One of the most frightening situations that can happen to any family is the possible loss of the family home. In 2014, 1 in every 1,396 Georgia homeowners faced losing their home through foreclosure. In fact, Georgia ranked number 17 in the nation in foreclosures in 2014. Knowing that people want to save their homes has opened the door for scam artists to try to take advantage of an already bad situation.
Each month, scam artists steal millions from homeowners facing foreclosure. One popular way these crooks get their foot in your door is to guarantee approval of a loan modification. Most homeowners facing foreclosure have already tried to obtain a loan modification through their own lender and were turned down. The scam artists know this. They know how desperately you wanted the modification, how hard you worked to provide the information to your mortgage company and how you believed this was the way you could save your home.
Beware of anyone that guarantees they can obtain a loan modification for you – this just is not the way loan modifications work. No one can guarantee your lender will approve a loan modification. No one has a “special arrangement” with your mortgage company. If your mortgage company has not approved your loan modification and foreclosure is around the corner, it is time to put that option aside and look for a legal way to stop the foreclosure while you still have time.
A second scam used by these crooks is to convince homeowners to sign over the title to their property by telling them this will stop the foreclosure. The only time you should ever sign over the title to your property is if you are selling your home and you are sitting at a closing table and the attorney tells you it is time to sign. Or, you and your attorney are working directly with your mortgage company to forgive your debt. Never, ever sign over the title to your most important asset to someone without speaking with your attorney first.
Another popular (but false) promise made by these scam artists is to tell you they will pay off your mortgage in exchange for you signing over the title to the home. In these deals, you may be told time is short and just sign the title and the check you are shown will be dropped in the mail to your lender. If you have hear that line, stop right there! If this is a legitimate purchaser, they will have no problems with you involving your attorney in a review of all documents and setting up a time to legitimately close on the purchase of your home. If the person “buying” your home tells you that you do not need an attorney to handle this transaction you need to run away from this deal as quickly as possible.
These are just a few of the tactics used to try to defraud innocent homeowners trying to save their homes. Our list is not exhaustive. These crooks come up with new ways all the time to fool you so please be careful.
Remember, by the time you have reached the foreclosure stage with your mortgage, your options are limited BUT they are far from over! The key is that you must take action quickly to save your home. Our attorneys know how to save your home. So, give us a call today at (706) 872-7117 or email me.