Thursday, March 24, 2011

More Warnings Against Scams

The Huffington post has a great story up about the dangers that struggling homeowners face when they don't know where to turn for help, or when they grow frustrated trying to work with their lender: they become prey to scam artists.

The piece is here.

The Minnesota Home Ownership Center has additional information on avoiding scams on the "Look Before You Leap" (Avoiding Foreclosure Scams) website, here.

Here are some additional tips on how to avoid foreclosure rescue scams:
  • Don't fall for the lies that the scammers use to lure in homeowners: claims that they can save your credit, promise to find a buyer for your property or offers of free rent or gifts.
  • Don't EVER be pressured to sign a contract... especially if you don't understand something.  If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Speak with an attorney or a certified foreclosure prevention specialist who can help review documents with you.
  • Don't EVER send your monthly mortgage payment to a third party or a mortgage 'rescue' company, even if they promise to forward those payments on, or hold them in a special account.
  • Don't rely on verbal agreements.  Get everything in writing and keep copies of all documents, ESPECIALLY the ones you sign.  This is good advise, but many of the homeowners highlighted in the HuffPo article had 'contracts' and those contracts were worth less than the paper they were printed on, so be very careful.
  • Don't sign any form or contract with blank spaces or blank lines. 

Basically, we can sum up these scams in one line: no one that is struggling to pay their mortgage should have to pay to get help!

There is a network of FREE foreclosure prevention counselors available in Minnesota that are ready, willing and able to sit down with you to discuss your options for avoiding foreclosure.  To connect with a foreclosure prevention counselor, click here.  To learn more about the options available to Minnesota residents to avoid foreclosure, click here.

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