Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Foreclosure Scams: groups offering to help may not be helpful

Anyone who has ever been in a situation where foreclosure was a possibility will tell you a similar story – it's emotionally draining, they're already financially drained, and they don't know where to turn or who to trust. A few years ago there were some investors (either as groups or individuals) who would try to make money by helping those facing foreclosure out of a tight spot. In many cases this was a win-win scenario, where the homeowner was able to sell their home quickly and walk away from the home with some cash in their pocket and with their credit intact. Or they might have even been able to keep the house in the long run. The investor would generally be able to buy the house for less-than-market value and make a profit when he sold it.

Today things are different. The average homeowner facing foreclosure will hear from over 300 people offering to "help" them. And unfortunately, most of these helpers are in it solely for their own financial gain. Many times the homeowners are befriended and then tricked into signing over ownership of their home.

This article from AZCentral.com highlights some of the tactics used, and gives a couple of first-hand examples of people who have been fooled.

Homeowners Beware – you may have options available to you. The more equity you have in your home, and the earlier you press into action, the better your results are going to be. Selling your home at below market pricing is one option. Short sales are another. So is selling to a cash-paying investor. Please explore your options before making a hasty decision and signing on the dotted line – give us a call to talk about it, or call an attorney. Your goal should be to walk away from this terrible ordeal in the best situation possible.

- Chris Butterworth