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Don’t Fall For Foreclosure Help Scams

Stop ForeclosureYou may have seen the signs around Miami. They scream out at you. “Don’t Lose Your Home!!” “Stop Foreclosure Now!” And if you find yourself on the short end of a Miami-Dade county foreclosure proceeding, you might stop and listen.

There are a lot of scam artists out there. It sickens me to think that people whose homes are being foreclosed on are easy prey for these scams. Why don’t we kick them while they’re down, right? It’s wrong! It’s unscrupulous. And it’s being done all over the country not just here in Palmetto Bay and the Redland.

If you are in the midst of a foreclosure proceeding it is almost certain that you’ve received letters from individuals and firms letting you know that they can help you avoid foreclosure. That’s because a foreclosure proceeding begins with a Lis Pendens, which is recorded by the Miami-Dade Clerk of Courts and makes your name and address a matter of public record. As if that were not enough, there are signs posted all over Miami that claim they can help you save your home. Before you call anyone, please arm yourself with some information. Yes, there are some legitimate people trying to help (while earning a living for themselves), but more often than not, the people aren’t out to help you, but to help themselves.

Some of these people will tell you that they will work with the bank on your behalf. Some will ask you to mail them whatever payments you can afford as they work out a payment plan to get you back on track. Some may even convince you to sign over the deed to your home under the pretense that it’s required in order for them to be able to help you. Please don’t do it!

If you’ve fallen behind on your mortgage payments but the bank has not yet started the foreclosure process, the worst thing you can do is avoid the bank’s phonecalls and ignore their letters. Banks are more likely to try to work out a mutual arrangement today more than ever before. If you find yourself in an adjustable rate mortgage that is about to reset it’s quite possible that the bank will work with you to get you a rate that is fixed and works for you. What have you got to lose by trying? If you don’t speak with your lender, they can’t help you.

So when you pick up the phone in an attempt to get some help for your mortgage woes, make sure you’re calling your lender instead of some scam artist just out to rip you off. Did you know that the FBI investigates these scams? Here’s a link to a story of a ring working in California scamming homeowners in trouble of losing their homes.

If it sounds to good to be true, it usually is. Don’t fall victim to a scammer.

  1. Lynda Eisenmann

    Hi Miss Miami,
    You are so right, scams are happening everywhere. Recently a friend paid $1,700 to a scammer/real estate co. for “negotiating” a short sale. So far, one email was sent…that was it!

    To make matter worse, the scammer company actually placed the home on the MLS, WITHOUT any listing agreement! Can you even imagine?

    Thanks for sharing the news.
    Lynda Eisenmann, Broker

  2. Thesa Chambers, Broker

    Maggie – I will be writing on this subject this week and will be linking you to it… thank you for always being so honest with your readers – miss you girl

  3. Boomer Jack Boardman

    “If it sounds to good to be true, it usually is. Don’t fall victim to a scammer” That pretty-much says it all! It’s been happening here in St. Paul, and IS a problem.

These articles are not intended to give legal or tax advice, and you should consult your attorney or financial advisor for additional information.

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