Watch out for foreclosure relief scams: If they promise a result or ask for money up front or ask for your deed run like hell

Use your head. If anyone promises you a result or guarantees a result they are lying. If the solution being pitched to you is “just do this,” forget it. If it is too good to be true then it isn’t true. If the scheme was that good, the banks would have already lost everything.

If someone says they are licensed or “certified”, do your own homework. Do not rely on others. Are the licensed in good standing? What are they licensed to do? Who “certified” them? [I can certify myself to be a fighter pilot. All I need is a certificate issued in the name of either a nonexistent entity or an existing business entity that has no authority to issue such certificates.]

Performing at least some of your own work is essential to avoiding schemes that will empty your wallet for nothing.  

Anyone who asks for money up front without being a lawyer is probably violating the laws and rules against foreclosure relief scams. I don’t completely agree with the law but it is well-intentioned. 99 times out of 100 the sales solicitation is just that — selling not servicing. Because homeowners are at their wits end they often grasp at straws even if the straws are only an illusion.

Yes you can beat the banks but not with some cooked up scheme that is untested and promoted by nonlawyers.

Yes you can pay money up front to a lawyer.

Yes you can pay money up front to a forensic investigator to simply report facts back to you.

Everything else is illegal until the services have already been rendered. So if some unlicensed huckster sold you on something and it turns out to be a bust, then you would pay nothing. No huckster will allow for such a plan because they know that they have no intention of doing anything other than performing acts that appear to justify the fee you paid them. So they MUST have the money up front.

AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE SCAM

One scam that keeps popping its head up is the “authorized representative scam.”

In this scheme someone contacts the homeowner or the homeowner finds them because of advertising usually on the internet. the person presents themselves as someone who is not licensed to practice law but who can manage the case for the the homeowner, hiring lawyers, experts, and forensic examiners.

In theory it is very appealing to have someone supervise the defense effort. In practice it is almost always a scam in which homeowners are bilked for thousands even tens of thousands of dollars without a single thing being accomplished.

The one hidden piece is always that the professionals to be managed have not agreed to anything.

My practice is to request confirmation from the homeowner as to the authority of the representative. It is often true that the representative is in fact a member of the family who is only seeking the best possible result. I also insist on speaking with the homeowner unless I already know the intermediary.

IF YOU DON’T SEE A DISCLAIMER THEN RUN FOR THE HILLS

ANYONE PERFORMING WORK FOR DISTRESSED HOMEOWNER IS EITHER LEGALLY REQUIRED OR ETHICALLY REQUIRED TO ISSUE DISCLAIMERS LIKE THIS ONE THAT I OFTEN SEND OUT:

FORECLOSURE DEFENSE IS NOT SIMPLE. THERE IS NO GUARANTEE OF A FAVORABLE RESULT. IN FACT, STATISTICS SHOW THAT MOST HOMEOWNERS FAIL TO PRESENT THEIR DEFENSE PROPERLY. EVEN THOSE THAT PRESENT THE DEFENSES PROPERLY LOSE, AT LEAST AT THE TRIAL COURT LEVEL, AT LEAST 1/3 OF THE TIME. IN ADDITION IT IS NOT A SHORT PROCESS IF YOU PREVAIL. THE FORECLOSURE MILLS WILL DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO WEAR YOU DOWN AND UNDERMINE YOUR CONFIDENCE. ALL EVIDENCE SHOWS THAT NO MEANINGFUL SETTLEMENT OCCURS UNTIL THE 11TH HOUR OF LITIGATION.

If you don’t see something like that you have been “oversold”, tricked or defrauded.

And if you see anything that even smells like a legal opinion without some caveat or disclaimer in the context of such statements then it is bogus.

 

One Response

  1. Oh yeah — I got this. And not even in foreclosure (as far as I know — what is internal is likely different). And never in default – what is internal is DIFFERENT. They promised a “loan mod” – Sent to Banking Commission. They were interested. Never heard from them again. NO RESPONSE. I HATE “NO RESPONSE.”

    GEEZ

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