SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA'S TRUSTED PROBATE & FORECLOSURE AVOIDANCE EXPERTS.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA'S TRUSTED PROBATE & FORECLOSURE AVOIDANCE EXPERTS.
Some companies scam homeowners by posting as a foreclosure rescue company. Be aware – if you are close to losing your home to foreclosure, you may be contacted by a foreclosure “rescue” company. These scammers go through public records and contact homeowners who have received notices of foreclosure. Foreclosure “rescue” companies are only out to make money.
If you have equity built up in your home, they try to con you out of it, or if you have money in the bank, they use their con artist skills to go after it. If you have a good deal of equity in your home, consider yourself a possible target for a mortgage rescue scammer.
An Example Of A Scam
One trick that a scam company uses entails the following:
A representative of the company says that he will buy your house temporarily and make the mortgage payments. He says that you can stay in the home and lease it from him. When the loan is paid off, you can buy the house back. However, usually the owner transfers ownership to the “rescuer.” Instead of sending the payments to the lender, the scammer refinances the property with the money. Then he sells the property, leaving you, the homeowner, without a workout plan or equity.
How To Protect Yourself?
To protect yourself, you need to do the following:
1. Never depend on an oral guarantee. Make sure any contractual arrangement is in writing.
2. Never sign an agreement unless you comprehend all the terms.
3. Never sign a contract that features blank spaces or lines. Representations of which you have no knowledge can be added after the contract is signed.
4. Never transfer your ownership to a proposed third-party lending company – the so-called rescuer.
5. Never agree to financing that you cannot afford or that has to be paid back in a short term and at a high interest rate – conditions for remaining in your home.
Scammers Who Target Homeowners With Little Or No Equity
If you do not have equity or very little equity in your home, you probably will not be contacted by anyone who wishes to obtain the title. However, you still have to be on the lookout. For example, some scammers, for a fee of course, offer to help you overcome foreclosure by locating affordable financing.
They may also offer to negotiate with your lender for a loan modification or a freeze on the interest rate. However, these companies usually only help themselves to your money
Forensic Loan Auditing – Another Scam To Avoid
This type of scam involves paying a company an upfront fee of around several hundred dollars. This fee enables a “forensic loan auditor” to survey your loan documents to see if your lender followed mortgage lending legislation.
Companies that offer this service claim that audits discover lender violations around 90% of the time. They elaborate on this point by saying that you can use this information to delay a foreclosure, stop the process, or force the lending company to modify the loan or rescind the contract.
However, no evidence exists that demonstrates the merits of these so-called audits. Even if an audit did discover incidences of fraud or similar violations, you, as a homeowner, would still need to file a lawsuit against your lender to stop foreclosure proceedings. Delivering an audit report of this type to a lender will not impact foreclosure proceedings.
The Profile Of A Scammer
The people who scam homeowners who are facing foreclosure use a number of “cons” to gain your trust and cooperation. Therefore, be careful of anyone who exhibits the following behaviors.
• Contacts you by mail or phone. Legitimate foreclosure representatives do not contact you. You must contact or visit them.
• Provides little details about the foreclosure process.
• Claims to be associated with a governmental entity.
• Uses “affinity” type marketing. For example, Spanish speakers will contact Spanish speaking homeowners while seniors or Christians will contact their peers who are in their age group or practice the same religion.
• Provides testimonials from other foreclosure customers.
• States that the process will be simple and fast. When you are facing foreclosure, the process is slow-going. It never is fast, nor is the remedy. Some of the bait that a scammer uses to lure a customer includes the following phrases: “I’d like to buy your house.” “Do you need instant cash?” “Stop foreclosure with only a phone call.”
Encourages you to cease any further contact with the lender.
If a company uses any of the above tactics, it probably is breaking the law.
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