More Foreclosures Can Mean More Foreclosure Rescue Scams
As if it isn't hard enough to face foreclosure, many delinquent homeowners are now at risk for another hardship: foreclosure rescue scams.
With more Americans falling behind on mortgage payments, our bankruptcy lawyers note that a growing number of individuals are attempting to benefit from the misfortune of others.
In Illinois, for instance, foreclosure activity during the third quarter of 2012 increased by 31 percent compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, foreclosure scams are on track to increase by as much as 70 percent in 2012, according to the Treasury Department.
The good news is that some of that rapid rise may be attributable to better awareness, and therefore better reporting, of scams.
The bad news is that many folks are still falling victim to frauds that can not only cost them an arm and a leg, but ultimately their home.
Often times, mortgage brokers or real estate brokers who have suffered business losses due to the real estate crash begin offering "foreclosure rescue services" to homeowners as a side business. These folks may mean well - or they may not - but they are rarely able to do much to stop foreclosure.
Worst of all, homeowners usually don't realize they've been taken advantage of until they've shelled out thousands of dollars for supposed foreclosure help.
By the time most people realize the phone call that their house has been saved is never going to come, they're usually so much farther behind on payments that avoiding foreclosure becomes near impossible.
In some cases, foreclosure rescue specialists encourage homeowners to send payments directly to them rather than to the bank or to lease their home then later attempt to buy it back - tactics which only increase the odds that a homeowner will lose the property.
When you're in danger of losing your home, you may be willing to try anything to avoid foreclosure. But this is exactly when you should be the most wary of folks trying to help.
Look at it this way: Companies wouldn't offer assistance if they didn't believe they could gain financially. Bankruptcy, on the other hand, is different. Bankruptcy is a legal process created by the U.S. government specifically to help Americans down on their financial luck. And for many folks, filing for bankruptcy is the only way to truly avoid foreclosure.
Of course, unlike foreclosure rescue scams, bankruptcy doesn't make guarantees to save your house. But what it does do is provide the legal protection you need to stop the foreclosure process, giving you the opportunity to catch up on payments.
Meanwhile, bankruptcy has the power to consolidate - and in some cases, eliminate - your debts so that making payments becomes easier.
There's only one way to avoid foreclosure, and that's taking back control of your finances. Bankruptcy is often the most effective way to do just that.
To learn how bankruptcy applies to your situation, give DebtStoppers a call at 800-440-7235. Call today for your free personal debt analysis with an expert bankruptcy attorney in Chicago, Atlanta or Tennessee.
More Blog Entries:
Foreclosure Rescue Scams Add Insult to Injury, by Mary Ellen Podmolik, Chicago Tribune