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Foreclosure alternatives are scamming elderly homeowners

The old adage is that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is not true. Florida and all other states have been experiencing an influx of mortgage foreclosure "rescue" scams that have had a devastating effect on many older citizens who placed their trust in the soothing words of some cold-hearted criminal actors. Foreclosure alternatives may work in some circumstances, but not when the alternative is actually part of a plot to engage in "deed theft" of the owner's property.

Once the owner is convinced to sign the deed over to a third party as security or whatever other false reason is provided, the criminal act has been signed and sealed. The recipient of the deed will eventually evict the true owner because the property has been sold for a large profit by the scammers, with the original owner getting nothing. Groups who work to truly help people with mortgage problems report that the scam industry is growing at this time, and the scammers are starting to act in a far bolder way.

Sometimes, the owner does not even sign the deed away to the scammer. One offender was sentenced to a six-year prison sentence for forging 15 deeds and quickly selling the properties without the real owners even knowing about it. That was a fraud on the new purchasers who the courts ruled did not get good title to the properties.

Florida homeowners do not have to seek desperate measures from criminal actors to legitimately try to save their homes. Obtaining the services of a consumer bankruptcy attorney and discussing the filing of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the precise relief that a family needs. The filing will stop the foreclosure and give the owners a chance to get caught up on the arrearages over a monthly plan that can last up to five years. As far as foreclosure alternatives go, the Chapter 13 is approved by the federal government, and it makes the creditor accept payments by the property owners.

Source: wcvb.com, "Foreclosure scams are stealing victims' homes", Matt Sedensky, April 20, 2017

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