Consumer Tips for Avoiding Foreclosure Scams

Foreclosures are increasing nationwide, and so are scams that promise to "rescue" homeowners from foreclosure. What these scams do is take your money, ruin your credit record, and wipe out any equity you have in your home.

Foreclosure con artists take advantage of people who have fallen behind on their mortgages and face foreclosure. Con artists know that people in these situations are vulnerable and likely to be desperate. Potential victims are easy to find: mortgage lenders publish notices before foreclosing on homes. After reading such notices, con artists approach their targets in person, by mail, over the telephone, or by e-mail. They advertise their services on Web sites or publications. They often refer to themselves with titles that sound official, such as "foreclosure consultant" or "mortgage consultant," and market themselves as a "foreclosure service" or "foreclosure rescue agency."

Your mortgage lender - or any legitimate financial counselor - can help you find real options to avoid foreclosure. If someone offers to negotiate with your lender and offers to arrange to stop or delay foreclosure for a fee, carefully check his or her credentials, reputation, and experience. To protect yourself, follow the recommendations contained in this Consumer Advisory.

Watch Out for Foreclosure Scams

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