Don’t get hung out to dry by someone who wants to use your housing misfortunes for their gain. These people are out there and they are making lots of money.
It should never really come to this because 99% of homeowners who are facing foreclosure should be able to work out some sort of Short Sale or Deed in Lieu. However not everyone moves fast enough to do so, others may have very special circumstances. There is no lack of ways people will try to scam consumers, especially traumatized and demoralized homeowners. The Attorney General’s Office announced today that they have recovered over $300K for 24 Victims of a scam aimed at people who recently lost their homes in a sheriff’s sale.
In each case the home was sold and the proceeds of the sale more than covered the mortgage owed and taxes. Someone approached these people, told them there were excess funds from the proceeds of the sale and it was a complicated mess to get those monies back.
People are hurting and sadly there are opportunists who take advantage of their ignorance about what they are facing and their deep desire to find a way out, any way out of the mess they are in. On the other hand an educated short seller is my or any real estate agent’s best friend. Take your time to read up on the process, educate yourself. Use the resources on this site and on your lender’s site. The more you know the less likely you will be to jump from a bad position to a worse position without knowing it.
Let me also recommend the following:
The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs provides the following information to help homeowners prevent themselves against fraud, while facing the difficult prospect of foreclosure or trying to modify a home loan:
Surplus Funds Scams: How to Avoid Them: http://www.nj.gov/oag/ca/brief/surplus.pdf
Foreclosure Scams: How to Avoid Them: http://www.nj.gov/oag/ca/brief/foreclosure.pdf
What You Should Know About Mortgage Loan Modification Scams: http://www.nj.gov/oag/ca/brief/mortgage.pdf