Don't provide financial information through emails or links to websites. Founded in 1976, Bankrate has a long history of helping people make smart financial decisions. We have maintained this reputation for more than four decades by demystifying the financial decision-making process and giving people confidence in what steps to take next. Homeowners who go through difficult times and fall behind on their mortgage payments may be desperate to save their homes.
That's when unscrupulous scammers, who use public housing records before foreclosure, jump in with offers of foreclosure relief to capitalize on victims' vulnerability, says Opperman. In the wake of financial challenges caused by the pandemic, foreclosure relief scams are on the rise. While the government has worked to address these issues and many banks have taken additional steps to help struggling borrowers, criminals continue to capitalize on fear. This could include offering to negotiate with your lender for a fee or asking you to pay you directly while they work to resolve your situation.
Be careful with urgent or urgent requests. Fake representatives of lending institutions can also appear before a seller of housing or real estate. A scammer posing as a mortgage or loan officer can convince a seller that they have a buyer for the property. They can then request and obtain the seller's personal information, such as the seller's bank account information, to “transfer the fictitious buyer's profits” to them.
They can then use the seller's bank information to empty their bank accounts. In addition to these venture capital-funded companies, several large domestic brokerage houses now offer the service of buying homes directly from the seller without the need to put them up for sale to the general public. FTC Recommends Renters to Learn About Potential Scams When Looking for a New Place. They use radio, television and online advertisements to attract people with promises of quick riches made through the purchase and sale of real estate.
Since the goal of these buyers is to buy the home as little as possible, sometimes between 50 and 60% of its real value, sellers usually receive much less than they would have received if they had put it up for sale through a real estate agent. Imagine listing your home for sale, finding a buyer, going all the way to closing, and then discovering that someone else has made a claim on your property, either through a discreet claim or an outright forgery. But instead of buying houses, most of these companies want to convince you to give up control of your home. And because the email appears to come from a legitimate source, homebuyers will often follow fraudulent instructions and then use scammers' transfer instructions to send the money.
This is not to say that there are no legitimate companies willing to buy your property promptly. Although there are some legitimate companies that specialize in buying houses for cash, the “We Buy Houses for Cash” flyers placed on telephone poles are probably the work of scammers. Scammers convince homeowner to sign deed ahead of time, promising quick mortgage payment. Before selling through an unsolicited purchase offer, the seller must know the real value of a property.
According to Tom Cronkright, the CEO of the identity verification solution CertFID and the victim of wire fraud himself, there are some red flags that buyers can watch out for to avoid potential losses. This strategy means preparing your home for potential buyers to see and possibly letting it sit for sale for a long period of time. Before you begin the process of selling your home, it's good to have an action plan in place, such as these steps from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidance on what to do if you've been scammed. A homebuyer, for example, can only receive a cursory visual inspection when they believe that a full and detailed inspection is being done.