“It ain’t what we don’t know that hurts us; it’s what we think we know that ain’t so.”—Will Rogers
Lose Your Home Relying On Foreclosure Rescue Scams
With over $3 billion in reported losses nationwide last year, mortgage relief scams are at an all-time high despite a recovering economy. As a homeowner you must resist the victim mentality that is peddled by so many agitators and scammers. If you believe you are a victim, you are, and you begin to act like a victim. This renders the average homeowner a target for manipulation by scam artists willing to steal your money and give you false hope. Scammers include “pretender defenders” a/k/a foreclosure defense attorneys, securitization/loan “auditors,” and most loan modification companies, etc. While the national housing crisis has put millions of Americans in danger of losing their homes, it has also created an opportunity for scam artists. These foreclosure rescue scams target unsuspecting homeowners facing the possibility of losing their property to foreclosure. See, http://www.occ.gov/news-issuances/consumer-advisories/2011/consumer-advisory-2011-1.html
The only verifiable and documented methodology is an examination of the mortgage transaction, which can determine if there was a breach of contract, errors, tortuous conduct, set-offs, statutory/regulatory violations etc.. These abuses are systemic and easily identifiable, and if you’ve lost your home because you were involved with one of these scams, you may not only have a cause of action against the banks and/or its agents, but may be entitled to various damages and attorney fees against the scammers as well. Don’t be a victim, be a winner!
Several companies charge a fee to help you apply for a mortgage modification or to stall foreclosure proceedings. Many of these companies are outright scams, and other operate barely within the parameters of the law. A HUD certified housing counseling agency are the ones to contact. These agencies are all non-profit, meet specific HUD-enforced guidelines, and offer their services free of charge as a requirement of the certification. It clearly doesn’t make sense to pay for a loan modification service that is readily available for free.
Regrettably, even free loan modifications aren’t much help anyway. According to the OCC Mortgage Metrics Report, Second Quarter 2014 found that borrowers had their monthly mortgage payments only reduced by an average of $252. The average payment reduction was slightly more ($269) for borrowers who received modifications made under the Home Affordable Modification Program; obviously not very helpful.
Moreover, according to SIGTARP, over 70% of homeowners who applied to lower their mortgage payment through HAMP have been denied assistance by their servicer. At some of the largest servicers, that percentage is even higher, the watchdog adds. “There is a massive lost opportunity for an emergency program designed to help homeowners through the crisis if only 20-30% of families seeking help from HAMP actually get into HAMP.”-Special Inspector General Christy Romero. http://lawyersrealtygroup.com/158/
So, before you go to a predatory lender to request a loan modification, we can conduct a thorough analysis that can help your attorney find out if you have grounds for challenging the legal merit of your mortgage. If you modify your loan, you may waive any claims that you have to go after a lender. Doing so could potentially bar any future attempts to put a stop to your foreclosure. Our specially trained examiners can:
- Examine the appraisal and mortgage documents
- Expose any evidence suggesting fraud or other tortuous conduct
- Determine if there are errors, contract breaches, and/or violations of statutes/regulations
- Provide evidence to force a predatory lender to stop the foreclosure process
- Provide strategies for negotiation on your terms, not the banks
Informed attorneys will tell you that these “audits” are mostly useless, while several federal judges have warned that these “audits” are in essence scams. As one federal judge put it, “these audits are more than likely the product of ‘charlatans’ who prey upon people in economically dire situation;” while another judge discussing various “audits” noted that such documents “confirm the empty gimmickry of these types of claims.” And a bankruptcy judge bluntly declared: “[the Court] is quite confident there is no such thing as a ‘Certified Forensic Loan Audit’ or a ‘certified forensic auditor. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission has issued a ‘Consumer Alert’ regarding such ‘Forensic Loan Audits.” Regrettably, the resulting damage from these incomplete and spurious audits usually is the loss of the homeowners money and then their homes.
These cheap “audits” are either simplistic software programs which only take a matter of minutes to perform, and rarely find any facts necessary to support a legal action, or these so-called securitization/chain of title audits, which are nothing more than packaged, freely available information that anyone can get just for the asking. Unfortunately, in the end, these “audits” are very, very expensive because the homeowner gets nothing usable for his money and because the homeowner learns nothing about his actual opportunities to bring legal challenges to a mortgage transaction with defects. Missed opportunities are the greatest cost. Only our specially trained investigators performing the Appraisal and Mortgage Transaction Analysis can uncover a thorough list of facts and causes of action, which could give you real leverage against your predatory lender. Instead of using some useless “audit,” wise attorneys are turning to Mortgage Fraud Examiners to provide a mortgage transaction analysis that is essential to litigating or settling any attempted foreclosure.
