Don’t fall for these common foreclosure scams

If you have found yourself barely getting by each month, you are not alone. Many people in the Shreveport area as well as across the country are struggling to pay their monthly utility bills, keep food on the table, and still make their mortgage payments. Like many of them, you put avoiding foreclosure and keeping a roof over your head as the number one priority. But, as debt swings out of control, you can suddenly find yourself watching everything you own slip away. This is especially true when financial problems, such as a job loss, divorce or the death of a family member occur.

When people are struggling to make ends meet, scammers seem to come out of the woodwork. It is almost like they are watching and waiting for just the right moment to strike. If it seems like foreclosure is just around the corner, an easy solution to your debt problem may seem like a dream come true. However, keep in mind the old adage that if something seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t. Read below to find about some common foreclosure scams so that you do not become a victim.

Cold calling

If an individual knocks on your door and offers to purchase your house for cash at lower-than-market value, close the door. These scammers will convince you to sell your home for a low price along with a promise to pay off the remainder of your mortgage. The scammer will advise you to sign over the deed, move out, and stop any and all communications with your lender. Signing over the deed of your home does not transfer the mortgage to the buyer. In fact, you are still on the hook. Furthermore, the scammer has no intention of paying off your mortgage. One you move out, his intention is to rent out the property for as long as possible, allow the bank to foreclose, then flip the property and pocket the profit he made from the equity that you had spent years building.

The new mortgage lender

In some cases, less-than-ethical lenders will contact you and offer you a new loan. The scammer will encourage you to inflate your income on the loan application to ensure approval. However, as soon as you miss a payment, the scammer will swoop in and foreclose on your home. Some lenders will offer you a refinancing loan with lower monthly payments, but the interest rates are typically so high that each monthly payment is only marginally affecting the principle. Unfortunately, you will not realize this until the loan term is up and the lender comes knocking on your door requesting almost the entire amount of the money you originally borrowed. When you cannot pay, the scammer forecloses.

Fake counseling services

Beware the company that offers to settle your debt for some exorbitant fee. These agencies typically only make a couple of phone calls and fill out some documents. The most you might get is one of these agents renegotiating your loan structure on your behalf. In reality, they do not do anything you cannot do yourself. Their real goal is to keep you from getting the actual financial help you need while taking money you cannot really afford to pay. Before you decide to use a credit counseling company, be sure to do plenty of research to ensure you selecting a reputable agency.

If you want to truly take control of your debt and avoid foreclosure, one of the best things you can do is to consider a bankruptcy strategy. Your attorney will be able to help you find a solution so that you improve your financial standing.