Consumer Alert: What You Can Do to Protect Yourself from Getting Ripped Off in Real Estate and Home Loan Relief Scams

by qinfokusuma 30. June 2012 11:15


It is really difficult to identify a “surefire” way to detect fraud in the area of real estate and mortgage relief services. But there are some red warning flags to look out for so that you do not become the latest casualty of the scammers. Those things include:


1. Advice that you can “walk away” from your home loan and repair your credit by quitclaiming your property to some third party.


2. Assertions that you can “delete” or fully satisfy your mortgage by assigning it to a third party.


3. Claims that you can get your home “free and clear” by suing your lender for something like failing to get your approval to assign the loan to some other party.


4. Letters that appear to be from a government agency claiming to help you obtain mortgage relief assistance, or offers of “official government assistance” or “government approved” mortgage relief.


5. Requests that you pay only in cash, or by wire transfer or a cashier’s check.


6. Discussions of “side deals”, paying for something “outside of escrow” or “after closing”.


7. An unwillingness to meet in person.


8. “Attorney-backed” or “attorney affiliated” entities that do not disclose the name or names of California licensed lawyers who are responsible for those entities.


9. The use of more than one contract for the same services.


10. Advice that you do not need to read an agreement that you have been asked to sign. Always remember that you should not be pressured into entering into an agreement that you do not read and understand.


11. Unsolicited help, such as people showing up at your home, or cold-calling you and professing their expert services. You need to fully research all of those who you consider paying for real estate and mortgage relief services.


12. Unqualified guarantees or promises that the service provider can get your loan modified, that they can get a short sale approval for you, or that they can stop a foreclosure action.


13. Requests that you provide personal financial information over the phone or over the Internet.


14. Requests for upfront payment before any services have been provided.


15. Requests giving the service provider a power of attorney.


16. Statements that you must act immediately, or without any delay.


17. Requests that you must sign a deed of trust, grant deed, quitclaim deed, or any document that has not been fully completed (such as where lines are left blank).


18. Advice that you should not talk with your lender, servicer, attorney, accountant, and/or anyone else.


19. The use of lofty language that you cannot understand.


20. Advice that you can make some false statements in documents to get mortgage relief since “everybody is doing it”.


21. Assertions that they have found some secret loophole in the banking laws that will help you eliminate or modify your mortgage.


22. Assertions that you can avoid foreclosure by giving “fractionalized” interests in your property to persons or entities that are in bankruptcy.


23. Assertions that you are a “sovereign person” not subject to the laws of California or the United States.


24. Assertions that bankruptcy is an easy fix and will save your home from foreclosure. Filing for bankruptcy is a major event, with large implications for your life and credit, and it does not wipe out your secured mortgage lien. Bankruptcy should not be taken lightly, or commenced without serious contemplation and the advice of a credible and reputable bankruptcy specialist.





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