Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Don't Get Swindled by a Foreclosure Rescue Company

You can always count on the swindlers and scam artists to come out of the woodwork when desperate consumers get in trouble and need help. In this case it is poor unsuspecting consumers that are looking for ways to keep their homes and avoid foreclosure.

The new scam is being run by so called "foreclosure rescue companies". Many of these outfits charge consumers upfront fees and then walk away with the money. In Florida, you will see ads on television all day long offering to save you from the impending disaster of losing your home. More often than not, these "scam artists" have words like "federal" or "government" in their company name. The company names are intentionally misleading and often lead consumers to believe they are somehow connected to the so called federal government "housing bailout". In other words, official government agencies.
At a seminar for troubled borrowers near her home, one company offered a service that promised just what Ms. Martinez needed: for $1,000, the company said it would negotiate with her mortgage company to lower her interest rate.

“I was desperate,” said Ms. Martinez, 57, a clerk at the San Joaquin County Jail. She made an initial payment of $500 and paid another $500 a few weeks later.

Now the house is in foreclosure, and Ms. Martinez is waiting for the sheriff to evict her. She cannot reach the man she paid to modify her loan.
If you are in dire straights I would suggest two paths to getting help. First, talk to the company that services your mortgage loan. Many of these companies have set up relief programs to help stressed out consumers. Second, here are two websites you can go to find local housing counselors: Guide to Avoiding Foreclosure or Housing Crisis Resource Center.

Swindlers Find Growing Market in Foreclosures

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