In these tough economic times, mortgage foreclosure rescue scams are sweeping the nation. Foreclosure rescue fraud is both underhanded and malicious. Homeowners that are finding it difficult to make ends meet and facing potential foreclosure are promised help in order to save their homes.
When agents executed a search warrant at the office, they found a Las Vegas casino-themed sales floor complete with craps, poker and black jack tables fashioned as workstations, and a roulette wheel that top-selling telemarketers spun for cash bonuses.
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The scams typically are one of the following categories
- Phantom Assistance - The rescuer will make promise to represent the homeowner but will not follow through. This is a too little too late scam as the helpless homeowner receives too little (or no) help too late to stop the foreclosure from taking place. The supposed rescuer charges a very high fee for basic phone calls and paperwork.
- Bailout - This scam is designed to assist the homeowner out by assisting them search out a way to get out of the house. The scammers approach to get the house varies, except each method ends with the homeowner surrendering the title to the house on the promise that they can stay on as renters and have the opportunity to buy the house back once their financial situation is "fixed." Then the homeowner finds out they cannot buy the house back and the unscrupulous rescuers get most, if not all, of the equity.
- Bait and switch - The bait and switch with foreclosure scams involves signing away the ownership of your home. The scammers inform the homeowner victim that they are signing documents for a new loan that will solve their problems. The certainty is they are signing forged documents that will give the fraudsters ownership of the home and will still owe for the mortgage except they will no longer won the asset, their home...
When people are desperate, they will believe just about anything, especially if it involves saving their home. Just remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If you believe that you are the victim of any criminal activity, such as a mortgage foreclosure rescue scam or forged documents being presented for your signature, you should contact your local law enforcement agency.
Michael S. Richardson
Director/Chief Quality Officer
Author of "An American Epidemic, Mortgage Fraud a Serious Business"
Follow me on Twitter @ FocusonFraud