Fraudulent companies often market their service aggressively. They often advertise everywhere from television to the internet, and claim to be associated with attorneys or that they have attorneys available to assist you.
They are often easily identified by the slogans they use including;
“Over 90% of our customers get loan modifications!”
“100% money back guarantee!”
“We have a special relationship with the banks that can speed up the modification process!”
“We can stop foreclosure – guaranteed!”
“We can save your home from foreclosure and even cancel your mortgage!”
Once they have your attention, they give you the “hard sell” and try to convince you to pay them a fee for their services. They tell homeowners that for a large fee, they will negotiate with your bank for a deal that will drastically reduce the payment you owe. Sometimes, they even convince homeowners to make their monthly mortgage payments to them instead of directly to the bank. All too often, these companies will take your payments and then disappear.
Red flags to look out for:
The company offers a “forensic loan audit” for an up-front fee. According to the FTC, there is absolutely no evidence that forensic loan audits are of any benefit in obtaining a mortgage modification or other mortgage relief.
These “forensic audits” are generally of no value whatsoever and often contain information that is wrong, misleading and does not accurately reflect the state and federal laws they supposedly address.
Con artists offer you a “rescue loan” or a “rent to buy” scheme where you surrender title to your property to avoid foreclosure,
and then rent it back from the company to buy it back later. These schemes are almost always illegal and result in the loss of the home to the scam artists.
The company or “mortgage counselor” claims to be affiliated with an attorney or claims they have attorneys “on-staff.”
These claims are most often false. Make sure that you are dealing directly with a licensed Florida attorney.
Any company that promises to cancel or rescind your loan using legal loopholes or by finding “violations” of REPSA or TILA in your loan documents is highly suspect. These types of claims are almost always cons perpetrated against frightened and desperate homeowners.
Beware of any company that pressures you to hire them right away gives you a high-pressure sales pitch.
Any reputable attorney or law firm will not pressure you to make a quick decision.
Avoid any company or lawyer that offers you a money-back guarantee or otherwise guarantees results.
Attorneys in Florida are prohibited from offering a guarantee to their clients. If someone promises you a guarantee, they are probably not actually affiliated with a licensed Florida lawyer.
Always check any company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau.
These are all reasons why homeowners should not work with anyone who isn’t a licensed attorney when facing foreclosure. It is vital that homeowners know that there are honest legal resources to turn to.