When a homeowner learns that their property may be in jeopardy, they’re often willing to do anything to save their homes. This can expose a person to mortgage relief scams, which prey on the homeowner’s desperation to prevent foreclosure from going forward. The Federal Trade Commission provides the following information on common mortgage relief scams and how you can avoid them.

Along with depriving a person of their home, foreclosure can also have a devastating impact on credit score. That’s why rent-to-own schemes are often attractive, as they solve both issues. You sell your home to the buyer, who then becomes the landlord. From there you rent the home, with the belief that one day you’ll pay off your debt and reclaim the title. Many companies will continually raise the rent until it’s no longer possible to remain in the home or tack on added fees and costs until the expense is untenable.

While attorneys can be extremely helpful when you’re faced with foreclosure, some people will misrepresent themselves as legal authorities and offer to negotiate on your behalf. They might claim that they’ll be able to reduce your debt for a fee, and once the fee is remitted, they’ll cease responding to you. They might also request that you make mortgage payments directly to them, which can get you in trouble with your lender when payments are late or missed.

Also, watch out for individuals offering auditing services. They might state the subsequent audit report can be used to reduce the amount of your debt or even have the loan discharged altogether. Of course, completing a report incurs a hefty fee, and there’s no real guarantee that it will uncover any issues with your mortgage. If you’re concerned about mortgage documents or feel that a foreclosure notice was issued in error, its best to contact an experienced attorney for help.