There are dozens of unscrupulous companies popping up all over Florida claiming that they can “save” homeowners from foreclosure by stopping sales and forcing the banks to reduce the principle on the homes to market value. There are even companies that claim that they will be able to get you your home for free because of the bank’s mistakes. Beware of these scam artists who are only serving to make the misery of desperate Florida homeowners worse. Under a new law in Florida, no loan modification company can take up front fees for working on a modification for someone in foreclosure.
The Florida Attorney General also offered the following tips to identify and avoid a potential foreclosure rescue scam.
- Homeowners in foreclosure should never pay any up-front fees for help with their foreclosures. This is illegal under Florida Statutes 501.1377. Fees may only be collected after the services are completed.
- Avoid businesses that guarantee to save homes from foreclosure or stop the foreclosure process “no matter what the circumstances.”
- Do not work with businesses or individuals who instruct homeowners not to contact their lenders, lawyers or financial counselors and to make mortgage payments directly to the business or individual.
- Avoid businesses that use names or symbols which mimic federal and state programs or falsely suggest they offer legal services or are affiliated with an attorney or law firm.
- Before doing business with any loan modification business, check it out fully. Get its physical address, ask for the names of its corporate officers, and call the Attorney General’s Office to determine whether it has any complaints reported against it.
- If you believe that you have been taken advantage of by a mortgage foreclosure scam company, call the Florida Attorney General’s fraud hotline at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM.