Beware of Foreclosure Scams
Foreclosure scam artists prey on those behind on their mortgage but want to keep their homes.
The foreclosure process in Texas is relatively short in comparison to other states. The limited time adds to the stress that scammers use to their advantage.
The best way to combat fraud is to educate yourself and explore your real options.
- How Scammers Find Victims
- Clues the Organization is a Scam
- Real Help
- Report Mortgage Fraud
How They Find Their Victims
Scammers constantly watch for the posting of “Notice of Sale”. Generally, the “Notice of Sale” goes out at least 21 days before the foreclosure sale (auction).
At this point, most homeowners are stressed out, upset, and looking for a way out. Foreclosure Scam artists use this emotional state and the pressure from the short time frame to steal your house from under you.
Clues the Organization is a Scam
There are some general clues to recognizing a scam. This list is not extensive. Always follow the rule, “If it sounds too good to be true, it usually isn’t.”
- They ask for money to “solve your problem”. Typically this results in a higher payment than what you currently have.
- If you are asked to sign documents, you don’t understand
- They rush you to sign or make a payment
- You cant find their company online
- Their email address is “@gmail.com”, “@hotmail.com,” or “@somethign that is not the business name”.net. Legitimate businesses have professional emails that end in their company name “.com” or “.net”.
- When you call, the person answering does not mention the name of the company when answering
- You can’t get a hold of the company (or talk to a live person) when you have a question.
Discover your true options. All it takes is a few phone calls to help you make a game plan that works best for your situation.
- Call your lender to see what arrangements you can make.
Remember, banks are in the business of making interest –not selling homes. When a bank has too many homes in foreclosures, its shareholders will begin to question the decision-making ability of the bank. Sometimes, shareholders demand the current leadership step down to save the company. To avoid this, banks would rather work with you than have another house they have to sell at a significant cost.
- Contact the Federal Housing Administration to discuss options
- Contact Urban Development (HUD) to discuss options
- Call the HOPE Hotline at 1-88-995-HOPE (4673) or visit http://www.995hope.org.
Do Your Homework
If anyone is offering you a deal that sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has information, programs, and counselors to help you stay in your home. This information and consultations are free.
You may qualify for one of the following:
- Special Forbearance
- Mortgage Modification
- Partial Claim
- FHA-Home Affordable Modification Program
Click the link for the FHA brochure on how to “Save Your Home: Tips to Avoid Foreclosure” for more information.
Report Mortgage Fraud
When approached by an organization claiming to solve your mortgage delinquency but asks for things that are off, shady, or set your intuition off, report it. Call the Mortgage Fraud hotline at 1-800-347-3735.
Better to have a legitimate company pass federal questions about a potential foreclosure scam than to lose your house to a fraudster! You might save someone you know from being scammed.
All-In Hauling wants to support our community as much as possible – including getting the word out about difficult topics. Knowledge is the shield that can protect you, your loved ones, and your neighbors during stressful times – foreclosure scams are one of them. When you know the games scammers play and who is at risk when you can help stop this crime in its tracks.
If you are planning a move and need assistance, please call us at (936) 445-8159.