You worked hard to buy a home for your wife and children, but now things have gotten hard financially. You haven't been able to keep up with the payments. Suddenly, you are facing foreclosure. Mortgage modification might be one of the options that you have to keep your home. But be sure that you don't fall victim to a scammer trying to prey on your desperation to keep your home.
Scam companies don't like to let people think about what they are doing. If you are dealing with a company that is putting the pressure on you to make a decision right away, you might be working with a scammer. Instead, contact an attorney to review any offers for modification to ensure you aren't unknowingly helping to put your family on the streets.
Scammers might try to get you to sign agreements now without having everything in the agreement filled out. Don't fall for this. The agreement that you sign regarding the mortgage modification should be filled out completely. Even one empty blank when you sign could come back to haunt you later.
Offer to buy home back
One scam that is fairly common is one that involves you signing your home over under the premise that you will be able to make rental payments on it. You're told that if you keep up with the payments, you can remain in the home. Some companies will tell you this is a rent-to-own agreement that allows you to buy the home back. This is a red flag that you are being defrauded.
You are told the new company will make payments
The scammer might tell you not to make payments on the home. They usually say that they will start making the payments for you. This isn't the way that mortgage modifications works so don't fall for this deceptive line.
Warned not to talk to lender
You will likely be told not to speak to your lender if they call. This is because the scammer doesn't want you to say anything to the lender that might make them tell you that the program the scammer is trying to sell isn't legitimate. Always communicate with your lender, even if you opt to do so through an attorney. Most lenders want to help homeowners remain in the home whenever possible.
Payment in advance required
Mortgage modifications that are legal don't require payment up front. In fact, it is illegal for companies to charge you until you accept a written offer for the modification. Payment in advance is a sure sign of a fraudulent offer.
Claims of secret information
Scammers often claim to have insider information or know secrets that will enable you to keep your home. These don't exist. Mortgage modifications are a widely-known tool for people who can't keep up with their mortgage payments and don't want to lose their homes. Stop the conversation if you someone tells you that they can keep your family in the home based on a secret law or program.