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By Cindi Hagley, Prudential | Broker in San Ramon, CA

Avoiding Foreclosure Scams

Don't Fall for Foreclosure Scams!

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. With the number of distressed homeowners struggling to avoid foreclosure, companies are popping up everywhere offering to help...for a small fee. In reality - they're out to make a huge profit, and if you're not careful, it could be at your expense.

Here's what to beware of:

They ask for money upfront;
They tell you not to contact your lender, lawyer, housing
counselor, family, friends, or others;
They ask you to stop paying your lender and make the payments directly to them...with either cash, cashier's check, or wire transfer;
They promises to stop the foreclosure process, no matter the
They ask you to sign over the deed or title to them;
They offer to do the paperwork for you;
They ask you for Power of Attorney;
They ask you to sign a document with blank lines;
They do not give you copies of signed contract;
They refuse to put oral promises in writing.

If you are at risk of foreclosure or have already received a foreclosure notice, you should contact your lender immediately. You have options. Ask your lender about a loan modification. If you do not qualify, you can short sale your home. Yes, your credit score will be affected, but not nearly as much as if your home went into foreclosure. More information on short sales can be found at www.shortsalesheep.com.

And if you have been approached by a company that you suspect is trying to scam you, contact your state's attorney general and the federal trade commission.

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