"Sparkling Service, Old Values, Brilliant Results."

National Advantage Real Estate Service

328 E. Lincoln Highway (Rt. 30)

New Lenox, IL 60451

(815) 485-0304 

Eleanor Nastepniak


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                                           Our Agents  David Stover




The HOPE NOW Alliance

includes a number of counseling organizations, which consists of all HUD intermediaries that
have offices across the United States. The organizations play
a key role in the success of HOPE NOW, providing borrowers
in-depth debt management, credit counseling and overall foreclosure counseling

For More Information:



How to Avoid Foreclosure

If you are a homeowner at risk of foreclosure you need to know there are programs and services that can help. It’s important to act quickly and before you are three months delinquent on your mortgage payment

Foreclosures in Illinois are a nine-month judicial process but after 90 days the lender will turn the delinquent loan over to foreclosure attorneys and then the fees really start to mount up. The key is to not ignore letters from your lender. There are ways to work through a bad situation if you act quickly. A certified foreclosure intervention counselor can also negotiate with a lender, servicer or private mortgage insurance provider to restructure the loan if it can be determined the homeowner has the financial wherewithal to keep the home in the future

For More Information:


OCC Logo



Comptroller of the Currency

Administrator of National Banks


  NR 2009-43  

April 21, 2009
Contact: Bryan Hubbard
(202) 874-5770



OCC Offers Tips to Avoid Mortgage Modification and Foreclosure Avoidance Scams


WASHINGTON — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today issued a consumer advisory to help homeowners avoid scams that claim to help them save their homes, but can cause them to lose their homes and their money.

Con artists prey on homeowners who are falling behind on their loans in many ways. For instance, they may tell consumers to stop paying their mortgages while the con artist works out a modification agreement with the lender and they may require payment of large up-front fees for their “services.” In reality, the scammer pockets the money and never provides the promised services. In some schemes, homeowners have been conned into transferring title to their homes. They may be told that they will be able to lease back or buy back their homes, but the terms of the rent-to-buy agreements are so burdensome that the homeowners are unable to repurchase their homes. Recently, scam artists have also tried to take advantage of the federal government’s mortgage modification and foreclosure avoidance programs by claiming to be connected with, or approved by, the government in some way.

The OCC’s Consumer Advisory offers a list of warning signs that a person or company may be perpetrating one of these scams, and a list of resources to contact for legitimate help. It also reminds consumers having difficulty paying their mortgages that they should always start by contacting their lender or servicer to discuss alternatives their options.



Beware Of Foreclosure Rescue Scams


Supplemental Directive 09-10 December 23, 2009

Home Affordable Modification Program – Temporary Review Period

for Active Trial Modifications Scheduled to Expire on or before

January 31, 2010

In Supplemental Directive 09-01, the Treasury Department (Treasury) announced the eligibility,

underwriting and servicing requirements for the Home Affordable Modification Program

(HAMP). Under HAMP, servicers apply a uniform loan modification process to provide eligible

borrowers with affordable monthly payments for their first lien mortgage loans. Treasury has

been working with servicers to ensure they reach out to borrowers in active trial modifications,

collect all necessary documentation from borrowers, make eligibility determinations in a timely

manner, and convert eligible borrowers into permanent HAMP modifications.

In order to provide servicers an opportunity to remain focused on converting eligible borrowers

to permanent HAMP modifications, effective today and lasting through January 31, 2010,

Treasury is implementing a review period for all active HAMP trial modifications scheduled to

expire on or before January 31, 2010. Active HAMP trial modifications include trial

modifications that have been submitted to the Treasury system of record that have not been

cancelled by the servicer.

During this review period, servicers should continue to convert eligible borrowers in active

HAMP trial modifications to permanent HAMP modifications as quickly as possible in

accordance with existing program guidance. Servicers may not cancel an active HAMP trial

modification during this period for any reason other than failure to meet the HAMP property

eligibility requirements.

During this review period, servicers must confirm the status of borrowers in active HAMP trial

modifications scheduled to expire on or before January 31, 2010 as either current or not current.

Servicers must also confirm which, if any, documents are due from borrowers. Servicers must

send written notification to borrowers as appropriate to inform them that they are at risk of losing

eligibility for a permanent HAMP modification because the borrower has (i) failed to make all

required trial period payments, (ii) failed to submit all required documentation, or (iii) failed both

to make all required trial period payments and to submit all required documentation. The notice

must provide the borrower with the opportunity to correct any error in the servicer’s records or

submit any missing documents or payments within 30 days of the notice or through January 31,

2010, whichever is later. If a borrower provides evidence of the servicer’s error or corrects the

deficiency within the timeframe provided, the servicer must consider the new information and

determine if the borrower is eligible to continue in the HAMP modification process.




Press Room


December 10, 2009

Obama Administration Releases New Data on Modification Program

WASHINGTON – Today, the Obama Administration released the latest monthly report for the Making Home Affordable (MHA) loan modification program. As part of an ongoing commitment to transparency, the report includes for the first time the number of modifications that have transitioned from the trial to permanent phase as well as a break-out of the 15 metropolitan areas with the highest program activity. With more than 728,000 modifications under way across the country, the program is on track to meet its goals over the next several years. Modifications are providing real benefits to homeowners - borrowers in modifications are saving an average of over $550 per month.  However, the report shows that servicers have only converted 31,382 modifications to the permanent phase.  According to servicer reports, most borrowers in modifications are meeting their responsibilities to make their payments.  Servicers need to do their part to help borrowers complete the process and get to the finish line.  Top Administration officials met with servicers in Washington DC this week to urge a faster pace in converting borrowers to permanent modifications.

"As this report illustrates, struggling homeowners across the country continue to receive immediate relief in the form of reduced monthly payments and a second chance to stay in their homes," said Chief of Treasury's Homeownership Preservation Office (HPO) Phyllis Caldwell.  "Our focus now is on working with servicers, borrowers and organizations to get as many of those eligible homeowners as possible into permanent modifications."

"Our challenge now is to keep the pressure on," said HUD Senior Advisor for Mortgage Finance William Apgar.  "HUD approved counselors are working with borrowers to ensure they are doing their part to transition into sustainable permanent modifications and we will ensure that servicers convert as many of those modifications by the end of the year as scheduled as they are scheduled to."

The Monthly Report is available here:  http://www.financialstability.gov/docs/MHA%20Public%20121009%20Final.pdf




OCC Logo

CA 2009-1
Consumer Advisory


Comptroller of the Currency
Administrator of National Banks


Washington, DC 20219

April 21, 2009
OCC Consumer Tips for Avoiding
Mortgage Modification Scams and Foreclosure Rescue Scams

Scams that promise to “rescue” you from foreclosure are popping up at an alarming rate nationwide, and you need to protect yourself and your home.

If you’re falling behind on your mortgage, others may know it, too — including con artists and scam artists. They know that people in these situations are vulnerable and often desperate. Potential victims are easy to find: mortgage lenders publish notices before foreclosing on homes. Private firms frequently compile and sell lists of these foreclosed properties and distressed borrowers. After reading these notices, con artists approach their targets in person, by mail, over the telephone, or by e-mail. They often advertise their services on television, radio, or the Web, and in newspapers, describing themselves as “foreclosure consultants” or “mortgage consultants,” offering “foreclosure prevention” or “foreclosure rescue” services. And they are only too happy to take advantage of homeowners who want to save their homes.

If someone offers to negotiate a loan modification for you or to stop or delay foreclosure for a fee, carefully check his or her credentials, reputation, and experience, watch out for warning signs of a scam, and always maintain personal contact with your lender and mortgage servicer. Your mortgage lender can help you find real options to avoid foreclosure. It is important to contact your mortgage lender early to preserve all your options. There are legitimate consumer financial counseling agencies that can help you work with your lender.

This Consumer Advisory, issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), describes common scams, suggests ways to protect yourself, provides information on U.S. government loan programs and counseling resources, and lists 10 warning signs of a mortgage modification scam.

Common Types of Scams


Here are some examples of scams related to mortgage modification and foreclosure avoidance.

  • Foreclosure “rescue” and refinance fraud. The scam artist offers to act as an intermediary between you and your lender to negotiate a repayment plan or loan modification and may even “guarantee” to save your home from foreclosure. You may be told to make mortgage payments to the scammer directly — along with significant, up-front fees — and be told that the scammer will forward the payments to your lender. In reality, the scammer may pocket your money and leave you in worse shape on your loan. The scam artist also may tell you to stop making payments or stop communicating with your lender. Don’t follow that advice.

