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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Foreclosure Scams: What You Need to Know

By Doc Schmyz

Home foreclosure is a VERY common problem that people face today. More often than not it starts from one missed payment which the spirals out of control. Before you know it you have missed three or four payments and the lender/ bank wants you to pay everything you owe all at once. Now the home owner panics and is looking for some type of "help". This is the mindset that sets someone up to become a statistic to a scam artist.

This is when the swindlers and crooks find their way into your mailbox or give you a call. Foreclosure scams are as common as the problem itself. Since homeowners believe that they have no choice they fall for these traps and make their situation much worse than it was before. It is not uncommon for these scams to lead to even greater financial problems then the homeowner faced in the first place.

Scam operators also distribute flyers,advertise online, publish advertisements in the local newspaper, and call homes which are included on the foreclosure list. They call themselves mortgage consultants who offer foreclosure services or advertise with "We buy houses" slogans and signs.

Common scams:

Bankruptcy Foreclosure Scam

This scam operates by promising the homeowner that their house will be saved. In return they will either ask for the homeowner to pay their mortgage directly to them, hand over their deed and pay rent, or obtain refinancing. Of course these crooks never do anything for you...they contact NO ONE on your behalf. They keep all the money and file bankruptcy without your knowledge.

Since the homeowner is not aware that bankruptcy has been filed, they fail to participate in the case. The case is dismissed and the house continues onto foreclosure. Apart from loosing money and your home, you will also have a bankruptcy on your record.

Equity skimming

The scam artist poses as a buyer. They then promise the homeowner to pay the mortgage or given them a sum of money once the property has been sold. The operator then convinces the homeowner to sign over the deed and move out. The homeowner can stay but they have to pay rent. If they opt to move out the operator lets a third party rent the property. The operator does not pay the mortgage and lets the mortgage lender foreclose. and of course they skip town and are never seen/heard from again.

If the house has equity, the operator sells the property and pays off the debt. Then the operator keeps the equity that the homeowner could have had if they sold it. In few cases, the scam operator actually finds a buyer or sells the house. - 23212

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