Severe debt and the possibility of foreclosure can leave you very vulnerable. This is a prime moment for predatory scammers to take advantage of you. Far too many innocent people have fallen prey to scams related to foreclosure.
How foreclosure scams work
Scams have become incredibly sophisticated, especially in the age of technology and social media. Scam operators target people who struggle to pay their mortgage. They may offer to work with your mortgage lender on your behalf, but instead charge you a hefty fee and pocket your mortgage payments. Some scammers may even try to persuade you to sign the deed to your home over to them. To halt the foreclosure, the perpetrator often files bankruptcy in your name, which could ruin your credit and will halt the foreclosure process only temporarily.
Tips for avoiding scams
Fortunately, bankruptcy- and foreclosure-related scams have a few signs that you can watch out for to avoid. These include:
- Claiming that they can adjust the terms of your loan or reduce your mortgage
- Reaching out to you directly after reading your address in the foreclosure notices
- Posting marketing materials around your neighborhood, on social media or in local publications
- Referring to itself as a mortgage consultant, mortgage rescue, foreclosure consultant, foreclosure rescue or any similar name
- Requesting payment up front for a service it has not yet provided
- Asking you to transfer your deed or title out of your name
- Lacking positive reviews online or having many negative reviews online
Only your loan provider can adjust the terms of your mortgage. If any individual or company suggests otherwise, do not believe them.
What to do if you have been scammed
Even intelligent people can fall victim to a bankruptcy or foreclosure scam. If you believe that someone has taken advantage of you, it is time to contact a lawyer. Your lawyer can advocate for your rights, explain the law, work to hold the perpetrators accountable and help you handle your situation.