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Dealing With Foreclosure Scam Artists


Home foreclosure scams are about as prolific as foreclosures themselves these days. If your home loan is in jeopardy, you are looking for what you can do to avoid foreclosure, not sign your home away. Contacting a bankruptcy attorney will help in going through this potentially difficult process.

Criminal Investors Look for Ways Around Property Laws

The bad news is that criminal “investors” have more time than you do to find new ways around property laws. And while scammers are already targeting homeowners looking to benefit from the federal government’s 2009 assistance programs, an experienced foreclosure attorney can spot scammers. Even if you’ve already entered into an agreement with one of these predatory lending services, a lawyer can get you out of it.

Of course, the best way to stay clear of burdensome, unlawful loans, or rescue schemes is to avoid them completely. It will help to know what types of bogus plans are already circulating among foreclosure cases. But, no matter what the approach, the result is the same: these criminals want to divest you of money in the form of charges or monthly payments, or the title to your property.

In general, never use a third party as a go-between for payments to your mortgage company. Don’t pay this company anything in advance.

Predatory Lenders Love Foreclosure Properties

Profiteers know that homeowners who are facing bank foreclosure will try to refinance, even if it means higher interest and finance charges in the long run. If you are in pre-foreclosure or are simply concerned about making your mortgage payments in the future, advertisements about mortgage rescue may interest you. You may receive ads in the mail or Internet pop-ups claiming to represent the new federal programs. If these offers promise eligibility and lower monthly payments and charge an advance fee, they are phony. Government assistance is free, and eligibility is subject to many criteria.

Be Aware of Foreclosure Scams

If your lender hasn’t yet filed a public notice of default and you are approached by individuals wanting to buy your home, ask yourself where they learned of the possibility of your property being for sale. These “investors” often case a high-foreclosure neighborhood and target likely homeowners.

One tactic is to promise you a “rent-to-repurchase” deal in exchange for the title to your property. They may or may not honor the lease, and if they do, terms may change so that your payments actually rise instead of fall.  The truth is, once a third party has the title to your valuable property, your payment plan becomes small potatoes.

Other Unscrupulous Real Estate Speculators

Once a foreclosure lawsuit has been filed by your home mortgage lender, more investors may come out of the woodwork. These ruthless speculators comb the public records or pay services to do so for them, and then prey upon homeowners whose loan foreclosures are pending.

They know that distressed owners without other options will go to great lengths to recoup some of their equity and avoid further damage to their credit. If they want to make a deal that excludes your lender, consult your attorney.

Because a public notice has been posted, financial companies that victimize overextended homeowners will find you as well. They offer bankruptcy or fake debt-elimination plans to save your property—for a fee. Before agreeing to pay them anything or to stop making your regular mortgage payments, check with your attorney. Bankruptcy might not be beneficial to you, and some debt consolidation or elimination programs may be illegal.

Attorneys are involved in the current market, foreclosure environment, and state and federal laws. They can inform you of the lawful ways in which you can avoid foreclosure or rescind a bad loan agreement.

Real estate law is complicated and can vary from state to state. It is important to speak with a foreclosure attorney who specializes in foreclosures before making any hasty decisions. 
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