Foreclosure Scams in Massachusetts - Be Wary of the Quick and Easy Fix
The old saying, "If it is too good to be true, it probably is" has particular relevance to the current wave of foreclosure scams.
A campaign was launched recently in Massachusetts to warn distressed homeowners about the growing amount of loan modification schemes in the Commonwealth as well as nationwide. The key to this message, and we have heard this before, is not to pay any upfront money to a company that professes to be able to secure a refinancing deal that will get you out of the situation of facing foreclosure.
Although Massachusetts has not had the prevalence of foreclosure activity that many other states across the country have had, this year it has started to increase. According to the Warren Group, during the first four months of this year, 4,821 homeowners have lost their properties to foreclosure. That is a 36.6 percent increase from last year.
Along with the increase in distressed homes comes an increase in vulnerability to "loan modification" scams. These scams have reached epidemic proportions nationwide and we have to be on the lookout for them now locally.
One aspect of these schemes that should raise a red flag is the promise of a quick and easy fix to a problem that has been a long-time in the making.
Some of the common threads running through these companies are:
- Fliers, public service announcements and ads plastered on buses
- Attempts to dupe homeowners into transferring the ownership of their homes to someone else
- For-fee bankruptcy filings that promise you will be able to keep your home
- Guarantees that a counselor will be able to stop the foreclosure process regardless of your circumstances
Be wary of foreclosure rescue companies. Avoid falling prey to these scams by doing a thorough search on them via the Internet. Also, check with the Better Business Bureau and visit www.loanscamalert.org.
Copyright 2010 "Foreclosure Scams in Massachusetts - Be Wary of the Quick and Easy Fix"
Claudette Millette, Broker, Owner, The Buyers' Counsel - (508) 881-6230