The state of Florida had been recognized as a leader in real estate and mortgage fraud long before the mortgage crisis took hold of U.S. real estate markets. The combination of easy profits available from inflated formulas for calculating property valuation and appreciation and the relatively lax requirements necessary to qualify for a mortgage broker's license made Florida an attractive market for unscrupulous individuals at every level of the real estate financing process. Unfortunately, many Floridians fell victims to scams which made others rich and left homeowners holding the bag. To add insult to injury, loan modification scams in Florida are taking further advantage of desperate homeowners.
How to Recognize a Loan Modification Scam
Possible loan modification scams in Florida are easier to recognize now due to recently enacted laws, regulations, and requirements for companies that offer to perform loan modification in Florida. These regulations make it easier for homeowners to recognize and avoid potential scams. If the company you are speaking to regarding your Florida loan modification approached you directly, this is a violation and a red flag and you should not proceed any further. You should also contact authorities if any of the following conditions apply:
- Did the loan modification company offer a guarantee?
- Were you asked to pay an up-front fee?
- Were you told to stop making your mortgage payments?
- Were you told to make your mortgage payments to someone other than your lender?
- Were you forced to sign a contract?
- Were you asked to authorize property documents for the transfer of your deed to a third party?
Any or all of these may be an indication of a company's intention to commit fraud, and though loan modification scams in Florida take many forms, they will all have something from this list in common.
How to Avoid Being Taken for a Ride
If you are a Florida homeowner in need of some assistance to keep your home you should contact your mortgage company to ask about loan modification programs in Florida. If there is a program available to assist you they should be your first point of contact. Of course, nothing repels crooks like professional legal representation, and many Florida homeowners are able to utilize the services of a Florida loan modification attorney to represent them. Due to the fact that seeking loan modification is often a reaction to an active of impending foreclosure proceeding, fortunate Florida homeowners are able to have access to a loan modification defense attorney in Florida licensed to offer this service as part of their foreclosure defense. In this case your home loan modification attorney will work with your foreclosure defense attorney to attempt to find a compromise allowing you to stay in your home and avoid the legal and financial headaches of a foreclosure proceeding.
If You Think You Have Been Scammed
If your gut is telling you something is not right or if you feel that you've fallen victim to one of the many loan modification scams in Florida, it's not too late to contact a Florida loan modification attorney to help prevent any further damage. Home loan modification attorneys can still represent you going forward in negotiations with your mortgage company and may be indispensable in repairing the damage that has been done by the scammers. The company you believe guilty of loan modification fraud in Florida should also be reported to federal authorities.
The fact that Florida was hit hard by mortgage fraud during the 1990's and earlier this century has made the state prime hunting ground for those seeking to capitalize on the misfortune of others. The mortgage crisis only created more opportunities for fraud in Florida, one of this country's most affected states. If you are feeling the crunch and afraid that a foreclosure may be in your future, before accepting unsolicited help from an unreliable source, contact a legal professional for true and unbiased advice.
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