    Remember that your mortgage lender should be the starting point for finding options to avoid foreclosure. You also should consider contacting qualified and approved credit counselors.

  • Fake “government” modification programs. Unscrupulous people may claim to be affiliated with, or approved by, the government or may ask you to pay high up-front fees to qualify for government mortgage modification programs. While government-supported mortgage modification and refinancing initiatives are legitimate, the scam artists’ claims are not. Keep in mind that you do not have to pay to benefit from these government programs. All you need to do is contact your lender or loan servicer.

    The scam artist’s name or Web site may be very similar to those of government agencies. The scam artist may use such terms as “federal,” “TARP,” or other words or acronyms related to official U.S. government programs. These tactics are designed to fool you into thinking the scam artist is somehow approved by, or affiliated with, the government. The government is taking actions to stop this fraud, but you also need to protect yourself. So be wary of claims offering “government-approved” or “official government” loan modifications. Your lender will be able to tell you whether you qualify for any government initiatives to prevent foreclosure. You do not have to pay anyone to benefit from them.

  • Leaseback/rent-to-buy schemes. In this type of scam, you are asked to transfer the title to your home to the scammer, who will, supposedly, obtain new and better financing and/or allow you to remain in the home as a renter and eventually buy it back. If you do not comply with the terms of the rent-to-buy agreement, you will lose your money and face eviction. The agreement may be very hard to comply with, because it may require, for instance, high up-front and monthly payments that you may not be able to afford. In fact, the scammers may have no intention of ever selling the home back to you. They simply want your home and your money.

    Remember that transferring your title does not change your payment obligations — you will still owe your mortgage debt. The difference will be that you will no longer own your home. If payments are not made on the mortgage, your lender has the right to foreclose, and the foreclosure and any other problems will appear on your credit report.

  • Bankruptcy scams. You may have heard that filing bankruptcy will stop a foreclosure. This is true — but only temporarily. Filing bankruptcy brings an “automatic stay” into effect that stops any collection and foreclosure while the bankruptcy court administers the case. Eventually, you must start paying your mortgage lender, or the lender will be able to foreclose. Bankruptcy is rarely, if ever, a permanent solution to prevent foreclosure. In addition, bankruptcy will negatively impact your credit score and will remain on your credit report for 10 years.
  • Debt-elimination schemes. Scammers may claim to be able to “eliminate” your debt by making illegitimate legal arguments that you are not obligated to pay back your mortgage. These scammers will provide you with inaccurate claims about applicable laws and finance, such as that “secret laws” can be used to eliminate debt or that banks do not have the authority to lend money. Do not stop making payments on your mortgage based on their claims.

How to Protect Yourself from Mortgage Modification and Foreclosure Avoidance Scams


Always proceed with caution when dealing with anyone offering to help you modify your mortgage or avoid foreclosure. Remember that you do not need a third party to work with your lender — any such party should make the process easier, not harder and more expensive.

  • Contact your lender or mortgage servicer first. Speak with someone in the loss mitigation department for mortgage modification options and other alternatives to foreclosure.


  • Make all mortgage payments directly to your lender or to the mortgage servicer. Do not trust anyone to make mortgage payments for you, and do not stop making your payments.


  • Avoid paying up-front fees. While some legitimate housing counselors will charge small fees for their services, do not pay fees to anyone before receiving any services. Make sure you are dealing with a legitimate organization.


  • Know what you are signing. Read and understand every document you sign. Do not rely on an oral explanation of a document you are signing — make sure that you read and understand what the document actually says. Otherwise, a document may obligate you to terms you don’t want or may even convey ownership of your home to someone else. Never sign documents with blank spaces that can be filled in later. Never sign a document that contains errors or false statements, even if someone promises to correct them. If a document is too complex to understand, seek advice from a lawyer you trust or a legitimate, trusted financial counselor.


  • Do not sign over your deed without consulting a lawyer you select. Foreclosure scams often involve transfer of ownership of your home to a con artist or another third party. Never agree to this without getting the advice of your own lawyer, financial advisor, credit counselor, or other independent person you know you can trust. By signing over your deed, you lose the rights to your home and any equity built up in the home — and you are still obligated to pay the mortgage.


  • Get promises in writing. Oral promises and agreements relating to your home are usually not legally binding. Protect your rights with a written document or contract signed by the person making the promise. Keep copies of all contracts that you sign. Again, never sign anything you don’t understand.


