Homeowners: Are you thinking about refinancing your mortgage in order to get cash for home repairs or debt consolidation? Renters: Are you thinking of buying a house? Please BEWARE! There are some lenders out there that will take advantage of you and you could lose your home as a result! These lenders, called “predatory lenders,” are targeting the elderly and low to middle income residents in Milwaukee County. Predatory lenders use one or more of the following aggressive tactics: • Door-to-door solicitation, sometimes accompanied by fraudulent home repair offers. • Phone calls encouraging you to consolidate your debt. • Sending you mail, which may include “live” checks. While these lenders make it quick and easy for you to get a loan, the victims of these predatory loans may pay extra costs they weren’t aware of, or very high interest rates. Or even worse, many are facing foreclosure because they didn’t go for help soon enough. You can help yourself and others: If you are considering a loan, whether it’s first mortgage or a home equity loan, be sure you know what you are getting into before you sign on the dotted line. If you have any questions, please call STOPP Hotline for free advice. Call (414) 278-9190. STOPP (Strategies to Overcome Predatory Practices) is a county-wide initiative, coordinated by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council, a private nonprofit organization, in partnership with NOHIM lenders, Milwaukee County treasurer Dorothy Dean, and many other community groups. Riverwest Currents – Volume 1 – Issue 10 – November 2002
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