You may see posters on telephone poles, or flyers stuck on your front door, all claiming to be able to offer mortgage relief, loan modification, or stop your foreclosure. While there are government programs available to help you with these issues, many of these advertisements are merely fraudsters out to get your money or your property. So how can you tell if someone is trying to scheist you? There are a number of red flags.
The scammers will often try to get homeowners to pay a fee for phony “counseling” services, particularly if they know people are worried about having to put up their homes for sell in order to avoid foreclosure. Be very suspicious of anyone who asks you for money – legitimate programs do not require you to pay a dime.
Rent with option to purchase is another strategy scammers use. They convince homeowners that instead of putting up their homes for sell, they will by your house and rent it back to you with the option to buy it back at a later time. Then they either keep raising the rent until you’re forced to move out, or they have you transfer the deed and simply keep your home, leaving you on the street.
Never sign anything without fully understanding the contract’s implications – even if that means hiring a lawyer. Follow your instincts – if you get a bad vibe, there’s probably a good reason.