The possibility of losing your home to foreclosure can be terrifying. The reality that scam artists are preying on desperate homeowners is equally frightening. Here at Key Rex, because we are in the business of working with neighbors struggling to make their mortgage payment, we’ve seen a lot of scams. We wanted to share some tips with people looking for help, on how to recognize mortgage relief scams.
Some claim that nearly all their customers get successful results and even offer a money-back guarantee. Others say they’re affiliated with the government or your lender and still others promise the help of attorneys or real estate experts. Unfortunately, many companies use half-truths and even outright lies to sell their services. They promise relief, but don’t deliver. Once they have your attention, they use a variety of tactics to get your money. By knowing how their scams work, the FTC says you’ll be better able to defend against fraud. In fact, many of these companies leave their homeowner customers in worse financial shape.
Requires a fee in advance
Don’t pay any business, organization, or person who promises to prevent foreclosure or guarantees you a new mortgage. So-called “foreclosure rescue companies” claim they can help save your home, but they can’t really do that. They’re just out to make a fast buck. Some may ask for hefty fees in advance – and then, once you pay, stop returning your calls. Others may string you along before disclosing their charges. Cut off all dealings if someone insists on a fee in advance.
Here at Key Rex, we assist you at no charge. I started Key Rex because I once struggled to pay my mortgage. I didn’t know my options. Also, I was afraid to ask for help because all the options I found were expensive. Already strapped financially, I couldn’t afford help, I believed. So I am grateful, I can offer our service at no charge to our homeowners.
In some circumstances we have stopped foreclosure. If we buy your home, that satisfies the debt to the lender holding your mortgage. You will no longer own the home, but it will save you from the negative impact of having a foreclosure on your credit. In addition, depending on what is owed and repair estimations you will make money back once the sell is finalized to move on with your life and start again.
Promises to find mistakes in your loan documents that will force your lender to cancel or modify your loan
Cancelling your loan won’t allow you to stay in your home, and in most cases, lenders are not required to modify your loan to make it more affordable simply because of mistakes in your loan documents.
Guarantees to stop a foreclosure
Don’t do business with anyone who offers an “easy out” of foreclosure. These kinds of claims are the tell-tale signs of a foreclosure rip-off:
“We can stop your foreclosure!”
“97% success rate!”
“Guaranteed to save your home!”
Again, we are not offering to stop your foreclosure and save your home. This is important to understand. We are offering to buy your home, which satisfies the debt owed to your lender. This stops foreclosure because we then own the property.
Advises you to stop paying your mortgage company or stop talking to your mortgage company
Some scammers offer to handle financial issues and arrangements for you, then pocket your payment instead of sending it to your mortgage company. Send your mortgage payments ONLY to your mortgage company.
Scammers may advise you not to communicate with your mortgage company. That’s a bad idea because you may not find out until it’s too late that the scammer has done nothing for you, that your mortgage company was willing to modify your loan, or even that foreclosure is just days away!
First, we’d never advise anyone not to speak to their mortgage company. Mortgage companies often have options for families facing economic hardships. If you would like to keep your home you have several alternatives to foreclosure. The key is not to bury your head in the sand and be proactive. As soon as you know you’re going to be late with your mortgage start exploring your options, starting with your mortgage company. If you still don’t find any workable solutions, we’ll be happy to refer you to reputable resources and assistance.
We will never ask you for money. We will make YOU an offer. If you accept we will arrange a closing. Sometimes we can close in as little as seven days, which is really fast.
Help is Available
Contact your mortgage company as soon as possible if you’re having trouble paying your mortgage or if you get a foreclosure notice. Keeping the lines of communication with your mortgage company open is critical.
Call 1-888-995-HOPE for free personalized advice from housing counseling agencies certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This national hotline – open 24/7 – is operated by the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, a nonprofit member of the HOPE NOW Alliance of mortgage industry members and HUD-certified counseling agencies. For free guidance online, visit www.hopenow.com.
And for free information about the President’s plan to help financially strapped homeowners in mortgage misery, visit www.makinghomeaffordable.gov
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