I am constantly amazed at the number of articles I find about innocent victims of fraud in real estate and financing. Consumers face many difficult decisions when it comes to purchasing, selling or maintaining their homes. With the number of competing Realtors and lenders and others it is no wonder consumers find it challenging to make the right choices.
Sometimes those “too good to be true” mortgage offers contain hidden fees and unfair terms that can eventually cause the buyer to actually lose their home. Some mortgage fraud includes the instance where homebuyers and/ OR lenders falsify information to obtain a home loan. Buyers should NEVER sign loan documents that have incomplete or inaccurate information.
The best protection against predatory lending and mortgage fraud is to “shop around” for your loan. Be sure to ask a lot of questions and keep asking until you understand the answers so you will completely understand the process and what is entailed.
Then there are those so-called foreclosure rescue companies that claim they can help struggling home owners save their home from foreclosure. Some even offer a money-back guarantee! Unfortunately, most of these foreclosure fraudsters take your money and run.
Never pay money up front for anyone without a thorough investigation of the company and the services they provide!
During the home buying/selling process, you may find it necessary to obtain referrals for a variety of services from lender, plumbers, pest inspectors, home inspectors and more. The important thing that any good Realtor will remember is to offer you CHOICES. They will provide you a list of at least 3 references in that category that they have personal experience and knowledge of their ability and work ethic. Feel free to call each one and ask questions regarding services, pricing and yes, even references. You may choose whomever you prefer. You may already know someone so don’t feel obligated to use someone that was referred to you if you don’t want to. You deserve the BEST. Get detailed bids in writing, ALWAYS, and be sure to agree on all terms before you allow any work to proceed. Be sure to be on hand to evaluate the work upon completion and sign off if you are satisfied. If you are not, then this is the time to speak up and get resolution. Do not ever wait until the end of the transaction to voice your displeasure.
The very best way to avoid being a victim is education and taking your time to make a decision and any true professional will have no problem in allowing you the time YOU need to make your decisions wisely.
If you have more questions on this topic or suggestions for additional topics, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-681-2532.