Foreclosure weather is bad. It is likely to worsen in the near future. The administration is doing its best to dilute the crisis but the best option is for the house owner to be armed with knowledge about the basics of foreclosures.
Foreclosures are not illegal. It is the way lenders realize unpaid dues by taking over the collateral. The house owners can directly contact lenders for refinancing with the hope that some equity will be saved. The borrower can start to write on a clean slate for a new tomorrow.
Usually banks and lenders do not come forward with rescue squads. It is some real estate experts who take advantage of the bad situation of borrowers. The typical approach is personal. The unsuspecting house owner, immersed in his problems, suddenly finds a persistent friendly face hovering around exuding a feeling of hope and confidence. The ground is first prepared through mails and or calls. The borrower is often asked to pay a hefty fee for services being rendered. The scammer disappears with it while the borrower waits hopefully. Too late only when valuable time has been lost does the unfortunate person realize that he has become bankrupt with little or no options left.
The scammers are openly advertising their dubious ware with bold offerings. Their documents look authentic and no wonder because through the maze of alphabets the owner finds that he is an owner no more – the title has been handed over to the friendly scammer. It is all done in a smooth suave manner. The owner is allowed to stay on as tenant until his luck improves. That day never comes. The rent is higher than the mortgage and being unable to pay the inevitable happens – eviction. The house is lost without a penny for the future.
The house owners who have some equity are made to agree to a temporary transfer of property to the ‘rescuer’. But the buy back terms are so unjust that it turns out to be double the mortgage. Whatever equity was there previously is not lost.
New Hampshire has come forth with strong anti-predatory laws, with criminal and civil penalties, making it difficult for scammers to make pre-foreclosure deals. If proved to be a fraud the victim gets back 90% of the equity. It is a primary step in the right direction.