Foreclosure Article


Predatory Lending Schemes and Scams

Beware Of Predatory Lending Schemes

Most mortgage lenders are reputable and provide a valuable service by allowing families to own a home without saving the thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars necessary to buy it outright. However, a few, unscrupulous lenders, especially those who make high risk second mortgages, engage in predatory lending practices that can increase the likelihood that a borrower will lose his or her home to foreclosure. These abusive practices include making a mortgage loan to an individual who does not have the income to repay it, charging excessive interest, points and fees or repeatedly refinancing a loan without providing any real value to the borrower.

Borrowers facing unemployment and/or foreclosure are frequent targets of predatory lenders because they are desperate to find any "solution" to their default.

Homeowners frequently receive refinance offers in the mail telling them that they have been "pre-approved" for credit based on the equity in their home. When you are wondering how you are going to pay your mortgage and other bills, it may appear very attractive to borrow against your house. But consider this, if you cannot make your current payments, increasing your debt, even if you get some temporary cash, will make it harder to keep your home.

Beware of Scams:

  • Equity skimming: a buyer offers to repay the mortgage or sell the property if you sign over the deed and move out.
  • Phony counseling agencies. Some groups calling themselves "counseling agencies" may approach you and offer to perform certain services for a fee. These could well be services you could do for yourself for free, such as negotiating a new payment plan with your lender, or pursuing a pre-foreclosure sale. If you have any doubt about paying for such services, call a HUD-approved housing counseling agency at (800) 569-4287 or TDD (800) 877-8339. Do this before you pay anyone or sign anything. Don't sign any papers you don't fully understand.
  • Make sure you get all "promises" in writing.
  • Beware of any contract of sale of loan assumption where you are not formally released from liability for your mortgage debt.
  • Check with a lawyer or your mortgage company before entering into any deal involving your home.
  • If you're selling the house yourself to avoid foreclosure, check to see if there are any complaints against the prospective buyer. You can contact the Arizona Office of the Attorney General Consumer Fraud Unit for this type of information.
  • Do not sign anything you do not understand. It is your right and duty to ask questions.
  • Information is your best defense against becoming a victim of predatory lending especially for a desperate homeowner! 

Where to Report Suspected Predatory Lending – homeowners can contact the Arizona Office of the Attorney General, or call 1(800) 352-8431 to get information on what steps to take to file a complaint. You may also want to look at Predatory Lending Brochure from the Office of the Attorney General. 

For more information about Predatory Lending go to:

HUD's Predatory Lending Web Site

Attached Document
.pdf Predatory Lending Schemes and Scams


Comments:

QUESTIONS

  • Does the Superior Court have a procedure for expedited processing of time sensitive cases? If so, would that procedure be applicable to a foreclosure of the right to redeem a tax lien?
  • There is a scam going on with my house and reference for foreclosure need legal assistance ASAP I am disabled and need help my phone number is I need immediate help. Thank you
  • Currently my home is not in foreclosure. I am behind in payments and the bank will not allow me to make partials. They are willing to reinstate the loan but I am unable to raise the 6 payments required. I have received default and letters of intent to accelerate. The bank is recommending a short sale. I want to work this out and I have saved 3 payments and I wish to stay in the home. We received a modification in 2012 and a special forbearance in 2013 I am back to work after being laid off in September and emergency surgery in December. Do I claim bankruptcy in order to save my home?
  • I bought a house back when the housing market boomed and at the time had a decent job that can pay for the mortgage. A year and a half later my contract ended for the job and now can't afford the mortgage. I am wondering if it's possible to do a short sale with a good amount of savings in the bank? I have 2 mortgages with 2 different lenders. I just don't want to deplete my lifetime savings before I do a short sale. I haven't missed a payment.
  • My dad and brother owned a home which I lived for 17 years and took care of both my parents. My my died 13 years and my just passed away 5/18/16. My brother does not communicate with me so the house I still live in he foreclosure on. What are my rights I still live here.
  • We are currently renting a home that is being foreclosed on. A realtor is telling me to allow him to put a safe lock on the door and show the home. What are my rights? He claims to work for the trustee.
  • I belong to a Property Owner's Association. The manager and the original Developer states we do not follow ARS Title 33 because the Association is a non-profit corp. and does not own property. We are all mandated members that must pay dues to maintain the roads that are dedicated to public use. We have bylaws, CC&R's. Is this true? The developer is getting properties back thru foreclosures and says he does not owe dues and is using his 10-1 votes from the foreclosures. Our CC&Rs say that if the first mortgagee gets property back they are not liable for past dues, but from acquisition. Help?
  • what is the time line for eviction. does it ever go thru a court before the sheriff comes knocking? I still have the title to the land, the warranty deed.
  • I recently returned home from a 3 year prison sentence. The home i own was vacant and went into foreclosure. The mortgage company changed the locks, however i still own the home and plan on refinancing and keeping it. Am i allowed back into the house now, to live there since i still legally own it?
  • I was served a special writ for foreclosure due to being behind on HOA dues. How long do I have to try to pay the amount owed? It states my redemption period is 6 months. Is this from data of sale? Or from date I was served? Also, how long do i have before it goes to auction?

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