Steering Clear of Real Estate Foreclosure Scams

2 years ago

With recession fears, high unemployment and a shaky economy, real estate con artists are on the rise. There are shrewd criminals lying in wait for vulnerable property owners trying to dodge the foreclosure of their investment. Two primary ways of conducting these scams are:

The first one is where the con artists establish fictitious real estate recovery firms, then access public records searching for vulnerable properties in danger of foreclosure. After this they get in touch with the property owner explaining they have an answer to their foreclosure problems.

Using testimonials, statistics and dubious information which looks legitimate, the representatives aim to gain the owner's trust. To give you respite from further hassles and stress, the fictitious company then offers to take charge of the entire transaction for a minimal upfront expense.

For those investors who are taken in by this real estate con, once their hard-earned money is paid, the investors never hear from the company again! Within a short space of time, the property owner is astonished to find the foreclosure process is continuing. Only then does it occur to them that they've been the victim of a crime. Not only have they lost additional money but their property as well.

The second scam involves a fictitious real estate company suggesting they have a recovery solution whereby you rent your own property from them. When your financial position is more favourable and you wish to buy the property back, the deception becomes apparent. To do this transaction it becomes necessary for you to relinquish the deed to your home! Once you've relinquished that document, the fraudsters then evict you from your own home and either find new tenants or find another buyer.

There are only two ways in which these con games can succeed: firstly, you will be approached with an unrequested solution for this real estate assistance, and secondly, because all your problems are being taken care of by them, you are required to cease contact with your lender.

The following four tips are your best solution to avoid becoming a victim.

  1. ALWAYS stay in touch with your bank, even through difficult times.
  2. Be VERY cautious around anyone offering you a rescue package which you didn't request.
  3. NEVER pay for any fees that are requested in advance.
  4. NEVER, EVER transfer your property deed.

Finally, if you suddenly fall on hard times, feel totally helpless and require urgent assistance, contact a state government agency which offers financial counselling or even your financial institution.

Banks really don't want to repossess your home. There are always legitimate agencies, be they charities or government organisations, who can offer assistance in budgeting or negotiating with lenders to help you through the bad times.

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