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How To Avoid Mortgage Scams

With record numbers of individuals seeking home loans these days, it’s no surprise that scam artists have developed new ways to separate borrowers from their money. Mortgage scams are on the rise and typically target people who are overextended, have bad credit, or are in need of financial relief. These scams can cost a lot – in fact, they can result in the loss of your home. Guard yourself against con artists with a little background on common mortgage scams:

Slight-of-Ha...

Mortgage Scams,Reconveyance,Reverse Mortgages,Home Buying Seminars,

With record numbers of individuals seeking home loans these days, it’s no surprise that scam artists have developed new ways to separate borrowers from their money. Mortgage scams are on the rise and typically target people who are overextended, have bad credit, or are in need of financial relief. These scams can cost a lot – in fact, they can result in the loss of your home. Guard yourself against con artists with a little background on common mortgage scams:

Slight-of-Hand Signings

There are documented cases of homeowners who unwittingly signed away the title to their homes because they were confused by paperwork. With any decision involving your finances, get everything in writing and insist on reading the documents carefully before signing. Ask questions and make sure you understand the answers. Be sure you never sign paperwork with blank spaces or allow someone to rush you through the process.

High-Priced Home-Buying Seminars

You’ve seen ads in the newspaper (and on bus benches) for those home-buying seminars or programs catering to people with less-than-perfect credit. If you’re considering such services, check out their fee structure first, and make sure you’re not buying into a scam. If you’re required to pay large fees in advance, chances are the service is not legitimate. Consult the Better Business Bureau before taking action.

The Reconveyance Racket

Say you’re struggling with mortgage payments or in foreclosure. A business or individual offers to buy the property and sell it back to you, once you get your finances back in shape. The process is called “reconveyance,” and there are legitimate companies offering these services. If you encounter a scammer, however, you could find yourself unable to repurchase your home.

Target: Reverse Mortgages

If a member of your family is considering a reverse mortgage, they should protect themselves against scams specifically targeting reverse mortgages and speak with a HUD-approved counselor first. Make sure they get at least three separate offers in writing, and that they understand the terms and conditions before signing. Remember, borrowers generally have up to three business days in which they can cancel a loan document.

Home Equity Hard Knocks

In this type of scan, the homeowner is approached by a contractor offering home renovations at an affordable price. When the homeowner protests that they can’t afford the work, the contractor suggests he arrange financing through a lender acquaintance. The homeowner agrees, the contractor commences work, and then presents the homeowner with a bunch of paperwork. Some of the papers may be blank or incomplete and the contractor threatens to walk off the job unless they are signed immediately. After the fact, the homeowner discovers they’ve applied for a home equity loan with high rates and accompanying fees. At this point, the contractor has all the leverage because the work is underway and he’s probably received a kick-back from the unscrupulous lender.

 

How to Avoid Nasty Mortgage Junk Fees

So, you've taken an application with a mortgage broker. He has told you your monthly payment and the total amount you will need at the time of closing. How do you know the charges on the loan are fair? How do you compare this loan to others you have been offered?

mortgage, Kevin Blasi, Good Faith Estimate, loan officer, mortgage broker, closing costs, points

So, you've taken an application with a mortgage broker. He has told you your monthly payment and the total amount you will need at the time of closing. How do you know the charges on the loan are fair? How do you compare this loan to others you have been offered?

Check the GFE.

The Good Faith Estimate (GFE) can be your weapon to get the fairest price for your loan. If you don’t take a good long look at this infinitely important legal-sized piece of paper, you may just be throwing your money away.

This single document will detail every specific charge on your loan. Not only does it list your charges, it also itemizes them to show whom these charges are being paid to. Don’t just look at the dollar figures on this form. You should pay close attention to the party that collects those dollars. While the big number on the bottom is often scary, seeing all the people that came together to make this happen for you may make it all seem worthwhile.

You can use this breakdown to make sure that each party that collects a fee is being reasonable. You can compare apples-to-apples because all Good Faith Estimates must contain the same information. Also, make sure that what you have is a "Good Faith Estimate" and not just a summary of costs that the mortgage broker put together. They may leave some things out but the GFE keeps them in line because they are required by the government to disclose all fees to you.

Your realtor may also give you a fee summary. Do not trust this form. They do this to give you an idea about fees and costs but they don't have the information from the lender necessary to give an accurate quote. You can only get a Good Faith Estimate from a mortgage company.

Since all fees are disclosed in black and white on the GFE, this makes it a great tool to compare mortgages. More importantly, it makes it impossible for a dishonest mortgage broker to sneak unexplainable charges into your loan. A mortgage broker or bank is obligated to give you a GFE very soon after application. Take advantage of this to make sure you are comfortable with the fees being presented.

My best suggestion to you as a homebuyer is to hold on to the original signed copy of your GFE. This document can be easily compared to the final papers that you will sign at closing. You will notice any changes between these forms because they are set up very similarly. Keep in mind that the numbers will change, that’s the nature of an estimate, however your broker should be able to explain any noticeably large changes.

 

How to Avoid Predatory Lenders in Mortgage Finance

It would be unrealistic to expect that such a huge industry with so much money flowing through "its' veins" would fail to attract scam artists and predatory lenders.

refinance,mortgage refinancing,refinance home,home refinance loans,refinance home equity loan,mortgage refinancing,debt consolidation loan refinance

It would be unrealistic to expect that such a huge industry with so much money flowing through "its' veins" would fail to attract scam artists and predatory lenders.

First of all, let's define predatory lender. Simply stated, it's an individual or an institution that seeks out people who are either desperate, naive, or both. Then they capitalize on your urgency, promising a great deal, painting this splendid picture of how this deal will evolve, and then later when you realize that they have misled or lied to you, their defense is that "you didn't read the fine print".

It is therefore useful to remember at every step of your journey in identifying and securing the right type of mortgage for you, that there are more than enough bad lenders in this market and even the genuine ones do not always have your best interests at heart. This is one of the reasons why it is a huge mistake to trust somebody else, least off all a lender, to keep your best interests at heart when doing a <a href="http://www.refinance.org/find-a-lender.php">mortgage finance deal</a>. Just remember that the only person who can look out for your interests in the deal is you.

The best place to start protecting yourself from predatory lenders is by sticking to reputable lenders that have been referred to you by a reputable web site that you can trust. The more you check on the reputation, the more comfortable or uncomfortable you will become. And while you are doing your due diligence, do not get caught up in the "but he seems like a nice person" drama!

It is also useful to note that <a href="http://www.refinance.org/debt-consolidation-form.php">home equity loans</a> are a big favorite with predatory lenders and scam promoters who use them to rob the unsuspecting of their hard earned cash. You must know what to look out for in this case.

Deceptive lending, where the lender provides you with inaccurate information and generally uses every trick in the book to confuse you into paying more than you actually owe, is one strategy used by predatory lenders handling home equity loans. The idea is to make it virtually impossible for you to determine the exact state of affairs on your loan account.

Don't be dismayed and assume that everyone is bad and out to separate you from your money. Just be vigilant and pay attention because while most of the lenders are sincere, there are some that have earned the title of predator!

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