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Too Good to Be True: 4 Signs of a Foreclosure Rescue Scam

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Too Good to Be True: 4 Signs of a Foreclosure Rescue Scam

It’s no surprise that in these tough economic times, many older adults are having difficulty affording their homes. According to AARP Foundation, approximately 13 million low-income 50+ households in America cannot afford their housing costs and/or live in inadequate housing. Though the possibility of losing your home may be terrifying, don’t let vulnerability make you a target. Beware of scam artists who prey on desperate homeowners that are at risk of losing their homes with foreclosure rescue scams.



How can you tell if what you’re being offered is too good to be true? Chances are that it’s a scam if the company or individual does one or more of the following:
•    Guarantees results and asks for a fee before providing a service to you
•    Tells you to make your mortgage payment directly to them
•    Requests you sign over your property deed or title to them
•    Accepts payment by cashier’s check or wire transfer only

In addition, be wary of anyone who tells you NOT to contact your lender, lawyer or housing counselor. Many scam artists will use lines like “let us take your mortgage off your hands” and try to buy your house for a deep discount. Lastly, do not sign documents that you don’t understand or haven’t read.

Now let’s talk about where you can find reliable information and guidance to help you avoid foreclosure. AARP Foundation’s Housing Solutions Center connects at-risk homeowners with a HUD-certified counselor, resources and education to help you remain in your home. 

In a free counseling session, these certified counselors can help you understand the foreclosure process and review your options  like mortgage modification, suspended payments or special repayment plans. Taking action today may allow you to stay in your home tomorrow. Connect with a counselor today by calling toll free at 855-850-2525.

If you think you’ve been a victim of a foreclosure rescue scam, you should file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online via Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

Sources:
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/moneymatters/your-home-foreclosure-rescue-scams.shtml
http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0100-mortgage-relief-scams
http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/learn-more/Pages/beware.aspx

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