Watch Out for Mortgage Relief Scams
Any homeowner, especially in this economy, knows how much the struggle is to keep your home. It can cause you a lot of stress and may even make you desperate enough to seek out solutions to help make it a lot more affordable. This is something that is even more true if you or your partner has lost their job and are struggling to make ends meet. While there are some reputable options out there, there are also a lot of mortgage relief scams that you need to watch out for to help keep your money safe.
There is a tragic reality out there that people are preying on those people who are struggling to pay their bills. You may find that companies are calling you, making all sorts of promises that sound too good to be true. They tell you what you want to hear; that they can make your monthly payments more affordable or they promise other means that will help you keep your home from going into foreclosure. These companies explain that they have a high customer satisfaction rate as well as a money back guarantee. The problem is not only do these companies not offer any sort of mortgage relief, but often times they get you in more trouble than you were in before.
There are a variety of scams that you may end up facing against. Some of the con artists decide to go through and search for people in foreclosure and write directly to them. Some choose to post ads on the internet offering relief and let the people come to them. These are just some of their methods. They often use phrasing that is deceptive but eye-catching, which is exactly what draws people in. One common scam is that they pretend to be an attorney or counselor that says they are working out a deal for you. They will get you to pay them your mortgage, some fees, and tell you not to contact the mortgage company. They will leave after a few months and you never hear from them again. There are also scams like the bait-and-switch, which makes you sign a contract that gives them ownership of your home, which leads you to eventually losing it anyways.
Luckily, the Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, has created a rule known as the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS). This rule makes it illegal for these unscrupulous companies to collect money from you unless you have received a relief offer from your lender and it has been accepted. What this means for the consumer is that even if you have an agreement with a company, you are not forced to pay unless you get what you want from them. There are legitimate ways to get relief and help you save your home, even if you are in foreclosure. Know your rights, which the FTC's MARS Rule offers you so that you will not be taken advantage of by these fraudulent schemes. Their website has a lot of great information in case you have any questions or are a victim of these scams.