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What's a common foreclosure scam?

You have been having problems paying your mortgage on time, but most of the time, you've been able to catch up before 30 days have passed. You decide to sell your home, because the hassle of making payments in the amount you owe is just too much to handle. It seems like a good idea to get out of the mortgage while you're still in a position to make money on the sale.

You received several offers right away, with one person even suggesting he'd pay off your mortgage completely while the sale pends, since you mentioned that you need to sell to avoid foreclosure. In return, he'd like to pay you after the home is sold. All you have to do is sign over the deed.

Does it sound too good to be true? All your troubles would be over immediately with no waiting period, but that simply isn't what will happen in this case.

This is a sign of a scam, so watch out. Equity skimming is a scam run by many shady buyers in the market. They approach you with the idea that they can help you get out of debt quickly and end your mortgage woes. They get you to move out and even deed the property to them. Then, the buyer rents the property to collect income. He doesn't make any mortgage payments, which results in the home going into foreclosure.

Even though the other party has the deed, that doesn't mean you didn't have an obligation to pay the mortgage. While the scam might be something you can fight with your attorney's help in the long-term, in the short-term, you'll be left with a mess on your hands.

Source: FindLaw, "Watch Out for Foreclosure Scams," accessed Aug. 03, 2017

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