Fraudulent Foreclosure ‘help’ in Denver

By shaye • May 30th, 2010

A record number of foreclosures have been filed in Denver this year, even higher than the oil industry bust of 1988. Although Denver is attributed with a far lower number of foreclosure homes than many other American cities, it has nevertheless been targeted for foul play.

There are a number of mortgage fraud schemes operating in the country now, and the FBI has listed Denver as one of the cities that is among the top ten ‘hot spots’ for mortgage fraud. This means that any family facing foreclosure should be extra vigilant about ‘help’ offered.

Perhaps Denver has been targeted by criminals because many of these foreclosing properties are grouped into areas. For instance, concentrations occur in Adams and Weld Counties and Montbello and Green Valley Ranch.

The FBI has been alerted to this practice after hearing of instances of people being cheated out of their homes in Denver. Several families have signed on the dotted line of hope, only to find that they have been duped.

Instead of being ‘saved’ from foreclosure and losing their house, they had signed themselves off the deed and are now rental tenants in their own home.

Another scam involves a prospective buyer asking for a ‘gift donation’ from the distressed home-owner before the property is sold. The gift is part of the deal to sell the house to the prospective buyer who is going to receive the gift. However, the gift is taken and the supposed buyer is never seen again.

Many of us may feel that we would be too shrewd to fall for a scam, but when a home is threatened with foreclosure, the owner’s judgment is usually clouded by the desperation felt. The successful con artist can be most convincing that he or she has both empathy and sympathy for the situation. The home owner may feel that any chance to save the family home is surely worth a try?

When a person reveals themselves to be in such dire straits, it is really difficult to believe that another human being could cheat them under the pretense of kindness. It is this kind of vulnerability that the foreclosure fraud feeds on with his or her lies, deceit and dishonesty. The FBI and the industry are working to stop these frauds, but in the meantime there are a few ways to protect against foreclosure scams.

Do not sign anything that has the word quitclaim written into it. Do not accept an offer of leaseback, however good it sounds. Only make payments to your Lender, who is the only one that can authorize changes in mortgage payments or dates. Get any agreed changes in writing from your Lender, even if you write the letter yourself. Do not sign any document with blank lines left open; run a line through them or black them out.

Finally, a government-backed service called ‘Hopenow.com’ has been set up to help reduce the amount of foreclosures; they may be able to help you. Remember, it is not very expensive to ask an attorney to look over a document before you sign it. Hopefully you will not need this last piece of information, but if you feel you are a victim of fraud, contact Division of Consumer Affairs.

StacyNeirHomes.com, your online Denver real estate source. Stacy Neir is a top-producing agent, whose dedication to first class customer service and love for Denver makes her an ideal choice for your real estate needs. To search Stapleton CO real estate, visit Stacy online today!

 

Leave a Comment

« | Home | »