Foreclosure Rescue Scams

The possibility of losing your home to foreclosure can be terrifying. Scammers use a variety of ways to find homeowners who may be facing foreclosure - public foreclosure notices in newspapers and on the internet or public files at local government offices.

The scam artists use simple but potentially deceptive messages, like:

“Stop foreclosure now!”
“Get a loan modification.”
“Over 90% of our customers get results.”
“We have special relationships with banks that can speed up the approval process.”
“100% Money Back Guarantee.”
“Keep Your Home. We know your home is scheduled to be sold. No Problem.”

 

Be cautious of claims by individuals or businesses that they can “rescue” you and help you remain current on your mortgage. If an offer to help sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

The most common mortgage foreclosure scams you should watch out for include:

“Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Specialists”: Some scammers promise to help you make phone calls or complete paperwork, in exchange for an exorbitant fee. Oftentimes, these are simple tasks that can be completed by the homeowner, without cost.


Lease-Buyback Scams: On some occasions, scammers will convince or encourage homeowners to transfer the deeds to their homes. Some of these transfers are disguised as lease/buyback transactions where the homeowner is promised he or she will be able to remain in the home on a lease term, and eventually buy it back. The terms of these agreements often make it far more difficult to re-acquire ownership of your home.

 

Bait-and-Switch: In this type of scam, scammers trick unknowing homeowners into transferring the deeds to their homes. Typically, the scammer will convince the homeowner that he or she is signing documents to “bring their mortgage current.” In reality, the homeowner is signing documents to transfer ownership of their home to the scammer.

 

Learn more about Foreclosure Rescue Scams from the FTC