Legitimate programs and professionals exist to help homeowners who face
foreclosure. Unfortunately, some companies and individuals who appear
to be helpful are just the opposite. Chicago-area homeowners who find
themselves in a difficult, sometimes desperate, situation should be on
the lookout for signs of
loan modification scams.
Signals that a scammer's plan to rescue a home is too good to be true include:
- Telling the homeowner not to contact a lawyer or the lender
- Recommending that the homeowner pay the scammer rather than the mortgage holder
- Guaranteeing that the homeowner's home will be saved via loan modification
or stopping foreclosure
- Insisting on payment by cash, wire transfer or cashier's check
- Filling out paperwork on behalf of the homeowner
- Not providing copies of documents signed by the homeowner
- Compelling the homeowner to sign documents that the homeowner has not had
the opportunity to thoroughly read or understand
- Asking the homeowner to transfer the title or deed to the property to the scammer
If the scammer offers to buy the homeowner's home and lease it back,
with the stated plan to let the homeowner buy the house again later, the
homeowner should be wary. In most of these cases, this is a ploy to buy
the home at a low price and force the homeowner out.
Bankruptcy and the Foreclosure Process
For homeowners experiencing the possibility of both
bankruptcy, the timing of the bankruptcy could be vital. It is important to file
at the proper time so that the homeowner's interests can be protected.
Filing bankruptcy to eliminate unsecured debt could leave a homeowner with
the ability to make mortgage payments. In making these decisions, Chicago-area
homeowners should take care to work only with legitimate, experienced
professionals and attorneys.