Foreclosure rescue scammers have no trouble promising financially distressed homeowners that rescue is available. The dangerous thing about these scam artists is the number of ways they’ve found to separate homeowners from both their property and money. Here, we’ll tell you what a foreclosure rescue scheme is, how to recognize a scam, and how to avoid falling prey to a scammer’s dirty tricks.
What are foreclosure rescue schemes?
Foreclosure rescue schemes begin with scammers poring over newspapers, visiting county offices, or checking internet sites to identify homeowners caught up in foreclosure. Increasingly, these criminals are targeting non-English speaking homeowners. A scam artist may contact distressed homeowners at home, by phone, at work, or by leaving a note on their front door. They also place ads online, in newspapers, and on television.
The message is simple: “Want to remain in your house, preserve your credit score, receive cash, and get a fresh start? We have the tools to make it happen.”
There’s a Greek proverb that says, “A drowning man will clutch at a straw.” In this case, it’s a desperate homeowner who will clutch at whatever it takes to save their home and credit rating.
How do mortgage rescue schemes work?
Once a scammer has a homeowner on the hook, they set up a meeting. The first meeting often includes the following pieces of advice:
- Discontinue all contact with your mortgage lender.
- Do not speak with a credit counselor.
- Have no contact with an attorney.
- Allow me (or us) to take care of all the details and save your home.
In other words, the scammer wants the homeowner to cut contact with anyone who might offer legitimate, legal solutions.
The goal of the scam artist is to turn a profit as quickly as possible. They are likely to tell the homeowner about the fee they charge for their services. To make it more “convenient,” the homeowner can make a lump sum payment or pay in monthly installments. In addition to a fee, the scammer may instruct the distressed homeowner to give them any full or partial payments they would normally send to the mortgage company. And then they will work very hard to convince the struggling homeowner that they will pass the payments along to the lender as they negotiate a settlement.
Types of foreclosure rescue schemes
Unfortunately, scammers have many options …….