Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Consumer Alert:
Residential Community Outreach Services

Loan Modification Scam

Posted: July 8, 2014

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) has received a complaint from a Washington State consumer who had received a “mailer” advertisement soliciting consumers to contact them regarding the “Homeowner Stability Initiative” and the “Federal Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan” to modify or refinance their current mortgage loan.

The mailer did not identify the name of the entity, as it only provided a phone number to contact at (877) 297-7286. DFI attempted to contact this entity through this phone number and when called an “operator” answered the phone and identified the name of the entity as “Residential Community Outreach Services” but would not provide any further information.

Residential Community Outreach Services is not licensed by the Department of Financial Institutions as a Mortgage Broker or Consumer Loan company and it is also not registered with the Washington State Secretary of State, Department of Revenue or Business Licensing Service.

This entity appears to be either providing or holding itself out to the public as able to provide consumer loan or mortgage broker services, including loan modification services, without being properly licensed.

Verify Licenses

DFI strongly recommends that consumers deal only with those lenders that are properly licensed to conduct business. Consumers can determine whether lenders are properly licensed using the "Verify a License" feature on DFI's website at www.dfi.wa.gov/consumers/findcompany.htm.

Report Fraud

Washington State residents, if you are suspicious of unlicensed activity by a lender please contact the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions at 1-877-RING-DFI (746-4334), or online at www.dfi.wa.gov.

If you live in another state, find your state regulator.

If you feel you have been the victim of a loan scam please contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) or online at www.ftc.gov; or contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (855) 411-CFPB or online at www.consumerfinance.gov. Because the scammers have access to bank account information and social security numbers, victims should consider themselves victims of identity theft and take appropriate precautions. The Federal Trade Commission has information for victims of identity theft available online at www.ftc.gov.

If you feel you have been the victim of a loan scam involving the Internet please contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center online at www.ic3.gov.

If you feel you have been the victim of a loan scam and are concerned about your personal financial information, contact your banking institution, and the three major credit bureaus.

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