Foreclosure Services General Advice:
Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises consumers who are facing foreclosure and are seeking foreclosure "rescue" services to recognize that they are at real risk of losing money, equity, their home or all three. Carefully consider the following if your mortgage is in arrears or you are facing foreclosure:
-Talk to your lender. Ask about how to restructure your loan payment or refinance. Some foreclosure "rescuers" will offer to "negotiate" with your lender or lawyer. Know that such an offer is likely to involve a significant fee. If you are hesitant to talk to your lender yourself, engage the assistance of a trusted family member.
-If that proves to be unfeasible, try selling the house on your own to pay off the lender. Signing over a deed in no way releases you from your mortgage responsibilities!
-Some schemers will offer to complete paperwork for you, or ask you to sign a stack of documents, supposedly to secure a new mortgage. Victims have later learned that they signed a quit-claim deed to their home.
-Beware the personal approach. Some less-than-ethical businesses will stuff a handwritten note in your front door or mailbox that implies that "help" is available from someone you know or who has your interests in mind. Foreclosure scam artists know exactly what neighborhoods to blanket with their offers.
-Unscrupulous foreclosure companies or agents will tell you to stop making your mortgage payments and/or break off contact with your loan provider - don't listen. This is a big red flag. While these individuals will tell you 'they will take care of things,' what usually happens is they don't; overdue payments continue to accumulate and the cash-strapped homeowner is placed in an even tougher position.
-You should never sign a contract under pressure and never sign away ownership of your property. Ask a trusted family member, your attorney or a financial professional to review any paperwork you may be asked to sign.
-Before signing any deals with a potential buyer, contact BBB at BBB.org to request a Business Review for the company and check with your state Attorney General and state Real Estate Commission.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds free or very low cost housing counseling nationwide. Housing counselors can help you understand the law and your options, organize your finances and represent you in negotiations with your lender if you need this assistance. Find a HUD-approved housing counselor near you or call (800) 569-4287 or TTY (800) 877-8339 or online at hud.gov/foreclosure.