What should I know about foreclosure scams?

Homeowners in Georgia are willing to do almost anything to avoid foreclosure. This leaves them vulnerable to foreclosure relief scams, which make incredible promises like helping homeowners keep their homes or lower their mortgage payments. PennyMac offers the following information on common scams so you can take the proper steps to avoid them.

Lease and buyback

Be wary of any third-party investors that offer lease and buyback assistance. This entails transferring the deed for your house to the third party, who will allow you to rent the property until your financial situation improves. Once this occurs the new deed holder usually takes steps to make renting the property impossible or will change the terms so buyback is no longer an option.

Loan modification

In many cases, loan modification is a legitimate way to avoid foreclosure. However, not all offers are as they seem. If the offer to modify a loan is accompanied by an added fee, which must be paid before the loan modification can occur, chances are it’s a scam. If you’re contacted about loan modification, verify the information with your lender first. Some scammers will even use official-looking documents and letterhead just to trick you.

Mortgage counseling

In the same token, beware of mortgage counseling that seemingly comes from out of nowhere. Fraudulent counselors usually ask for a fee and in exchange claim that they’ll handle all negotiations from there. They may also ask that you transfer mortgage payments to them, which they will “hold” until negotiations are complete. Mortgage help is rarely ever legitimate when it’s unsolicited. Also, help is usually free for most homeowners. Any requests for upfront fees and costs for mortgage assistance must be taken with a grain of salt. 

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Gainesville, GA 30501

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