Foreclosure Stall Attorneys
When foreclosures started arriving in mass many attorneys chose an easy method of making money. This method is ignoring any real dispute and analysis of the mortgage transaction and instead filing copycat generic defenses that have no merit and may not even delay a foreclosure. Most of these copycat defenses involve “standing,” “MERS,” “securitization,” or other unsupported arguments. This is the most profitable way for an attorney to defend a foreclosure. Pay 5 cents a page for a copy machine formulaic defense, which does nothing to help the borrower, while lining their pockets with thousands the borrower paid, basically to stall the foreclosure. Because this is the most profitable way for the attorney to defend a foreclosure, this is what the majority of blitz advertisements and attorneys you will find doing. These “pretender defenders” know that the court will eventually grant the foreclosure, and that their typical defenses generally amount to nothing more than STALL tactics.
If homeowners had a choice of stalling the foreclosure or possibly getting a monetary settlement, does anyone really believe homeowners would choose to stall? And yet, many do because they were misled. Some of these lawyers bill their clients anywhere from $1500.00, to $3500.00 or more upfront, followed by monthly fees until foreclosure. In the end, the client not only loses their home, but wasted $5,000.00 to $30,000.00 on arguments not designed to win, but to line the pockets of some greedy lawyer, who knew or should of known, that attacking the contract is the ONLY approach that wins cases.
Courts and state bar associations have noted that attorneys who fail to examine the mortgage transaction (contract) for breaches, errors, tortuous conduct, and/or statutory/regulatory violations etc. are committing malpractice. Therefore, if you lost your home and were represented by an attorney who failed to examine the mortgage transaction (contract), the results from a mortgage transaction analysis may show you are entitled to the return of any fees spent, and/or compensation for the loss of your property. http://www.releasewire.com/press-releases/mortgage-fraud-examiners-warns-beware-of-the-latest-foreclosure-rescue-scam-foreclosure-stall-attorneys-676697.htm
You may have heard that filing bankruptcy will stop a foreclosure. This is true — but only temporarily. Filing bankruptcy brings an “automatic stay” into effect that stops any collection and foreclosure while the bankruptcy court administers the case. Eventually, you must start paying your mortgage lender, or the lender will be able to foreclose. Moreover, what has to be paid back is not only the original payment, but added to it is the arrears as well. Bankruptcy is rarely, if ever, a permanent solution to prevent foreclosure. In addition, bankruptcy will negatively impact your credit score and will remain on your credit report for 10 years.
These solicitations usually come in the form of an e-mail or web-based ad. The scammer says you can eliminate your mortgage loans, credit card, and other debts if you pay an up-front fee (sometimes in the thousands of dollars) for him to prepare the documents needed. Terms you may see include “administrative process,” “declaration of voidance,” “bond for discharge of debt,” “bill of exchange,” or “redemption certificate”. Bottom line: not only does the homeowner waste their money, but possibly subject themselves to criminal prosecution. http://www.occ.gov/news-issuances/psa/dont-be-burned-by-debt-elimination-scams-spot1.html
Mass Joinder Lawsuits
Schemes in which the scammer, usually a lawyer or law firm, will promise the homeowner that the lender can be forced to modify the loan through this type of legal action. While mass joinder lawsuits can be used legitimately, the lawyers bringing them are usually paid only if the lawsuit is successful. Fraudulent mass joinder schemes, in contrast, require the homeowner to pay a fee to participate in the lawsuit. In one mass joinder scheme which was halted at the request of FTC the scammers were only posing as a law firm and engaged actual attorneys only briefly to file lawsuits. According to FTC, the scammers charged each homeowner $6,000 to $10,000 in advance fees. http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/business/duped-borrowers-to-receive-millions-in-recompense/nqMYF/
In a lease-buyback scheme, an offer where the owner can turn the lease over with an option to buy it back later. The owner is promised to be able to rent the property back, which will be counted toward an eventual buyback. These can be legitimate; however, in a scam they may end in loss of the property or considerable additional cost: the renting prices may be made so high that the original owner cannot afford to continue paying and/or the buyback price may be set far above the fair market value of the property.
Short Sale Scam
Scammers, sometimes called “short sale negotiators” or “short sale processors,” may promise to expedite a short sale and usually require you to pay a fee, which is illegal in many states. Some scammers may even include surcharges or hidden fees before the transaction closes, which are also illegal in many states. The scammer may also misrepresent the value of the home to the lender.
A short sale may be a legitimate option for a homeowner in default or homeowner who is current yet the value of the home has fallen — if the lender agrees to the short sale. But homeowners should only work with a licensed real estate professional or licensed real estate attorney since the law requires that the person be properly licensed to negotiate the short sale with your lender. Homeowners should verify licenses with their state licensing agencies.
Foreclosure Rescue Victims: Call Now
If you have fallen victim to any of the above practices, contact Mortgage Fraud Examiners immediately. We might still be able to help your attorney find ways to save your home, or obtain compensation for losing it, and hold those practitioners accountable for wasting your money.