It’s a sad fact that of life that the more people find themselves in difficult situations, like foreclosure, the more people will inevitably try to scam or take advantage of them even further. This may be true more for real estate, housing and mortgages than for any other industry.
There are plenty of stories of homeowners here in Hawaii who have been the subject of mortgage scams or other types of deceptive behavior when what they needed the most was a helping hand, some calm and sage advice or a way forward. Just last week I spoke with an elderly lady who was upside down in her mortgage on a condo in downtown Honolulu. She had given $3500 upfront to a scam artist who had promised her a way out of foreclosure.
She never heard from him again.
If there’s one golden rule about how to avoid mortgage scams in Hawaii or anywhere else, it’s this:
Never NEVER never give anyone any upfront money for foreclosure assistance.
You’re just asking to be taken for a ride. Not everyone has the aloha spirit, unfortunately. If you feel you’ve been scammed, then you should contact the police or an attorney to protect your interests.
Avoid the Mortgage Scammers
So how do you avoid the scam artists who are out to swindle everyone? Here’s a good checklist:
- Do they ask for upfront payment of any kind at all?
- Do they promise you they can stop your foreclosure no matter what?
- Do they tell you to stop making your mortgage payment?
- Do they tell you to make your mortgage payments to them instead?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then you should turn around and head in the opposite direction.
How to Get Foreclosure Help
If you’re facing foreclosure, the first thing you need to do is to educate yourself on your situation and your options. I know it can be difficult to take a step back and take a deep breath, but that’s exactly what you must do. You need to understand all your options — everyone’s house, mortgage, family situation, job situation and objective are different, and so everyone’s situation is different. That includes yours.
So where do you go for this information? You can try the Hawaii Foreclosure Information Center. You should most definitely talk to your lender to see what options they have.
And you can also talk to real estate professionals like us who work with homeowners in foreclosure situations all the time. We can help you understand your options and, depending on how you want to proceed, we can consider purchasing your property “as is” for cash to help you move forward. It’s your call, always. If you want to talk to us, just click the box below or call us at (808) 377-4379.
Jessica Sala says
So many scams everywhere! I’m helping my sister look for a house to rent and was looking on Zillow.com and Realtors.com found the same listing one agent and one claiming to be the home owner….Thankful I’m smart enough to spot it!
Michael Borger says
Zillow is prime space for scammers, I’ve found.