Despite your hardest efforts, you face the possibility of losing your Texas home to foreclosure. Do you know how to spot scammers looking to take advantage of vulnerable homeowners?
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency investigates common foreclosure scams. Take steps to keep from losing more than your home to disreputable individuals.
“Government” modification programs
When visiting government sites that offer foreclosure modification services, double-check the agency’s legitimacy. Crooks create lookalike sites similar to official government agency websites so visitors think they found a modification program connected to or approved by the federal government.
Refinance and foreclosure rescue fund
If someone approaches you and offers to act as your liaison with your lender to modify your mortgage or work out a repayment plan, tread carefully. Some scam artists offer guarantees to save a victim’s home or they pocket mortgage payments the person sends with the empty promise of sending the money to the lender.
Someone may approach you and suggest you file for bankruptcy to avoid foreclosure. While claiming bankruptcy triggers an automatic stay that halts foreclosure action while the court reviews your case, you must resume repayments on your home loan eventually. Otherwise, you may find yourself back in the foreclosure hot seat. Further, your credit score takes a dive if you file for bankruptcy, and the mark remains on your credit score for a decade.
Another scam to look out for is when someone approaches you to shift your home’s title to them and rent it to purchase it back for a better mortgage. If you do not adhere to the rent-to-by agreement terms, you lose money and your property.
You must protect yourself, your home and your finances while navigating foreclosure. By educating yourself on scams, you reduce your risk of becoming a victim.