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Protecting Yourself From Refinancing Scams

December 30th, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Believe it or not, financial scammers often do not target the wealthiest individuals. Instead, those facing financial pressures and even considering bankruptcy are most often victimized. Those with money problems may painted into a corner, under immense stress, willing to do whatever it takes for a fresh start, and more susceptible to the dubious claims of scam artists.

refinancing scamStaying educated on the tricks of these con artists will help protect you from falling into their trap. How do scammers seek to steal from vulnerable Texas residents? A few of the most common scams include:

Home Affordable Refinance Program Scams (“HARP”): HARP is a program available to those who are not behind on their mortgage but have difficulty refinancing.  Scam artists are well aware that this program exists. They may try to contact you by phone or through the mail, claim that you qualify for HARP support, and ask for money to work through the process on your behalf. The only way to truly know if you qualify for HARP is to check HARP’s website, or contact your mortgage lender. Eligibility for HARP is based on a number of factors listed by HARP. If you are not sure you can check Freddie Mac’s website to gauge your potential eligibility for HARP.

Unfortunately, scammers often use HARP as a way to funnel money their way. The main thing to look out for are third parties asking for large fees to help you take advantage of the program.

 Rent to Own or Lease Back Scheme: This scam can result in loss of your home if you are not careful.  In this trick, con artists try to convince homeowners to sign over the title or deed to their home with no intention of ever giving the house back.  This is done with claims about getting money up-front while leasing the home or renting again in order to buy it back. These scam artists typically target people they know applied to refinance but were denied due to credit.

The best way to protect yourself from a scam like this is to never sign over the deed or title of your home unless you are legitimately selling the property with the aid of lenders, real estate agents, and proper legal professionals.

 Trusted Legal Help

If you are dealing with foreclosure, looming debt, and other financial pressures, remember that you do not have to handle it alone. An experienced Texas bankruptcy attorney can help. Our team in San Antonio works with residents throughout the state looking for a fresh financial start.  Feel free to contact us today to learn more.

Call today for a FREE Consultation

210-342-3400

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