According to an article in the Star-Telegram , Federal authorities are creating a foreclosure fraud task force to investigate scams that continue to contribute to the economic crisis and the growing tide of foreclosures.
The article said:
“The task force will focus on “foreclosure rescue” schemes and “short sale” schemes.
Foreclosure rescue schemes prey on desperate homeowners by persuading them to sign over the deeds to their homes to a “specialist” who promises homeowners that they can stay in their homes, make “rent” payments and eventually repurchase the homes. Instead of passing along the rent payments to a mortgage company, however, the “specialist” illegally retains the payments along with extra fees and the homes continue into foreclosure and the homeowners suffer additional losses. In a short sale scheme, a buyer purchases a home with no intention of making payments and often keeps additional money included in the purchase loan that was supposed to go for improvements. After a few months, the buyer informs the lender that the house will foreclose and presents the lender a possible pre-foreclosure buyer who, unknown to the lender, is part of the fraud scheme and offers to purchase the home at a price below the current loan amount.”
These foreclosure and short sale scams are clearly fraudulent and overtly harmful to homeowners and the community as a whole. To avoid foreclosure scams, do your homework. If someone is claiming to have the power to stop foreclosure, they are probably being less than truthful unless they’re a bankruptcy attorney and are advising you to file bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is the only legal way to stop foreclosure immediately outside of coming to a written agreement with your mortgage lender. Remember, foreclosure scams prey on the fear and vulnerability of homeowners struggling to keep their home. Don’t allow fear and desperation to cause you to make rash decisions in an effort to avoid foreclosure. Many foreclosure scammers will attempt to pressure you into handing over thousands of dollars or even the deed of your house claiming that doing so will help you avoid foreclosure–they’re lying. If you’re facing foreclosure, try to negotiate directly with your lender and also consider your bankruptcy options, these are the only ways to stop foreclosure.