Mortgage Fraud Alert – 5 Signs of Scams
Since the beginning of the housing crisis in 2008, millions of homeowners discovered they owed more on their homes than they were worth. If that’s not enough to worry about, there are all too many scams designed to take advantage of these homeowners.
Mortgage Relief Fraud Facts
- Top 5 States for Mortgage Fraud in 2012: Nevada, Arizona, Florida, New Jersey, California
- Lowest Instances of Mortgage Fraud in 2012: Kansas
- Metropolitan Area with Greatest Mortgage Fraud in 2012: Cape coral-Fort Myers, FL
- Greatest Decline in Mortgage Fraud Reports: California
- All 50 States Reported Some Incident of Mortgage Fraud in 2012
5 Ways to Identify a Probable Scam
1. Charging an Upfront Fee
You should never pay any upfront fees. In fact, the only parties who should ever ask you to pay any money at all are the lender who owns your mortgage or the servicer who collects for the lender. Even a real estate agent will only receive money in the form of a commission at a successful closing of your home sale.
No one can guarantee to save you from your mortgage troubles. While there are more viable solutions today than ever before, avoiding foreclosure is still a difficult process. A qualified real estate agent can give you advice and help you through your options, but if someone guarantees you success, it’s a good bet they are trying to take advantage of you.
3. Charity or Government Affiliation
While there are housing relief charities that exist, a favorite ploy of the con artist is to present themselves as a non-profit or representative of the government. They may also use seals and government names to make themserles seem more legitimate. Be wary of anyone who approaches you in this way and speak to your lender before you take any action.
4. Asking You to Transfer Your Deed
Under no circumstances should you transfer the deed to your property to anyone. Sometimes the con artist asks you to do this under the promise that they will save the property, and perhaps your credit. The problem is that once you sign the deed over, you forfeit all legal rights to the property. To make matters worse, you will still be liable for the mortgage.
Your situation may seem daunting, but despite the scam artists, there are professionals who truly can help you avoid foreclosure. There have never been more options for distressed homeowners than there are today.
One of the most common options to avoid a foreclosure is a short sale. The bank agrees to allow the home to be sold for less than the amount owed on the mortgage, and accepts the net proceeds as their payoff. Banks have become increasingly willing to accept this option because the home typically sells for more in a short sale than in a foreclosure.
For a homeowner, a short sale is an attractive solution because it can be much better for their credit than a foreclosure, and many times they can walk away from the home without the financial burdens which will make it difficult for them to move on.
As a CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert), I have received extensive training on the options available to homeowners in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure. I am tapped into major lenders, up to date on federal and local government assistance programs, and a member of the real estate industry’s most recognized network of professionals, demonstrating the highest standards of professionalism and ethics.
This training has taught me how to explain the varied options for each homeowner’s unique situation, as well as how to complete the processes involved in the most efficient way possible.
If you or someone you know could use my help, please pass along this info or contact me today for a free, confidential consultation.