People are losing their homes and desperate for some help refinancing. That’s why many unscrupulous loan scams are surfacing nationwide. Fraud is up 26 percent over a year ago, according to a Mortgage Asset Research Institute (MARI) report, an information services company working with real estate and banks.
And Florida trails only Rhode Island as a center for fraud, which can happen a few ways. Some scam artists may be accessing the public files to find homeowners in distress. Others simply put ads on the internet or in public places to attract business.
Whether you have been a victim of mortgage fraud or even securities fraud in Florida, it is important to get your questions answered so you can get your life back on track.
A classified ad or solicitor on the phone promises to refinance your home for a reasonable fee. You’ll be able to live there, they promise. All you have to do is fork over some money and the mortgage company will make it simple for you.
Once the phony loan scammers “help” you, they may decide to take your payments, which they promise will allow you to stay in your home. In reality, some are pocketing the money and not paying the lender.
The FBI calls this a foreclosure rescue scheme. The FBI’s Paul Bertrand says the bad guys just keep the money, and don’t send it to the bank.
Scammers spend the money fast and the chance of getting it back is slim. You are out not just the money you fronted, but also your home.
Consumers should be wary of anyone who calls your home offering some sort of rescue plan. Other frauds involve submitting fraudulent applications. That can be done by the homeowner or by a scam artist. MARI reports that 61 percent of reported fraud was application fraud. Other documents often falsified are documents related to tax returns and financial statements.
With confusion about the federal “Making Home Affordable” plan, many may assume any refinancing program is legitimate. The Web site is under construction but has information on the legitimate federal plan.
Banks are now more closely scrutinizing their lending practices, which no doubt has led to an increase of reports. Fraud detection is long overdue and has cost us all too much. As top personal injury attorneys in Florida at Farah & Farah, we understand the serious consequences of mortgage fraud and how it can greatly affect victims’ lives. We have the knowledgeable and experience to assist you in your fraud case. Call us for a consultation today!