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Do not give a scammer the title to your house

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2019 | real estate law

Real estate scam artists are on the prowl for vulnerable homeowners in Connecticut who are having problems making their mortgage payments. If they can, mortgage scammers will try to gain ownership of your home through offers to renegotiate your mortgage or other forms of trickery. So when a party claiming to be a mortgage relief outfit shows up with a contract, do not sign it right away. Instead, look for any warning signs that you are dealing with a malicious party.

Pennymac points out that some scammers offer homeowners a way to catch up on back mortgage payments by signing their title to a third party investor. Under this arrangement, you would be allowed to stay in your home while paying rent to the investor until you save enough cash to buy the home back. However, your new landlord now has the power to evict you from the home whenever the landlord deems you to be in violation of your rental agreement.

There are also scammers who try to hide title transfers through other offers. For instance, some scam artists claim to provide new mortgage loans with more favorable rates. The offer is typically in the form of a lot of paperwork that the scammer will urge you not to read because it is time sensitive, plus the documents are basically standard financial lending documents anyway, or so the scammer says.

The bait and switch comes when you sign the paperwork but later find out that all you did was transfer your deed over to the scamming party. The scammer not only owns your house, but has done nothing to relieve you of your mortgage burden. Now you have to pay off a mortgage on a home that is not even yours any longer.

According to Bankrate, homes that are in pre-foreclosure are listed in public record, so if you have fallen on hard times with your mortgage, a scammer may be aware of your plight and show up with an offer to save your home that sounds too good to be true. Unfortunately, such offers almost always are. And if a so-called mortgage relief company says not to talk to your lender, it is a red flag that you are dealing with a scammer. Your better bet is to negotiate with your lender directly to try to improve your payment terms.