Foreclosure is one of every home owner's worst fears. Most people facing foreclosure would do anything in a desperate bid to stop it. They can get emotional, lost and confused. These can make them very vulnerable to scam operators. In their attempt to look for help, they sometimes end up with the wrong people. A simple problem with default in payments can escalate to losing their home sooner than they expected, to the people who are supposedly going to help them.
The National Consumer Law Center has 7 great tips to avoid being a victim of foreclosure scams:
1. Don't panic. Get detailed information about the deadlines you face in resolving your problems. Pay special attention to the date on which you would lose legal right to ownership.
2. Never sign a contract under pressure. Take your time, and consult a lawyer if possible.
3. Never sign away ownership via a quitclaim deed or other means without consulting a lawyer. Be especially suspicious of offers to lease back your home, in order to by it back over time. These offers are weighted against you.
4. Never make your mortgage payments to anyone other than your lender. If you can't pay, do not ignore warning letters from your lender; contact them instead.
5. Beware of any home-sale contract in which you are not formally released from liability for your mortgage. Make sure you know the rights you are giving up and that you agree to give them up.
6. Don't sign anything with blank lines or spaces; information could be added later without your knowledge and consent.
7. If you do not speak English, never use a "rescuer's" translator. Instead, insist on using your own translator.
No one wants to face foreclosure. As a Realtor, I'm never happy to see anyone go in foreclosure. I would rather sell their house than see them lose their homes to foreclosure and to scam operators. Thus, I wanted to provide as much information as I can to help people be more financially informed, know their options and guide them to avoid facing foreclosure.
As a Realtor, I'm not only here to buy and sell homes on behalf of my clients. I'm here to genuinely help them have a successful real estate transaction. Part of it is educating them about the real estate process and giving them valuable resources to make an informed decision.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding any real estate process whether you're buying or selling, do not hesitate to give me a call. Let's have a chat on how we can best achieve your real estate goals.