Foreclosure Scams in Massachusetts - Be Wary of the Quick and Easy Fix

By
Real Estate Agent with The Buyers' Counsel

I Buy HousesForeclosure Scams in Massachusetts - Be Wary of the Quick and Easy Fix 

The old saying, "If it is too good to be true, it probably is" has particular relevance to the current wave of foreclosure scams. 

A campaign was launched recently in Massachusetts to warn distressed homeowners about the growing amount of loan modification schemes in the Commonwealth as well as nationwide. The key to this message, and we have heard this before, is not to pay any upfront money to a company that professes to be able to secure a refinancing deal that will get you out of the situation of facing foreclosure. 

Although Massachusetts has not had the prevalence of foreclosure activity that many other states across the country have had, this year it has started to increase.  According to the Warren Group, during the first four months of this year, 4,821 homeowners have lost their properties to foreclosure.  That is a 36.6 percent increase from last year. 

Along with the increase in distressed homes comes an increase in vulnerability to "loan modification" scams.  These scams have reached epidemic proportions nationwide and we have to be on the lookout for them now locally. 

One aspect of these schemes that should raise a red flag is the promise of a quick and easy fix to a problem that has been a long-time in the making. 

Some of the common threads running through these companies are: 

  • Fliers, public service announcements and ads plastered on buses 
  • Attempts to dupe homeowners into transferring the ownership of their homes to someone else 
  • For-fee bankruptcy filings that promise you will be able to keep your home 
  • Guarantees that a counselor will be able to stop the foreclosure process regardless of your circumstances

Be wary of foreclosure rescue companies.  Avoid falling prey to these scams by doing a thorough search on them via the Internet.  Also, check with the Better Business Bureau and visit www.loanscamalert.org.

 

Copyright 2010 "Foreclosure Scams in Massachusetts - Be Wary of the Quick and Easy Fix"

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Claudette Millette, Broker, Owner, The Buyers' Counsel - (508) 881-6230

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Rainmaker
855,576
Steve Loynd
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc.,

Claudette, I must delete a dozen loan modification "help notices" emails a day, and would bet half are scams.

June 15, 2010 08:24 PM
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Craig Rutman
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor
Helping people in transition

I think it's disgusting that there are folks out there who prey on the downtrodden in an attempt to bilk them out of the monies they're so desperately in need of.

June 15, 2010 09:30 PM
Rainmaker
401,965
Claudette Millette
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass
The Buyers' Counsel

Steve:

That may be due to the fact that you are involved in new construction.  There must be some connection. I do not get those emails - other annoying ones, but not those.  They do sound like they are probably scams.

Craig:

Unfortunately, in a down economy there are always people who will take advantage of the most vulnerable among us. It makes me angry too.

 

 

June 15, 2010 10:59 PM
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Gerry Michaels
GettysburgGerry Social Meida
Glasswork Media Arts

It amazes me how low some people are, imagine taking advantage of folks who are already on a slippery slope. Jerks...thanks for the heads up

June 16, 2010 08:37 AM
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Chris Ann Cleland
Associate Broker, Northern VA
Long & Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA

Claudette:  It's really sad that there are scam artists who hit folks at their weakest point.  In Florida, it's the storm shutter scam after a hurricane.  I remember my Mother-in-law telling me about a guy who kept coming to her house saying he worked for the storm shutter company and needed to be paid up front to replace the damaged shutters.  She's too smart to fall for it, but many of her neighbors did.

June 16, 2010 01:45 PM
Rainmaker
401,965
Claudette Millette
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass
The Buyers' Counsel

Gerry:

These people are out there in droves, unfortunately.  Massachusetts has done a lot to try to protect people from them. I hope other states follow suit.

Chris Ann:

The storm shutter company? That is outrageous.  I am so glad your mother knows better than that.

June 16, 2010 07:14 PM
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Margaret Woda
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Crofton, MD 21114

When you see "quick and easy" in the same sentence with "avoid foreclosure", you know it is a scam!

June 16, 2010 08:09 PM
Rainmaker
401,965
Claudette Millette
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass
The Buyers' Counsel

Margaret:

There is no quick and easy way out of a distressed property situation.  The circumstances did not happen overnight and it is unlikely that a solution will either. 

 

June 16, 2010 10:34 PM
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Claudette Millette

Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass
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