Foreclosure Rescue Scams
The possibility of losing your home to foreclosure can be terrifying. The reality that scam artists are preying on the vulnerability of desperate homeowners is equally frightening. Many so-called foreclosure rescue companies or foreclosure assistance firms claim they can help you save your home. Some are brazen enough to offer a money-back guarantee. Unfortunately, once most of these foreclosure fraudsters take your money, you lose your home, too.
You can save yourself money and more heartache by avoiding any business that:
* guarantees to stop the foreclosure process’ no matter what your circumstances
* advises you not to contact your lender, lawyer, or credit or housing counselor
* collects a fee before providing any services (it is illegal to collect upfront fees)
* accepts payment only by cashier’s check or wire transfer
* encourages you to lease your home so you can buy it back over time
* tells you to pay your mortgage payments directly to them, rather than your lender
* advises you to transfer your property deed or title to it
* offers to buy your house for cash at a fixed price lower than current comparables
* offers to fill out paperwork for you
* pressures you to sign papers you haven’t had a chance to read or that you don’t understand.
Contact your lender or servicer immediately if you’re having trouble paying your mortgage or you have received a foreclosure notice. You may be able to negotiate a new repayment schedule. Lenders generally don’t want to foreclose; it costs them money.
Contact a credit counselor through the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF), a nonprofit organization that operates a national 24/7 toll-free hotline (1.888.995.HOPE) with free, bilingual, personalized assistance to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. HPF is a member of the HOPE NOW Alliance of mortgage servicers, mortgage market participants and counselors. More information about HOPE NOW is at http://www.995hope.org/.
The Dept of Real Estate has made it Illegal for Loan Modification Companies, Attorneys to collect upfront monies to process a Loan Modification. Be very careful not fall prey to Loan Mod scams.