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FORECLOSURE RESCUE SCAMS

FORECLOSURE RESCUE SCAMS

 

Updated:         May 31, 2018

 

Homeowners who have exhausted all other options and are finally facing foreclosure become prime targets for scams. Offering “rescue” plans, these scam artists prey upon the desperation of those who are grasping at any opportunity to save their home.

 

The three main scam formats are:

 

Promises of help that never materialize: Convincing the homeowner that appropriate letters and phone calls, which the rescuer will take care of, will save their home. While this intervention is typically too little and too late, the rescuers charges high fees for efforts that could easily have been done by the homeowner. In many cases, the scammer simply takes the money and runs.

 

Offering to “bailout” the homeowner:    While particular schemes vary, the final result in each situation ends with the homeowner losing title to their home. The home transfer is encouraged by the rescuer’s promise that the homeowner can retain residency as a renter and will be able to re-purchase it after the rescuer solves the financial predicament. Of course, the homeowner will never recover the property and any equity that might have existed will be long gone.

 

Signing away ownership:  This fraud begins with the homeowner believing that s/he is acquiring a refinance loan as a way to solve their financial difficulty. Thinking that they are signing loan documents, the borrower discovers too late that they signed forged documents deeding ownership to the supposed rescuer.

 

Scammers are experts at making something that is too good to be true sound reasonable. Of course, it helps when the recipient of the bogus information wants to believe it.

 

The following list of tips may help you to NOT become a victim of foreclosure scams. Beware if your contact:

            Asks for money upfront before proving service

            Instructs you not to contact your lender, lawyer, housing counselor, family,

               friends or others.

            Asks for mortgage payments to be made directly to his/her company or bank

                account established by that person rather than your lender.

            Requires payment only in the form of cash, cahier’s check or wire transfer.

            Promises to stop the foreclosure process, no matter the current circumstances.

            Advises you to transfer your property deed or title to his/her company and/or to

               them personally.

Offers to fill out paperwork for you.

Asks for something to be done immediately without delay. This includes

   pressuring you into signing paperwork that you’ve not had a chance to read

   thoroughly or do not fully understand.

Encourages you to lease your house and buy it back at some future time or over

    time.

Asks for you to give them power of attorney.

Asks for signatures on a grant deed or deed of trust.

Asks for signatures on any document with any blank lines.

Fails to provide copies of signed documents.

Refuses or fails to put an oral promise in writing.

 

For additional information on foreclosure scams and what to do if you suspect foreclosure mismanagement or fraud go to:

 http/www.dre.ca.gov/faq_loan_ foreclosure_fraud.html                  (copy and paste this internet address)

 

The above will take you to the Department of Real Estate (DRE) sites where current information will be available.

 

 

 

Word/HAR Webpage/foreclosure rescue scams