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Homeowners beware - a new scam has surfaced targeting unsuspecting homeowners. Your phone rings showing a valid caller ID number. You answer and a recorded message announces that public records indicate your home is going to be foreclosed on, but there is hope; they will pay cash for your home so you can avoid this trouble. Sounds straightforward enough, the concept has been out there for a while, although it's not usually the best available option for a homeowner, so what makes this call different? It is indeed NOT based on public records; instead, it's just calling random numbers with the troubling message. They know it's a mathematical likelihood that with a number of calls SOME will result in hitting the person they are targeting.
For anyone who has never missed a payment, they know something is wrong. These people may or may not call their lender, causing more time to be spent explaining that there is no problem on their account - but what does that do to the call volumes and wait times? What does it do for overall customer service of that lender?
For anyone who has missed a payment or paid late, this call causes unnecessary concern. They too may waste the time of the call center to verify that there is indeed no problem, but they may fall for the scam thinking things are much worse than they imagined. At the very least, it causes them to lose brain time worrying with something that isn't real.
For anyone who has missed more than a payment and fears they are headed toward foreclosure, or anyone currently attempting to sell their home as a short sale, this call could be most troubling. The false information may cause them to make the wrong decisions or take adverse actions that should be avoided.
If you get one of these robo-calls, don't panic. If you know you are current on your mortgage(s), you might want to log into your mortgage company's website to verify your payments have been properly credited, but don't let the fake phone call upset you - just ignore it. If you have been late or have considered pursuing a short sale, contact a Realtor® to help you navigate the process. Unsolicited offers of cash purchase from total strangers are usually not the best option and have a greater likelihood of being a scam. The Realtor® you contact should have a bona-fide designation (like CDPE, the Certified Distressed Property Expert) so they know what they are doing and aren't using your situation as their practice exercise to learn how short sales work. If you've already engaged an agent, attorney, or other professional negotiator, inform them of the unsolicited call which may be a scam-they will know how to handle it and you should let them handle it since that's what you hired them to do.
Drick Ward, Realtor and Broker Associate 757-227-9007
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.