Foreclosure Rescue Scams Deluge Homeowners

29 Dec Foreclosure Rescue Scams Deluge Homeowners

If your property goes into foreclosure, you will find your mailbox (and sometimes even your phone, e-mail, and front oor) full of offers to “help” you. You may wonder how they know to contact you. The answer is simple–they data-mine the court files or any other public record created when a foreclosure is begun.

You may have some offers from legitimate housing counselors, but you may also have offers from less legitimate outfits–everything from sophisticated sales pitches to those who strictly prey on fear of losing a home, and even those who try to convince you that they operate in some official capacity with your lender or even the court.

The worst of these scams are out to steal the equity in your home; at the very least, they will cost you time and money that you don’t have if you hope to save your home. So how do you find legitimate help? Try the HUD web site for links to legitimate housing counselors, although it may be hard to find someone who has time to help you–they are pretty swamped. Even better, contact an attorney who defends mortgage foreclosures to help, or at least advise you concerning the process and the time frame that you have in which to act. You may think that you don’t need an attorney to fight a foreclosure. You may think that you need someone to work out a mortgage modification for you. Don’t be surprised, however, if it’s difficult to find an attorney who will undertake to do that for you. Many lenders and modification programs will only deal with you. They won’t deal with an attorney (or any paid representative). The mortgage modification process is also extremely frustrating. If you qualify, you may also want to contact your local legal services organization for assistance.

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Däna (pronounced "Donna") Wilkinson, has been a bankruptcy lawyer in South Carolina for 20 years. She is certified as a bankruptcy specialist by the South Carolina Supreme Court.
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