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Foreclosure Rescue Scams: What Tenants Need To Know


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Foreclosure rescue scams seek out people who are not informed about fraud. These scam artists often say they can guarantee to stop the foreclosure, they have special relationships with banks, and that they can save your home if you pay their fees. The scams often use tactics such as bait and switch, supposed bailout, bankruptcy foreclosure, and cash for keys. The Virginia Consumer Protection Act helps to protect homeowners from these types of foreclosure rescue scams.

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Foreclosure Rescue Scams: What Tenants Need To Know

  1. 1. What Tenants Need to Know<br />Consumer Affairs Branch<br />Fairfax County Department of <br />Cable and Consumer Services<br /><br />
  2. 2. Scam artists seek out people who are not informed about fraud. Recognize the red flags. <br /><br />Foreclosure Rescue Scams<br />
  3. 3. Public foreclosure notices in newspapers and on the Internet. <br />Public files at local government offices.<br />Ads on TV and newspapers. <br />Posters or flyers on telephone poles, median strips, or at bus stops.<br />Business card left at your home.<br />Handwritten notices offering help. <br />Call you on the phone. <br /><br />How “Rescuers” Get Your Information<br />
  4. 4. Stop Foreclosure Now! <br />We guarantee to stop your foreclosure.<br />Keep Your Home. No Problem! <br />We have special relationships with banks.<br />We Can Save Your Home. <br />We stop foreclosures everyday. Our team of professionals can stop yours this week!<br /><br />What “Rescuers” Say<br />
  5. 5. BEFORE FORECLOSURE<br />“Rescuers” pretend they are counselors who can negotiate a deal with the lender.<br />Claim they can save your home if you pay a fee for their help. <br />Fees range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.<br />“Rescuers” ask you to pay the mortgage directly to them while they negotiate with the lender. <br />After they get your money, they don’t send the payments to the lender, they disappear. <br /><br />Phantom Assistance<br />
  6. 6. BEFORE FORECLOSURE<br /> “Rescuer” offers to refinance your loan to bring your mortgage current.<br /> Instead of giving you refinancing paperwork, they trick you into signing a deed that transfers ownership of your home to the “rescuer”. <br />You lose your home for a loan that never existed.<br />You may still owe for the mortgage although you no longer have the home. <br /><br />Bait & Switch<br />
  7. 7. The “Rescuer” convinces the homeowners to surrender the title with the promise that they can stay in the home as a renter.<br />Claim you can buy the home back later, but fail to fully disclose the terms. <br />After the “Rescuer Gets Your Title<br /> Raise the rent so high you can’t afford to pay.<br /> Make it impossible for you to buy your home back.<br />Evict you from your home.<br />Sell your home for a profit and get all of your equity. <br /><br />Bailout<br />
  8. 8. The “rescuer” promises to negotiate with your lender, or get refinancing for you for a fee up front. <br />After they get your money, they file a bankruptcy case in your name, usually without your knowledge. <br />This stops the foreclosure temporarily. <br />If you fail to attend the first meeting with the creditors, the bankruptcy judge will dismiss the case and the foreclosure will proceed. <br />You lose your home and your money. <br /><br />Bankruptcy Foreclosure<br />
  9. 9. A scam artist offers the homeowner a very small payment in exchange for the keys as an incentive for them to leave the property to avoid the eviction process. <br />After the homeowner moves, the scam artist negotiates a larger payment directly with the lender or new owner. <br />Phony “rescuers” ask the homeowner to turn over the keys in exchange for a promise to “rescue” them from eviction.<br />They pay the homeowner a small amount of money.<br />After they take your money, they do nothing. <br />You find out you’ve been scammed when you get an eviction notice. <br /><br />Cash for Keys<br />
  10. 10. <ul><li>Protects homeowners by prohibiting any person from accepting an advance fee in exchange for a promise to engage in, arrange, offer, promote, or carry out a foreclosure rescue transaction for profit.
  11. 11. Persons participating in or servicing foreclosure rescues for profit with the intent to defraud a homeowner is in violation of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.</li></ul><br />Virginia Consumer Protection Act<br />
  12. 12. Contact the Fairfax County Consumer Affairs Branch for more information:<br />12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 433<br />Fairfax, Virginia 22035<br />703-222-8435 TTY 711<br /><br /><br /><br />Contact Consumer Affairs<br />