Protect Yourself from Foreclosure Fraud in New Jersey
Let Our Foreclosure Attorneys Help You
Any financial crisis brings out the con artists, and the current mortgage and housing crisis is no exception. The New Jersey foreclosure attorneys at Ast & Schmidt, P.C. advise homeowners on how to avoid foreclosure fraud and scams.
First, be careful with a person or company claiming to be a consultant, New Jersey foreclosure mediation agency or loan modification company. Avoid anonymous websites and distant call centers. A company could be a fraudulent if it:
- Demands a fee in advance
- Runs overstated ads or sends unsolicited offers
- Tells you to stop making mortgage payments
- Asks you to send your payment anywhere besides your mortgage servicer
- Wants you to transfer your property ownership
- Makes oral agreements and will not put anything into writing
- Instructs you to sign a document with blank lines or spaces
Common Foreclosure Scams
Second, be aware of some of the more common foreclosure scam, such as:
- Refinancing fraud. A company offers to refinance your loan, but the closing documents are actually deed transfers. The company will try to confuse you and keep you from reading all the paperwork. If you execute the documents, you surrender ownership and might not realize it until you receive an eviction notice.
- Lease and repurchase. Someone offers to let you remain as a renter if you sign over your deed, and promises you can repurchase the house later. You no longer have your property, and the new “owner” could even force you to leave your home.
- False Promises. A scam operator says he will stop foreclosure or get you a loan modification such as Morris County HAMP. He charges an enormous fee and promises much more than he can deliver. Most of the time, you will see little work and no results. Meanwhile, you are out of money and lose valuable time to save your home.
- Show Me The Note. This new fraud taps into legitimate concerns about mortgage company documentation. Someone will claim you can avoid foreclosure by demanding the original note, which the mortgage company might not be able to produce immediately. This is a complex legal area. Always seek advice from a skilled and experienced New Jersey foreclosure attorney.
Protect Yourself from Scams
Finally, you can protect yourself from foreclosure fraud. Here are a few tips:
- Call the New Jersey Office of Consumer Protection to check out the business.
- Read and understand every document.
- Document your conversations. Keep copies of all papers and correspondence.
- Always make your mortgage payment directly to your lender or servicer.
You can avoid becoming a victim of foreclosure fraud by asking questions and being cautious. Contact Ast & Schmidt, P.C. for a comprehensive and realistic assessment of your options.