Beware of phony foreclosure aid!

A plethora of phony foreclosure aid and debt relief scams are everywhere it seems. And everywhere includes Massachusetts.

Jenifer McKim reported in today’s Boston Globe that a watchdog group called NeighborWorks America has begun warning Massachusetts homeowners about the scams.

“Loan modification scams are reaching epidemic proportions across the nation,’’ said Thomas J. Curry, a board member of NeighborWorks America, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit spearheading the nationwide program. “Countless fraudulent companies are making a great deal of money by preying on the fears of worried homeowners.’’

Mortgage loan schemes in Massachusetts typically fall into one of three categories, according to the state attorney general’s office.

They include attempts to dupe homeowners into transferring ownership of their properties to someone else; programs that charge hefty fees but provide little or no help; and for-fee bankruptcy filings that are intended to help an owner keep their house, but are rejected by the courts because of improper paperwork.

Concerning the latter problem, you can avoid it entirely by dealing with a local Massachusetts bankruptcy attorney who you trust. Going to someone who is not a lawyer and paying them to prepare your bankruptcy papers is a recipe for frustration at the best and disaster at the worst.

You can get more information about how to avoid foreclosure and report suspected scams, visit www.loanscamalert.org or call 1-888-995-4673.

 

By Doug Beaton

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