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Mortgage and Foreclosure Relief Scams Still Prevalent

Federal Trade Commission Advises Consumers to Beware

Mortgage and Foreclosure Relief Scams Still PrevalentThere are few things more stressful than being behind on your mortgage or facing the possibility of foreclosure. Unfortunately, there are unethical people out there who want to take advantage of your anxiety and fears. Here are a few to watch out for:

  • The phony class action—In one high-profile fraud case, companies advertised that qualified consumers could join a class action mortgage fraud lawsuit against certain banks and lenders. The company initially said the cost would be limited to a one-time charge of $895. Victims were told they had a “strong case,” when most of the lawsuits were summarily dismissed. The victims also were convinced to send monthly payments even after the legal action was terminated. In many instances, no lawsuit was ever even brought on behalf of the victims.
  • The phony counseling or debt negotiation—Another common scam involves a company that promises, for a fee, to negotiate a deal with your lender either to reduce your payments or extend the term of your loan to make it more affordable. You may be asked to make payments to the company while the negotiation is in process. At some point, though, the company will disappear.
  • Rent-to-buy schemes—In this con, a company or individual encourages you to transfer title to your home as part of an arrangement that allows you to stay in your home, rent it from the company while you get your finances together, and then buy it back at a later date. The company promises you’ll get a better rate and better terms when it comes time to repurchase, but generally the opposite is true. You’ll find that you can’t afford the terms, and you no longer own your home. The scammer may even raise the rent to a level you can’t afford and then evict you. Or the con artist may promise to sell the house and give you a portion of the profits, but that won’t happen.
  • Bait-and-switch cons—In another scam, you receive a pile of documents to sign purportedly to refinance your home. Hidden in the legalese is a provision that conveys title to your home in exchange for a “rescue loan.”

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment.

Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We’ll come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

Mortgage Fraud Is Still Alive and Kicking

Fraud-Is-Still-Alive-and-Kicking

Fraudsters Continue to Find New Ways to Scam Banks and Homeowners

If you think that most mortgage fraud is a thing of the past, that the scams within the home lending industry have mostly been brought under control in the last decade, think again. Here are some sobering statistics:

  • In 2016, more than $5 billion of mortgage funds were targeted by individuals engaged in some fraudulent activity (according to the FBI)
  • From 2015 to 2016, wire fraud scams involving title companies went up six-fold (a sobering number when you consider that experts estimate that about one in every six cases of mortgage fraud is reported
  • The FBIZ reported fraudulent wire transfers of mortgage dollars to 103 different countries in 2016

Here’s what the latest scam looks like—it’s a combination of identity fraud, computer hacking and wire fraud. The scammer typically hacks an e-mail or online account that has information about an impending closing. The scammer then “steals” the identity of a party involved in the transaction (typically the seller, but maybe a title or real estate agent) and contacts the buyer with fraudulent directions to wire the down payment. The down payment is then wired directly to the fraudster’s account.

Experts say that the wire transfer fraud can be highly sophisticated, with some perpetrators using technology that makes it appear that the phone call is coming from a legitimate number. There’s even technology that allows fraudsters to intercept “call and verify” efforts.

The best way to protect yourself from mortgage scams? Know the people with whom you are working. Be willing to ask questions about the process and have someone you know you can call to give you accurate information about your transaction.

Contact Attorney David J. Karbasian

Contact our office online or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. The sooner you call, the sooner you can move forward with your claim. We can accommodate evening or weekend meeting requests and will come to your home, if necessary.

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