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5 Things You Can Do To Avoid
Foreclosure Scams
by John M. Roberts

Foreclosure scam artists take bad situations and make them much worse.

Foreclosure scam artists know what to do and how to make themselves look like your savior. They know how to find you and take advantage of you when you are already at a low point in your life. They don't care that you are struggling to keep your home and a place for your family to live. They are in this for one reason and that is to rip you off, and they are good at what they do.

They are the scam artists who have mastered the art of finding people who are losing their homes to foreclosure. They offer services that they claim will help desperate homeowners keep their homes, for a fee of course. They make promises that they know they can't keep, and once they get your money, they disappear.

Foreclosure scams have hit an all time high. The FBI, along with other federal and local law enforcement agencies, are working hard to put foreclosure scam artist out of business, but it is a hard fight. There are so many crooks involved that prosecutors can't seem to get control of them. For every scam artist who is put out of business, another one is there to take his place.

The government has allocated billions of dollars to help homeowners who are in default and are desperately trying to hang on to their homes. This is food for criminals who see it as an way to make easy money. They know that when people become desperate to hang on to their homes, they become easy prey, so scam artists set up shop to work the system.

Scam artists offer their services to help homeowners who are in default save their homes. They claim to be loan modification experts and/or they promise to negotiate new mortgages with lower payments. In most scams, they don't provide any of the services they promote. They walk away leaving the homeowner in a far worse position, usually by taking hundreds or even thousands of dollars that the homeowner can't afford to lose.

What can you do to avoid becoming a victim of a foreclosure scam?

(1) There are legitimate companies operating within the boundaries of the law that can help homeowners who are in default navigate through the loan modification process. It is up to the homeowner to seek out and find reputable people who will actually help them.

  • Contact HUD for an approved housing counselor in your area.

(2) Never pay up front fees. By law, foreclosure consultants are prohibited from collecting money until services are rendered. Scam artists will take the fees and never do anything to help you get out of foreclosure or modify your home loan.

(3) Never make mortgage payments to anyone other than your lender without the lender's written approval. A scam artist can cash your check and keep the money while your home goes deeper into default.

(4) Never transfer the title to your home to people who claim to be able to keep it from going into foreclosure. A scam artist may refuse to transfer the property back to you and have you evicted.

(5) Never sign documents without reading them thoroughly. If you don't understand something, get help. Take the documents to an attorney or someone who knows and understands how the foreclosure and loan modification processes work.

(6) If someone offers you a solution to your foreclosure problems and it sounds too good to be true, it is often a scam. Scam artists know that many people often make decisions based on what they want to hear and not on the truth or what is in their best interest.

If you think you are the victim of a scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission or your state's Department of Real Estate.

About the Author

This information is provided by John M. Roberts of John Roberts Realty located in Moreno Valley, California.  He can be contacted at jrobertsrealty@yahoo.com.



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