Beware Foreclosure Rescue Scams

Photo credit: Miguel Ugalde on stock.xchng

Photo credit: Miguel Ugalde on stock.xchng

Many homeowners in New Hampshire are struggling with the realities of foreclosure. Unfortunately, there are individuals and groups taking advantage of families who are facing difficult choices. Avoid foreclosure rescue scams by watching for these red flags, and remember that free help is available though www.HomeHelpNH.org.

  • Claims to buy your home for cash. Signs have been spotted in New Hampshire that advertise purchasing homes for cash. Often times these people practice what is known as “equity-stripping.” They purchase your home for the amount that you owe on your loan, and flip the home or sell it at full value, pocketing the profits. Ignore any handwritten fliers or suspicious signs advertising an easy exit by buying your home for cash, as you will lose any equity you may have built.  If you are looking to sell your home, consider hiring a Realtor to help you.  By working with a qualified Realtor you may be able to sell your home for its full value and keep any equity for yourself.
  • Out of state foreclosure lawyers or consultants. You may see advertisements for lawyers or consultants to help prevent foreclosure. They often charge upward of a $1,000 for their services when, in reality, they do little to offer guidance or help your situation. Homeownership counseling and low-cost or free legal help can be found throughout New Hampshire by dialing 2-1-1 toll-free.  2-1-1 NH will refer you to free and local foreclosure counseling services provided by qualified HUD approved counseling agencies.
  • Fake online “government programs.” Online ads may claim to be affiliated with government foreclosure prevention or refinancing programs. Even if their website URL appears to be a government site, and even if they use terms like “HARP” and “federal,” you are better off checking with a local homeownership counselor or your lender about available programs.

These are just a few ways that scammers are trying to make a profit during the overwhelming and confusing process that many at-risk homeowners face. Make sure to protect yourself. Visit www.homehelpnh.org or dial 2-1-1 toll-free for free information and resources.

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