Sunday, April 10, 2011

5 Important Steps to Uncovering Mortgage Fraud

There are numerous con artists and scammers that prey upon homeowners who are having a hard time making payments on their mortgages, promising to save their homes and get rid of their debts.

These deceiving alleged foreclosure or mortgage consultants often use lists purchased from private businesses to target troubled borrowers. They may also offer to easily stop foreclosure or save hopeless homeowners from foreclosure through e-mail, phone calls, advertising, or in person.

If one suspects they're dealing with foreclosure fraud or wrongful foreclosure look for these types of common foreclosure fraud scams:

• Scam artists may "guarantee" to save one's home from foreclosure. They will tell someone to make his mortgage payments directly to them so they can forward payments to his lender when really they may pocket his money and leave him in worse shape on his loan.

• Scam artists create Web sites that resemble federal Web sites and use business names similar to those used by government agencies. These scammers use this scheme to fool someone into thinking they are approved by, or associated with, the federal government.

• Many con artists will persuade someone to transfer the title of their home to them with promises of new and better financing. They may say to him that he can rent his home and eventually buy it back. But, if he does not comply with the terms of the rent-to-buy agreement, he can very likely lose his money and home. These con artists have no intention of ever selling one's home back and they don't care that this is considered illegal wrongful foreclosure.

• Some scam artists may claim bankruptcy will solve one's problems. But in actuality filing for bankruptcy is rarely a permanent solution to prevent foreclosure. Filing for bankruptcy stops any collection and foreclosure action while the bankruptcy court administers the case. Eventually, one must make payments on his mortgage, or the lender has the right to foreclose.

• Several con artists use wrongful foreclosure legal arguments to persuade someone that they can "eliminate" one's debt and that he is not obligated to pay back his mortgage. They make inaccurate claims about applicable laws and finance, such as nonexistent laws that allow one to erase his debts or that imply that banks do not have the authority to lend money.