Whenever a home owner is struggling or has hit a rough patch financially, reaching out for help or assistance in an attempt to keep their home is not uncommon. While there plenty of government services and programs to help homeowners, there are also just as many scams that promise to help homeowners avoid home foreclosure. Florida residents are finding many of these scams have infiltrated the state and are costing Florida homeowners thousands of dollars.
The most recent reports of scams aimed at pilfering cash from desperate homeowners target homeowners who are plagued by upside-down mortgages. One particular scam involves convincing homeowners to pay fees and they in turn promise to help those homeowners avoid foreclosure and fix their mortgage issues. The scammers typically tout the ability to gain modifications of mortgages for the struggling homeowner, while actually doing nothing.
Many of the scam companies being found in Florida actually work together to target struggling families. They use public record to track who is filing for foreclosure or a property lien. One case highlighted involved a couple who paid $3,000 to a company and received no real help at all.
Any kind of company that requests high fees and payments to help you better manage your late mortgage payments should be suspect. The process of home foreclosure can be difficult and stressful enough under the best of circumstances. Because of the value of what is at stake, Florida homeowners should be vigilant about who they trust and where they get their information from. Moreover, the federal Bankruptcy Code offers important safeguards to protect consumers whose financial obligations have become unmanageable.
Source: Sun Sentinel, Mortgage fraud rampant in South Florida, Donna Gehrke-White, Aug. 17, 2013