In today’s economic climate, the number of foreclosures has been steadily climbing over the last few years. It’s estimated that between 20 and 25 percent of American homes are “under water,” meaning the owner owes more on the home than it’s worth, which makes foreclosure an increasingly appealing option. However, as a result, there are many foreclosure scams popping up, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).
In order to find potential victims, scammers often look at public notices of foreclosures or purchase lists of distressed borrowers. Frequently, scammers offer homeowners help to protect their home against foreclosure, usually by offering a fake mortgage modification.
Some common types of scams that have appeared recently in the foreclosure industry include fake government modification programs. These scammers use certain words to make you think you are dealing with an official government program, when in actuality they have nothing to do with the government. Other scammers offer to promise to give you better financing in exchange for titling your home to them. If you fail to comply with the terms of the agreement, you lose your money and your home.
Another common scam is promising to rescue a homeowner from foreclosure by renegotiating payment plans or loan modifications with lenders. They encourage you to make your mortgage payment directly to them, but instead of passing it onto the lender, they keep the money. Still other scammers sell you bankruptcy services which will prevent a foreclosure in the short run, but will not save your house on its own. A new emerging scam is where con-artists tell you that you are not obligated to pay your mortgage by using secret laws that erase your debts, which is an illegitimate and inaccurate.
Are you having trouble making ends meet in this tough economic climate? Is paying your mortgage each month a struggle? If so, contact New Jersey attorney Robert Manchel at the Law Offices of Robert Manchel. Our lawyers will advise you on the legal ways to keep your house and help you ease your debt load. Call us today at 866-503-5655 to learn more.
Also, continue to check back with our blog for part two in this series about avoiding foreclosure scams.