Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Be aware of Foreclosure Rescue Scams

In a current real estate market, when people are not able to pay their mortgage on time,
scam artists prey on struggling homeowners and often target defendants named in foreclosure proceedings. Don't let them take advantage of you, your situation, your house or your money. The best way to avoid becoming a victim is to get informed and ask a lot of questions. If you receive an offer, information or advice that sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Here are some tips based on http://www.fanniemae.com :

* Help is free! There is never a fee to get assistance or information from your mortgage company or a HUD-approved housing counselor.Beware of any person or organization that asks you to pay a fee in exchange for housing counseling services or modification of a delinquent loan. Do not pay—walk away! Call 1-888-995-HOPE (4673) for free housing counseling.

* Be aware of anyone who says they can “save” your home if you sign or transfer over the deed to your house. Do not sign over the deed to your property to any organization or individual unless you are working directly with your mortgage company to forgive your debt.

* Don't sign papers in exchange for a promise that someone else will pay off your mortgage. ALWAYS be sure to read and understand all paperwork before signing to ensure that you are not unknowingly giving someone else ownership of your home.

* Never submit your mortgage payments to anyone other than your mortgage company without your mortgage company's approval. Scammers might ask you to make your payments to them; however, they pocket your payments instead of sending them to the lender.

* Beware of anyone who says that you don't need a real estate professional or title company when selling your home. You should always have a real estate professional, attorney or a title company to help you with any transaction involving your home. Know the person you do business with.

* Before responding to any person or organization offering to "save" you from foreclosure, find out if the organization is HUD-approved. Check also with your lender.

Finding a Credit Counselor: Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is a U.S. government agency that provides assistance to home buyers and homeowners. HUD offers free or low-cost credit counseling throughout the country. To find the nearest counseling agency in your area, call (800) 569-4287.

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