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Be Wary Of Anyone Offering Foreclosure Help

Updated on May 11, 2009

If you find yourself facing a possible foreclosure situation, you are like far too many people who are also in such an uncomfortable place.  Between the economic crisis affecting many people’s jobs and income, coupled with the dramatic reduction in home values in most parts of the country, a lot of home owners are having a tough time hanging on to their homes. 

Unfortunately, difficult economic times make for a very fertile situation for unscrupulous folks trying to make a buck off the desperation of others.  For example, you may have noticed all kinds of advertisements regarding foreclosure avoidance assistance.  You may be wondering if any of them are legit.

Remember that no matter what, you want to enter any financial situation very cautiously.  It is easy for con artists to use the concept of ‘helping’ to get their victims’ guard down.  The additional danger in a situation like this is that if you were to get conned, you might not only lose the fees they charge you, but you could potentially lose any equity you have in your home as well as the house itself!

So you’re aware, mortgage foreclosure rescues come in a number of different forms.  For example, the rescuer may loan you money to pay off the balance of the loan.  In doing so, you will be asked to sign loan documents with them… however, they may not be what they seem.  Often times the documents transfers all of your interest in the property to the ‘rescuer’, who shortly thereafter evicts you from ‘their’ home.

Another sneaky strategy that has been used to rob homeowners involves a lease-back agreement.  The owner knows they are signing the title over to the rescuer, but the agreement is that they will lease the home back from them until they get on better financial ground, at which point they will repurchase the home.  However, the lease payments are often higher than the mortgage payment, so naturally, the ‘tenants’ fall behind and are eventually evicted.  Or, if that doesn’t happen, then the re-purchase price is set so high that it’s impossible for them to ever reacquire it, leaving them with nothing.

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to think that if they are foreclosed upon, that they will lose everything.  This is what leads them to desperate measures of dealing with a ‘rescuer’.  However, the truth is that even if you do lose your home to the bank, the bank will only take what is owed on the mortgage.  If you have any equity built up in the home, you will be able to keep that. 

If, on the other hand, you sign the property over to someone else, they will benefit from any proceeds that come from the sale.

So be careful when considering ‘help’ in a foreclosure.  If help is offered and it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Don’t trust signs found on a bulletin board on notes on your windshield; they’re probably not legit.  And if you do find yourself working on foreclosure avoidance program, make sure you read every single document that is prepared for you before signing.  You may also want to see if the company you are dealing with is registered with the better business bureau.

For more information about home loans and refinancing in Portland, visit Portland Refinance Help


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      Larry D 8 years ago

      Yikes! Frightening thoughts for an already stressed out situation. Good heads up.