Chances are that when you’re facing foreclosure you will come across – or be contacted by – a variety of scam artists. Protect yourself, and your home by keeping an eye out for these 5 signs it’s a Foreclosure Scam:
1) Scam artists will demand payment for counseling services.
There is never a fee to get assistance or information from your mortgage company or a HUD-approved housing counselor like St Johns Housing Partnership.
While some fee-based counselors are legitimate, you should know that free counseling is available, and may be most suitable for you.
2) Scam artists will tell you to sign over the deed to your house so that they can ‘save’ your home.
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.
3) Scam artists will ask you to sign papers in exchange for a promise that someone will payoff your mortgage.
Make sure you read and understand all paperwork before signing to ensure that you are not unknowingly giving someone else ownership of your home.
4) Scam artists ask you to submit your mortgage payments to someone other than your mortgage company – without your mortgage company’s approval.
Remember if you submit your mortgage payment to a ‘stop foreclosure’ scammer, your payments will never reach the mortgage company.
5) Scam artists will tell you 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 – especially when trying to avoid foreclosure.
IMPORTANT: Make sure that you are dealing with a HUD-approved organization.
Your mortgage company or a HUD-approved housing counselor is always the safest source of information and help.
If in doubt, visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website to make sure that the organization you’re dealing with is a HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency.