Last year, Robin Gordon of Marietta received some very unexpected and troubling news from her mortgage company; a tax lien had been placed on her midtown Atlanta rental property without her knowledge. Robin expected to have her mortgage paid in full in the near future, and was alarmed to learn of the encumbrance on her property title, her risk of losing the property and the implications a lien would have on her credit history. Even more confusing was that she had received no notice about an outstanding tax debt from either her bank or the Fulton County Tax Commissioner. To her knowledge, all of the taxes had been paid in full through an escrow account at SunTrust Mortgage Company. Read more
We here at Georgia Watch recently became aware of a great resource for homeowners seeking an honest, efficient home contractor. The National Center for the Prevention of Home Improvement Fraud (NCPHIF) is a nonprofit based in Atlanta that works to eliminate home contractor fraud. We spoke with NCPHIF executive director Phae Howard to learn more about this increasingly prevalent issue.
What is home improvement fraud and what got you involved in helping consumers avoid it?
Howard: My grandmother was financially and emotionally victimized by an unscrupulous contractor. I don’t know how much money she lost, but I absolutely remember the pain in her face. That will be with me always. After years of hearing stories about people being taken advantage of, I realized that, like my grandmother, many homeowners are not equipped with the information and resources to avoid becoming a victim of home improvement or home repair contractor fraud. That is why it is my personal goal, and the mission of NCPHIF, to arm potential victims with necessary tools to avoid similar situations. Read more
Are you behind on your mortgage payments or struggling to make payments? If yes, and you have a Fannie Mae-backed mortgage, you now have another resource in metro Atlanta.
Fanny Mae recently opened the Atlanta Mortgage Help Center, which according to a news release, will offer “free access to high quality counseling and in-person resolution of their particular mortgage circumstances.” Read more