Foreclosure scam warning from the Better Business Bureau

local news

ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – In the time of COVID-19, scammers are looking for every way to take advantage of consumers. Now, they’re targeting homeowners vulnerable to foreclosure. Heather Massey from your Better Business Bureau breaks down foreclosure rescue scams and offers tips to keep from falling victim.

According to the Bureau, there are a few different versions of this type of scam. In one, the scammer pays off the overdue amount on the loan and then has the homeowner transfer the deed of the house to a third-party. The homeowner is then given the chance to rent the house, but at a higher price than they can typically afford which leads to eviction.

Another version is when someone claims they can lower mortgage payments to help the homeowner avoid foreclosure. After they get paid, the scammer disappears without helping.

These scams can start with flyers left around your neighborhood, a post on social media, or through a direct phone call or email. Those who are vulnerable to losing their home or concerned about their finances should be on the look-out for these scams when seeking help.

The Better Business Bureau recommends that you speak directly with your lender first to restructure your loan payment or refinance. They also say you should always do your own paperwork and closely read contracts before signing anything. Also, watch for red flags when you start seeking help like someone asking for payment in gift cards or through wire transfer or if you feel like they’re pressuring you to make a quick deal.

Foreclosure prevention information is available for free at the HOPE hotline. You can also look up the business profile of any business offering to buy your home on the Bureau’s website.

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