Scams of the year…
The troubled housing market, an array of new mortgage programs, and general consumer confusion over the new rules set the stage for a host of scams, from Ponzi schemes to rigged bidding at real estate auctions to “reverse staging”, where investors make negative cosmetic changes to a property to get a low appraisal, sell it to a cohort, then flip the property for a higher price.
The big news was the uptick in “foreclosure rescue” companies and mortgage modification scams. In one version, scam artists find victims via foreclosures notices in newspapers, the internet and public records, offer a loan modification for an up-front fee, then disappear with the money. By mid-year, such scams were up 60%, according to the nonprofit Homeownership Preservation Foundation.
In May, armed forces members were warned of HAMP scams from companies using official government logos, promising guaranteed results and charging high fees for help or information that could be obtained for free.
Prepaid rental listing services also are in question sometimes, as shown in this article from the Department of Real Estate.
As always, in real estate, it is good to conduct your due diligence before hiring services. Remember to call me for professional contacts, or professional advice. I do not know everything but I sure will share my knowledge and help you if I can.
Non-profit organization worth noting: Partners for New Generations.