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Mortgage Refinance-Let the Buyer Beware
Applications for mortgage refinance are up nearly 20% from a year ago. Nearly one third of all outstanding mortgages have an adjustable rate feature. Foreclosures were up 72% from the first quarter of 2005 to the same period in 2006. A record 323,000 properties were in foreclosure in that period. What does all this mean?
If you are a homeowner who is about to lose your home to foreclosure BEWARE. The phone call you get offering to help may not be a guardian angel but the devil himself. Because of the great value in real estate and the number of folks struggling to make their mortgage payments, mortgage fraud is on the rise.
Scam artists prey on frightened homeowners who lack the knowledge of how things work in a foreclosure. If you are being foreclosed upon it is a matter of public record. A suit has to be filed in many states so all the information a scammer needs to know is at the courthouse. For a smooth talking con artist who offers to "help" you could be his next target.
Remember the old saying "if it sounds too good to be true, it isn't (true)". Scam artists make everything sound so simple and easy. And you as the beleaguered homeowner are all to willing to be saved by the "knight in shining armor."
Unfortunately some of the folks who are at risk the most are the elderly and people who do not understand English all that well.
Probably the smartest thing you can do is get an attorney you trust to guide you.
Some things to remember:
1. DON'T fall for outrageous promises like saving your credit or getting a new lower payment mortgage.
2. DON'T sign away ownership of your home (without an attorney's advice).
3. DO know what your rights are.
4. DON'T do anything verbally-get it in writing.
5. DON'T sign anything with blank spaces (that can be filled in later).
6. DO be skeptical about everything-check and recheck to make sure you are protected.
Selling your home is much more preferable than foreclosure. It may not be your favorite choice but in the long run it may be the best choice.
About the Author: Your quest for the BEST deal on a home loan starts with knowledge and information-you can't have too much of either.
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