Foreclosure and Foreclosure Avoidance Scams
As soon as news of subprime lending problems made it to Fox News and front page headlines across the world a new version of an old scam started to show up – Foreclosure avoidance
Usually your own mortgage company will help with foreclosure avoidance. In fact the problem got so bad in 2007 that mortgage companies told the general public that they take an average loss of 25 percent on a foreclosed home mortgage. Now we know a fact that can work to your advantage.
Try to work with your mortgage company, but keep a record of all phone calls and letters. Mail all letters with delivery confirmation. Most importantly make sure you are talking to your mortgage company
Let me explain the foreclosure avoidance scam and you’ll see what I mean. The scam operates this way. Usually people already applied for refinancing. As people think foreclosure is a possibility they may be behind on credit card payments. Your mortgage company may have alerted a different division within their company. And worst of all you might have applied to a debt counseling service or a foreclosure avoidance service on the Internet. I’m not saying these are a bad idea. What I’m saying is you don’t really know who has your information, or where your information is.
The scammer sends you a letter in the mail, and it looks like it came from your mortgage company. Your mortgage company is a matter of public record, and can be researched by anyone. Some letters are phishing schemes, and the homeowner might not even be in foreclosure.
People who have called their mortgage company might think the scammer’s letter is a reply from the mortgage company. Always call your mortgage company to verify the validity. The scammers are hoping you don’t catch on.
Whether you sign a contract with a foreclosure avoidance company is not relative to this discussion. What is extremely important is what happens if you assume the matter is being handled by your mortgage company. The loan goes into foreclosure, and the mortgage company thinks you aren’t doing anything, all because you are talking to a scammer that just wants to get some money from you. Services may or may not be rendered.
Our review of foreclosure avoidance websites show that many websites are less than 60 days old. Some of them have nothing to offer other than referring people to other websites. It is another sign of sharks in the water as opportunists try to capitalize on recent trends in the mortgage industry.
Our best advice is to contact your mortgage company, ask about foreclosure avoidance, and ask about hardship programs. Ask if they will convert your adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) to an affordable mortgage loan. Get the name of an agent and get a phone number for them, and don’t be fooled by others.
Be bold. Your mortgage company is probably over a barrel so telling them to do something about your loan or they will own your house is something the have heard before.
We’ve had reports of mortgage companies agreeing to work with people but the family already made a decision to move into an apartment, leaving the home before the sheriff showed up. In one case the mortgage company gave the family a date for eviction, only to call them to work something out the night before. It was too late. The homeowners already walked away in total disgust.
Foreclosure is not a time to be timid. If a finance company thinks a buyer will ultimately default they might try to get as much money as possible before foreclosure. Know where to draw the line. Putting your foot down and giving the mortgage company an ultimatum before they give you one can be rewarding. But giving away every dime you have to delay the ultimate does nothing for foreclosure in the long run.
Remember – we cannot give legal advice and you are responsible for your decisions. This page is only for informational purposes. We are not saying all foreclosure avoidance programs are scams, but some are. Go forth at your own risk.