Featured News 2014 Faced with Foreclosure? Avoid These Scams!

Faced with Foreclosure? Avoid These Scams!

Many homeowners are faced with the prospect of foreclosure, and unfortunately, many scammers are trying to take advantage of the situation. If successful, a foreclosure "rescue" scam could cheat homeowners out of their homes, their equity, and their savings. Find out how these scammers operate, what warning signs to look out for, and some of the real ways you can fight foreclosure.

Top Three Types of Foreclosure Scams

The first common method of scamming homeowners is the sale-leaseback. In this approach, the scammer will tell you that they can purchase your home, getting rid of all mortgage arrears, and they'll even let you stay in the house. You could pay rent until you were able to pay to get the house back. Unfortunately, the ugly reality is that yes, the scammer would buy the house of you (probably cheaply), and then the terms of your rent would be impossible.

Then you could be faced with fake foreclosure consultants, who will pledge their important services for astronomical payments! They probably won't do the services they said they would, and instead of actually negotiating and filling out paperwork on your behalf, you will slowly be losing your home as the scammer rakes in your money.

In some cases, a scammer will try to steal your home outright. Again, the scammer might impersonate a foreclosure consultant. The scam will resemble a sale-leaseback, where the scammer says that they'll buy the house and let you rent, but in this scam, papers would be pushed in front of you, supposedly the documents that would give you a better mortgage or a rent agreement. But in reality, you would be signing away the home to the scammer (never sign anything you don't understand!). Or in other cases, the scammer will simply forge your signature to take away the title to your home.

Red Flags a Scammer Will Raise

First off, foreclosure consultants will never call you, mail you, or show up in person. You are supposed to pursue them if you want their services. If someone shows up saying they are a consultant ready to be hired, you know you are looking at a fraud. If a scammer can't give you specific, thorough details of how foreclosure progresses, then that is another warning sign.

If they play to similarities between you and them, such as speaking a same language, being the same age, or practicing the same religion, then that should appear suspicious. Also, scammers like to pretend they are from the government. Another sure sign that you are working with a scammer is that they will promise a simple foreclosure process: "simple foreclosure avoidance" is an oxymoron. Finally, a scammer will ask you to stop talking to your mortgage lender.

Think a scammer has taken over your house? If at any point you encounter a scammer, report it to law enforcement. Don't wait: call a lawyer right away! Or you could reach a housing agency approved by HUD, or a National Foundation for Credit Counseling certified counselor. If you act quickly, you have the chance to get your home back.

Also, don't hesitate to talk to a real estate attorney about some ways you could avoid foreclosure:

  • A short sale
  • Deed-in-lieu of foreclosure
  • Refinancing
  • Negotiating with your lender(s)

Foreclosure defense is an area of experience that many real estate lawyers have, and chances are, if you act quickly enough, you still have a range of options to choose from when it comes to fighting off foreclosure. With a legal advocate, you can have trusted, proven services on your side. Know what your rights are under your state's laws when you contact a legal professional today!

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