Tips for Avoiding Foreclosure Scams
A foreclosure or "rescue" scam could cost you your home. Don’t sign
anything until you have done your homework first. Call a licensed attorney
for a free consultation to make to ensure you are not being scammed. Just
remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Be cautious about loan modification companies that charge high
fees to get you out of foreclosure. Know what you what you are
getting involved with before you turn over any money. Many loan
modification companies over promise and under deliver.
Beware of so-called foreclosure rescue companies that contact you
after the foreclosure has been filed in court and promise to help you
in exchange for an up-front fee. It is recommended that you consult
with a licensed attorney if you are in need of foreclosure defense.
Steer clear of foreclosure assistance experts who want you to make
your mortgage payment to them, or who discourage you from talking
to your mortgage company or an attorney.
Watch out for equity skimming. This scam happens when a buyer
promises to pay off your mortgage if you sign over the deed to your
property. The buyer then rents out your home but doesn’t make
mortgage payments and the bank forecloses. Remember, signing
over your deed does not mean you’re “no longer responsible” for
paying your mortgage.
Other scam tip offs: the schemer refuses to put his or her promises
in writing, pressures you to sign paperwork you haven’t had a
chance to read thoroughly, or offers to fill out the paperwork for you.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of a foreclosure scam or
fraud, contact your local police, department of consumer affairs and the
Federal Trade Commission immediately.
Federal Trade Commission 1-877-382-4357
If you receive a scam through the mail, file a complaint right away with the
US Postal Inspection Service.
US Postal Inspection Service 1-877-876-2455