they are not required because you find an error to turn around and modify your mortgage."

And because most of these auditors charge upfront fees, you'll be out money and get no action in return.  And if you're in danger of losing your home, you may have wasted precious time.  So if these pennies from heaven appear in your mail box, Angie says you should dump the letter and get help from a legitimate agency.

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