Imagine! You found an easy way to make money–people pay you; you do nothing. It seems like consequences may come, but they never do. You just blow off that letter from the authorities or don’t pay the judgment against you . . . and . . . nothing! Just more money!
You wouldn’t give that up, would you?
Neither are the foreclosure scammers.
Despite news reports that the foreclosure crisis has passed and the occasional action against scammers, they are alive and well. Be on the lookout of the following:
- Promises to save your home. Once you are in foreclosure (or even behind on mortgage payments), it is very unlikely that anyone can guarantee saving your home. Mortgage documents, written by your mortgage company, give the mortgage company a plethora of rights and cause you to give away many of yours. The state legislatures have agreed, and every step forward by consumers is met with legislators and judges pushing them back. Of course, legislators and judges are feeling frustrated by the way scammers make foreclosure defense look, so it is a vicious cycle.
- Monthly payments regardless of work. You probably go to work and have to be there every minute to get a check. So much as a personal phone call might be met with allegations you are slacking (yeah, I had a job before). Things are a bit different for lawyers, but the fact remains that a lawyer’s fees should be reasonable. The best way to be sure of this is to have a written contract and monthly invoices showing work done. Remember, lawyers cannot guarantee results–only effort.
- Non-lawyers should not accept up-front payments. In fact, this is illegal in Illinois. Beware of companies that “associate” with Illinois lawyers, but you never meet one. Some lawyers are so callous that they attempt to “lend” their credentials to non-lawyers so more consumers can be harmed. If you have a lawyer, you have a lawyer–exemplified by a contract, bills, presence in court, actual existence in this plane of reality–you, know, the little things.
I was just able to help a deserving family delay a foreclosure sale so they can try to save their home. They spent precious money and wasted time with two scammers. The result? Their home is subject to a judgment of foreclosure. I cannot fix that–it was entered when they thought they had a lawyer. All I can do now is help negotiate with a bank that has very little incentive.
Beware of scams. Even the most committed lawyer cannot undo all the damage or get all of your money back.