  • Report suspicious activity to relevant federal agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission, and to your state and local consumer protection agencies. Reporting con artists and suspicious schemes helps prevent others from becoming victims. If your complaint or question involves a national bank and you cannot resolve it directly with the bank, contact the OCC’s Customer Assistance Group by calling (800) 613-6743, by sending an e-mail to customer.assistance@occ.treas.gov, or by visiting www.HelpWithMyBank.gov.


  • Contact a legitimate housing or financial counselor to help you work through your problems.


    • To find a counselor, contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) at (800) 569-4287 or (877) 483-1515, or go to www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hccprof14.cfm.


    • Call (888) 995-HOPE, the Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline to reach a nonprofit, HUD-approved counselor through HOPE NOW, a cooperative effort of mortgage counselors and lenders to assist homeowners.


    • Visit NeighborWorks America’s Web site at www.nw.org/network/home.asp.


  • Visit the following Web sites for further information:



  • Apply for a government-sponsored loan modification or refinancing. The U.S. government has developed a major loan modification and refinancing program to help homeowners find affordable loans and to save their homes.


    Ten Warning Signs of a Mortgage Modification Scam


    1. “Pay us $1,000, and we’ll save your home.” Some legitimate housing counselors may charge small fees, but fees that amount to thousands of dollars are likely a sign of potential fraud — especially if they are charged up-front, before the “counselor” has done any work for you. Be wary of companies that require you to provide a cashier’s check or wire transfer before they take any action on your behalf.


    2. “I guarantee I will save your home – trust me.” Beware of guarantees that a person or company can stop foreclosure and allow you to remain in your house. Unrealistic promises are a sign that the person making them will not consider your particular circumstances and is unlikely to provide services that will actually help you.


    3. “Sign over your home, and we’ll let you stay in it.” Be very suspicious if someone offers to pay your mortgage and rent your home back to you in exchange for transferring title to your home. Signing over the deed to another person gives that person the power to evict you, raise your rent, or sell the house. Although you will no longer own your home, you still will be legally responsible for paying the mortgage on it.


    4. “Stop paying your mortgage.” Do not trust anyone who tells you to stop making payments to your lender and servicer, even if that person says it will be done for you.


    5. “If your lender calls, don’t talk to them.” Your lender should be your first point of contact for negotiating a repayment plan, modification, or short sale. It is vital to your interests to stay in close communication with your lender and servicer, so they understand your circumstances.


    6. “Your lender never had the legal authority to make a loan.” Do not listen to anyone who claims that “secret laws” or “secret information” will be used to eliminate your debt and have your mortgage contract declared invalid. These scammers use sham legal arguments to claim that you are not obligated to pay your mortgage. These arguments don’t work.


    7. “Just sign this now; we’ll fill in the blanks later.” Take the time to read and understand anything you sign. Never let anyone else fill out paperwork for you. Don’t let anyone pressure you into signing anything that you don’t agree with or understand.


    8. “Call 1-800-Fed-Loan.” This may be a scam. Some companies trick borrowers into believing that they are affiliated with or are approved by the government or tell you that you must pay them high fees to qualify for government loan modification programs. Keep in mind that you do not have to pay to participate in legitimate government programs. All you need to do is contact your lender to find out if you qualify.


    9. “File for bankruptcy and keep your home.” Filing bankruptcy only temporarily stops foreclosure. If your mortgage payments are not made, the bankruptcy court will eventually allow your lender to foreclose on your home. Be aware that some scammers will file bankruptcy in your name, without your knowledge, to temporarily stop foreclosure and make it seem as though they have negotiated a new payment agreement with your lender.


    10. “Why haven’t you replied to our offer? Do you want to live on the streets?” High-pressure tactics signal trouble. If someone continually contacts you and pressures you to work with them to stop foreclosure, do not work with that person. Legitimate housing counselors do not conduct business that way.
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Hello, I'm Eleanor Nastepniak of National Advantage Realty

 in New Lenox, Illinois.

I'm committed to providing the highest level of service possible to my clients.

I always try to stay educated on happenings in the market so I can provide the best professional advice and counsel.

I love working with both buyers and sellers and I am dedicated to helping my clients navigate the markets smoothly and successfully.


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