On December 1, 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it has joined forces with the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury to combat scams aimed at borrowers seeking loan modifications under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). The joint task force plans to investigate and shut down operations that defraud consumers under the guise of facilitating HAMP modifications.

The task force also seeks to educate homeowners, which it began doing immediately with the issuance of a consumer fraud alert regarding HAMP-relatedmortgagemodification scams. The fraud alert provides a series of tips for homeowners to keep in mind when seeking a mortgage modification. Among others, the tips caution consumers to be wary of those who charge in advance for mortgage modification services and those who make guarantees regarding the likelihood that the consumer will be approved for a loan modification. The consumer fraud alert is available at www.SIGTARP.gov/pdf/ConsumerFraudAlert.pdf and will be provided directly to homeowners eligible for HAMP.