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Beware of Foreclosure Rescue Scams

The threat of losing your home can lead some homeowners to take desperate measures to find companies who claim to reduce your monthly mortgage payment or take other steps to save your home.

Unfortunately, there are many scam artists stealing millions of dollars from distressed homeowners by promising immediate relief from foreclosure. Keep this in mind: If the advice or information sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t be taken advantage of.

Here are some tips to help you avoid these scams: 

  • Help is free! There is never a fee to get information from us. HUD-approved housing counseling agencies can also help you at no cost to you. Beware of any person or organization that asks you to pay a fee in exchange for housing counseling services or modification of a delinquent loan.
  • Beware of anyone who says they can “save” your home if you sign or transfer over the deed to your house. Do not sign over the deed to your property to any organization or individual unless you are working directly with your mortgage company to forgive your debt.
  • Don’t sign papers in exchange for a promise that someone else will pay off your mortgage. Always be sure to read and understand all paperwork before signing to ensure that you are not unknowingly giving someone else ownership of your home. 
  • Never submit your mortgage payments to anyone other than your mortgage company without your mortgage company’s approval. Scammers might ask you to make your payments to them; however, they usually pocket your payments instead of sending them to the lender.
  • Beware of anyone who says that you don’t need a real estate professional or title company when selling your home. You should always have a real estate professional, attorney, or a title company to help you with any transaction involving your home.

The FTC warns:

The scam artists use simple but potentially deceptive messages, like:

“Stop foreclosure now!”

“Get a loan modification!”

“Over 90% of our customers get results.”

“We have special relationships with banks that can speed up the approval process.”

“100% Money Back Guarantee.”

“Keep Your Home. We know your home is scheduled to be sold. No Problem!”

Once they have your attention, they use a variety of tactics to get your money.

If you’re struggling to make mortgage payments or facing foreclosure, there are legitimate options available to help save your home. Contact your lender immediately. You may be able to negotiate a new repayment schedule.

If you believe you’ve been the victim of foreclosure fraud, contact the FTC, or your state Attorney General’s office, or the Better Business Bureau.

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