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Christopher Todd Morrison, P.C.
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If foreclosure looms, do not fall for help from scammers

Your home really is your castle, your pride and joy, but you have missed some payments, and the lender is threatening to foreclose.

You are very concerned and vulnerable to scammers who claim they can help you keep your home or sell it quickly, but always for a fee. There are many schemes, but here are three of the most common, as well as a valid option you may want to consider.

1. Short sale negotiation

You are probably familiar with the meaning of a short sale, which is why someone who says he is a "short sale negotiator" or "processor" might sound perfectly legitimate. However, this individual will likely promise to manage a short sale for you in return for an upfront fee. Send him on his way.

2. A rent-to-own proposal

You may be approached by someone who offers you a deal to remain in your home as a renter, saying that when your financial situation improves in a few years, you can buy it back. The main problem here is that the scammer wants the title or deed to your home, but he has no intention of selling the property back to you, ever.

3. Government loan modification schemes

Beware of someone who says he is affiliated with the government. This person may offer a loan modification program supposedly backed by a government agency. The goal is to convince you to go for the mortgage modification program he is selling, but you would first have to pay him a high upfront fee. For the sake of credibility, the scammer might even direct you to a company website. Note, however, that the website ends with .com or .net, not .gov

The entirely legal bankruptcy option

In the state of Texas, foreclosure can happen quickly through nonjudicial foreclosure, meaning that your lender does not need a court order to act. However, you may stop foreclosure by filing an emergency bankruptcy petition, if necessary. Keep your legal options open and do not fall prey to scammers who only want to improve their own financial picture at your expense.

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