Mortgage Foreclosure Scams
Are you having trouble making your home
mortgage payments? Are you facing foreclosure on your home? Get all
the facts before you pay someone to help you work out your mortgage
"Bankruptcy foreclosure scams" target people
whose home mortgages are in trouble. Scam operators advertise over
the Internet and in local publications, distribute flyers, or
contact people whose homes are listed in the foreclosure notices.
Sometimes they direct their appeals to specific religious or ethnic
Donít get "locked out" of your home by a
bankruptcy scam operator.
These scam operators may promise to take care
of your problems with your mortgage lender or to obtain refinancing
for you. Sometimes they also ask you to pay your mortgage payments
directly to the scam operator. They may even ask you to hand over
your property deed to the operator, and then make payments to the
operator in order to stay in your home.
But instead of contacting your lender or
refinancing your loan, the scam operator pockets all the money you
paid, and then files a bankruptcy case in your name -- sometimes
without your knowledge.
A bankruptcy filing often stops a home
foreclosure, but only temporarily. If a bankruptcy is filed in your
name but you don't participate in the case, the judge will dismiss
the case and the foreclosure proceedings will continue.
If this happens, you will lose the money you
paid to the scam operator -- AND YOU COULD LOSE YOUR HOME. You will
also have a bankruptcy listed on your credit record for years
Proceed with care if an individual or company:
- Calls itself a "mortgage consultant,"
"foreclosure service," or similar name.
- Contacts or advertises to people whose
homes are listed for foreclosure.
- Collects a fee before it provides services
- Tells you to make your home mortgage
payments directly to the individual or company.
- Tells you to transfer your property deed
or title to the individual or company.
If you can't pay your mortgage, call your
mortgage lender or contact a lawyer for help. Your state or local
bar association may be able to help you find low-cost legal help.
If you think an individual or company is
running a mortgage foreclosure scam, contact the local office of the
United States Trustee. The United States Trustee is a Justice
Department official who monitors the bankruptcy system. Look for
your local United States Trustee's telephone number in your
telephone directory or on our web site at www.usdoj.gov/ust.
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