When someone is at risk of losing his or her home, that person may be willing to take any offer, even one that sounds too good to be true. Many foreclosure scams exist, built on false promises and deception. It is important that consumers be aware of these scams and recognize the red flags in advance.
While the types of foreclosure scams vary, they do have one thing in common. They are built on false promises, and prey on financially distraught homeowners who fear losing their homes. These companies swoop in and take advantage of someone when they are at their most vulnerable and are desperate for any type of assistance.
Many scammers will offer to purchase the property facing foreclosure by paying the amount owed. They then allow the homeowner to rent the property but raise the price an unreasonable amount. Other scams will claim to be able to negotiate the terms of the homeowner’s loans so long as the homeowner sends them money and not the mortgage company the payments. All that results in these situations is the company taking the money and never doing anything with it.
The Better Business Bureau has offered the following tips to avoid falling into one of these foreclosure scams:
- Never sign the deed to your property to another company or person unless they are working directly with your mortgage company;
- Never believe a company or person who tells you not to contact your own mortgage lender, an attorney or a housing counselor;
- Be cautious of any company that pressures you to sign something immediately, as well as any company that insists on payments be sent directly to them instead of the address on the mortgage statement;
- Additionally, be cautious of any companies that ask for upfront fees to be paid before any services are provided.
- Never rely on verbal promises. Any agreements or arrangements need to be documented in writing, and never sign any form that has blank spaces that the company says they will fill out later.
Instead of relying on the assistance of a company that may end up being less-than-reputable, a better option can be to work directly with the mortgage lender to either refinance or restructure your loan payments. If you receive communication from a company that seems suspicious, report the company to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the Florida Attorney General.
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Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between keeping your home or losing it in foreclosure. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure, please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com