Foreclosure Scams

We do NOT engage in any type of foreclosure scams. You will know up front what we can do and how it is being done. No secrets! No fine print!
 

 

From the Washington State Office of the Attorney General:BEWARE OF SCAMS!

In this time of rising mortgage rates, desperate homeowners have been lured by offers of assistance – only to be cheated out of equity they’ve built up, tricked into transferring ownership of their home or stuck paying expensive fees for little or no help.

  • Loan Modification Scams
    A loan modification is a written agreement with your lender or loan servicer that changes the original terms such as the interest rate, payment amount, principal or maturity date. You may see advertisements offering you loan modification assistance or be solicited by phone or mail from someone offering such services. Some of these companies have Web sites that look official or make it appear that are a government agency. Be cautious before hiring anyone to help you obtain a loan modification.
    • A number of businesses that claim to offer loan modifications are really looking to make a buck. Scammers ask homeowners for an upfront fee then provide services that the homeowner could have received for free through a nonprofit organization or from their lender. Sometimes, they provide no help at all. It is illegal for an unlicensed provider of loan modification services to collect a fee in advance for such assistance. In addition, there are limits on the fees that licensed providers can charge.
    • Be especially wary of anyone who asks for your bank account information in order to withdraw funds before they provide service.
    • Many loan modification companies are guaranteeing success rates of 90 percent in higher in negotiating loan modifications. We think promises like this are probably too good to be true. The reality is that lenders will not agree to a loan modification in every situation.
    • The Washington State Department of Financial institutions requires that any provider offering loan modifications be licensed as loan originators, mortgage brokers, or consumer loan companies. If you choose to go with a loan modification business, verify they have a license by checking the DFI Web site at www.dfi.wa.gov or by calling 1-877-RING-DFI.
    • Scroll down for resources, including free help.
       
  • Foreclosure Rescue ScamsSea consciente de Estafas de Rescate de Ejecución de Hipoteca!)
    Scammers approach homeowners promising to help them keep their homes but instead take the owner’s money, home or equity. Homeowners frequently do not understand the transaction. These scams can take several forms:
    • Phantom help: In this scam, the supposed rescuer charges very high fees and claims he can negotiate a deal with your lender. You may be told not to contact your lender, lawyer or a credit counselor and to let the scam artist handle all the details. You receive no real help or too little, too late.
    • Rent-to-buy schemes: Scammers lead homeowners to sign over the deed to their property by promising to sell the home back once the homeowners get back on their feet and allowing them to remain in the home as tenants in the meantime. In the end, of course, the homeowner can’t buy the house back and the supposed rescuers get most, if not all, of the equity. Sometimes the rent is set so high that the homeowner can’t afford the new payments and is evicted.
    • Bait-and-switch: Swindlers tell the victim that they are signing documents for a new loan that will solve their problems. In reality, they are signing documents that will give the crooks ownership of the home. To make matters worse, the victim still owes the mortgage.
    • Check out this video, Foreclosure Scams 101, produced by Freddie Mac for further explanation:

If you have encountered a possible foreclosure scam or unscrupulous person in dealing with the sale of your home please refer to the Washington State Office of the Attorney General for more information.
 


 

From the The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions:

Possible Alternatives To Foreclosure

Sometimes, a lender may not pursue foreclosure even though your loan payments are behind. Although a lender isn’t required to accept any offers or renegotiate the terms of your loan, there may be alternatives to foreclosure.

Possible Alternatives

  • Special Forbearance
    Your lender may be able to temporarily reduce or suspend your payments for a fixed period of time. At the end of that time, you must make a lump sum payment or enter into a long term repayment plan to pay back the reduced or suspended amount. Forbearance may be a good option when the cause of your default is specific and temporary and it is reasonable to assume you will be able to resume making payments at the end of the forbearance period.
  • Repayment Plan
    Your lender may be able to arrange a simple repayment plan whereby you make your mortgage payment plus an amount of the total in default. The plan could be a few months long, or may extend to a year. At the end of the time period, you would have paid off the past due amount and your payments go back to the original payment amount. Your lender or servicer may require a good faith payment upfront to begin the plan. A repayment plan may be a good option when the situation that caused your default is resolved. For example, the default may have occurred because you were unemployed for a period of time, but you have now become employed again.
  • Mortgage Modification
    You may be able to refinance the debt and extend the term of your mortgage loan. This will help you catch up by possibly reducing the monthly payments to a more affordable level. You may qualify if you’ve recovered from a financial problem but your net income is less than it was before the default.
  • Partial Claim
    Your lender may be able to work with you to obtain an interest-free loan from HUD to bring your mortgage current, if you qualify.
  • Pre-Foreclosure Sale
    This will allow you to sell your property and pay off your mortgage loan to avoid foreclosure and damage to your credit rating. If you’re unable to afford the house long-term, you may sell the house yourself before the foreclosure sale and save some of your equity.
  • Deed-in-lieu of foreclosure
    As a last resort, you may be able to voluntarily “give back” your property to the lender. This won’t save your house, but may help your chances of getting another mortgage loan in the future.

For More information on Foreclosure Alternatives visit The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions.

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