Scammers are targeting homeowners, trying to trick them out of cash and home equity, according to U.S. News.
‘Loan flipping’ scams seem to offer relief for those struggling with monthly mortgages. What actually happens is the scammer offers a fantastic deal on lower interest rates or mortgage payments. The homeowner goes through the lengthy loan application process only to find the terms and fees are much higher than advertised.
Scammers get away with this because victims are either too fearful or exhausted by the process to end the deal.
Some schemes strip equity from homeowners who are in danger of foreclosure. ‘Mortgage rescuers’ focus on homeowners who have a lot of equity in the property, but now can’t make mortgage payments. They tell delinquent payers that they will pay off the mortgage if they sign over the deed and make rental payments. Unfortunately, the rental fees are likely to be just as high. The scammer waits until the person falls behind, evicts them, keeps the equity and sells the home or skips town.
Here are things to look for:
- Leaseback schemes. The scammer is going to own your home and you will rent from him. Always crooked.
- Bad credit doesn’t matter. Credit always matters. If someone tells you otherwise, be suspicious.
- Upfront fees. These criminals review public records of people in default on their mortgages. For a big fee, they offer to help homeowners refinance, usually through a government program, but they actually do nothing. In the end, the house is foreclosed, the homeowner loses everything, and the helper pockets the fees.