According to ATTOM, Florida had one of the biggest foreclosure rates in the United States in 2022, with almost 23,000 foreclosures. If you are facing foreclosure, you know it can be a daunting experience. In these times of stress and uncertainty, it is important to remain vigilant, as some unscrupulous individuals or organizations may try to take advantage of your situation. They may present foreclosure scams that promise relief but only cause further financial distress.
Knowing how to identify these scams will help you to protect your interests and find legitimate help.
Recognize common foreclosure scams
One of the first steps to safeguarding yourself is understanding common foreclosure scams. Typically, these scams involve individuals or companies that promise to save your home in exchange for a fee.
They might ask you to transfer your property title, sign paperwork you do not understand or make payments to them instead of your lender. Any time you hear such requests, it should raise a red flag.
Spot the signs of a scam
Spotting the signs of a scam can save you from falling prey to these unethical practices. Beware of guarantees to stop the foreclosure process, requests for upfront fees or advice against contacting your lender, or anyone else who might point out that things don’t seem right.
Additionally, be cautious of any company that aggressively markets its services, uses high-pressure sales tactics or rushes you to sign paperwork.
Understand your rights
In Florida, you have rights that protect you from foreclosure scams. For instance, companies cannot collect any fees until they have provided the service agreed upon. You also have the right to communicate with your lender at any time.
Report foreclosure scams
If you suspect you have been a victim of a foreclosure scam, report it immediately. You can file a complaint with the Florida Attorney General’s office or contact the Federal Trade Commission. Reporting these incidents can help stop these scams and potentially help others avoid falling victim to them.
By recognizing common scams and knowing what to do, you can protect yourself and your property. Always remember, when it comes to your home, it is better to be safe than sorry.