Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Scams, scoundrels, scandals and suckers!

Good Day Readers:

Recently, out of the blue Sarah Parr contacted CyberSmokeBlog offering to contribute an article on scams one of CSB's favourite topics. On average it receives at least 3 a day that run the gambit of every imaginable scheme you could possible think of and just when you think you've seen it all ...... So when Sarah made her offer we jumped at the opportunity.

One of our favourite television programs is American Greed seen Thursdays on CNBC (Winnipeg Shaw Cable Channel 143).
There is probably no other human emotion that will bring people down faster than good old fashioned greed with the possible exception jealousy.
Sara Parr is a Winter Springs, Florida writer who covers issues pertaining to foreclosures and the housing market. She can be contacted at with any questions or suggestions you may have.

Clare L. Pieuk

A Brief Introduction to Scams that Target Underwater Homeowners
By Sarah Parr

Mortgage relief and foreclosure recovery scam artists are some of the most heartless "businessmen" in the United States and Canada today. They entice desperate homeowners who fear losing their home with encouraging words and promised results, then run off with their money, their home or worse, both. Scam artists may look through foreclosure notices posted in public media and target clients from areas known as centres of foreclosure activity. They are common and widespread advertising methods to attract clients: fliers, radio ads, billboards, etc.

Foreclosure recovery and mortgage relief scams have risen in recent years, with an estimated billions of dollars lost. There are three general schemes to look out for that could signal a foreclosure rescue or mortgage relief scam.

Upfront costs

Consumers often report unethical companies that charge clients for access to government programs and housing counseling. Qualification of specific government programs that aid in the loan modification process or foreclosure defence is free. It is also free to speak with a government agency-approved housing counselor, according to Information on the latest government program or agency-licensed housing counseling can be easily found on the Internet. Additionally, a company could be fraudulent if it asks for a large amount of money upfront for access to the latest government program or a recent mortgage settlement. Homeowners should also watch out for companies that advise homeowners to pay mortgages to them and that only accept cashier's cheques or wire transfers.

Promise of definite results

Defense against foreclosure or the reasonable modification of a loan is never guaranteed, as Altamonte Springs foreclosure attorneys might tell you, and access to specific government programs may only be available for certain borrowers. Alas, scam artists will do anything to convince consumers that loan modifications and foreclosure defense carried out by their company are guaranteed. A scam artist will almost always pose as a member of a fake organization licensed by, or affiliated with, the government and claim that a homeowner qualifies for a specific government program that aids in homeowner relief.

So-called professionalism

Scam artists will try any scheme to appear authentic and reliable. Non-attorneys often pose as attorneys from law firms that only offer loan modification services, reports the New York Times. Some law firms even disguise as non-profit groups that offer loan workouts or forensic loan audits. Consumers should be distrustful of these lawyers, especially because most law firms provide loan modifications as one of many services and loan workouts and audits have been proven mostly useless. It's important to research all attorneys at a particular firm and ensure they are licensed by the state's bar before becoming a client.

In a "bait and switch" tactic, another phony professional may convince a client to quickly sign confusing paperwork that gives the rights to the house away to the scam artist. Others act generous and suggest the owner sign away the house, but stay in it until he or she has recovered financially. They will reassure the former homeowner that he or she will be able to reclaim the house once he or she has improved money-wise. However, the scam artist will be able to evict the victims and claim the house.

People on the verge of losing their home should be cautions of the common schemes covered above. Also, homeowners who would like a loan modification or who are at risk of foreclosure should never avoid any communication from their lender. Free housing counseling is provided by government agency-certified housing counseling agencies.


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