While you wrangle your way through the mortgage mess, the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (http://www.tennessee.gov/commerce/) warns us to watch out for these mortgage scams:
* FORECLOSURE "RESCUE." Someone convinces you to sign your home's title over to his "finance company," and it will pay off your mortgage while you get back on your feet.
You just gave up your house. They will sell it ... and kick you out.
* REFINANCE BAIT-AND-SWITCH. Like the "rescue" scam, but you end up paying a higher mortgage while the scammer keeps your house. You may or may not stay in the house, but you have no claim on the deed.
* PHANTOM MORTGAGE. For a fee, a bogus "consultant" offers to negotiate with your lender for a lower mortgage. The guy takes your money, buries you in paperwork, but has no intention of ever contacting your lender.
As always, the Memphis Housing Counseling Network/Community Development Council is your one-stop-shop for legitimate housing assistance. Go to http://memphis.earnbenefits.org/page.php?pageID=539 or call 901-725-8361.