Florida is one of the top ten mortgage fraud areas in the country. If you're having trouble making mortgage payments contact your lender or a Foreclosure Avoidance Counselor from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Mortgage Fraud Task Force
Miami-Dade County has established a Mortgage Fraud Task Force to minimize your risk of becoming a victim.
The task force is broken down into 5 separate committees. Each committee is responsible for an important portion of the mortgage fraud task force mission.
- Law Enforcement Committee – this committee is responsible for the detection, investigation, and apprehension and prosecution of the mortgage fraud subjects and enterprises.
- Legislative Committee – this committee is responsible for enhancing current laws, creating new laws and ordinances. All these efforts are in furtherance of the mortgage fraud task force mission.
- Regulatory Committee – this committee is responsible to enhance and enforce regulations on all parties involved in the mortgage transaction.
- Business Partnership Committee – this committee is responsible to create and transmit effective business practices to enhance cooperation with law enforcement and between different professions involved in the mortgage transaction. Businesses that have committed to the task force include banks, title insurance companies, realtors, appraisers, and mortgage brokers.
- Education Committee – this committee is responsible to create public awareness through printed literature, newspaper articles, and television reports. The committee will be championed with the assistance of the elected officials and media representatives.
Types of Foreclosure Rescue Fraud
Foreclosure Rescue Fraud occurs when homeowners, finding it difficult to make ends meet and facing foreclosure, are promised help to save their homes. Scammers often turn around and steal the homes from those they promised aid to. Some collect large fees for services never provided and are never seen again.
Be cautious of these types of advertisements:
- “Stop foreclosure now!”
- “We guarantee to stop your foreclosure.”
- “We can save your home. Guaranteed. Free consultation.”
Types of Foreclosure Rescue Fraud:
- Phantom Help
- The supposed rescuer charges very high fees for basic phone calls and paperwork that the homeowner could have done. Or, the rescuer will promise to represent the homeowner but will not follow through.
- The supposed rescuer tells you to pay a fee first.
- The supposed rescuer tells you not to contact your lender, lawyer or credit counselor.
- Told to make all mortgage payments directly to the foreclosure rescue consultant.
- Bait & Switch
- You think you’re signing documents for a new loan to make your existing mortgage current.
- You have surrendered the title of your house and have given up ownership.
- Bailout / Rent-to-Buy
- The scammer bails the homeowner out by helping them get rid of the house.
- Surrender your title and live in your house as a renter with the option to buy it back.
- The homeowner can’t afford the terms. The scam artist raises the rent and then evicts the homeowner when they can’t pay.
- They sell the house.
- Protect Yourself
- Contact your mortgage lender as soon as you think you are unable to make your mortgage payment.
- Know what you are signing.
- Get promises in writing.
- Make mortgage payments directly to your lender.
- Be very careful about signing over your deed.
Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Prevention
The Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Prevention Act prohibits foreclosure rescue consultants from initiating services without first executing a written agreement with the homeowner; or collecting or securing payment before completing or performing all agreed upon services.
- Learn how the Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Prevention Act protects you.