Five Quick Tips for
Avoiding Foreclosure Scams
By Rebecca Castro
When an unsuspecting homeowner turns to the wrong person for help more than money is on the line. More often than not, the wrong choice may cost years of headaches. When looking for advice for such an important matter such as foreclosure, it is important to take your time and research the best options for YOUR specific needs. Every situation is different so advice from your neighbor who is “going thru the same thing” is not YOUR specific situation. Don’t put your trust into the first person that offers you hope. The biggest mistake victims make is trusting people even if it felt “too good to be true”. Homeownership is the biggest accomplishment many of us will make and therefore, we are easily willing to grasp at any sign of hope. Here are 5 quick tips for avoiding foreclosure scams:
1. Beware of any person or organization asking you to pay upfront for their services or consultations. Don’t pay – walk away! There is plenty of free help especially for the programs provided by the government. Get help from government agencies like www.hud.gov and www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov. Licensed professionals like attorneys and Real Estate Agents are a good resource. Depending on your state you can check for active licensing and complaints at the Department of Realtors like www.dre.ca.gov and local state bar associations like www.calbar.ca.gov
2. Get a copy of EVERYTHING that you sign and beware of promises or guarantees.
3. Consult a professional before you sign over the title to any non licensed person or organization claiming they will “save your home” and sell it or rent it back to you later. This is a big sign of fraud! They pose as “investors” and are not licensed individuals.
4. Never make your mortgage payments to a third party that is not your lender. If and when a new payment arrangement is made, you will receive a copy of that agreement in the mail directly from your lender.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and investigate the people who you seek help from. Interview at least 2 professionals or organizations to help you before you decide what option to take. If you are receiving advice, the professional should explain to you why one option is better over another.
For more detailed information on scam alerts, or if you suspect you have been a victim of fraud visit www.loanscamalert.org or call the HUD hotline at 888-995-4673.
Rececca Castro, DRE#01876990 is a Realtor with Keller Williams www.TheRealAnswers4U.com
*This article is for informational purposes only. This is not intended as legal advice. Consult a professional.*