Foreclosure and mortgage modification scams are truly among the most nefarious examples of how low scammers will stoop to target the most vulnerable among us.
All homeowners are potential victims of foreclosure and mortgage modification scams. That’s especially true if you’re in difficult financial straits. You may be desperate for assistance. Scammers know that. And so do governments. The website of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, for example, features a list of tips to help you avoid them.
The following are some of the more common tactics foreclosure and mortgage modification scams use use to prey upon distressed homeowners.
You Can Lose Your Home to Foreclosure Scams
The operators of foreclosure and mortgage modification scams may operate an official-looking business. They watch and wait for upcoming foreclosures. They may find them one at a time, or in the event of a local or national financial or housing crisis they may come in a wave. In either case, the scammers descend upon the frightened homeowners and present them with a golden offer. In exchange for a retainer of a few thousand dollars, plus perhaps an additional monthly fee, their financial services professionals can restructure or refinance your mortgage. After receiving the money, however, they disappear. Or wait an appropriate length of time before sending an official reply that your case was not winnable. But they’ll do so in a very professional manner and say that they’re sorry.
But not sorry enough to return the money, of course. Not even to stop the monthly membership payments. The fine print makes sure it’s all non-refundable, so you will wind up paying them every last cent. You lose the thousands of dollars that they scammed from you. Plus any monthly fee until you manage to pay it all off. You still lose you house because they never did anything to help you. Moreover, since you trusted them you didn’t initiate a paper trail on your own behalf with the bank or mortgage company. After all, you thought you contracted with professionals who were working on your behalf. So you’ll never know if you could have avoided all that if they had never come into your life! Add to that the emotional stress, legal fees, and everything else. It adds up to a truly serious criminal endeavor.
Scamming the Government, the Courts and the Banks in Your Name
But it can get worse. The scammers can cheat the government, the courts, and the bank as well. And make it appear that you will be the one at fault. How? They’ll tell you that they can prevent your foreclosure if you sign over to them a fractional interest in your home. It may be as little as one percent or even one-eighth of a percent. At first glance that doesn’t seem to be much. A small price to pay to keep your home. So you agree to pay them a sum of money every month.
You expect that that the home will not be foreclosed. But they’re just delaying the inevitable. They’ll play a game with you by filing one bankruptcy after another through shell companies. The bit of ownership you paid them to take enables them to do that. Eventually, it all comes crashing down and you’re left to pick up the pieces, minus your home.
Yet another version of foreclosure scams involves signing over the whole house to the scammer and agreeing to rent it from them as a way of slowly buying it back. Once they are in control, however, they can keep raising the rent until you’re forced to move out. Or use the fine print to make it essentially impossible for you to buy it back.
Entire Neighborhood Can Fall Victim to Foreclosure and Mortgage Modification Scams
On the other side of foreclosure and mortgage modification scams are criminals who focus in on neighborhoods containing lots of unoccupied foreclosed properties. They operate real estate scams. They forge documents to make themselves appear to own the homes, then hire property managers and find rental tenants. The scammers collect the rent but don’t pay the property managers. Eventually, the authorities catch on, but the conman is long gone. The renters will be evicted and the property managers are never paid.
If you think you’ve been the victim of a foreclosure or mortgage modification scam, contact the fund recovery experts at MyChargeBack.