Foreclosure Scams in Orlando
In mid-to-late 2016, mortgage rates declined to a historical low. With the financial crisis of the previous decade beginning to fade from the nation’s collective memory, U.S. citizens began optimistically buying into the housing market again – only for their initial optimism to be drenched by a bucket of cold water. Real estate bubbles are forming and bursting across the country, and mortgage rates are once more on the rise.
It’s a bad time to be a struggling mortgagee; many homeowners have been driven into foreclosure. Smelling desperation and the chance to make a quick buck, scam artists claiming to be reputable real estate investors have multiplied, particularly in the perennially popular Orlando housing market.
Don’t become their prey – here’s the low-down on foreclosure scams in Orlando and how to spot them.
Being in foreclosure is a scary situation; most people have few options once they can no longer afford mortgage payments. Not wanting to lose their homes, they may panic.
The average homeowner is not an expert on the real estate law and the inner workings of the property market, and fear all too often leads homeowners into the claws of scamsters.
Fortunately, foreclosure scams in Orlando are rarely sophisticated affairs. Different schemes often use the same old tricks, making them easy to spot if you know what to look for.
Beware of the following when anyone offers to help you stop the foreclosure of your house:
Mortgage assistance – for a price
A comforting fact: mortgage assistance and counseling for in-foreclosure households is free. Don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers a toll-free hotline here for homeowners facing foreclosure.
Additionally, HUD can put you in touch with a qualified housing counselor – not free, but affordable – but unless the other party can verify that they are with HUD, don’t take the bait.
Mortgage assistance can be acquired directly from your mortgage lender; all you need to do is contact them.
On that note…
Fees for contacting your mortgage lender
You are fully within your rights to contact your mortgage lender at any time, free of charge. You don’t need to pay a middle-man to discuss your options with your mortgage lender. You do, of course, have the option of hiring an accredited loan counselor – although it is possible to get the same services for free (see above).
Our advice: speak with your mortgage lender directly rather than relying on a mysterious mediator that could easily feed you false stories about your situation and your options.
Why, we’ll handle those pesky mortgage payments!
Don’t believe for a second that paying your mortgage to anybody but your mortgage lender will make your situation any better. No company has the power to wipe away the debt you owe another company, no matter how much you pay them.
With some negotiation, it may be possible to convince your mortgage lender to reduce, suspend or even write off the amount you owe them – but any negotiation of this kind should be done either directly between your and your mortgage lender, or through a qualified attorney or counselor.
Signing over the title or deed to your property
Any claim involving unconditional transfer of a title or deed should set off alarm bells in your head immediately – it’s illegal and completely backwards. The title or deed to your property is your legal claim to ownership.
Consent to give the deed to someone else, and you forfeit all rights to that property – including the right to residence and the right to sell. You have no reason to trust anyone who claims they will remunerate you once you have signed over the deed, as they are not legally obligated to do so.
The only time you should be doing this is in the context of a fully transparent, legal transaction: in other words, a deal in which you understand the exact conditions and what each party (yourself included) has to gain.
Which brings us to our next shady trick…
Just Sign Here… Here… and Here…
A transparent deal means no hidden clauses. When signing a contract, you may unknowingly be agreeing to pay exorbitant fees to a fake mortgage counselor, or to give up some or all rights to your property.
Some scam artists will conceal these sour terms with confusing (sometimes made-up) legal terminology, or by putting them at the back of the contract, or even by typing said terms in very small text.
With this in mind, it is of utmost importance that you understand exactly what all the terms in a contract mean – and we mean all of them – before you sign anything.
We’re not exaggerating with all the emphasis; when your house is on the line, it really is that important. It is a good idea to hire an attorney, preferably one specializing in property law, to review the paperwork for you. If you can’t afford an attorney, see the first point above.
Remember: assistance and counseling are free.
Title Company? Pfft…
With each property deal we make, a neutral third-party title company oversees every step of the process.
Title companies ensure that the property being sold, as well as the party to which it is being sold, are legitimate. They also issue title insurance, which protects both the buyer and owner/mortgage holder from legal action if either side disputes the terms of the transaction.
Agents from the title company are present at the closing of a deal to present and explain the legal documentation, then collect and distribute closing costs to the appropriate parties.
The involvement of a legitimate title company instills us and our clients with confidence in the sale, and precludes illicit and exploitative business practices.
Surprise! Scam artists hate legitimate title companies; they can’t operate under their oversight. If a house buyer suggests a “kitchen table closing” – actually signing all of the papers in your home, rather than in a title company or attorney’s office… ask why.
Choose the company you can trust
Since our agency’s infancy we have heard of countless foreclosure scams in the Orlando area, and even bumped shoulders with the perpetrators themselves: some unsophisticated opportunistic criminals, some clever and weaselly wheeler-dealers, and some the most vicious and remorseless people you will ever have the displeasure of meeting.
What matters to us, however, is the effect their scams have had on our clients – regular customers as well as new ones with have unpleasant memories of being cheated.
It’s not just about the money. No, really.
We value our reputation as an honest company; after all, it’s our most loyal clients that keep our business afloat. To us, the customers are the biggest deal – so believe us when we say that, in any that we can, we want to help.
If you’re in foreclosure and need assistance, or just want to know your options, visit your local foreclosure counseling service or schedule a free Foreclosure Prevention session with one of their foreclosure experts.
If you’d like more information on how to stop foreclosure, avoid it, or simply get rid of it, read more articles below. You can also call us and we’ll make an all-cash offer on your house. You can have that cash in your hand in under a week if you choose to take our no-hassle, guaranteed offer. (321) 413-9088More Helpful Info: