Ilyce Glink gives her advice on how to avoid common mortgage refinance scams in today’s Real Estate Minute.

If you don’t pay your mortgage, it’s much more likely you’ll fall victim to a refinancing scam.

When you fall behind on your mortgage payments, your lender files a notice of default. This makes your financial problems – and your address – public record, and makes you vulnerable to scam artists.

Homeowners have reported losses totaling nearly $71 million dollars to the Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network. The bulk of this money is lost in fee payments to scam agencies – more than $3,000 per homeowner, on average.

According to, common refinancing scams include phony counselor services and fake government modification programs. In each case, you’ll be charged fees for services that are never provided.

To protect yourself, avoid anyone who solicits mortgage relief door-to-door, and say No if the service includes up-front fees. Contact your lender first for help refinancing your mortgage.