Unfortunately, mortgage scams are increasingly common and can put home buyers and homeowners at risk when they’re buying a home, refinancing or if they’re looking for help making mortgage payments. Foreclosure rescue scams have become more prevalent during the pandemic so it is important to understand what scams are out there and how you can avoid them.
If you’ve been contacted by a foreclosure prevention or “rescue” agency, protect yourself from fraudulent practices by keeping these tips in mind:
- Beware of companies or organizations that require payment upfront—this is illegal in North Carolina.
- Avoid companies that want you to make mortgage payments directly to them, or who tell you not to speak with your current mortgage company or to an attorney.
- Don’t trust investors who offer to pay off your mortgage if you sign over the deed to your home. Typically in these scams, the investor then rents your home back to you or another tenant but doesn’t make the mortgage payments, resulting in foreclosure.
- Only trust companies and organizations that have been verified by your local Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division.
- Get all promises and agreements in writing, and do not sign anything until an attorney has reviewed it.
Below are resources to help you protect yourself:
To report a scam or check out a company, call the NC Attorney General’s Office at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file a complaint at ncdoj.gov.