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What you should know about foreclosure rescue scams

Paying on a mortgage in Miami, Florida, can be difficult when a person is on a fixed income, but maintaining ownership of the real estate is important. People who are struggling financially and concerned that they will not be able to continue making mortgage payments may be seeking alternatives that allow them to stay in their homes. There are programs available that may provide the assistance needed. However, there are also dishonest professionals such as real estate agents and mortgage companies that create false programs to take advantage of senior homeowners who find themselves in a vulnerable position.

According to the FBI, seniors are often the target of foreclosure fraud, including rescue schemes that are marketed as reverse mortgage programs. People who are perpetrating these scams often draw homeowners in with the lure of a reverse mortgage, which is legitimate and can be helpful. But, applicants are typically told they have been denied. They are then offered an alternative mortgage loan, and the difficult financial situation this creates often results in the loss of the home and the original equity the owners had in it.

Avoiding foreclosure scams can be as simple as seeking assistance through the appropriate channels. For example, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development explains that the Federal Housing Administration offers home equity conversion mortgages. The FHA’s program allows seniors who live in their homes and have little or no mortgage balance to convert their equity into money to live on. Not only that, HUD also provides counseling services to help potential borrowers discover honest lenders who are approved by the FHA and will not cheat them out of their homes. 

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