If you are at risk for foreclosure or currently in foreclosure, you have enough to worry about without falling victim to one of the many foreclosure scams out there. These so called "foreclosure rescue companies" promise to help save your home, but in reality are out to rip you off and make a profit.
Make sure you know who you are dealing with and be careful! Following are some of the red flags to look out for...
1. Asking for money up front before providing any service.
2. Telling you not to contact your lender, lawyer, family, friends, etc..
3. Asking for mortgage payments to be made directly to their company or bank accounts set up by them, rather than to your lender.
4. Promises to stop the foreclosure process, no matter what the circumstances.
5. Advises you to transfer your property deed or title to his or her company.
6. Encourages you to lease your house and buy it back over time.
7. Asks for you to give a power of attorney.
8. Offers to fill out paperwork for you.
9. Asks for signatures on a document with lines left blank.
10. Asks for signatures on a grant deed or deed of trust.
11. Refuses or fails to put an oral promise in writing.
If you are dealing with a company or a representative who asks you to do any of these things, run!!
If you have been approached by a scam artist or have been the victim of a foreclosure-related scam, you can report the incident to the following organizations and enforcement agencies:
California Attorney General: http://ag.ca.gov
California Department of Real Estate: www.dre.ca.gov
Federal Trade Commission (FTC): www.ftc.gov
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): www.hud.gov
Better Business Bureau: www.bbb.org