North Carolina Foreclosure Attorneys: Watch Out for Foreclosure Scams

July 31, 2012

Our North Carolina foreclosure attorneys have been troubled by recent news that mortgage foreclosure scams have spiked by 60 percent since the beginning of this year.

As if those struggling with a North Carolina foreclosure didn’t have enough on their plates!

It’s unfortunate that scammers would target people when they are at their most vulnerable, but there appears to be no low to which these criminals won’t sink.  Sadly, a growing number of these cases involve out of state “law firms” with “North Carolina foreclosure attorneys” or companies who appear to be law firms, and aggressive targeting of underwater homeowners with advertised “specialized services.”

In a large number of these cases, homeowners are contacted and told they qualify for a portion of the $26 billion settlement agreed upon by attorneys general in 49 states and five major banks. The truth is, these homeowners may indeed qualify for some federal government help with loan modifications or a set amount if their home was wrongfully foreclosed upon.  In some cases, North Carolina homeowners may qualify for a government grant to pay their mortgage.  The difference between these efforts and those of legitimate attorneys is that the scammers aren’t providing you with an avenue to obtain that relief and worse, they are reaching into your pockets to pilfer money you don’t have to spare.

North Carolina Foreclosure Attorneys

The Homeownership Preservation Foundation was quoted by The Huffington Post as saying that a lot of these scams are conducted under legitimate-sounding business names, and many sound like they are a law firm or state they are “attorney-backed”.  In other instances, which have been well-documented, scammers call and claim to be working for the government. They say the person has qualified for foreclosure relief, and then proceeds to weasel personal information from the victim.

Another example cited was out of California, where a judge ultimately ended up shuttering a so-called mortgage relief organization in March. The Los Angeles Times had reported that by using five different company names and three separate websites, the organization scammed some $1 million from hundreds of homeowners.  They had one of two very successful scams going.

The first involved charging several hundred dollars to homeowners battling foreclosure. The ruse claimed that this money allowed them to buy into a class action lawsuit that would return several thousand dollars each.

The second scam involved a deposit of several hundred dollars for the company to do a home loan audit that would result in bank or lender violations in the vast majority – or 90 percent – of cases.

Statistics culled from March indicted that more than one in every 660 homes had received a foreclosure filing. That’s an increase from the previous month, which tells us that scammers will have even more potential targets.

North Carolina Foreclosure Attorneys

While there are absolutely legitimate North Carolina foreclosure attorneys, it’s important for you to do your research on the qualifications and experience of anyone you hire, including an attorney. If you are considering hiring an out of state law firm to deal with your mortgage situation, make sure they have a licensed attorney in North Carolina who has experience handling foreclosure matters, in and out of court.

Be wary of anyone who contacts you directly.  The government warns not to trust anyone who is marketing their services door-to-door or with the use of flyers.  Attorneys cannot contact you directly to solicit their services.  So be leary of anyone contacting you and stating they are a law firm.

Red-flag warnings should be raised if a person or company calls itself a “foreclosure service.”

And of course there is the always-relevant general rule: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Consult the North Carolina foreclosure attorneys  at Soboleski Law, P.C., in Asheville, NC for more information.  We represent homeowners statewide.  We can also be reached at 828-285-8888.

Previous post:

Next post: