Monday, March 8, 2010

A Scam Directed at Veterans

A client recently received a letter from Department of Veterans Assistance. Sounds suspiciously like Department of Veterans Affairs, no? It is not a government agency, which you can plainly see by reading the 5 point type buried at the bottom of the page. But they have a fancy military looking shield for a logo, their document is entitled IRRRL-1030 Benefit Allotment Form 792-B Eligibility Notification Reinvestment Initiative, and shows a very government looking "Case #." And when they answer the telephone, the automated attendant says, "Welcome to the Mortgage Division." Even though they are "not a part of any government agency, they are sure trying to, um, imply?, otherwise.

The letter advises that the Department of Housing Assistance (not the Department of Housing and Urban Development. No, no, not even close!) "in accordance with the 2009 Economic Stimulus Act must inform Federally Insured homeowners that FHA or VA insured mortgages must reflect the rate modifications passed by this office" Um, what? It goes on in excruciating faux-government-speak to tell you that you MUST call or horrible things will happen, and you are foolish if you do not call because you might get to skip TWO MONTHS of payments. That can happen with any refinance. You just pay the interest at closing. Notice, they do NOT say you get to skip two months of interest. The letter is signed by the Director of Veterans Assistance, Cynthia Moore. What a lofty title, Cynthia.

Maybe they have a nice interest rate and reasonable fees for our veterans. But the underhanded way they try to get them to call leads me to believe that may not be the case. In case you were not counting, we have three different names for this outfit. I almost forgot to mention that even though their address is a PO Box in Washington, DC (are there few government agencies in that town?), the letter was apparently mailed from California.