There is an adage that if something is too good to be so, then probably it is so. The foreclosure crisis has erupted like a tsunami in America and the irony is that there are many fishing in troubled waters – preying on the people. Taking advantage of the situation the fraudsters are tempting their victims with false hop. Thousands of troubled homeowners desperately trying to find land are falling for these hoaxers. It is better to be forearmed for prevention is always better than cure.
The first thing is to check out on those offering help prior to handing over either information or dollars to any entity – whether an individual or a firm. It is imperative to do the homework before committing yourself to any rescue scheme. The checking can be done with protection agency of the state, the Better Business Bureau, with the local credit union or the bank itself. Find out if the firm has a license. Have any complaints been lodged with the relevant state agencies against it? Does the lender know about the credentials of this firm?
Do not rush into signing anything. Go slow. Comb through all that you are being asked to sign. These hoaxers gamble on the fact that you are desperate and surmise that in such a state of mind you will not scrutinize the papers. You should read them but that will not be enough – seek the help of a friend or legal personnel. It should be somebody conversant with the happenings in the mortgage world. Thus the golden rule is never to sign any paper that you fail to understand and least of all any paper that is blank or has blank spaces, errors or wrong statements. Do not listen to talk about correcting them later on.
You must protect your own rights. Whatever the other person promises – get it in writing. The house is the most important asset in your life and as such verbal assurances just will not suffice. Insist that the representative of the firm gives a written contract stating all the promises being made and keep copies of all the papers you sign.
Always continue with your mortgage payments. Give it directly to the servicer or the lender. Do not rely on anyone making the payments on your behalf. Many fraudsters have taken this angle and asked the homeowners to hand over the payment to them promising that they will deal with the bank. They usually swallow the dollars and make your delinquent position worse.
Be doubly cautious about any scammer wanting you to sign off the deed of your house. These so-called rescuers often explain that you hand over the deed temporarily. The situation is deadly. You will find yourself sans the property but loaded with all the dues pertaining to it.
Be cautious about any advance fees. No organization can legally ask for upfront fees. Unfortunately many have fallen for this trap in their hurry to overcome problems.
Any sort of dubitable activity should be reported. Contact the office of the attorney general of your state and report any suspicious overtures of help. The Federal Trade Commission can also be contacted. There are other local agencies dealing with consumer protection. If you do so you will prevent others from falling into the mire.
It is however a harsh fact that one man’s poison is meat for another. These vultures prey upon the dying and are wolves in sheep clothing. Even in desperate times one should remain calm to make the best of a bad situation and not make it worse.