The fact that there are more foreclosure rescue scams occurring now than ever before simply means that the market is experiencing a large number of foreclosures and there are those willing to take advantage of homeowners desperate to keep their homes. It’s important to approach individuals offering solutions with great caution. Carefully consider any financial solution they offer regarding saving your home from foreclosure and whether or not it falls into one of the categories below: the most common types of mortgage foreclosure scams.
Bailout: In exchange for the title to the house, the scammer provides payment to the mortgage company to keep the home out of default. They original homeowner is allowed to rent the home back from the individual running the scam “until they pay back” the money the scammer provided to get the home out of default. In the end, the original homeowner turned renter is forced from the home under unacceptable rental terms. Because they default on the agreement and are evicted from the home, they lose all their equity.
Bait and Switch: The scammer running the bait and switch doesn’t actually present the stipulation that they are asking for the title of the house. Instead they trick the homeowner into signing over ownership. In some cases, the sale documents are forged. In other cases, the homeowner is led to believe that the documents being signed are for a new loan that would bring their default mortgage current.
Phantom Help / “Loan Modification Specialists” – Here the supposed rescuer makes promises to represent the homeowner; negotiating with their bank. In actuality, they do nothing of the sort. They do nothing to save the home.
If your mortgage is in default and you fear foreclosure is going to be the end of your homeownership story, beware the scammers who will offer to “rescue” you. If it sounds too good to be true; it usually is too good and it’s not true.
If you are about to enter into a “deal” and you have questions about it, contact a real estate lawyer before you move forward with the transaction. For additional information about avoiding foreclosure, contact the California real estate attorneys at the Law Office of Retz & Aldover LLP.