When a homeowner is having trouble keeping up with a mortgage, a loan modification through his or her lender may be the right choice. However, choosing between a loan modification and whether to file for bankruptcy can be a difficult decision. It can be made even more difficult or confusing if a struggling homeowner falls prey to any kind of loan modification scam, as was the case for a number of Florida homeowners recently.

A man just pleaded guilty to wire fraud after his scam was exposed. The man would call struggling homeowners under the guise that he was a federal official. He would tell the homeowner he or she was approved for a loan modification, and this approval would be verified with a call directly from his or her lender. The homeowner would then receive a call with the caller on the caller ID system being listed as that person’s particular mortgage lender, offsetting any suspicions.

The man was able to convince homeowners to send money to an address and ignore any further calls from their lenders demanding payments or threatening foreclosure. The man ended up with approximately $750,000 from unsuspicious homeowners. He used a technology called “spoofing” to hide his real identity and have his caller identity listed as the lender.

If a homeowner pursues loan modification and is denied — or, even worse, is the victim of a scam — that homeowner may have lost valuable time and resources for pursuing other means of keeping a home. Another safe and scam-free option for struggling homeowners in Florida may be to pursue bankruptcy with the help of a trusted bankruptcy attorney. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can give homeowners the time needed to catch up on payments, and it may even lead to the elimination of a second mortgage, helping homeowners stay in their homes for less money, resulting in the same type of benefits of a loan modification in general.

Source: realtime.blog.palmbeachpost.com, “South Florida man used spoofing to con homeowners“, Kim Miller, Dec. 26, 2014