Carla Douglin says the exceptionally high number of delinquencies is keeping her tremendously busy as head of the The Douglin Group and Douglin Foundation, a nonprofit firm based in Bethesda. In an article published on Homefinder.com, Douglin said it is important for homeowners to understand that they cannot keep their delinquency status or foreclosure a secret. Falling behind on mortgage payments gets a homeowner placed on a list that is available for sale, usually resulting in people offering a foreclosure service or to buy the home. “That’s when you really need to be very, very careful and [become aware] that there are con artists out there who are trying to steal your home or your equity,” Douglin told Homefinder.
Douglin explained three of the most common foreclosure scams:
- The Leaseback Opportunity — Another party offers to bail you out of your financial troubles by buying your home and then allow you to rent it back, usually telling you that you can buy the home back in a few years. But any mistake, whether not paying on time or paying less than the rental fee, can lead to you being evicted without any opportunity to repurchase the home.
- Straw Buyers — While Homefinder notes not all straw buying is fraudulent, a scammer in this case offers their good credit to refinance a new loan for your home and purchase it. After requiring you to be the co-borrower on the loan and pay a flat fee out of the home’s equity during the refinance process, you can live in the home rent-free. At the end of an agreed-upon time frame, the scammer gets off of the title, and you will buy back the home. (In other words, you will purchase and refinance it back, as the scammers did.) By the time that the scammer has agreed to get off the title and let you buy back the home, the defrauder will have stripped the equity out of the home and made it unaffordable.
- Loan Mitigation — Again, Homefinder notes that not all of these companies are scams, several corrupt loan mitigation companies charge upfront fees of several hundred dollars to review your case and then charge a few thousand dollars to work with your bank to solve your foreclosure problem. However, many homeowners find that after they pay, no attempts get made to reach your lender.
Were you seeking foreclosure help and fell victim to one of these scams? Our Maryland bankruptcy lawyer understands that there are many predatory services out there than can falsely advertise a helping hand, but there is no sleight of hand involved in a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. You have a legal right to consolidate, eliminate or reorganize your debt and Washington DC bankruptcy attorney Kevin D. Judd can help you begin with a bankruptcy means test. If you have additional questions, contact our firm today to receive a free initial phone consultation. And if you have been the victim of a foreclosure scam, our Maryland bankruptcy lawyer wants to hear from you. Tell us about your experience below.