People in or facing foreclosure are targets for foreclosure scams from stop foreclosure companies, loss mitigation companies and Attorney based Loan Modification companies.
You should think twice before signing anything and consult an attorney or state regulators that govern companies helping people stop foreclosure. Please make sure they have a contract on file and are licensed in your state and willing to use the U.S. Postal service for pickup and delivery of funds and documents. If a stop foreclosure company will not use the U.S. Postal service they may be trying to avoid mail fraud charges if they are not a legitimate stop foreclosure company.
You must understand all your options. If you are considering selling your property, get 3 agents from different offices to do a Comparative Market Analysis. It's free, and you'll have a good idea of the value of the home. If you want to save your home from foreclosure you should get a free consultation from a reputable Attorney.
We have listed some of the most common scams people face when they call companies that help stop foreclosure and ask the preverbal question. Can you help me save my home from foreclosure?
1. "We'll save your credit. Pay us a reasonable fee and save your credit by signing your house over to us. Then they will tell you something like "the foreclosure will be recorded against us, not you".
The foreclosure will be reported against the borrowers on the note, not anyone else.
2. "We'll give you some money, just sign the house over, we'll cure the default."
There really isn't a problem with it, IF you know how much equity you are selling and IF the purchaser really will cure the default and IF the purchaser will really make the payments and IF you want to still be responsible for the loan. Too many IF's to be able to say this is either a good or bad option, just be careful with it and always have an Attorney review any documents you are signing.
3. "We'll buy the property, lease it to you, you have the option to buy it back."
It might have happened, but the reality is, to buy it back you'll need a new loan that's larger than the loan you have with an interest rate greater than what you have. The payments will be higher and it's going to be very difficult to qualify. Explore a small hard money loan if you have the equity or consider an open market sale, you'll probably end up with more money in your pocket."
4. "We'll get you a new loan and solve all these difficulties.
Every time you refinance, unless you are paying fees out of pocket, your loan balance is going up which is using up your equity."
Lenders can make a lot of money loans; you need to consider total loan amounts also, not just the monthly payments. Normally these loans have high rates and fees.
5." I'm an agent specializing in pre-foreclosures and I'll get your property sold quickly for top dollar and relieve you from your situation."
Some agents have a relationship with an investor and work from published Default notices. You may get an offer, but is the best? We've seen listed properties in foreclosure receive higher offers with no contingencies and the capability for quick closing that isn't always accepted by sellers. I'll tell you why. Most likely the reason is because they are never presented to the seller. Use local agents, get three comparative market analyses and be cautious. It's always a good idea to consult an Attorney.
6. "Stop Foreclosure with Bankruptcy."
Bankruptcy does NOT stop foreclosure. It puts a hold on foreclosure which can allow you time to reorganize your finances. Every area has reputable Attorneys who handle bankruptcies and you can modify the terms of your loan before filing bankruptcy leaving you with better terms and a lower mortgage payment. You should spend the time to know what you have to do and when filing bankruptcy is an appropriate choice. Mistakes can cause things to worsen fast and cause you to lose your home to foreclosure. The truth is getting help is critical and a good Attorney is the key. Do you want it done right, or do you want it cheap?
7. "We're Loan Modification/Loss Mitigation experts and can freeze your mortgage payments for 3 to 5 months so you can pay us to modify your loan."
Many companies are making false representations to homeowners to get paid in advance to assist in stopping foreclosure. Loan modification experts that stop foreclosure or help stop the foreclosure process should not take money in advance to help stop foreclosure. They offer money back guarantees but there's no guarantee they will be in business or are operating legally. Some of these loan modification companies take the money and run or do nothing more than get you an unaffordable forbearance agreement you were already offered from the lender. Many of these companies are soliciting homeowners facing foreclosure offering stop foreclosure services using "bait & switch" tactics such as. We can get you a 3.00% fixed interest rate and you end up being turned down. Or, call my past clients (their partner in crime) and see how we saved their home. We can go on and on.
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