Your Loan has Closed, Now What?

Owning a new home is an exciting milestone, but unfortunately, it can also make you a target for various scams. Scammers often prey on the unfamiliarity and vulnerability of new homeowners, or those who have not purchased a home in recent years. They take advantage of the complexities of homeownership to attempt to sell you services you don’t need or convince you to give up personal details in order to steal your identity.

Beware of Scams

When your loan closes, some of the information becomes a matter of public record. This can provide scammers with just enough information to reach out to you with phony offers and fraudulent demands for money. While you will receive additional information from your lender or loan servicer in the weeks and months after your loan closes, please be wary of any requests for additional money or personal information.

Some typical scams that new homeowners should be aware of include:

  1. Fake Contractors and Home Improvement Scams: One of the most prevalent scams involves individuals posing as contractors or home improvement professionals. These scammers may approach you with an unsolicited estimate, claiming your new home requires urgent repairs or improvements. To avoid falling victim, always research and verify the credentials of any contractor. Ask for references, and obtain multiple quotes before agreeing to any work.
  2. Phony Utility Bills and Services: Scammers may send fake utility bills or pose as representatives from utility companies. They often demand immediate payment for services that do not exist or claim you need to pay off the previous owner’s bills before setting up your service. Always verify the legitimacy of any communication from utility providers by contacting them directly using official contact information. Never provide personal or financial information over the phone unless you initiated the call to a verified number.
  3. Property Tax Scams: Some scammers target new homeowners by sending official-looking letters claiming that their property taxes are due, and immediate payment is required. It’s crucial to be aware of your property tax schedule and vet correspondence to ensure it’s really from local tax authorities. If in doubt, contact your local tax office to verify the legitimacy of any communication.
  4. Mortgage Fraud: Mortgage-related scams can range from fraudulent refinancing offers to phishing schemes aimed at stealing personal information. Be cautious when receiving unsolicited mortgage offers. Protect your sensitive information and never share personal details through email or over the phone unless you initiated the communication.
  5. Bait-and-Switch Scams: Some unscrupulous individuals may try to sell you unnecessary insurance policies, claiming they are essential for new homeowners. Always research insurance options independently and consult with trusted professionals. Be wary of high-pressure sales tactics and thoroughly understand the coverage you need for your specific situation.
  6. Impersonation Scams: Scammers may attempt to impersonate real estate agents, title companies, your lender, or even government officials. They often claim you need to provide additional information or funds to complete the homebuying process. Always verify the identity of anyone requesting information or payment. Never hesitate to contact the involved parties directly using verified contact information.
  7. Vacation Rental Scams: If you’ve purchased a second home or investment property, be cautious when renting it out. Scammers may list your property without your knowledge, collecting payments from unsuspecting renters. Utilize reputable rental platforms, secure your online presence, and regularly monitor listings associated with your property.

Always Ask

Always go back to a verified source if you have a question about someone who claims you owe money, need to purchase something extra or asks for personal account details. Remember, many of the details of your loan become public record after closing. Use extra caution during the weeks and months immediately after your closing.

If you have questions about a recently closed mortgage with GRB, please reach out to our Customer Service team.